Summer Placement at NPL
Project title: Characterising Superconducting Lumped Element Resonators by Pound Locking
"My placement was at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. For eight weeks, I worked under Dr. Tobias Lindstrom, helping to modify a resonator circuit.
Due to the timing, the nature of my placement was not one where an experiment was being conducted and measurements were being taken; I had arrived just after a paper had been written and the researchers were then moving onto testing the resonator under different conditions. The biggest modification, work-wise, was the addition of a tunable band pass filter into the circuit; to save on having multiple power sources directed to it, I was tasked with building it a control box that could be controlled manually or using LabVIEW. Other jobs included learning to use a vector network analyser to test circuit components.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Obviously there were ups and downs, not everything goes right the first time, but it has been a brilliant learning experience. It gave me an insight as to what working in a research lab is like, and helped me decide whether a career in a practical physics environment is something I would seriously consider (which it is!), and made me think more about which field of study I want to go into."