Wednesday, 12 January 2011

First workshop of the year

I'm in Brighton attending the PRESPEC Workshop, aimed at discussing the sort of experiments my experimental colleagues will do at the GSI Facility in Germany. There have been all sorts of different topics discussed, from proton radioactivity (decay of a nucleus by emitting a proton), to isomeric states (long-lived excitations in a nucleus), to evolution of nuclear shapes as the number of neutrons or protons chances, to theoretical approaches to describe all these different things. Mine was a theoretical talk, covering the range of things that one can do with mean-field theories. I culminated with a movie that I think is pretty cool. It is of a simulation of a collision on two Uranium nuclei, which combine briefly, and the combined "compound" nucleus then splits into three. Such ternary fission is pretty exotic, and it would be good if the calculation turns out to be correct. I need to do a bit more work to come up with a predicted experimental signature. For now, I'd just like to be able to convert the movie into a much smaller file format, so that I could show it here. I'm sure the file size is not what it should be if it were efficiently encoded. Anyone know a way of reducing the size of an mpeg video file?