What happened September 2nd? A registrar’s climate mystery
Part 3 – The Solution

what_happened
“Looks like trouser pocket” said my colleague.

It wasn’t a trouser pocket, but it was the right lead. What we got here was definitely a people pattern. A storage area of the size at hand can’t change humidity by 20 % within 10 minutes if it is not to really catastrophic circumstances. It couldn’t be something that happened in the storage, it was something that happened to the logger.

Here’s the whole story:

The data from our data loggers is downloaded to a laptop at the beginning of each month, preferably on the first day of a month. September 1, 2013 was a Sunday, so September 2nd was the date for collecting the data.

On September 2nd about half past four p.m. our conservator responsible for the loggers called me to say that he just couldn’t make it to download the data on this day. But as we had a staff meeting on the next day and I was already at the offsite storage now, he asked if I could simply fetch the logger and bring it to the museum the next day.

Well, of course I could. I immediately took the logger and put it in my car so I wouldn’t forget it at closing time. While I was finishing my work at the offsite storage you can see how the poor logger lies in my car that was parked in the bright sun. About 20 minutes later I closed the storage and hit the road. As it was hot in the car, I rolled down the windows, resulting in a temperature decrease to a pleasant 25 °C (77 °F). At half past five I parked my car at home, again in the bright sun of a lovely, mild September evening. It was one of those last warm September evenings, where you can sit in front of the house with a cool drink and enjoy the warm rays of the setting sun. Apparently, it was far less pleasant inside of the car, hitting 30 °C (86 °F).

The next morning I got back into my car which had cooled down to 13 °C (55,4 °F) during the night. I was freezing, so I turned on the heating. When I found a parking lot in front of our museum at 8:10 the car was quite comfortably warm at 22,5 °C (72,5 °F). I took the logger and brought it to our conservator, so from now on the logger logged the regulated climate inside of our museum.

Hope you enjoyed our little real-world riddle.

The Start
The Hint

This post is also available in Russian translated by Helena Tomashevskaya.

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This post is also available in: German, French

One comment

  1. Peter Klein says:

    A great little mystery that I experienced when I forgot I had a logger in my hand from another storage room through a hallway to another room. The hallway is not climate controlled and created another variable that I could not explain. It took me days to solve the mystery.

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