This year Pittcon moved a little NNE from New Orleans, LA, to Atlanta, GA, home of Coca Cola.  According to Wikipedia, Atlanta is considered an “alpha-” or “world city” ranking 36th among world cities and 8th in the nation with a gross domestic product of $270 billion.  So, probably a good city to return to.  Georgia is famous for peanuts (think Jimmy Carter) and peaches (think Allman Brothers Band – actually formed in Jacksonville, FL, just on the state border south of GA).

This year we were exhibiting on a stand (3349) with 2 of our sister companies, PANalytical and Omega. We were kindly invited by Linda Bratica, an old Malvern friend, now with PANalytical, to a pre-exhibition dinner and get together at Max Lager’s on the Sunday:

Diner Pittcon 2016

 There we were able to meet up with, in a convivial atmosphere, with excellent food, our Spectris colleagues.

Bar Pittcon 2016
Restaurant Pittcon 2016

For those that don’t know, Pittcon is split into 2 parts: a technical program consisting of formal presentations and technical short courses, plus the well-known laboratory event that is probably only bested (awful American word!) by Achema in Germany.  Malvern participates in all aspects of Pittcon and as well as having a large stand showing many of our products (Nanosight NTA, Zetasizer ZS, Viscotek GPC, Mastersizer 3000 with Hydro MV accessory)…

Visitors Pittcon 2016

We have the now near-obligatory and extremely popular, “Guess the number of particles in the jar” contest!

Competition Pittcon 2016

You can visit old blogs to see some of the discussion on this competition.

This year you can see us upping the stakes with irregular particles – large peanut candies – as opposed to spherical particles.  These are called Circus Peanuts and merit a Wikipedia entry describing them as peanut-shaped marshmallow candy.  Personally I wouldn’t go near one.

Here we have a real particle packing problem, rather than a theoretical exercise:

Yesterday, Ulf Nobbmann and I continued the popular all-day short course, “Fundamentals of particle size analysis with an emphasis on light scattering techniques”.  Ulf will follow this with a well-attended GPC course and I will share a course on X-Ray techniques (XRF, XRD, SAXS) with PANalytical.

Course Pittcon 2016

See the list of the remaining short courses:

Wednesday – Separations: Fundamentals of Advanced Gel Permeation & Size Exclusion Chromatography Detection – Ulf Nobbmann


This ½ day course covers principles of advanced detection in GPC & SEC. Conventional chromatography relies solely on a concentration detector (RI, UV) to find Mw, Mn, PDI, % aggregation, by linking the elution to similar known standards. Universal Calibration avoids the need for similarity, exploiting the universal scaling of intrinsic viscosity. 

Thursday – Nanocrystallite and Nanoparticle Size Analysis with an X-Ray Diffractometer – Alan Rawle & Scott Speakman (PANalytical)

This 1-day course will introduce newcomers to the important aspects of data collection and analysis for X-ray diffraction and SAXS. The techniques discussed will also be useful to experienced diffractionists looking to move beyond the simple Scherrer equation to more complex line profile analysis of nanocrystallite size and microstrain. 

So, if you’ve got a chance, please do pop down and see us on Stand 3349 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta GA.