This spring I went back to Takei-san's lab in Tokyo to conduct an intensive research project that sort of piggybacks onto our previous work together. In our previous studies, we looked at the effects of grain size, temperature, and melt on viscosity and attenuation. Now we are hoping to explore the effect of prior deformation, particularly by dislocation creep. In theory, dislocations (generated during deformation) should provide additional dissipation and therefore higher attenuation. We would like to quantify that effect. But the first step is to better understand the flow law for the organic analogue that we use. So we performed creep experiments in the Instron apparatus below. A cell with circulating water maintains the temperature (the sample is safe and dry inside a double plastic film) and even provides a small confining pressure.
Ultimately they will test pre-deformed samples in the attenuation apparatus below, which has had so many improvements since I was a postdoc here (2.5 y ago). Because they have a salaried machinist that is shared with only a few researchers they are able to make iterations on the rig very rapidly. It's really a great machine!
I brought my daughter and my mother with me to Japan for the two months. While I worked in the lab during the day, they strolled around Tokyo visiting nearby zoos and parks. Below we celebrated Mother's day by going out of town to a nearby Ryokan (traditional Japanese style hotel).
And since we were there in the spring, we participated in many Hanami celebrations, which are picnics to honor the cherry blossom trees. If you're interested, more about Hanami here and here (from when we lived here full-time).