# travel

## DanScatt 2017 meeting in Odense

Yesterday and today I’ve been in Odense for the yearly meeting for DanScatt, the organization for Danish users of synchrotron- and neutron-sources and free-electron X-ray lasers. This time it was held at SDU (Syddansk Universitet), just like the first time I joined the meeting back in 2012.

There were plenty of talks, and also a poster session about scattering – I got to present some of my LSCO superstructures with a poster. I had some fun testing out a new idea I got for the poster I will be presenting later this Summer in South Korea at the ICNS conference, where I want to put my phone or tablet onto the poster (at least during the actual poster session). I used my phone this time, with animations of some of my reciprocal space data. It worked out really well, and functioned as a good eyecatcher for the poster.

Posted by PJR in Conferences, Travel, 0 comments

## Aperiodic Crystals school in Antwerp

This last week I participated in the Aperiodic Crystals school held at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. It was a week of lectures and tutorials on modulated crystal structures and quasicrystals, and was basically perfectly catered for what I need for my continued PhD project.

Apart from learning a bunch of useful knowledge about superspace and superstructures, I also got some more knowledge about how to use JANA2006 to solve (in)commensurately modulated structures from single crystal data. Now I just have to figure out how to index the data that I already have…

The week ended up being super busy for me, but there was some time in the evenings to go out with people, finding interesting local beer and food. I was especially happy about finally trying cherry beer (kriek), which I’d never even heard of before. I also got to meet a lot of new awesome people, both fellow participants of the school and lecturers – some of which I’ll meet again soon at the ECM-30 conference in Basel at the end of August.

Posted by PJR in Travel, Workshops, schools, and courses, 0 comments

## Introduction to Mantid and Python course

Late last night I landed in a plane from London, after a great week at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL) in Oxfordshire, England. I’ve been following a week-long course on the instrument management and data analysis software Mantid, also including some rudimentary introductions to Python. A lot of it was very introductory (which was also the point, I guess), but at least now I have a good feel for how the software can be used both on an instrument and on my own machine for data analysis.

It’s a shame that there is no SXD instrument model in the software yet, so I could work on my time-of-flight data on there – but at least the guys teaching us (the same guys that made the software) were very eager to help people with starting up their own models too. So if I get the time, it seems like I have that option.

I stayed in the same small Bed & Breakfast in East Hendred as last time I was at ISIS (which is also at RAL), although this time I got a room a little outside of town, so I had to walk through their little yard to get to the bus stop. That made for wet shoes from the morning dew, but also some really pretty sunrises!

The little Bed & Breakfast yard made for some spectacular mornings

## A little detour to London on the way home

I spent a small part of Friday in London, before going all the way to Heathrow to catch my plane. I went out to the O2 Arena and then the Emirates Air Line. I took the trip back and forth over the water – with some absolutely beautiful views of the city! I also found time to go to Greenwich Park, where the GMT line is located – and I believe that it is a Unesco World Heritage spot too! The park is huge, but I managed to walk up the hill to the Royal Observatory to enjoy the view. You can basically see all of London from up there (that’s shown in the picture at the top of this post)!

Posted by PJR in Travel, Workshops, schools, and courses, 0 comments

## ICNS in Edinburgh, Scotland

I have been in Scotland since July 7, and just got home yesterday. A large flock of us from my group went together to the International Conference for Neutron Scattering (ICNS) at the Edinburgh International Conference Center. Several of us also attended the Science & Scientists @ ESS satellite conference, which was arranged on Monday at the university.

The welcome reception was held at Dynamic Earth – with their cool white tent-like structure – and an amazing view towards Arthur’s Seat in the warm evening. It was so full of all of the conference participants, but a great place to see nevertheless – and it forced us all to take a rather long walk through the main part of the city, which was a wonderful start to the trip, to be honest.

At the actual conference center, when we got our materials handed out, they gave us umbrellas – expecting a normal Scottish Summer, I’m assuming. However, it seems like they jinxed the rain with all of those hundreds of umbrellas, as we got only beautiful warm days with lots of sunshine for the whole week. For once the weather gods were agreeable! To my delight, that also meant plenty of time (even in the evenings after it got dark) for me to wander around and take pictures. Edinburgh is a beautiful city!

During the poster session on the afternoon of Wednesday, I was busy presenting a poster about some of my LSCO+O superstructures. I did not have too many people come over, but at least a few was fine for me. We had a poster about our VNT e-learning neutron scattering project to present as well, so that was interesting.

Also Wednesday, there was a small reception-type-thing held as a private event up in the castle, which was absolutely mind-blowing! There was wine and little mini-haggis, and we could all mill about and see the crown jewels, and other little treasures they had hidden away in the chambers of the beautiful old buildings. What I loved the most, though, was the view as we walked up to the castle. You can see the whole city from there, and the weather was perfect as well!

The conference dinner Friday evening was held inside of the National Museum of Scotland, and what an absolutely beautiful place that was as well!

Oh, and we also had the pleasure of seeing Kim juggling not just balls, but also apples!

Saturday we took some time to go to Arthur’s Seat and enjoy yet another awesome view of the city. It was quite the hike, and I ended up not going all the way up there – but it was still beautiful!

The view from Arthur’s Seat was spectacular

Posted by PJR in Conferences, Travel, 0 comments

## Some extra time on IN12

Since some of our last beamtime on the inelastic neutron instrument IN12 was wasted because of missing and non-prepared equipment, we got an extra piece of beam time, continuing the last experiment we did there in May. We had from June 30th to July 3rd, although the first day was really only to check the alignment on the sample – while the last day was only until the early morning.

## More cool airport visits!

On my way home, I had to switch planes in the Charles de Gaulle airport, which I’ve never done before. What interesting architecture they have! And there were security guards and police on segways, I’ve never seen that before…

Posted by PJR in Experiments, Travel, 0 comments

## Nordic Physics Days in Lund, Sweden

Between Wednesday and Friday this week, a number of us from the group have been in Lund to participate in the Nordic Physics Days held at the university there.

I got to present a poster with a few status updates on my LSCO+O superstructures project, and I tried making it a little more general – for a general physicist audience instead of an audience of specialized crystallographers. One of the steps to do that, was to make the title more fun – so I named it “Superstructures in a superoxygenated superconductor”, which I felt was maybe enough “super”. I also gave it the subtitle “An ongoing study of the high-temperature superconductor La$$_2$$CuO$$_{4+y}$$”, just in case someone wanted to actually know what was going on…

On Thursday, we also got to go on a little tour to visit the Max IV build site. It was extremely cool to see how they’ve started doing things on site, even though they haven’t gotten that far yet. At least you can actually kind of see the ring coming into shape!

Posted by PJR in Conferences, Travel, 0 comments

## Beam time on IN12

From May 11 to 17, I’ve been at the ILL in Grenoble, France, to do an experiment on the triple-axis neutron instrument IN12, where we did inelastic measurements on one of our LCO+O crystals.

We had to spend a whole day on the OrientExpress instrument to co-align our samples, since there were four of them to be used at the same time… It was a horrible puzzle to get them matching up, but we got it done!

The actual measurements on IN12 was done between May 14 and 17, and despite a lot of problems with some of the instrument components not being delivered on time (wasting us a lot of time in the end), we got some great measurements.

One absolutely awesome thing on this trip, was that one of our local contacts at the ILL managed to give us a little tour of the reactor hall. We got to have a look at all of the neutron instruments inside of the inner instrument hall, and we got to stand above the reactor and see the Cherenkov radiation. It was so beautiful. I’m sorry about not having any pictures for here, but their rules are pretty strict about taking photos…

## Some extra photo time in Frankfurt

On the way to France, I had a 4 hour layover between planes in Frankfurt airport, and I took the opportunity to walk around in the huge airport and take pictures of airplanes and fun architecture and decorations.

Posted by PJR in Experiments, Travel, 0 comments

## Back from Neutron Scattering Software Workshop in Berlin

After the ADD workshop at the ILL in France, I went to Germany, to participate in yet another workshop in Berlin. This time the theme of the workshop was software for neutron scattering, and I learned so much. A bunch of software developers, as well as researchers interested in software, showed up, and there were so many great discussions and presentations of software and what is needed of software. I also got ample opportunities to network a bunch, so that was great.

I found a little time – on the evening of the last day – to go to Alexanderplatz, where there was a market going on. They had music and tonnes of little cute booths selling sausages and all kinds of sweet foods. They also had some pretty silly music going on (see the video further down if you care).

Posted by PJR in Travel, Workshops, schools, and courses, 0 comments

During the last week, I’ve been in France, participating in the ADD workshop at the ILL in Grenoble. It has been a week of tutorials and lectures on different programs and methods that are used for real-space analysis of diffraction data. I got to test out the PDFgui program, which was interesting – since I’d heard about it at the conference in Santa Fe last October.

I got to present a poster as well, but simply used the same poster as the one I presented at the Flipper workshop back in January. I still did not get much of a response in terms of ideas on how to refine my superstructures, but did get plenty of friendly – although slightly unoptimistic – encouragement to continue my work. Sigh.

I also got a bit of time in the evenings to go explore Grenoble, and I found myself getting on the cable cars to the Bastille on top of one of the mountains surrounding the city. The view from up there was spectacular!

When I was done exploring and wandering around, I took the cable car down – and basically got the whole thing to myself. That prompted me to record the descent, with the view of the city in the early sunset – so if you’re interested, have a look at the video below!

Posted by PJR in Travel, Workshops, schools, and courses, 0 comments

## My first ISIS beamtime

During the last six days, I’ve been in England, more specifically the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, to do measurements on one of our LCO+O crystals (actually the same crystal that we did measurements on at DMC in Switzerland last month). I was at the SXD instrument, a time-of-flight neutron Laue diffractometer, where we measured at five different rotations of the crystal, each for both low temperature and room temperature.

We got a huge amount of data, and mapped out a large volume in reciprocal space. The number of superstructures we saw was really large, and so far we haven’t been able to get a full refinement of the data. The on-site peak integration software was really cool though, and seemed to do the job great – and the instrument scientist was extremely helpful.

All in all, a great experience, and I hope that I (probably with the help of the instrument scientist) will be able to get the superstructures solved.

Of course I also had a few minutes here and there to walk around and take some pictures:

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## Yet another beam time, now with students!

I just got home from Switzerland, once again, this time from a beamtime at the DMC powder diffractometer, where I was measuring on one of our LCO+O single crystal samples, in order to map out part of reciprocal space (both for the crystal aligned in the cb- and the ab-plane). It was some really cool measurements, and I think I’ve already found the front page image for my thesis!

I actually started out the trip with starting up a beam time at the RITA-II instrument, where a YMnO3 sample were to be investigated. That was also really exciting – and that experiment continued during my own DMC beam time as well (sadly I didn’t have time to follow it all the way though, but their results looked really cool!).

Some of the students from the neutron scattering course were down there with us, to follow the two experiments. That was really fun, but I hadn’t expected how hard it was to help them to understand everything, when I didn’t even understand half of it myself! Usually beam times are really tiring, but this really took the price!

The DMC data weren’t really the most perfect data to do structure refinement from (in the cb-plane we only got 12 structural peaks, and some of them were of really bad resolution), but we saw some cool temperature dependencies, and already have some new proposals out for TriCS and other instruments in order to explore those things more. We also got a friendly beam time of two days at the new EIGER instrument, which will be really cool to work with.

This trip also marked the end of the neutron course, although I still need to correct a few reports, and help a few more of the students with their final project. But all in all, it’s been fun teaching in the course, even though it has been quite hard at some times!

Posted by PJR in Experiments, Teaching, Travel, 0 comments

## Total scattering workshop in Santa Fe

From October 14th to 23rd, I was in the states for the first time. I went to Santa Fe (New Mexico) to attend a workshop/conference on total scattering, the Advanced Simulation Techniques for Total Scattering Data conference, arranged by people from Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The actual conference was only from the 16th to the 19th, so I had a few days on each side to go around town and be a bit of a turist. I brought my camera, and got a lot of nice shots (although I’ll have to find the time to actually do the editing and sorting of them later).

My flight there went through Heathrow and Dallas Fort Worth, and turned out to end in a mess – both ways. On the way over there, some very thick fog had hidden Heathrow, and we had to fly in circles – eventually landing in Stanstead to get re-fueled, before we could finally land – more than an hour late – in Heathrow. Of course I missed my Atlantic flight, but luckily I got on the next available one, and still caught my connecting flight in Dallas. My luggage wasn’t as lucky, though.. The people in Dallas were really bad at handling the situation, and it was first when I landed in Santa Fe that people could help me on with the luggage problem (at which time it was too late to send the luggage on from Heathrow, so I had to wait to the evening after). On the way back, our landing in Heathrow got delayed because of the number of planes waiting, and I nearly missed my connecting flight to Copenhagen. The people at Heathrow were nice enough to hand out special orange tickets for people connecting with flights that left soon, but they didn’t take into account that the name ‘Jensen’ is very common in Denmark, and hence stupidly enough only made one ‘Jensen’ ticket, and gave that one to the other ‘Jensen’ Dane that was going on the same plane. So I had to go through the normal procedures, and just caught the plane in time. Of course, my luggage didn’t, again. But oh well, at least I got home.

The conference itself was really nice – both the practical arrangements, the small PDFgui tutorial, the talks, and the trip to Los Alamos, were really well planned and executed. I learned a lot of new information about total scattering, and what it can be used for, and met a lot of cool people. I was really happy to talk to a couple of people from ORNL, to hear how things work over there, since I will be going there in half a year of so.

The turisting part of the trip went nicely as well – I had some fun walking around town, looking at the old buildings and just getting a feel of things. I went to a local supermarket just to see how it was (I was expecting the people packing your groceries for you, but it still just felt creepy to me..), and I went to lots of small restaurants to get some of the New Mexican food (which I was pleasantly surprised about), especially the chile. I even went all the way through town to see the farmers market, and I’m glad I did; You could get to see how they roast the peppers for the chile – that was fun.

Overall, it was a great trip, and I’m really looking forward to going over there again.

A while later, a meeting report was published for the workshop in Neutron News, which can be viewed here. The picture in the top of this blog entry is also from this report.

Posted by PJR in Travel, Workshops, schools, and courses, 0 comments

## One more workshop on the list – this time on DISCUS

During the full last week, I was in Erlangen (Germany, close to Nürnberg), following a workshop on the diffuse scattering simulation program DISCUS.

It was lots of fun, but I had kind of hoped for something else. A lot of the first day (and sub-sequent days) were used on how to use linux and the terminal (and ranting about how bad windows is – that is, using bad and wrong arguments for it…), instead of introducing the program in a good way. We went through a lot of different tutorials, but a lot of it was very hurried, and not very deep. I guess that at least I got a lot of tools back home with me, so if I really need to use the program (I don’t know if I will, yet), I have something to read up on.

I did buy the DISCUS cook book beforehand, and read a little in it (I didn’t get that far because of me being really busy). I must say that it was a really expensive book, due to the fact that you can only get it i hard-cover, but it is well written – and I think I’ve learned far more from that short period of reading in it, than I did from the actual workshop.

All that said, I would probably recommend people going to the workshop if they actually intend to use the program themselves. It’s really hard figuring out the small logic things on your own – like the fact that they have three different independent programs in the package.

Posted by PJR in Travel, Workshops, schools, and courses, 0 comments

## OrientExpress beamtime over

I’ve just returned from the Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France, where I’ve been on a super-short beamtime at the neutron Laue instrument OrientExpress. This was my first time to the ILL, and I was going there on my own. That was confusing! The airport in Lyon has really bad signing, but I found my way (after a while of wandering around not understanding anything, I might add..).

I was measuring on two new LSCO crystals, to see how many single crystals was in them. Both of them actually came from one crystal, but it broke into two during the oxygenation process. It seems like they are possibly full single crystals, a great result, but they might have a splitting in the length direction (they are cylindrical) – which is kind of a mess to cut up. I guess I will have to do some X-ray Laue images to see if that is the case.

## The absolutely stunning rail station at Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport

On the way back home, I went to the airport in Lyon a little early, to go explore the train station connected to the airport. I have never seen a more alien building – it’s absolutely stunning!

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## Home from teaching in Italy

The last week (from the 15th to today, the 22nd) I have been participating in the International Neutron Scattering Instrumentation School (INSIS), partly as a teacher, and partly as a normal student. This was all happening in the small town Frascati, on a mountain close to Rome, Italy.

I was teaching the students about McStas during two afternoon tutorial sessions, where Linda Udby, Peter Willendrup, and I strolled around helping the students getting through the exercises we made for them. For the rest of the school, I followed the lectures – learning a lot of new words from the neutron scattering world (even though some of the lectures were kind of a repetition of what I already knew), and I met a lot of cool people. I really had fun during the evenings, talking to a lot of great people from the neutron scattering world.

We also got a tour of the particle accelerator at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, which was absolutely awesome!

## A little trip to Rome

I did take a single day off, though, to go down to Rome and play turist. I went downthere awfully early in the morning, to have time to see things and walk around without dying in the heat. I was one of the first people of that day to get into the Colloseum – that was really cool. I also saw the pyramid of Cestius, the Trevi fountain, and the forums.

All in all I had a great trip – but I would recommend people that are not very heat-tolerant to not go there in the middle of the summer!

A while later, a meeting report was published for the school in Neutron News, which can be viewed here.