The tides of Venus

The tides of Venus

A short introduction

James Whitesmith, Flickr

A young researcher is wandering about the newly planted forest of eminent columns on The Conversation and notices the door to one has been left open …

*Looks about the inside of the column*

It’s nice and roomy in here; white space with lots of potential. Has that nice, new car smell to it. Let’s see how this goes then.

So where did I pop up from? I’m currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Australian Synchrotron and have come on a bizarre science route, through geology, physics and chemistry and jelly balloons to get here. Most of it did make sense at the time.

I’ve very much an experimentalist, just as likely to be found in the lab covered in mineral oil as in front of my computer pouring over data. The main drivers of my science are very small molecules, how their crystal structures affect their overall physical properties and the worlds about them.

One of the main tools I use for this is X-ray powder diffraction, where I’m able to study the structure of my materials while changing the environment about them. I like diamonds, but not for the same reason as most girls.

What will I write about? Well I’m interested in opening up physical science: why did the researchers look at that? Why did they do it that way? What are the unresolved issues? Why is this interesting? Will these findings help me to make a better cup of tea?

So, let’s get started then.