Archive for the ‘Student Life’ Category

A few memorable quotes from the past week. On Wilson loops in AdS/CFT: “This is obvious. It’s so obvious that people kicked themselves when they first saw this. I kicked myself. I kicked some other people, too.” On wrapping branes around Calabi-Yau manifolds: “And indeed, this is exactly what happens in the real world… meaning […]


It’s common for departments to have a Friday ‘happy hour’ event as a chance to relax and socialise with colleagues. (The CMS in Cambridge recently began such a tradition this year.) Semi-recently, in an attempt to encourage more attendance, the organisers of one American university’s `Physics Beer’ politely proposed changing the events name to de-emphasise […]


It’s that time of year again: the last undergrads have left your office after asking for final exam regrades, your adviser is off to another continent for big conferences, and even the spring television line-up is wrapping up. Meanwhile, your officemates have gone off to various summer schools to mingle with other postgraduates and learn […]


A snippit from my research life, told through the medium of rewriting the text on a beloved comic strip. Original Calvin and Hobbes comic reproduced here, my apologies to the late Bill Watterson.


Bon giorno! After a hectic last couple of weeks finishing up thesis writing and overseas shipping, I’m spending a bit of time at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste. The view of the Adriatic Sea outside my window, complete with an engraved UN logo. It’s only slightly different from looking out […]


[Today we have a guest post from my flatmate, Jo Benjamin. Jo is an MSc. student at Durham’s Centre for Particle Theory. His research project is on black holes in string theory. His post is about useful text for first year students who’d rather avoid slogging through worldsheet string theory.] The first time I met […]


Today’s snarky epiphany, while thesis-writing in the office: It was rather warm in the office even though the heater was turned down and the window was a bit open. After a brief conversation with my officemate, Luis, we decided that the heat came from the eight computers in the room. All this time I had […]


I don’t usually do this. A native Los Angelino is too chill to ask for autographs, even from physicists [1]. However, when John Ellis came to Durham this week to give the 2008 Rochester Lecture, I couldn’t resist asking him to sign a copy of the original paper that introduced `penguin diagram’ into physics nomenclature. […]


One of the most eagerly awaited events of the Part III Return Conference a couple of weeks ago was the chance to revive old rivalies on the CMS foosball table. I’ll cut to the results from the first night: Durham defeats Cambridge: 2-0 Thats right, Durham’s Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology dismantled the Cambridge Dept. […]


I’ve been buried in writing for a while now, but this week there’s a lot of buzz about the Ogden Centre celebrating its fifth birthday. Here’s the blurb from the IPPP news page: A little over five years ago, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics at Durham University. The Ogden Centre […]