My new job role** has seen me doing some interesting things that I simply didn't get the opportunity to even think about as a teacher. This evening I headed over to Diamond Light Source in Didcot, Oxfordshire, as they were hosting a STEM ambassador networking event. It was an excellent opportunity to meet professionals and educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and I feel I've made some connections that could grow into mutually useful relationships. But that's not the point of this post...
Diamond Light Source is the UK's only synchrotron science facility. In short they Do Science by way of accelerating electrons to relativistic speeds, using the resultant beams of light (at wavelengths from infrared to X-ray) to conduct various academic and industrial research projects. If you're not sure what that all means, it's a big silver doughnut visible from the A34:
At the end of the networking event we were given the opportunity to be taken on a tour of the facility. After hesitating for approximately no fractions of a second I tore myself away from the possibility of spending my evening doing nothing at all and leapt with childish glee (in my mind, at least) after our tour guide, the knowledgeable and engaging Laura Holland.
|Standing on top of the Diamond Synchrotron, the yellow line on the floor traces the path that electrons follow below,|
kept on the right track by powerful electromagnets
If you're at all enticed by the thought of the things I'm saying, go.
|This is a nitrogen outlet. Or a spaceship exhaust: you choose.|
* Though, thinking about it, wouldn't that be cool...?
** I'll write a post about my new job at some point.