Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sometimes, I love my job

I realize this isn't about DitS, but I have no updates on that front yet, sorry.  In the interest of being active, I may therefore ramble about other things.  Such as my job. 

I work at a particle accelerator laboratory.  Now, before you go thinking this means something fancy, it doesn't.  I don't have the credentials for a job at Fermilab or CERN.  I'm more the guy actually around to keep a small university's machine running and do work on it when nobody else has the time for it.  This is a fun job description, although it can entail some pretty varied tasks. 

So far, I've installed a new control system for the machine (an NEC 1 Mv tandem pelletron, for the curious), taken apart the source to clean it, put together a beam line, and whatever other odd jobs come my way.  Things may sometimes feel like being a glorified plumber or electrician, but when they don't there's usually something fun involved.  Stuff like liquid nitrogen or alkali metals.  One of my current tasks is to clean an old vacuum evaporator bell jar, and to do that, I'll be using an alchemical potion, of all things. 

Last month was occupied almost completely by a summer camp for high school students put on by the university, and was a lot of fun.  It so happens that I enjoy teaching, and it's even more fun when the students want to learn.  We went over several different things, for different groups, with me handling some of the nuclear and medical physics experiments and things.  

Unfortunately, said job is only temporary, and I'll be looking for a more permanent one as of the end of the month.  Still, it's been fun and I'll miss it.  Oh, and if anyone wants me to ramble in more detail on any science things like how this stuff works or whatever, just ask.

1 comment:

  1. interesting post, keep it up!
    good luck finding ur permanent job!