Seems like it would be easy to increase the tension by detailing what is at stake in the science and having William actually emote some of the excitement that should be evident if he's actually made a breakthrough. Also, you have to listen to the prose. This clunker stopped me dead.

“The quality of lab equipment matters,” said William. “The table… not so much. I gots my priorities, dawg,” he added, making a weak effort to mimic the speech of an inner city drug dealer.