Friday, May 23, 2008

destructive vs. non-destructive testing: a case study

[2008.06.20] Thanks to mom for the following, enlightening link![/2008.06.20]

As I sit parked on the shoulder awaiting roadside assistance, I am reminded of my days at Duke University studying for my degree in Civil engineering (yeah, the perfect preparation for a career in information technology, right? But that's another story.).

In science (it works), data is obtained by performing experiments. In engineering, these experiments often involve basically testing how strong something is.

Tests can be non-destructive (look what happens when this factor is introduced, and how the material returns to it's original state when the factor is removed), or tests can be destructive (load up the bridge until it collapses, then make note of the load at failure).

What I am getting at is the following:

I did not just accidentally run out of gas. Only a fool would ignore the low fuel indicator light and the gas gage being below the E line!

What I have achieved is the obtainment of valuable experimental data, by means of pseudo-destructive testing. As the photograph indicates,

I now have exact knowledge of the point below the "E" at which the vehicle ceases to run on vapors.

I think Thomas Edison said something like, "there are no failures in experimentation. Only successful tests proving what doesn't work."

Experimental Success!



Anonymous said...

dude you should print that out and tape it on the instrument panel... or even better print it in actual size on transparency- overlay it on the gas meter...


Crockett Dunn said...