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I had been standing in the scorching sun for 90 minutes, collecting data using the illuminance sensor. Sweat dripped down my forehead and sunlight reflecting from the three computer screens blinded me as I observed the graphs. They showed no trend, no pattern – another futile attempt. However, this did not deter me and today, I proudly stand, author of a research paper published in a peer reviewed journal by the Jawaharlal Nehru University, which might, someday, benefit mankind…
Though the product of lucky intuitions, my research experience has been vital for my intellectual development. I chanced upon the LOL bottle, a water filled bottle placed on the rooftop, refracting sunlight in the room, while researching for cheap light sources to use in slums near my school. Skeptical of the claims made by the initiative of providing light equivalent to a 60 W bulb, I decided to scientifically analyze the bottle. To model a real room, I constructed a cubical box and placed it in bright sunlight. I gathered the illuminance on the bottom by placing a glass plate (control) and then the LOL bottle on top at various angles of the sun’s rays. I observed the phenomenon of Total Internal Reflection taking place, a fact not yet been noted, and concluded that the LOL bottle illuminated more area, where one can read, than the glass plate.
The research introduced me to the world of discovery and the sheer rigor that empowers and rewards… It taught me patience and resilience, the fact that sometimes one has to extend oneself, even repeat experiments, and perhaps not reach any conclusion. It taught me the importance of failure and the necessity of its acceptance to succeed. My initial experiment using an artificial light had, failed. But I continued to toil toward finding a solution and am delighted that my toil and intellectual immersion paid off.
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