While I’m being nibbled to death (or at least to distraction) by lots of little incidental unrelated-to-each-other problems and racing to finish my new application, the nice folks at Boing Boing side-tracked me to what may be the best lab report ever: Electron Band Structure In Germanium, My Ass:

…The upshot is that if you heat up a sample of germanium, electrons will jump from a non-conductive energy band to a conductive one, thereby creating a measurable change in resistivity. This relation between temperature and resistivity can be shown to be exponential in certain temperature regimes by waving your hands and chanting “to first order”.

…Now, let’s look a bit more closely at this data, remembering that it is absolutely first-rate. Do you see the exponential dependence? I sure don’t. I see a bunch of crap.

Christ, this was such a waste of my time.

Banking on my hopes that whoever grades this will just look at the pictures, I drew an exponential through my noise. I believe the apparent legitimacy is enhanced by the fact that I used a complicated computer program to make the fit. I understand this is the same process by which the top quark was discovered…

The report is by Lucas Kovar, who also says:

I have recently removed my old stuff in the interest of not looking like a twit.