This was titled “probably post-finals update” for a long time, because I (correctly) assumed I wouldn’t have the time to write anything between the last post and after finals. It’s been nearly a week since I finished my take-homes and I’ve been eagerly settling into full-time lab work. I’m writing this paragraph as we attempt to grow carbon nanotubes in the lab for the first time (using the catalyst solution that I made! I feel so special 🙂 ) which is pretty cool. I’m a bit wary of posting any pictures of current experiments, though, so the rest of the post will be a gallery of the (mostly non-work-related) fun times in and around Harvard physics/GSAS life. Above: a group of cleanroom users at a training session on the left, and Kim group grad student Austin logging in to use a tool on the right. Below: my attempt to organize my quantum notes before the final (I ran out of steam to do the same for my Jackson E&M class, but fortunately the professor provided extremely detailed lecture notes that were an excellent reference).
Sponsored by the Physics Department, Rich Muller gave an interesting talk on April 13th about his career as a skeptical investigator of various geocosmological catastrophes, finishing with a controversial (with the audience, and I’m sure outside it as well) recommendation that we frack more to save the planet.
That weekend, I finally went over to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. It’s right across from my dorm, so I figured I should check it out while it was still really convenient (and before finals). It’s pretty cool, if a little heavy on the animals in jars. I especially liked the “sea creatures in glass” (not in glass jars!) exhibit.
The big event of late April was Stephen Hawking’s lecture on quantum black holes at the Sanders Theater. I was lucky and got a ticket from the lottery. I never ran into him in Cambridge (UK), but now I can say I’ve seen him after all! The talk was pretty interesting, but still managed to be accessible to non-experts (in cosmology/astrophysics) like me.
Some physics cohorts (Delilah and Yu-Ting, specifically; thanks to Delilah for the tickets!) and I got to see another unique performance as well; a filmed version of a one-woman stage play about Marie Curie, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and actress).
One last set of performances: the wonderful Arts First Festival at Harvard happened the weekend before my first final started, with wonderful student performances on the Science Center plaza (and many other events that I didn’t have time to attend).
Finally, I don’t normally go in for selfies, but I was psyched for my first time dressing up in a while. The occasion: Dudley Chorus’s spring concert! Singing was really fun, and I think all of the pieces went very well…except for the director’s guitar solo in Bohemian Rhapsody…the amp cable was too short and he pulled it out when he tried to play (rocking too hard, I guess).
Well, that’s about it. (Apart from D&D…but between finals and packing, we haven’t played in a while, and I didn’t take any pictures anyway.) Now, moving: the next great adventure.