Monday 12 December 2011

Mind warp

Hopefully this will save fresh faced material scientists some grief: Notes on the Brillouin zone

Sunday 2 October 2011

Niche, vague science result of the month - Oct 2011

Croatian pomegranates do not ripen on my chest of drawers given around six weeks of time under non-laboratory conditions.

Figure (a) below shows the pomegranates when first picked along with cut-away of an example from the batch which was later disposed of. Figure (b) shows the pomegranate after six weeks of ripening time on my chest of drawers in my bedroom. (Note different coloration is possibly due to dissimilar lighting conditions, or possibly not.)

Pomegranate shell had hardened and dried over time making them difficult to cleave, however a suitably sharp bread knife was able to finally cut the fruit.

This result shows that it is unlikely to be worthwhile holding onto pomegranates which are note yet ripe as they are unlikely to redden after picking. This is unless the fruit tested are not actually pomegranates, which may well be the case since the test batch was harvested from an unverified source.

I would like to acknowledge M. Arnold and D. Mager in participating in this research and for also providing good times this summer.

Thursday 2 June 2011


One of my supervisors received a conference poster from Brazil. Here is a picture of the envelope it came in - what does it mean?!

Wednesday 1 June 2011


By far the most read portion of any physics thesis (bar maybe the abstract) is the acknowledgement section. And when a colleague's thesis is finally finished, it is hard to resist the urge to skip to the acknowledgements to see how they considered your role in the last 3-4 years of their work. Although, usually given to family, friends, collaborators etc., occasionally thanks are given to less figurative bodies.

Here is a particularly memorable extract from a colleague at TCD ...

... My eternal gratitude to the Guinness Brewery for the indescribably ambrosian incense with which it sanctifies the grey granite doorsteps of Dublin. Manys and manys the time it has wafted me to a reverie, carried thither and yon on the quickening zephyrs with which Trinity College exhales the soft airs of its centuries of youth. A spouse and midwife to scholarship and fluency, long may it stand at St. James’s Gate ...

Monday 4 April 2011

I know what you did last summer

Here we have the preprint of the first major paper of the PhD,

Nesting of electron and hole Fermi surfaces in non-superconducting BaFe2P2

n. b. I promise this is the real deal and not some April fools joke, despite being posted on the arxiv on the 1st

Monday 28 March 2011

Good use of LaTeX

When I was an undergraduate, my mother asked how things were progressing academically. I handed her a lab report that had just been assessed along with demonstrator comments.

In retrospect 'Good use of LaTeX for an engaging presentation' is a bit of weird thing to write, even if you know about typesetting.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

A Buckfast Supplier in Bristol

Something that every seasoned academic should know is where to get hold of a bottle of `Buckfastleigh Tonic Wine` in their town of study.

CARPENTER'S CONVENIENCE STORE on the Corner of Gloucester Rd. and Ashley Down Rd. sells for a fairly reasonable 6-8 pounds a bottle (I don't remember the exact price)