Friday, 8 March 2013

Twinkle, Twinkle little Star...

Today started early with a long drive from Manchester to Harwell in Oxfordshire. Many of you who have read my earlier blog postings, will know this is where the Diamond Synchrotron Lightsource lives. It is here that my colleagues and I often come to bathe fossil samples in the super-bright light that this facility produces.

However, today is a little different. I am here to give two public lectures on our work on using synchrotron light. My aim is to demonstrate how such bright light sources can probe the delicate trace of the atomic heart that beats invisibly within the very building blocks of fossils....and the echo the chemistry of the ast life that they represent. This kind of work can only be achieved by using such powerful x-ray sources.

Having given one lecture, I am sat quietly working inside the foyer of the vast research complex...catching-up on my blog. The weather outside stinks...grey, cold, windy and dusk falls, there is not a single star in the sky... it is tough separating sky from the mist swirling around the facility. But who needs stars, when you have a synchrotron lightsource that can shine a million times brighter than mere celestial bodies. This is not so much 'Like a Diamond in the Sky'...but more like one brighter than a million stars, just outside Didcot in Oxfordshire, England.


'Twinkle Twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a 'synchrotron' in the sky...'

...only not as bright!'

1 comment:

  1. Well, we felt your journey was worth while-- my children and I enjoyed your afternoon talk.