World Metrology Day
Since the last run of Protons for Breakfast finished I have been overwhelmed trying to cope with a backlog of ‘Things to do’. Things came to a head last week on World Metrology Day (20th May) on which NPL was open to the public. In addition to my normal work, I had to organise a temperature exhibit; produce a talk about temperature for the daytime expert audience; organise the preparation of up to 1000 ice creams using fresh ingredients; and finally give two ‘taster’ sessions for Protons for Breakfast. It took all of the weekend before, and late nights every day running up to the open day to get ready. And those precious few minutes at the end of the day; those few minutes when I relax and unload the jangle of thoughts that have echoed in my head during the day; those few minutes never arrived. Now let’s be clear: I am not complaining! All these things are things are good things, and I am glad I did them – but preparing was desperate and stressful in a way that left me profoundly exhausted. I have been napping all weekend catching up on my missing sleep.
I take my work seriously – I find it is the only way to enjoy it – but as we approach the finale of our attempts to make the most accurate measurement ever of the Boltzmann constant, I am beginning to feel the intensity of the pressure. I have been writing papers and trying to synthesize the work of myself and my colleagues and it just a really challenging activity. Having to endlessly learn new things is hard: having to learn new things that no one has ever known before is profoundly harder.
I don’t talk too much about my family here, but I try to stay in touch with them. And the combination of work and family and the Open Day has kept me away from writing my blog for just a mite too long! Back to business.