Under Pressure

Can you compete under pressure?

It's all around us, and in several forms, from the physical pressure that makes our ears pop underwater to the emotional and psychological pressure of trying to get that experiment just right... and of course when it all starts to go horribly wrong.

As scientists we are constantly confronted by situations that put us under pressure; how you react can determine sucess or failure.

Ever wondered how good you are? Do you have a calm head or fall to pieces?

The BBC is running an interactive 20 minute test that investigates exactly that. A series of simple challenges test your reactions while you listen to a emotive soundtrack.

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Micheal Johnson presents the BBC's psychological testTo test yourself under pressure you need a psychological test, to test your samples under pressure - you need a Linkam stage.    

There are three options for a high pressure investigation.

1 - The CAP500

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The CAP500 stage is designed to test samples within quartz capillaries that can be pressurized up to 600bar. Heated within a 50mm silver block the samples can be rapidly heated and cooled in the range of –196°C to 500°C at a rate from 0.1 to 50°C/min.

2 - The THMS600PS

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The THMS600-PS combines accurate temperature control with the ability to investigate the effects of pressure up to 14 Bar. Samples can be loaded on coverslips, or within the THMS crucible. The stage has a temperature range: -196°C to 600 °C at 1 bar, -100°C to 500°C at 14 bar and a max heating/cooling rate of up to 130°C / min

3- CCR1000

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The new catalyst stage from Linkam has been designed to study catalytic reactions at high temperature and pressure. Samples are mounted on a virtually non-reactive disposable ceramic filter within the ceramic heating element. The stage has a temperature range from ambient to 1000°C. The heating rates are from 1 to 200°C/min with pressure up to 5bar (with quartz window installed).

In the BBC's test, they monitor your mindset before and after each challenge. It's simple but the results are surprising. To have a go and see how you do click here

For more information on any of our stages, or to tell us how you did on the BBC test, please email or add a comment below this post. Can't wait to hear from you.

By Caroline Feltham

ECROFI XXI - Fluid Inclusions and Hotstages in Leoben

 We like going to smaller conferences that focus on a specific area of research for a few reasons. Everybody seems to know each other and they are all pretty enthusiastic about their work and looking forward to tell everyone else about it.  It makes for a good atmosphere and it is much more likely that they will come and have a look at our stuff and let us know what they think.

The other reason is these conferences can be in some pretty cool places.  The sorts of towns you might never come across.

The ECROFI (European Current Research On Fluid Inclusions) conference this year was held in Leoben, Austria, hosted by the University of Leoben.  A flight to Vienna followed by a wonderful train ride through some spectacular low mountain scenery lands you in a beautiful small town with nearly a 1000 years of history.  

Leoben is an iron mining town and known as the gateway to the Styrian iron road.  The main square, 'Hauptplatz', is surrounded by lovely baroque facade buildings with a beautiful 16th century church and an intriguing restaurant, Arkadenhof Schwarzer Adler, (there since 1550 I think?) serving all manner of Austrian delectables - mainly schnitzel of various varieties and shapes.  There are also many delightful cafes, although why nearly all of them displayed inch thick  menus of bizarre icecream sundae concotions featuring such oddities as spaghetti and pistacio sundae will remain a mystery.

Fluid inclusion geologists are a great bunch, my Dad seems to think their upbeat relaxed outlook is because they always manage to find remote exotic locations to perform their research.  It's hard to argue with that, the sterile lighting of most labs is not conducive to a cheery demeanor.  However, I wonder if it could it be the geologists relationship with good beer which was served everday of the conference at 4:30pm courtesy of the conferences main sponsor The local Gosser Brewery....delicious and refreshing it was to.

Nearly all of the conferees already have one or two of our stages, either the THMSG600 (arguably the most successful geology stage of all time), MDSG600 (motorized geology stage) or high temperature TS1500, but we had a couple of interesting new products to showcase.

The CAP500 stage has been developed in collaboration with Prof Jean Dubessy at the University of Nancy and Prof I-Ming Chou at USGS in order to study synthetic fluid inclusions in capillaries relative to temperature and pressure.





The TS1400XY developed with Prof Bob Bodnar's group at Virginia Tech to investigate high temperature melt inclusions and quench cooling.  (You can read an earlier blog post on this here.)

The next meeting of the fluid inclusion geologists is PACROFI and is hosted by The University of Windsor in Canada.






Many thanks to Ronald Bakker and the organizing comittee at ECROFI for all your help and giving us the opportunity to show off our equipment.

Posted by Vince Kamp