My mentor has been having me talk to members in his research group to figure out which direction I want to go. Although they all research a similar idea, they use different methods or materials. I had already spoken with one member when my mentor recommended another, whose research was more to the physics side. In addition, my mentor recommended me to travel to Argonne and actually observe the ongoing research being conducted at the lab.
Recently I went to Argonne National Laboratory to observe the process of focused ion beam milling. I had never been to Argonne before, so this event was thoroughly exciting! My first thought upon entering the gates was how large the facility was. There were so many buildings and other structures. The lab I was to enter was actually in a clean room. Before entering the clean room, I had to put on a clean suit. The lighting in the lab was an unusual yellow color that I had not seen before. Explaining everything else I observed during my visit would be thoroughly exhausting. However, I can summarize it in two words, absolutely interesting! I enjoyed observing this area of research and believe this is the path I would like to take for my research.
Now that a more focused area of research has been realized, I can start narrowing my topic and research question. My journey so far has been exciting and educational, and it is only th beginning. I still have much work to do, but I can confidently anticipate that the path ahead will have more unforgettable events.