I am now in Crete, where I will be spending most of the next 6 months. I arrived Monday morning, by ferry from Athens. I will be working at FORTH, the Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas, close to Heraklion, in the group of Dimitris Vlassopoulos. So far, I have an office and have met several members of the research group. Dimitris is running a conference nearby on associating polymers and supramolecular assemblies Wednesday through Friday, which I will attend. Looks interesting, and I know a few of the speakers, so it will be a good few days. Here’s a picture of the institute!
Summer is over and the new term is underway – except for those of us on sabbatical! Cristian Ardelean spent all of last year and this past summer working in my group, first through the Scholar’s Electives program and then as a summer student. He worked with Cameron on the vibrating wire rheometer project. Muhammad Khalid was a summer student working with Nirosh, doing dielectric spectroscopy of materials. Thanks to both of you for your contributions!
Recently back from a trip to Maryville, TN, to view the solar eclipse. We were on the campus of Maryville College, which sponsored an “event” for the occasion. I set up my camera on a tripod, donned my eclipse glasses, and spent a couple of hours staring at the sun in the 90 degree heat. Totality lasted 98 s where we were, but it seemed to go by much more quickly that that. It was spectacular. The corona was beautiful, with a very complex shape. There was a beautiful “diamond ring” as totality came to an end. I saw Venus during totality, but didn’t notice any stars. I will admit I was mostly looking at the sun and not at the rest of the sky! A wonderful sight. I saw one total eclipse before, back in 1979. That was great, too, but I think this one was more beautiful.
Here is a fascinating video!
I had great visits to Georgia Tech last week and Queen’s the week before. This week will probably be interesing, but less fun: I am going to Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario to evaluate a proposal for a new Master’s program in Materials Science.
More exciting is the news that our new rheometer will be installed in the lab this week! I’ve been looking forward to this for while.
More travel this week: I am going to Georgia Tech in Atlanta to give a talk on “Restricted diffusion in soft materials.”
I am heading to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario today. I will be giving a colloquium there tomorrow on “Impact Cratering in Granular Media”. I did my M.Sc. at Queen’s a couple (!) of years ago, so I am looking forward to my visit.