The 10 QED Laboratory Commandments

  1. Keep a comprehensive and comprehensible Lab Book

    Write everything down in your lab book, no matter how irrelevant it may seem at the time. Time of day, filenames, instrument settings, purpose of those experiments/sweeps. Use sketches and illustrations freely. This also applies to data processing. I've lost count of the number of times poor lab notes have meant that an experiment or data analysis has had to be repeated.

    If you make any changes to equipment settings (eg on a fridge or spinner) write them in therelevant equipment log book, with the date and your name.
  2. Make sure the lab is in a better condition when you leave than when you enter.

    Always tidy, improve and optimise as you go. Why should somebody else have to clean up after you, and repair things you can't be bothered to deal with?
    If you must press ahead with an experiment and can't impove/fix something immediately -- make sure it gets done later. Put it on your To Do list.
  3. Don't leave the lab unattended at the wrong time

    If you are doing an experiment in the lab, you are responsible for that lab. For helium transfers, removing a fridge, or some other delicate task -- you have to be present.
  4. Do not leave broken or 'not-working-properly' stuff lying around

    Do not leave dead/not 100% working equipment lying around. At some point in the future,somebody else will want to use it, and either they will encounter the same problems that you did, or they will have to wait for weeks and months while it is fixed.

    Take responsibility for any broken equipment you find, and make sure it gets fixed.
  5. Fix it before it breaks

    Pumps need oil changes. Things decay if not maintained. Supplies need to be re-ordered well in advance. The usual approach of writing the change date on the item doesn't seem to work.

    Use google calendar or similar to log these things and make it bug everyone to do them. Confirm on the calendar that they've been done. Make someone responsible for checking these things (and rotate the responsibility).
  6. Keep the lab tidy

    We don't need perfectly clean labs - but don't let them become a disorganised mess.
    When you have finished your experiment, make sure the lab is clean to this standard:
  7. Record borrowed items in the lab borrow book

    Do not take equipment out of a lab without recording it in the borrow book. You will forget to return it, and some poor sod will spend days looking for it.
  8. Security

    Make sure you lock lab doors and windows.
    Do not let tradesmen work in the lab unless Jack, Alex or Adam has given clearance.
  9. Mobile phone number

    If you are running an experiment and are not in the lab, your mobile phone number must be clearly displayed on the door for security and other researchers to find.
  10. Do not use lab computers for internet surfing, watching TV, etc

    Make sure you adhere to the ComputerSecurity rules.
    Watch your experiment, not TV. Analyse your data as soon as possible.
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Lab_1.JPGJPG Lab_1.JPG manage 223 K 01 Sep 2009 - 06:09 AlexHamilton Clean Lab 2
Lab_2.JPGJPG Lab_2.JPG manage 151 K 01 Sep 2009 - 06:08 AlexHamilton Clean Lab 1
Lab_3.JPGJPG Lab_3.JPG manage 172 K 01 Sep 2009 - 06:12 AlexHamilton Clean Lab BNC cupboard
Lab_4.JPGJPG Lab_4.JPG manage 166 K 01 Sep 2009 - 06:11 AlexHamilton Clean lab tidy cupboard
Topic revision: r1 - 12 Nov 2009, AlexHamilton
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