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Keeping the NMR Alive After Hurricane Maria

Dr. Melvin De Jesus Flores, instrumentation specialist at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao is keeping his 400 MHZ NMR spectrometer alive by filling liquid nitrogen from a small 10 l dewar. The persisting power outage on the island of Puerto Rico after the category 4 hurricane Maria makes many routine tasks much more challenging. Without  power the elevator that brings the large liquid nitrogen dewar  to the second floor where the instrument is located is not operational.

NMR_University of Puerto Rico
Dr. Melvin De Jesus Flores filling the cryostat

So Dr. De Jesus has to transfer the nitrogen to a smaller dewar which he can carry up the steps and then pour the cryogenic liquid into the magnet through a funnel.  It will take him about half a dozen trips up and down the stairs until the cryostat is refilled with liquid nitrogen. Luckily his magnet still shows a safe liquid helium level. Hopefully power and liquid helium supply will be restored by the time a helium refill is due.

We would like applaud Dr. De Jesus  and other researchers on the storm ravaged island for the heroic efforts they are undertaking to keep valuable research instrumentation alive. Our thoughts go out to all of them during these difficult times.