Scientist – wow, that’s a big generalization.

I wonder ……?
I love science and a lot of my work is science based but sometimes I have to wonder. I mean how many people get pigeonholed into being just one thing – just one type of scientist?

I have an enquiring mind, restless hands and a distinct lack of funding and time.
And ok ….. so I like a load of different things and my interest does not lie exclusively in one field, but does that make me a worse scientist? I suppose in the strictest possible terms you would have to say yes …… yes it does.
But I still find myself asking …”is this a bad thing?”.

It’s a little like this blog’s namesake. With plenty of variation in its constituents, the good ol’ subatomic soup shares many similarities with a lot of good scientists. Having a background or knowledge in more than one area and not being too tightly focused in ones approach can, in my opinion, lead to a more holistic view when approaching certain problems. This ability to approach a problem from many different angles and be able to “think outside the box”, makes for a better scientist.
One of my biggest faults (and possibly one that is shared by many of us) is that I get bored a little too easily. Herein lies the beauty of the multi-disciplinarian. When my interest wanes in one direction it surely waxes in another.

So ….. will I give up lasers, particles, astro, rockets and other assorted project to focus on just one thing ???
No …. of course not.

Hooray for ecclectica says I !


Sometimes, its not what, its who !

Its so nice to be surprised and how often does it really happen today? I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day about a small sideline project I have on the go to do with lasers. After a brief chat about my collimation issues with this HeNe beam, he happened to mention that he knew and was good friends with J R Acton creator of the Dekatron tube and one of this countries laser pioneers.

He was one of the first people to add neon to the helium lasing medium, initially to stabilise the breakdown of helium metastables to single ion ground states, thereby increasing efficiency.
Even at 91 years age this amazing chap is still sharp as a tack. His current endeavour is researching Bach and pre Bach symphonies with a view to writing his own! My friend is incredibly lucky to have such a scientific guru.
If only we were all so lucky ?!

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