Thursday, 26 April 2018

MPhys placement work from Canberra published in Phys Rev C

I just noticed today (thanks to the student involved telling me) that a paper appeared earlier this year in Physical Review C co-authored by one of our undergraduates based on work performed as part of his MPhys Research Year at the Australian National University in Canberra.  

It presents the results of nuclear reactions of 8Li and 209Bi, measuring the reaction yields and looking in particular for specific daughter products in order to understand the details of the way the nuclei react.

The student involved (B. M. A. Swinton–Bland in the author list) is now back at the University of Surrey, finishing his degree.  Whatever he does next, his CV already includes a publication in a leading nuclear physics journal.

Friday, 13 April 2018

We are not decoration

I saw this on twitter earlier in the week.  I must say that I have a lot of sympathy with it.  I have noticed before the tendency to name things in physics after girls a lot more than after boys, and it doesn't chime with the kind of community I think we should be fostering.

The tweet got me to look up some examples in nuclear physics.  My somewhat cursory methodology is to look in the most recent issues of NIM-A and to look for all acronyms which look like they are trying to sound like a human name, and to classify them by sex.  The first thing I noticed is that most of them do not sound like people's names at all (though I can only spot names identifiable to my anglophone self).

In the end, I went back about 6 months, but found NIM-A article titles to only hold a few given-name acronyms:


So I then scanned through the last issue of Nuclear Physics News International for given-name acronyms and found:


Again, pretty slim pickings, and I've spent enough time (for now) looking, but I'd be interested in any additions in nuclear physics, and any comments on whether it is something that bothers you.