As you read in previous Pittcon blog posts from Day 1 and Day 2, Pittcon once again provided an excellent opportunity for companies to meet with current and prospective customers to discuss their application challenges and introduce them to their latest technologies.

While Pittcon has shrunk in size over the years, it continues to bring together thousands of dedicated scientists and technicians interested in learning more about how advances in technology can enhance their characterization capabilities.

The Malvern team (picture below) spent the week engaged with customers, visiting our booth to discuss applications details with one of our technical experts and to see the latest Malvern instruments. For many visitors, Pittcon provided their first opportunity to see certain Malvern instruments in person. There was significant interest at the booth for our Mastersizer 3000, OMNISEC, NanoSight, and Zetasizer, and overall Pittcon 2016 was a very successful meeting for Malvern.

Pittcon team 2016
From left to right: Ulf Nobbmann, Bill Staskiewicz, Alan Rawle, Carrie Schindler, Dave Peisel, Ragy Ragheb, Thomas Guenette

Once again, a popular draw at the Malvern booth was our “guess the number of ‘particles’ in the jar” contest. This year, a particle was defined as a Circus Peanut – a peanut shaped marshmallow candy originally made
popular in the mid 20th century.

The jar was quite recognizable, as many of those who passed by were more interested in eating one of the candies than guessing the number of them in the jar. As we learned, Circus Peanuts also elicit many strong feelings towards the childhood candy, with people either fondly loving them or despising them – apparently with no in-between when it comes to candy.

Pittcon stand 2016

In total there were 372 entries made trying to guess the correct number of Circus Peanuts/particles in the jar. The median of all of guesses was 496 and 46 individuals came within 10% of the correct answer, which in the end was 327 Circus Peanuts in the jar. Amazingly, two individuals – Andrew Schmudlach of the University of Notre Dame and Rachael Kenney of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – correctly guessed 327 and will each receive a $250 Amazon gift card. Congratulations to both Rachael and Andrew!

When asked how they came up with their submitted guesses, here is what each had to share:

“It’s funny because I saw your booth in passing and made sure to return later that day because my grandpa loves Circus Peanuts. I’d say I spent about a minute or so counting up to 50ish peanuts and used that as my marker to guess from. I also really like the number 27, so I’m not surprised I chose it. All in all, I think it was mostly luck though.”  Rachael Kenney

“My number was a rough guess with a large fudge factor. It was 90% luck and 10% estimation.”  Andrew Schmudlach

Thank you to everyone who participated in our contest, and for stopping by the Malvern booth. We look forward to seeing you at a future Pittcon, as you never know what we might be putting in the jar next.