I grew up in Alsager, a small town near the Cheshire-Staffordshire border where I attended (the imaginatively named) Alsager School. After completing my A-levels I moved to Durham to study Theoretical Physics. I graduated from Durham University in 2008 but decided that 4 years here just wasn't enough and so joined the Atomic and Molecular Physics group to study for my PhD.
During my PhD I worked with Dr Simon Cornish on the 85Rb soliton project. Here we produced BECs with tunable interactions, allowing us to controllably form bright solitary matter-waves. We observed the solitary wave packets propagating over distances in excess of 1mm in an optical waveguide and demonstrated their reflection from a broad, repulsive Gaussian barrier. My thesis, entitled 'Formation of bright solitary matter-waves', can be found here.