Laboratories are full of carefully calibrated equipment, and you must be careful with whatever project you’re working on, whether it’s a small-scale school experiment or something far greater. The slightest disturbance can drastically change the project results, which is why it is so critical to account for all these different variables and eliminate this variance. Continue reading to learn which factors to account for when working in labs.
The first and most important factor you can account for is inefficiency. The best way to take care of it is by focusing on space and organization. In a laboratory environment, you will use a lot of different equipment. Depending on their locations in the lab, you can waste a lot of time walking back and forth between this equipment. This factor is fairly standard in some labs, and others are full of paperwork, files, and boxes that have yet to be organized.
All this clutter turns a simple lab experiment into an obstacle course and creates lab inefficiencies. They can compound and turn a simple margin of error into significant differences in expected results.
Suppose you’re doing a long mathematics problem, and you are off by one unit in the first step. Each following step will take you further away from the correct answer. Address these inefficiencies in your lab by considering where your equipment is relative to each other and keeping it clean and organized.
If something goes wrong in the lab, your first response might be rash. You must think about what’s wrong and how you can fix it. If you act impulsively, everyone else will respond similarly, and the lab will fall into chaos. One of the most significant sources of problems in laboratories is human error, but you can take steps to address it.
Ensure everyone wears the proper safety equipment, understands what they’re doing before taking action, maintains their equipment, and calibrates equipment regularly. By doing these things, everyone and every experiment in the laboratory should progress with the slightest disturbances. A distracted and unprepared team will likely make mistakes or fail to notice when something they’re working with is acting strangely.
In addition to accounting for people, you must account for environmental variables in your laboratory. Ideally, your laboratory is a self-contained environment. The weather can change outside, but the conditions in the lab are stable. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Temperature variables affect the wavelengths of lasers and can interfere with the results of an experiment and the application of different equipment. You should work behind the scenes to determine how controlled your laboratory can be. If you can’t control certain factors, you should acknowledge them in your experiment calculations.
If you account for these factors when working in a lab to get the desired results, everyone will be safe while you do it. Science is a delicate process, and experimentation requires the utmost care. Consider these factors, and your laboratory will thrive.