I am a physicist and outdoor enthusiast, currently living in Munich, Germany. I work on plasma, the hot matter which make up most of the universe. I am an experiment physicist, so I’m most comfortable in the lab, looking at data and saying “huh, that’s odd.”
Fortunately, the Earth is not a plasma, which allows me to go hiking, canyoning, caving, skiing and show shoeing when I’m not in the lab doing physics!
This website is a mixture of information about my research, and the trips I’ve been on. Posts fall into one of the three broad categories below – the titles link to all the posts in that category.
I started this blog during my PhD at Imperial College London in the MAGPIE group of Sergey Lebedev. Here I worked on pulsed-power driven magnetic reconnection, creating high energy density plasmas from carbon rods (literally pencil leads!) in which strong magnetic fields were forced together and rapidly annihilated. Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in plasma physics, in which magnetic fields lines come together, annihilate each other and create new field lines. This annihilation is accompanied by a conversion of magnetic to thermal and kinetic energy, resulting in hot, fast moving plasma jets.
Most plasmas in the universe are also turbulent, and threaded with magnetic fields. This fields are twisted and tangled up by the turbulent motions, and some of them reconnect. This reconnection can be unstable, generating plasmoids which tear apart the reconnection layers, cascading energy down to ever smaller scales. As an extension of my PhD work, I designed several platforms for generating magnetised turbulence in the laboratory, as well as new diagnostics for measuring turbulence. This work is not published, but I am interested in returning to it given the opportunity.
After six years at Imperial, I moved to the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching bei München. Here I’m working on diagnostics for ITER, the massive international collaboration to build an experimental thermonuclear fusion reactor. I’m specifically working on bolometers (which measure the radiated power from the plasma) and pressure gauges (which measure the pressure of the neutral gas inside the vacuum vessel).
All of the information on this blog is entirely my own opinion, and none of it should be construed as the official position of the ITER Organisation, Fusion for Energy or The Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics
Fortunately I’m not always doing physics, and I escape as often as possible to the outdoors, where I enjoy hiking, cross country skiing, canyoning, caving, and cycling, among other things. I’ve found detailed trip reports extremely useful for planning my own trips, and many of these can be found on blogs, rather than tourist info sites or monolithic apps like Strava. I hope by blogging here that I can help others find more information which they can use to plan their adventures, and of course the blog acts as a good resource for me to remember what exactly it was that I did.