About me
James Millen

About myself

I grew up in sunny Swanage, Dorset, which is certainly beautiful, however the novelty of being in a small seaside town wears off after 18 years! I attended Poole Grammar School, and studied Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Music at A level. Luckily this was in the days when you didn't need straight As to get into university!

I wrenched myself away from the sun, sea and sand to study Physics at Imperial College London. After getting over the initial shock of moving from a small seaside resort to South Kensington I started to make the most of being in London. In my earlier years I spent most of my time going to gigs and clubs whilst running the alternative music society, and by the end of my degree I ended up getting tangled up in student union politics. I took a music technology course as a humanities option, and ended up winning an award for best humanities project across the whole university. You can find my portfolio here.

In the summer of my third year I worked in the Optical Radiation Measurement group at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington on Parametric Downcoversion. In my final year I worked with Mike Tarbutt and Ben Sauer in Ed Hinds' Centre for Cold Matter group at Imperial working on the production of extremely large electric fields. I spent the Summer at the end of my degree driving around eastern Europe with a fine Russian friend, highlights of which inluded repeated bribery in the Ukraine and being held at gunpoint for several hours in Moldova.

My research is focused on studying clouds of very cold Rydberg atoms, but there is plenty of information on this website about the project. I'm very interested in outreach and public engagement, and I'm a science ambassador. I like to spend my spare time visiting various bleak North-East towns / National Trust properties with my girlfriend, where we will marvel at the wonders of taxidermy and just how many Greggs' they can fit in any one town-centre.

Content © James Millen, Durham University 2009