This is the second radioactivity themed dream.
I arrive at an undergraduate chemistry teaching laboratory. The person demonstrating is known to me. I am somehow of a senior year, and this is a first-year class. I am to participate. I look around and there is only one person who has not got a partner. Everybody is wearing white laboratory coats. I walk over to the unpaired man, who is of Chinese extraction. I ask if would like a lab partner. Yes. I introduce myself and he says that he is Wu Wei.
The demonstrator say that we need to read the lab script and get started with the experiment. The basic idea is that inside the box there are several radioactive sources, and we have to work out what type of emitter they are by measuring the count rate as a function of distance.
I am surprised that this is an undergraduate experiment because I remember doing this at school.
Wu Wei is keen to get started and wants to be “in charge”. He is concerned that there is not enough time to do the experiment. I say that we have got five days to do this, and it should take less than one.
In the dream I meet IJ who I used to know more than forty years ago. He is telling me that he had a dream about a lot of people from Caerphilly setting up some technology company. I say that this is far out because Lannion is twinned with Caerphilly and that there is a great deal of technology thereabouts. I explain that my cousin’s father is from Caerphilly.
Wu Wei is keen to get started so he sends me off to ferret for some shielding around the laboratory. I come back with some sheets of Aluminium. He is unconvinced. I try to explain to him that the experiment does not need to be perfect because the difference between the three types of emitters will be marked. He says that JD has told him that we need to manage background radiation especial from neutrons and neutrinos. Yeah right, I think.
I am now gathered at the back of the laboratory with a small group of people. I say to have a look who is here interested in talking about dreams. It is all the introverts who are in general the dreamers by predilection. Everyone smiles and nods in agreement.
I say that I had a dream in which I am flying over the landscape and see a map of Lannion especially around the Railway Station. In the dream I landed there and noticed that the people running the laboratory were all driving cars with 29 plates. I explain that this should not be the case for our canton and that the 29 on their cars was referring to the dark jewel 29.
We break up and I get back to the experiment. JD comes over and tries to tell me what to do. He is concerned about the lack of shielding. I open up the source box and take out one of the radioactive sources. I scrape its surface with a scalpel to remove any oxide. Underneath is a red coloured stripe which I know to be the radioactive molecule. I am unconcerned about the radioactivity because I know it can’t hurt me.
I go in search of some more shielding. AdM tells me that the flexible plastic-lead screens should be put under the detector to protect form the neutrons coming up from the lab below. In the dream I wonder why everybody is so desperate to give me advice and tell me what to do. Am I a moron?
In the dream I am more than a little bemused at people’s attitude towards me.