[Ed: It looks like there is more interest than I thought in the field of SAXS; the “Everything SAXS” review paper has been downloaded over 10000 times!] One more application we found for small-angle scattering was to research structures molecules assemble in when immersed in liquids. Many of us are familiar with the micellar structures that appear in water-based solutions, but what happens in other solvents?
[ed: I’m giving a general SAXS talk at BESSY, the Berlin synchrotron on Friday the 11th at 10:00 local time. Contact me or Andreas Thünemann at BAM for more information] Whenever I think of General Electric, I imagine a stereotypical American company: a top-heavy organization, forcing its employees to learn and recite GE’s mission statement, run by armies of beancounters and administrators who are trying their best to increase value for the shareholders while running everything else into the ground. This, of course, in stark contrast to the academic world typified by: a top-heavy organization, encouraging its undervalued employees to slave away for the dream of doing something of worth in the little time they have left besides doing administrative tasks, while the army of beancounters and administrators are trying their best to satisfy the research assessment committees and running everything else into the ground. Anyway, I digress… GE has released some films from their early days of bright bulbs working in their research laboratories, some of which are very relevant to X-ray sciences. These videos are very interesting for a variety of reasons…
Dear scatterers, First of all, allow me to wish you a very happy 2013, wishing you much comfort, many good meetings and world peace. With that out of the way, this year might be different from others on this weblog, as I have to spend oodles of time on my “favourite” activity: trying to publish. Since there were hardly any publications last year, this year must be better (or I will “perish”, as the saying goes). There are seven publications in the pipeline as indicated by the title, though only three with me as first author. So please check the website’s “publications” section by the end of this year, and you will see how far I’ve managed to come with that by then. One of the publications that hopefully will come out first is on the 1D Monte-Carlo method, which will allow for the retrieval of form-free size distributions after assuming an elementary shape (spheres are the prime choice, but it also works with isotropic cylinders). On top of that, it will give you uncertainties on the size distributions the quality and reliability of which are directly related to the uncertainties on your measured intensities. Anyway, once that is published, rest assured that I will announce it here (it has been one hurdle for me, so I will be very happy to see it out there). The Python code used for this is freely available, currently the final touches are being put on a good, clean variant which should be available very soon. For the restless, please drop me a line and the code can be sent your way. Other publications will be about (amongst others) the 2D Monte-Carlo method for anisotropic scattering patterns, as presented at the SAS2012 conference, and a paper applying the 1D Monte-Carlo method to precipitate growth in magnesium alloys (the ArXiv link to an early draft was posted a few weeks ago here: arXiv:1210.5366). So all in all, this will be a busy year when it comes to paperwork. Anyway, I do not want to remain in the shadows for the entire year, so I decided to upload some more videos this year. I started the series off with a short explanation on the “classical” way of fitting scattering patterns, in a short demonstration that I used at SAS2012. This recording (shown below, or on youtube here) was simple and quick, and your host was suffering from an allergy attack, so please forgive the movie its faults. I hope it is fun nonetheless, and with this, I will sign off on this blog post. Another post will be ready in a few weeks!
It has been a while since posting about presentation techniques. This time the post remains short. If you are preparing for your SAS2012 or IUMRS-ICEM presentation, and you are looking for that little bit of additional zest to keep your audience awake… Talk with your hands! Italians are well-known for their gesturing during their presentations and discussions, but other nationalities may have more trouble gesturing and therefore remain completely monolithic during a 15-minute talk. This has at least two drawbacks, firstly that you are tensing up during your presentation as you are getting tired from standing in the same position all the time. The second is that the message you are trying to convey may not have as much power as it would have were it punctuated by appropriate arm waves. For those in need of either a few minutes distraction or a demonstration of supporting arm-gestures during talking, check out this video from the “rap news”-series . Additionally, that video contains some cultural information on the country where the big SAS conference will be held later on this year. Enjoy!
I have worked with ResearchSEA on getting some videos out there to promote the sciences. I have been interviewing some people, condensing their stories into a minute(-ish) of Youtubey goodness. The videos are available on the new ResearchSEA website here and here. They are the first two, there will be more at a rate of about one every three weeks. As always, feel free to let me know what you think!