I grew up in rural West Wales where I attended Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn through to the end of sixth form. After that I obtained an MPhys (Hons) from Durham University where I attended University College (Castle). During this time I worked for a summer in AtMol where I worked with Lee Weller, Paul Siddons, Ifan Hughes and Charles Adams on the slow light thermal vapour cell experiment. We were measuring the dipole-dipole self-broadening on the Rb D1 line, from which a paper was published.
My Masters dissertation was entitled 'Light-Atom Interactions in the Strong Focussing Limit' under the supervision of Prof. Charles Adams. In it I investigated using angular spectrum methods for modeling extinction due to a single atom of a strongly focused Gaussian beam (see for example Tey et al. NJP 2009). After this I stayed on in Durham and completed my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Charles Adams and Prof. Simon Gardiner, and I am now working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the same group, continuing on the work I started during my PhD.
My PhD title was 'Cooperative Interactions in Lattices of Atomic Dipoles'. We were interested in investigating strong dipole-dipole driven effects such as superradiance and cooperative dipole shifts in cold atom and thermal vapour experiments, in particular structured geometries such as lattices. My PhD Thesis can be found at http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/11636/
For more information, see my personal website: robbettles.wordpress.com
I enjoy watching and playing a wide variety of sports (in particular anything involving a racket). I was somehow convinced to try rowing in my first year at university and despite the cold dark early mornings and endless blisters and training sessions I carried on for two years. I also enjoy music and play guitar at my church as well as the viola (yes, I've heard all the jokes...).