And so it begins…

I have a secret; ever since registering I have been a little intimidated about attending this years Goldschmidt. Sure I have been to international conferences before but these have been  specialised and nothing on the Goldschmidt scale of attendees. I had visions of standing in the corner during the ice-breaker session while everyone else caught up with old colleagues. No one would have time for a new person in the mix, everyone would be settled talking to those in their research areas, and I would be an outsider to the world of (terrestrial) geochemistry. Of course this was absolute nonsense and before I even entered the conference center to register I ran into friends and colleagues chatting to them as though I had only seen them last week. That is the great thing about academia; you quickly, and subconsciously, amass a wide network of contacts with a bunch of people with common interests.
This was abundantly clear during Sunday’s ice-breaker session as groups of geochemists congregated with colleagues from around the world. There were in fact a lot of people present which meant more geochemists from a wide range of disciplines to meet! The atmosphere was incredibly jolly and very welcoming. If last nights reception was anything to go by I look forward to further opportunities to socialise with my geochemistry buddies old and new.

One of the highlights of the session for me, apart from the free bar, was the exhibition by Selfrag AG. These guys have kindly brought their ‘lightning machine’* (*disclaimer not it’s actual name) to demonstrate its super quick and efficient mineral separation technique! Their instrument works on the conductivity of rocks by sending a charge, akin to lightening, through grain boundaries and defects which separates the minerals. We got a demonstration of pegmatite separation but I definitely saw an old school mobile phone in their box of goodies to be demonstrated. Dan and Eva from the Selfrag AG team also claim that whatever fits in their bucket they can separate (*except metal). I am now on a hunt around Prague to see what I can find to test this theory with! (Any suggestions welcome!)

Today I am going to splitting my time between 14f “Water” in the Mantle and Crust, 17a Physical properties of Glasses and Melts, and 17b Advances in Trace Element Partitioning. I will be tweeting throughout the day @nicci_potts