News

quick update on J-PARC situation

2011/04/01 // 0 Comments

Their analysis on the 28th of March of the damage on the site and much of the equipment is available in this PDF: http://j-parc.jp/picture/2011/03/Notice0328.pdf External damage is impressive, but due to sturdy construction in most places that matter most, it looks like the experimental equipment survived relatively unscathed. Here’s hoping that they can get things running smoothly once sufficient power is back! And I tip my hat to the engineers of the [...]

Lessons in outreach to be learned from Japan’s disasters

2011/03/21 // 3 Comments

(warning: this rather lengthy piece may contain personal opinions and has little to do with small-angle scattering. There is a nice bit about graphics, though.)   In the wake of the global public panic following the reporting around the nuclear reactor struggles (as opposed to the expected >15 kilopeople deaths in Myagi prefecture due to the tsunami alone), perhaps it is time for us to consider what we can learn from the way the media and the educated dealt with these developments. For us, it can be used to gain insight into how to communicate with journalists, and we can come up with ideas about what we (the (educated) public) could do better in this situation. In summary, the following events happened in rapid succession: After the initial strike of an earthquake with its epicenter off the coast of north-east Japan, a tsunami struck the coast of north-east Japan (but fortunately not entering Tokyo Bay), wiping out some villages along the coastline and causing the large [...]

Update on Japan, earthquake, tsunami, J-PARC, reactors and news.

2011/03/15 // 0 Comments

A quick post about the situation in Japan. I did not feel anything of the earthquake (I was in Hyogo prefecture at the time), although one of my colleagues did feel something close to Osaka. SPring-8 is equally unaffected. The tsunami did not come anywhere near. Overall, the Japanese colleagues seem to be taking it coolly, with most of the complaints about the troubles with the public transport system. J-PARC was apparently damaged by the earthquake, but was not affected (fortunately) by the tsunami. More updates on that can be found on the J-PARC twitter page: http://twitter.com/J_PARC The (foreign) media is causing needless panic on the nuclear situation. A layman writeup of the lack of danger can be found here: OP-ed And a more technical description and updates on that situation can be found here: MIT While also affected by the media hubbub on the reactors, information on the actual disaster area and its deaths is most well reported (in my opinion) by NHK: NHK international news [...]

Gamma rays from synchrotrons, an interview with dr. Daté

2011/02/18 // 0 Comments

There is something quite “evil genius” about shooting an electron beam with a laser, especially for non-physicists like me. That this causes gamma rays to emerge (back towards the laser) is perhaps even more interesting. Allow me to elaborate in slightly more scientific [...]