Research · Teaching

Day 21: Meetings and Lectures

There were only a couple of tasks for Wednesday. First, I would be attending the first group meeting. Erroneously called “SUSY” meetings (for supersymmetry, a branch of high energy physics with declining popularity), these meetings are a chance for each member of the group to share what they had done over the last week, if anything, and bring up any issues. As this was my and a couple of others’ first such meeting, I shared what I had done for my past project, and what I had found. I had a couple of questions asked, but explained them satisfactorily. Sitting and listening to what everybody was researching was very researching and informative.

After the meeting, I rushed out and onto by bike, and rode the short distance back up the road to DAMTP, where I sat in on a lecture on Statistical Field Theory. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The course was still covering preliminaries: it covered a classification of potentials in statistical mechanics. It seemed a little more based in condensed matter physics than I was expecting, which is not on the whole surprising, given the course is called statistical mechanics. I was drawn to the lecture by something offered late in the syllabus, but I’m not sure whether it will be worth it.

Once the lecture was over, I rode back the Cavendish and went to the Part IB laboratory to do a dry run of the experiment. One of the time-consuming aspects of teaching practicals is that one should in theory have done the practical so as to guide the students with expectations and problem solving. I spent most of the rest of the afternoon going through the procedure for the practical. It was rather basic; an introduction to electronics, breadboards, frequency responses and filters, something I did an entire course on whilst on exchange in Exeter.

And that was pretty much it for the day. I had dinner in the college, and then submitted to an early-ish night, being pretty tired by that point.

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