Archive for June, 2007

Last week I spent a few days in Oxfordshire to attend the 2007 Cosener’s Forum on Heavy Flavour Physics. This is a brief report of some background I was able to pick up about the field. The conference included a mix of experimentalists and theorists and focused mainly on flavour physics in the near and […]

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The capstone events of Cambridge’s end-of-year celebrations are the college May Balls. (Yes, they’re held in June… this is a historical misnomer.) Last week I attended Trinity’s May Ball (“The First and Third Trinity Boat Club May Ball”). Below is a brief photo-recap, though I doubt my American colleagues will believe me. The Cambridge Varsity […]


The Cambridge Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics is home to one of the world’s most active mathematical fluid dynamics groups. I suspect that this is partially motivated by the persistence of the river Cam in daily life. This photograph, courtesy of fellow Part III’er Olga Goulko, depicts four of DAMTP’s fluid mascots. (Always […]


In a nod to Tommaso’s periodic “Say of the Week” posts, below are a few memorable quotes that I wanted to share. “We can say that there is 10-standard-deviation evidence for non-baryonic dark matter… whatever `standard deviation’ means in cosmology.” — Antonio Masiero, `New Physics & Flavour’ talk at the 2007 Cosener’s Forum for Heavy […]


As my time at Cambridge draws to a close, I’ll try to put up some quick vignettes of the past few weeks. After the end of Lent term, a group of the physics-inclined students formed a study group to prepare for exams… at the time, exams were two and a half months away. We started […]


Yesterday was my last Part III exam. And, just in time for celebratory Pimms and all that, I found this article in the Guardian about the UK General Teaching Council’s call for a re-examination of the country’s exam-based educational culture. Apparently school children in England and Wales are the `most tested in the world.’ Stress […]


After writing a bit about Part III exams, I stumbled upon this timely open letter from Wellington Gray, a physics teacher, to the UK Department of Education and Assessment and Qualificatioms Alliance (the equivalent of the ETS in America): http://www.wellingtongrey.net/articles/archive/2007-06-07–open-letter-aqa.html The letter addresses a trend in UK science education (but also very relevant, if not […]


It’s still the exam period, but I’m going to break the cardinal rule of exam etiquette and talk about exams. Those who might feel queasy are too busy with revision to be reading this, anyway. Part III of the Cambridge Mathematics Tripos The Cambridge mathematics departments’ Part III is a truly unique one-year course. For […]


My former undergraduate roommate (something uncommon in the UK) recently pointed out some subtle humour in a string theory paper. JHEP 0701 (2007) 083 (Gauge/gravity duality and meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking, by Argurio, Bertolini, Franco, and Kachru) sneaks in a Simpsons reference: For large P, the three-form fluxes are dilute, and the gradient of the […]


Though we get some rather nice perks here at Cambridge, most of us live on the same student budgets as those at any other university. While I’m fortunate to have my university fees covered by the Marshall Commission, all my other expenses are covered one stipend check at a time. With no disrespect to the […]