Adam from Liverpool University was the only student not at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; instead he spent the summer up at the Boulby Underground Laboratory on a quite unique placement.
Each day differed; some in a more normal environment, others dressed in bright orange, putting up a whiteboard one day, installing a liquid nitrogen system 1.1km underground the next. Working in a small team of 6/7 meant having to be more hands on and fill in wherever necessary. He’s gained experience you don’t usually get as an undergraduate; setting up and fixing equipment. When something doesn’t go to plan there is no answer in a lab manual - which is closer to what a PhD will be like, which Adam hopes to go on to do. He recalled being told of PhD students sanding bricks down from 9 till 5, so he feels at an advantage now having experience at ‘getting his hands dirty’ and doing what needs to be done.
It’s difficult to capture in writing how enthusiastic Adam, who wants to go into physics outreach, is about his experience and encouraging others to see the lab. He described it as feeling ‘like a whirlwind’ when he first got there and says it’s something you have to see for yourself. He loved the group he worked with and hopes to come back for events as well as one day conducting his own research there. Adam received a lot of guidance not only on the work he was doing this summer but also on ideas for a PhD project. Having helped provide and maintain a facility used by many visiting physicists he hopes to come back and use it himself.
Supervisor: Paul Scovell
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