I am at the Nuclear Structure 2016 conference in Knoxville, TN for this week. This is part of a series of conferences that moves around the US, organised by a different National Laboratory each time. This time is the turn of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). A previous time that it was organised by ORNL was one of the first conferences I went to as a young researcher. The conference website this time gives a history of the biannual conference back to 2008. A quick search (for the conference proceedings) reveals that I was at the 1998 conference in Gatlinburg, which is a nearby resort town in the Smoky Mountains. Back then I lived here in East Tennessee.
I usual consider the part of nuclear physics I do to be nuclear structure (the properties of individual nuclei), as opposed to nuclear reactions (how they interact with each other). So this conference series is sort of my main area, but actually I've increasingly moved to the border between structure and reactions, and I never feel like I am completely at home at most conferences any more. Not that there is anything wrong with being away from home.
Well, one of the pictures attached to the post shows a slide from a talk given by Jolie Cizewski from Rutgers University. I took a picture of it because of the prominent featuring of a list of University of Surrey collaborators, most of whom are our MPhys students, which Prof. Cizewski has been kind enough to host during their research years. The other picture shows I run I went on at around 6 am this morning. There's a bit of a heatwave here this week, but running before dawn was pretty acceptable (and there were a few of us out). After a long time of not doing too much running, I'm trying to get back into doing more of it to improve physical and mental health. This was not a terribly long run on the scale of things (1.5km) but it's a start. If my jet lag keeps me getting up early, hopefully I'll be going a bit further while I am here.