Monday, June 06, 2005


I am about to embark on my longest trip to Long Island to date. 22 days. For those of you who have yet to have the opportunity to visit that fine island, let me tell you how exciting a place it is. The good is that Brooklyn is on one side and the Hamptons are on the other. The southern side is all beach with barrier islands. The north side is full of pretty, rocky shores. Everything that is enclosed within these boundaries is a large strip mall. When I travel to Long Island it's to do research at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). This is about 75 miles east of New York City. It sort of marks the boundary between the far reaches of New York City urban sprawl and the farmland that used to take up the majority of Long Island. Most of the old farm land has been converted to vineyards or summer houses for the non-uber-rich New Yorkers.

The lab itself is an interesting place. The portion of the lab I use, the National Synchrotron Light Source, has multiple experimental facilities each of which has a group of users that will come in and take data for some period of time (a couple days, a week, 22 days). This makes the lab an interesting place because you get people that are incredibly focused on their work--the data they are taking might be the only data they get for 6 months, so they have to be meticulous in everything. What this adds up to is a whole lot of people working at the same time while completely ignoring each other. It's fun. You can walk around the facility and walk past 10 people before someone acknowledges your existance.

This trip should actually be exciting though. We have improved our experimental facilities, so I should be able to get much better images than I've been able to get in the past. Plus Chris from my research group will be up there and we always have good times and we're productive when we work together.

No comments: