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Poor Thermalization

Generally, thermalization issues will be discovered during the pre-cool. Because the cool down time depends on $ C(T)/k(T)$ (which goes as $ \sim T$ at lower temperatures), the time to cool a poorly thermalized mass from 300K-10K will be much longer than from 10K-10mK.

However, if you do not monitor the temperature of the poorly thermalized mass, what you may find is that the system seems to get cold, but then fails to reach base. This may be because the poorly thermalized mass is still $ >1$ K and is warming the rest of the system.

In either case, you will need to thermalize the cold mass better.

Jonathan Ouellet 2014-08-26