Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The next couple of days

If you're wondering what I'm up to the next few days...

I'm leaving the house in a few minutes to meet up with a few people at party. The theme for tonight is that the special "Duvel" beer will be available at only €1. People who know their Belgian beers will realise that this is very good news indeed :-)

Tomorrow I'm having a meeting with the other TA's about one of my classes to check on our progress. A friend of mine (and the TA for my freshman physics course long, long ago...) is defending his PhD thesis, and I'll be trying to attend. I'm not sure what it's about yet, but I vaguely remember it's something about using B-tagging to detect heavy higgses at the LHC. Should be fun.

I was wondering to wear shorts tonight. Its still 16°C here, and we're almost december...



Sunday, November 26, 2006

Progress report


This week there was some progress on the research front. Arjan, a post-doc at my lab was kind enough to show me a little trick to figure out what all the Lorentz-invariant contractions of the Riemann-tensor are for a given order. I basically reduces the problem to solving a kind of Sudoko puzzle, not unlike the Cartan root system for Lie algebra's.

Remember my search for good differential geometry tests? The Cambridge lecture notes were very helpful, but there's always more isn't there. A math professor at my university suggested the following book (no, I haven't taken over Lubos' obsession with Amazon adds, it's just the only place I could find it).


The aforementioned math professor is studying it himself. It's good to see people from the math department taking an interest in the link between mathematics and physics, something that's rather close to my heart. I think I'll ask my dad to bring it with him when he gets back to Belgium, since it appears to be alot cheaper and more easily available in the States.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Looking for a soulmate? Start blogging!

An interesting thing has happened.

Sean Carrol, one of the bloggers at Cosmic Variance, is engaged to be married to Jennifer Ouellette of that other well-known blog, Cocktail Party Physics. You can read their respective stories on the linked blogs.

How strange this blogging thing can be. Not only has it unexpectedly transformed the way science is popularised or influenced tenureship, it is now becoming a major influence on the blogger's personal life. I wonder how common this phenomenon will become. As an aspiring scientist I firmly believe in the scientific method, so any charming ladies who are not put off by guys who know how to calculate the energy levels of a hydrogen atom are welcome to post their comments ;-)

Kidding aside, best wishes to the happy couple and may their marriage be a happy one!

Monday, November 13, 2006


Not much to tell you really. I've been rather sick for the last week or so, but I had to go out last week to take care of some things. As a result it's gotten worse this weekend to the point that I had to cancel the recitations for today. So as you can imagine, there is not much interesting I can write is unless you're really interested in the contents of my hanckerchief...