Very much enjoying the wacky but great questons from you all
Eton House School (86-93), Exeter Uni (96-96) University College London (97-01)
PhD, BSc, A Levels
Davy Faraday Research Lab (Royal Institution), University of Edinburgh, ISIS – STFC
Favourite thing to do in my job: Squeeze things
Inquisitive about knowing what happens when stuff gets squashed
I am a research scientist working at the ISIS neutron source.
Neutrons give us a unique view of the atomic world. Using my dedicated machine I can investigate what happens to atoms when they are subjected to extreme pressures such as those found in the centre of planets.
Using such techniques also allows us to make new materials with interesting properties which may one day end up in everyday items in our lives.
My Typical Day
Is there such a thing as a typical day?
One day I can be helping someone squeeze explosives and the next helping someone understand the nature of the interior of icy moons.
As well as squeezing the materials we can also heat and cool them to extreme temperatures.
My day normally starts with some experimentation where I use a device that can squeeze materials to pressures that are equivalent to those that are found 600 km below our feet.
I then fire neutrons at the materials and observe how they interact – this gives us information as to how the atoms have reacted to these extremes and we can see the new atomic arrangements within the materials.
What I'd do with the prize money
Build a high pressure device that can be used in schools to squeeze things!
I would build a device that could demonstrate the power of high pressure that could be used in schools.
The device would squeeze water and demonstrate how they would compress at pressures that are found in the oceans. The water will solidify and form ice crystals at room temperature.
This would show students the power high pressure has to alter everyday materials and make new ones.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Generous, motivated, intellectual
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Travelled the world
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Travel everywhere, invent a great device, inspire my children
Tell us a joke.
There is enough time in the day!!!