- 2000 FEB 23 -


00-02-23          0700    Routine morning. 

            ….. Dr. BROWN e-mailed me with his comments on the seawater plan as follows:


Hi Tom

Plan is to start Auger work on Wed am (March 1st).  I've scanned your seawater work plan.  Quite extensive (costly).  More effort than I had envisioned.  We can discuss its scope/objectives during your visit.  By the way, it would probably be a good idea to sink a few arced wires close to a piece of pure Mg to check on that possibility of interaction while submerged.  

Cheers Jim

            This adds something new to the test that I had wanted to stay away from, just because it enlarges the issue.  By adding the magnesium, rightly it means adding more wires.  So spoke with FOGG about it.  I asked him how much magnesium there actually was in the aircraft.  He didn’t know for sure but said that it was very little.  I asked him for a list of all the items, and if possible the write-ups on each one.  Then I suggested that we should consider the request.  After all, if we conduct the test and the wire doesn’t pick up magnesium, then it totally rules it out.  The problem is that there is almost no chance of one of the wires lying on a piece of magnesium.  To have more than one compounds that tremendously.  They were not all lying on pieces of magnesium.  I suggest that in the interests of fairness, we have to enter magnesium into the test, even though it slants the test so far in that direction.  But as I say, it is sure one quick way to put the doubts to rest - from everyone.  FOGG is rather timid to do it, saying that it is an unfair test due to the fact that the wires could not have been on a piece of magnesium while underwater.  Once the test is performed and if it shows a migration of the element, then it will hang there to haunt us.  It will be a very large hurdle to overcome when trying to explain that by doing the test that way we purposely tilted the scales towards it as the source.  That is not a proper method of performing a scientific test.  I am of two minds.  I feel confident that it is both not the source and will not result in migration of the magnesium into the copper.  So there is nothing to loose.  But the idea of tilting the balance so far to that side goes against good scientific research, especially when you only get one shot at it.

            To attempt to reduce the number of wires involved, I will check to see if any of the wire types involved did not have magnesium in the melts.  If any did not, then we can count them out of the test, as there is nothing to prove by saying that they attracted or failed to attract magnesium, especially since we are going by wire type in the test and not just a hunk of copper.  I will work on this for the AES IV next week.  Also, found out that SIDLA will not be attending. 




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