Wednesday, 10 February 2016

It's not a pantomime, it's a family reunion!

Yes, just like buses, nothing for two months then two entries!

This morning I was reminded of York's panto star Berwick Kaler's regular line "it's not a pantomime, it's a family reunion". I'm here with Liane Benning, who is still kind of at Leeds but also now in Germany. On i18 (microfocus XAS, see previous posts) was Iain Burke from Leeds accompanied by Doug Stewart and a bearded Andy Bray looking at vanadium in steel slags (incidently I'm wondering whether Iain makes all his postdocs grow beards, it seems to be taking a "team look" a little too far).

Doug Stewart, Iain Burke and Andy Bray on i18 - the smiles are undoubtedly due to the quality of the flapjack being consumed

Next door on B18 (bulk XAS, never used this beamline) was Caroline Peacock, also from Leeds, working with Fred Mosselmans on molybdenum in aquatic sediments.

Caroline et al.
And then Paul Hallett (Aberdeen, I'm working with him on RedSoil, a NERC - NSFC funded project on the red soil critical zone in China) is on i13 which is an X-ray tomography beamline though he has gone home with a day to go, presumably because he's driving and it's a long way to Aberdeen.

I sometimes think that there ought to be an official circuit race of Diamond - it would make visits here more exciting if people were competing for the best time around the ring. However, if such a race did exist (and I guess I should stress strongly that it doesn't) then the management seem determined to up the ante - there are now three sets of pipes that block the straight route so that what would have been a simple sprint has now become more of a steeple chase.
Stair 1

Stair 2

And would you believe it, stair 3
There are excellent science reasons for these long pipes, tapping off various wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation for experiments (just don't ask me what they are!) but they have broken up the circuit. It also reminded me of the, possibly apocryphal, story that when Royalty visited Daresbury (Diamond's predecessor), the beam had to be turned off because a pipe that crossed the circuit around the synchrotron had to be cut out for the visit so that the Royals wouldn't have to duck underneath it. Perhaps that's why they've gone for bridges at Diamond!

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