Monday, 18 June 2012

A lack of blogging

So, this is where I left you off, nearly a year ago and the beginning of a huge experimental investigation of our Laser Triggered Vacuum Arc lamp (LAVA-lamp). I haven't as yet published any papers on this work but have presented a couple posters. Here's one poster, presented at the 2011 International Workshop on EUV & Soft X-Ray Sources, 7-9 Nov, UCD (N.B. font went a bit bonkers, save the page and open pdf to see it properly). I won best poster for it actually (modest as ever I am), was absolutely chuffed.
But yes, the experiment went really well, gathered a huge amount of data, was wonderful to work alongside Larissa on it. That work finished up in late October due to other deadlines and the analysis is ongoing (due to the volume of data and other engagements). Over all I have to say the last 3 years of PhD have flown by, it's a little shocking really, but I have loved it. I'd recommend any physics student who enjoys working on interesting and challenging projects to get out there, contact groups who's work you find interesting. There's always an intern position somewhere and it's such a great way to learn what research is like (and earn a bit of money sometimes too).
One more year left myself now, the big thesis write up to do and a whole pile of papers and theory to brush up on. Practise makes perfect but re-reading is Always a bonus, you'll never keep exactly the right time without checking back every now and then. It's scary but it's fun and I'm so lucky to have fallen into such a good group and such an interesting project. Plasmas are all around us you know, every day, most of the universe is in a plasma state, everything came from plasma too in the very beginning. Without our local massive globe of plasma our planet wouldn't support life. It's nice to be able to try grasp these things sometimes, forget any real physics and just think about what we are. Those immortal heart wrenching words We are star stuff. You have to admit it's fun to think about that, and if you don't think so then I'm sorry you can't see the wonder in the things around you. Wonderment is the most important thing in life, without it what's the point.
Anyway this is getting ranty and that wasn't my point for this post. I just wanted to write something because life is flying by! So it's good to have a record of where I once stood and what the air was like, how were the natives, what was the view like. The biggest news I have in life is I've been living with my lovely Odette for just over a month now in a pretty little cottage. Really loving it, it's going to be a fun year full of adventure I'm sure. I hope everyone else is well out there, lots of hardships but I hope there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Until nextime I guess.

View off Killiney hill, looking south towards Bray head.

Blackrock baths looking north west towards Dublin city centre.

Hanko finishing stamps for one of Ze Frank's missions.

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