So for the first time ever, I stepped into our fancy new Molecular Biology building (it’s been finished for a year or so now….). I was expecting to be accosted by security the moment I walked in, because, I don’t really expect that they’d let us poor theoretical physicists walk around in such splendid surroundings! Luckily, the first person I saw as I walked in was Mike Waterman (he who helped host the reading of our play last month), whose Computational Biology group is now also in this building. So all was ok.
Why was I there? Well, it’s been an incredibly long day (all day committee meeting retreat in a hotel boardroom in downtown LA) and now it’s Friday night…. and so that means fun, of course! Seriously, I went back to campus for a short while and ran into my colleagues Gene Bickers (condensed matter physics) and Leonard Adleman (biology, see below), carrying a blue cask. They turned out to be on their way back to Leonard’s lab (he’s both a Computational Biologist and a Molecular Biologist) to make ice-cream using liquid nitrogen! Better yet, they invited me along to have a look and try some! (Above is Leonard and his daughter Stephanie.)
So, remember our last cooking time together when I made beef lo mien? Well, it’s time for desert…. So, pour in the ice-cream mix, which one of the experimenters (Pablo) had prepared earlier (his secret recipe, perhaps):
Pour out some liquid nitrogen (boiling point is 77 K = -196 Â°C = -321 Â°F) into a handy container for accurate pouring….
And then start stirring the mix, and then have someone pour the liquid nitrogen into the mix….
Ready to eat?
Serve it out…..while the eager observers await:
and, here’s Gene letting us know that it is just delicious (vanilla-orange flavour)!
Yep. Physics is tasty fun. It’s official.