So a little experiment here; A photo diary of what I get up to over this week in my PhD projects. I did mean to start this yesterday, but you know how it goes.
TUESDAY: In the Lab
Today I spent time on MAGPIE (see earlier post) working on our current shot series. Our experiments aim to create a small high velocity plasma jet which interacts with a puff of gas. We look at this interaction with a myriad of diagnostics including green light laser probing, optical fiber spectrometers, X-ray pinhole cameras, photo-detecting-diodes and streaked cameras. The little jet of plasma created on MAGPIE can be scaled up and compared to Jet’s created by young stars (shown below).
Hubble telescope image of plasma jet from a young star
MAGPIE creates a plasma jet from a bike spoke-like configuration of fine wires. Today I made the load, a very fiddly job as we were using 18 micrometer wires!
Putting 18um wires into MAGPIE
From the photograph you can see the fine operation of the morning. Wires are weighted with lead fishing weights. The big copper ring is the Anode, and the little circle is the cathode. The 1.5MA current pulse of MAGPIE will travel from the centre ring to the outer ring along these tiny wires to create our gas jet on axis. Super!
Action shot of me loading the wires into the vacuum chamber
Finished radial wire load!
The load sits in a large aluminum vacuum chamber, which once the load is made and all our diagnostics are ready to go, is closed up ready for the shot.
3rd yr. PhD student George with MAGPIE
The main focus of my PhD thesis (at least for now) is plasma spectrometry. Most of my work o far has been focused in the soft X-ray region on the sorts of hot metal plasmas we create on MAGPIE. Recently however we have got a hold of an exciting optical fiber spectrometer which works in the visible wavelengths of light. I spent some time this afternoon learning how this works so I can start analyzing data from it this week.
2nd Yr. PhD student Guy shows me how to operate the visible light spectrometer
Alignment of our green light laser imaging system.
Around 4:30pm we fire the shot…
Timing, Vacuum, Valve and safety controllers for MAGPIE experiment. Oh, and also the fire button
Although not exhaustive that was my day. And its not over yet (as I write this on a tea break) !