J a c k  I r e l a n d
Solar Physicist
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

...around the time I was seven or so I got a book that described, well, basically, a whole lot of earth and space science. I was interested in all that kind of stuff. What got me about this book was that it said that there were four states of matter--solid, liquid, gas and one that my teachers never told me about, plasma. So I knew something the teachers didn't know, which always makes a seven year old feel smart. Now I can't say that this inspired me to go into solar physics, but it certainly is one of my earliest scientific memories.

An Education

So I finished primary school and then secondary school (if these terms are unfamiliar then that's because I was born and grew up in Scotland and have only recently moved to the USA, but more about that later)--basically Kindergarten through high school and then went on to university. When I left school, I knew I liked physics, so I began my studies at the "Yooni" (slang for university, and in particular Glasgow University). I'm glad I did, because the jobs I've had have sent me round the world and I've met some interesting people along the way.

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