Monday, 25 November 2013

The Return from a Long Hiatus...

I'm still alive, not to worry...

Has it really been two months already?? Time is flying by far too fast.... where to even begin?

Firstly, I got married, which is fantastic, of course :) then I went through the nightmare that is the accommodation hunt here in Uppsala, or all of Sweden, for that matter... But we eventually found somewhere by pure luck - a response from an ad a family placed on A lot of people have had success there so if you're hunting for somewhere, it's a good place to start. Better than in my opinion, but since my first place was found through, I can't really judge...

Right now I'm crazily busy with college work. It's never ending, unfortunately, or otherwise... (or I would be without things to do, right?). I took Analytical Mechanics & Special Relativity in the first period, a course I should have taken last year but what harm. It was good enough but I felt it wasn't thought through as clearly as it could have been. It was a little bit... messy, for want of a better word. Particularly the Special Relativity section but I enjoyed reading Joeseph Minehan's notes and I learnt that Maxwell's equations are magically and manifestly Lorentz invariant (and how to derive them based on the principle of minimal substitution and demanding Lorentz invariance, which is pretty cool!).

I also took Joe's course on String Theory. Really interesting! Really hard... Despite the fact there were only 3 assignments, they were tough. I'm only finishing it now and even though I don't regret taking it in the slightest (despite having no interest in studying it academically), it soaked up more time and energy than a black hole, (lame) pun fully intended ;) But I would recommend taking it (or his course on General Relativity) if you're interested in that area because he's a really talented lecturer; very enthusiastic and interesting to listen to. And it's fun to see where smart people are trying to combine and progress different areas of Physics. And then compare it with more established theories, like the Standard Model.

Which brings me to Stefan Leupold's course on Hadron & Quark Physics. Pretty challenging, but he's another excellent lecturer so, despite the work, his classes are enjoyable to attend. And the material is so fundamental and the theory (Quantum Chromodynamics) so fascinating, it's a joy to study. So definitely consider those two :) I must say after this course, I have a new found appreciation for the Standard Model, which I gave far too little credit previously. I also have less appreciation for String Theory but that's probably because I didn't understand it very well :P

So that's the gist of what's been going on with me lately, mainly college-stuff and marriage-stuff, so only "stuff" that is exciting to me, really :P but the Nobel lectures should be coming up soon, "sometime in December" where hopefully we'll hear Peter Higgs give a lecture on winning his Nobel Prize :) They're broadcast online so I'll hunt down the link and post it here :)

Edit: I'm trying to fix that header but no luck so far :( The options seem somewhat limited here so I have no idea how it "broke". Thoughts anyone?

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