Travel part 3: Diamond and Nottingham

The third part of the travel consisted of experiments and one final talk to top it all off.

The experiments consisted of us (Zoe, Ashleigh, Martin and me) spending two days at beamline I11 of Diamond (more pictures here). This is a high-resolution powder diffraction beamline, though we did not use the very fancy crystal array detectors. What we did use was an array of Mythen strip detectors which gave the time resolution we were after.

It has been about two or three years since I last set foot at a beamline for measurements (at SPring-8, I believe). However, it appears you never really forget, especially when surrounded by other experienced people. The measurements went smooth, even though the first day was a bit of a disappointment (with us managing to make enormous amounts of haematite, which we weren’t after).

The second day, proved to be much more fruitful, and led to a good dataset or two. The group dynamic was very good, with everyone doing what they could and no big disagreements. This may have been helped by a reasonably good canteen and our slightly overzealous stock of fresh fruit and other nibbles within arms reach of the beamline workstations.

After the last Friday morning at the beamline, we went back to our respective roosts. For me, that meant taking a (delayed) train to Nottingham.

Nottingham houses the illustrious Prof. Philip Moriarty, of anti-stripy-nanoparticle fame. As the trains were slightly delayed, I could not spend as much time there as I wished, but I was happy to be on time for my presentation for a small but very interested group of attendees. After a short but very interesting chat with Philip, I was left to wander the gorgeous campus by myself. It really is the most beautiful campus of the trip, and well worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood.

In the evening i met up with a fun troupe of circus artists (somehow…), who managed to sneak me into a very odd piece of interpretive dance. It was a very funny way to end the whole tour, but I can’t say I’m sold on interpretive dance…

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