Robert Johnson gets a lot of strange looks when he tells his friends what he does in Ken Hedberg’s lab. The senior from Salem and another student, Luke Costello from Corvallis, shoot beams of electrons through clouds of gasses and use the results to analyze molecular structure.

“People ask ‘why?’” says Johnson. “I just say, ‘because it’s interesting to me.’ It’s so simple,” he adds, as though he were taking snapshots at the beach, “but you get a lot of information out of it about the molecules.”  Read more...