A perfunctory procedure involving the integration of liquid helium for particles led to the untimely doing of astronomy and physics major of Yale student Michelle Dufault Tuesday evening. Working late into the evening on her thesis, Ms Dufault’s hair somehow managed to get caught in a lathe that she was working over causing her to die of asphyxiation.
nytimes: On Tuesday, just weeks from graduating, she toiled late at night inside a machine shop in a chemistry lab, as she had for weeks while working on her senior thesis: investigating the possible use of liquid helium for detecting dark matter particles. Ms. Dufault, 22, was killed when her hair became caught in the lathe, whose rotating axis is used to hold materials like wood or metal being shaped.
How ironic that something as simple as a lathe machine took her life whilst she deliberated on complex chemical ennui. It wasn’t the science that undermined her, it was the application of said science that tragically led her to death.
At present, school administrators are reviewing procedures that led to Ms Dufault’s death, but one can hardly undermine this young woman’s intellectual prowess rather than empowering her unfortunately in one single bizarre moment undermined her.
Rest in peace Michelle Dufault.