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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Excuses, excuses...

J.D. 's chiding leads me to explain my absence.

The blog needs a bit of an overhaul since some of the blurb no longer fits; I am no longer being forced to teach, the course that I was going to be contributing to has been cancelled. As a consequence I am back to full-time research, and the timing could not have been better.

If you recall I was in Norway a couple of months ago. My reason for being there was to run some experiments on the ionospheric radar we have up there. One of these was an 'active' experiment whereby we modify the temperature profile of the ionosphere and use it as a laboratory. This has major advantages over using a plasma chamber or
tokomak: we have no boundary effects (chamber walls) and a whole source of natural plasma on large scale sizes. This is not something I am particularly interested in, I am more interested in natural processes; however my boss wanted to see whether we could monitor temperature increases in the lower ionosphere using the radar and another instrument.

Now it could be that we managed to do what we set out to do, I don't know at the moment as that analysis has been left at the roadside. Why? Well, when we were running we saw another effect, one that has never been seen before making it hot stuff - my colleague calls it my 'fame and glory' data. I don't know about that but I do know it is a really unique result. Unfortunately it is something I know very, very little about. So for the past few weeks I have been doing some intensive reading in an effort to get up to speed. I am also hastily writing a paper. Why the rush? Well it just so happens that there is a rival group of experimenters who are looking for this exact phenomenon. I have offered to share my data with them after I publish the first paper, but in the meantime I need to get it written and out before they manage to do the same thing that I did.
Hence I have had very little time to blog. I hope the situation eases very soon.

Very, very soon!

1 comment:

Averroes said...

You should all publish a paper in a thund and lightning journal, like Science or Nature.