Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve made a PhD post so I figured I’d make one about how this quarantine has affected my research.
So I had been working on a polarisation camera setup to image the upcoming total solar eclipse in South America this December, but since the whole country is on lockdown all PhD and staff members have been working from home for a few weeks now. Consequently, I’ve not been able to get into the optics lab to experiment with polarisers and lenses and, as a result, I’ve not been able to do anymore work on that.
So for the past few weeks I’ve been working much closer with my supervisor and his research on the solar wind, which is a continuous stream of electrically charged particles (electrons and ions) which flows from the Sun. Since this stream is electrically charged, it can have a significant effect on the electronic infrastructure here on Earth (see Carrington event as an example). It’s been testing having to change research styles so drastically like this, going from essentially purely experimental to purely theoretical. I’ve never been good at coding but now that I’m almost forced to do it my skills have improved quite quickly. So I’ve just been spending the past few weeks getting used to the software (IDL for those interested) and the research field.
However, I’m also thankful that PhDs are flexible and many PhD students can work from home - in comparison to school, college, and undergraduate students who have been affected much more by this pandemic.
Hope everyone’s safe and healthy, and remember: stay home!