Friday, January 11, 2008

And now for Box Models!

I’ve been set to the task of constructing a box model for my silica work in the North Pacific. A box model starts by thinking of your system as a 3 dimensional box, hence box model. Then you start adding up all the ways silica can enter your box and subtract from that all the ways silica can exit your box. Assuming that your box is in steady state (i.e.: there’s no tremendous buildup of silica in the box) then everything coming in has to equal everything going out. Simple, right?

Here’s my box model:Things going in = things going out. Now we get to apply numbers to this model and this is where I’m boned. The difference between choosing a number like 190 or 195 is a big deal in these calculations and to choose the right number means choosing the number my advisor can live with. I would storm on ahead and finish this already if only I knew that I wouldn’t have to do all this work over again once we decide that 192 is a more appropriate number than 193. And so, dear reader, such is the life of a graduate student. I guess we’ll have to find something else to do in the interim. Like read some science papers, but I’d rather watch baby monkey videos.

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