Thursday, 16 January 2014


I'm in Dublin Airport, about to leave for home, having enjoyed a couple of fine days at a conference on "Physics with Large Arrays of Novel Scintillators".  I was an invited speaker, not because I know anything about Large Arrays of Novel Scintillators, but because I apparently know something about the Physics that can be done with them.  It turns out that these arrays are ideally suited to measuring giant resonances - vibrational states of nuclei that I like to calculate and that link in with all sorts of interesting things like the properties of neutron stars.

I learned quite a few things from the workshop, especially about detectors, which I must admit are things that I know less about than I'd like and certainly less than I should.  

This trip to Dublin marks the first overseas trip I've made since the birth of my second daughter, Alba.  With Flora, my first daughter, I'd got in the habit of sending a postcard every time I go abroad, and I realised as I walked into the tat shop that I'd need to buy, and write, an extra postcard.  So the tradition continues, and Alba's first postcard from the trips that Daddy makes abroad should soon be winging its way to her.  Of course, it'll arrive long after I see her later this evening...

I wanted to add a picture to this post, of something suitable.  I haven't taken a whole lot of pictures in Ireland, but here is one from the window of a bookshop selling books very cheaply.  I'm not so sure the word "mad" would be used in such a way in the UK these days, on account of the pains of real mental illness and not wanting to make light of it.  In any case, I couldn't help looking at that sign and internally reading it in Father Dougal's voice.  They've got mad prices, Ted!

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