The Ballad of Vacuum Science


We don’t look at Dyson hoovers
(they’re just short of atmosphere)
We are several orders magnitude
Down in pressure round here.
We study right across the scales-
Low, high to UHV-
In the depths of space
Is the best that you can see!
But pressures low as that
Are hard to recreate
Though we try our best when making
Particles accelerate.


People think it’s nothing
They don’t understand what it is for
But we deal with lots of pressure
In bars, Pascals and Torr!

There are lower vacuum pumps
That ‘suck’ the gases out
Roots, rotary and diaphragm,
Are what that’s all about
But when you get much higher,
Few molecules collide
So turbo/ion/getter pumps
Just  keep them trapped outside.


Often the materials
Are releasing lots of gas
Or they’ve got some tiny gaps
Through which molecules can pass.
So surface science looks at
Outgassing and S.E.Y
Making alloys and structure shapes
(NEGs their favourite thing to try!)
We use RGAs and gauges
To measure gases that are left,
Finding total pressures
Or the species that we test.


[Drum roll for the cheesy ending]

I’ve very much enjoyed
My Year in Industry,
I learnt that vacuum is amazing
Now everyone can see!


Yep. Following the mild success of the Superconductivity Song, I completed this about vacuum science and technology! Albert Einstein said that if you can’t explain something to a 6 year old then you don’t understand it yourself so I will also update this post soon to include explanations and images so hopefully the scapegoat of particle accelerator technology will soon be known to all!


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