Thursday, 29 March 2007


MaxLAB is done and the truth is out. During our trip to Sweden I have no doubt that my supervisor finally knows for sure that I'm not the amazing Uber-student I made myself out to be when I applied for the PhD last October.

It was inevitable that GCSE level chemistry wouldn't last me all throughout my career and so now it's time to bite the bullet and actually try to understand what the periodic table actually means.

My brother has offered me his A-Level chemistry textbook when he finishes with it.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

St Patrick's Dag

It's a weird thing to think I spent my first St. Paddys day since starting at Trinity, in Sweden, possibly the least Irish country in Europe.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

The probe

I was in a basement lab the other day when a sewer probe crashed through the wall, spraying water in all directions. Workmen outside were trying to find out where an open sewer was located and it turned out it was just behind the plaster wall of the Raman spectroscopy room in the SNIAM building. There has always been an evil smell in that lab apparently.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Working holiday

The time is 6:30 in the morning which is Danish for 5:30 in the morning and it's coming to the end of a night shift at the MaxLAB facillity where I'm working for the next two weeks. It is tough going, I got misty-eyed earlier – Brian tells me thats part of working late under artificial lights.

On the plus side much of the time is spent waiting for scans to complete so I'll probably write lots of posts, although this will likely be at the cost of coherence.

Essential reading

The recommended text for the MaxLAB trip,

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Presentation skills

Every now and again physics folk are drafted in to do communication skills training. We were encouraged to brainstorm ideas for grabbing the audience's attention early on. The example given was a talk on the burning bush in the Bible where the presenter would set fire to a bundle of twigs. Of course this never happened because of fire regulations but it was the ideas that mattered.

I kid you not, one person in our group who worked with lasers, suggested blinding the audience members with a high power beam. And yet we struggle with public outreach?