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My name is Rob and I live in Leicestershire, England. The first two years of my career was spent as a technician in a Physics department where I looked after a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and studied part time for an HNC in Applied Physics. I fell in love with microscopy and spent my holidays and spare cash attending courses in UK Universities organised by the Royal Microscopical Society (RMS) . I then got another job and spent the next ten years using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at a Northern University. After studying part-time for 5 years for a degree I graduated with a first in Physics and embarked on a new career in industry as a physicist and materials scientist in the Midlands where I spent another decade and contributed to the development of carbon fibres and the spinning of super strong liquid crystalline fibres. During this period I developed expertese in X-rays , thermal analysis and rheology as well as microscopy as was able to use the Sychrotron High Energy X-Ray facility at Daresbury in Cheshire to investigate materials structure.
Outside work I travelled widely in Europe and became interested in Natural History and macrophotography and many images from my career and of natural history subjects are displayed in my Gallery page which links to other pages when you click on any image.Other links to pages are found in the highlighted text in these notes. During my career as an electron microscopist I became fascinated by symmetry and in my spare time after work explored the secrets of nature in the guise of pollen grains. My next career move was as an expert in Engineering Polymers in a Research and Development establishment for the Automotive Industry where I was trained in the use of X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). Many of my work colleagues had doctorate degrees so I decided it was time to return to University full time for a career break.
My PhD research tackled some commercial problems associated with the application of laser ablation to remove contaminants from metals and this involved understanding why some things stick to surfaces (adhesion) and other things don't stick (abhesion).These properties are related to the surface energy of materials and require an understanding of the chemistry of the first few atomic layers of surfaces using XPS and this technique again came in useful in the last part of my career where I developed novel types of metal inks for applications in electronics using the unique physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles .
Now in retirement my interests include foreign travel with my partner, films, music from classical to pop and, when academically minded, physics and mathematics and sporadic attempts to relearn and struggle with long forgotten calculus to develope a deeper understanding of electromagnetism, Maxwell's equations , the mysteries of spin and quantum electrodynamics. The concept much found in nature that systems tend towards a state of minimum energy ("Nature is thrifty in all its ways") has always facinated me and I realise now that it is an expression of the principle of least action expounded by the famous mathematicians Lagrange and Hamilton (Hamilton's Principle) and used in the formulation of the amazing Noether's theorem which states that wherever you find a quantity thats conserved, there will exist an underlying symmetry and vice versa. So this is full circle for me bringing me back to the amazement I felt as a young microscopist looking at pollen grains and their symmetry.

Except for some schematics most images are my own work and copyright.Other images used have the source credited. The music used is copyright - free.