During the summer of 2011 I was lucky enough to visit the physics department of Coe College, a liberal arts college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of a long-standing collaboration between the glass research groups of Dr. Diane Holland, at Wawick, and Professor Steve Feller, at Coe.
The primary reason behind the trip was to make use of the excellent glass making facilities at the college, in particular the two roller quenchers housed in the department, the larger of which is pictured below. The rapid cooling of the liquid melt as it passes through the thirty micron sized gap between the counter-rotating (several hundred rpm) rollers provides conditions highly favourable for glass formation.
The experience provided me not only with a large number of glasses to characterise and investigate by means of diffraction techniques, among others, but also a chance to encounter an entirely different working environment.
I would like to thank both Steve and Mario, as well as all of the great students I met during the visit, for making it such an enjoyable and productive experience.
The large roller quencher in the Coe College Physics Department