Earlier this year my general practitioner measured my height at my regular check-up. What-the-heck? I’m used to my kids standing under the ruler annually, but I haven’t done that in…well, never mind. It doesn’t matter how long it has been since I stopped growing. I, of course, asked why I was being measured and was told by the very young, very caring nurse that it was because I was getting old and needed to be monitored to see if I was shrinking! Great. That is something I hadn’t thought about. Clearly, however, it is necessary to monitor for things that we know intuitively, but maybe don’t think about day-to-day.
We monitor certain health parameters. We monitor the chemicals in our pools. We monitor all kinds of things in the lab. But what about the stuff we don’t know to monitor? What about the things we haven’t been able to see before? When Sean, Dale, Phil, Derrell, and Anthony brought vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) spectroscopy to the gas chromatography (GC) laboratory they started to see things that had not really been seen before outside of synchrotron facilities. In fact, the VGA-100 has shown us a number of VUV spectra that have never been seen before and it is opening up a world of analysis that is new for everyone. We are looking at things that we simply could not see before.