It's that part of the year when we make our second visits to our students on their MPhys Research Year placement. I have two students I'm responsible for making a visit to -- one based in Tennessee and another in Indiana. Where better to combine meeting both of them in one place than at the American Physical Society nuclear physics meeting in Sante Fe, New Mexico?
It's a part of the US I haven't visited before, and it's quite something -- huge open blue skies and breathtaking landscape. The city itself is also rather pretty, with most of the houses built in adobe (or faux-adobe, really, but still rather distinctive). There's a lot of public artwork in the city, and the picture attached shows one of our placement students, Abdellatif, standing in front of some fish statues poking out of the shingle.
Both of these placements are in nuclear physics -- one on developing algorithms for pulse shape analysis to help pinpoint where reactions take place in radiation detectors, and the other on improving theoretical calculations of neutron capture cross sections for stellar nucleosynthesis. Both are getting on well, and have got a lot out of their research year. Before too long, they will be back at Surrey to take their final semester of courses, and then on to the next thing. I will back at Surrey on Monday!