Michael Jablin (Physics '08) writes to report that he is working this year as an assistant instrument scientist.
He will be at Los Alamos National Laboratory for the SPEAR (surface profile analysis reflectometer) facility, which uses neutrons to probe the physical characteristics of solids and liquids.
He writes, "At the beginning of the year, scientists from research institutions write proposals to use SPEAR. Some of the proposals are granted time. When the scientists arrive in Los Alamos, they are usually familiar with the technique of neutron reflectometry but do not know specifically how to run our instrument. I teach the visiting scientists how to run our instrument and make sure that they successfully complete as many experiments as time allows." Current Michael is working on two experiments, the first aimed at lifting a bilayer of lipids off of a solid substrate using a polymer cushion, the second a study of the interaction of nanoparticles with lung surfactant. Michael writes, "Overall, I am having a lot of fun as well as learning many new techniques. I am really glad I chose to delay graduate school for a year, and I appreciate how you prepared me to succeed and opened doors for me at Los Alamos. I feel confident that I will be ready for graduate school and have a more complete understanding of my research interests after working here."