Monday, 16 March 2009

Physics Camp

Well I had an unusual weekend. I went away with 45 students, 18 lecturers and some researchers to the Burn House, near Edzell. This weekend away is designed for us to give conference-style physics presentations to each other, get to know each other better and (although I don't think they plan for this) watch our lecturers get really drunk with us.

The house was amazing - absolutely huge and sat in the middle of acres of beautiful grounds. Only thing is, it's in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception, no internet or general access to civilisation. I'm not exactly a fan of the country, and the air smelt of poo the whole time we were there.

All the same, I had a really good time, even if I did have to walk 4 miles to Edzell to send a text. The talk sessions were mostly really interesting and I think mine went down quite well. My presentation was on neutrinos - looking at the history of their discovery and the experiments that lead to theories of neutrino mass and oscillations, on the way showing that the Standard Model is not a complete model as it doesn't account for the neutrino's mass. I got asked some really interesting questions at the end too which was good.

The evenings were the best bits - I had such a laugh with my friends but have a serious amount of sleep to catch up on now. I hadn't been looking forward to going to the Burn but yesterday I didn't want to come back and have to go to lectures, as I'd had such a good time. This morning was not fun - could hardly keep my eyes open and started a new lab this afternoon. It's titled 'low temperature experiments' and is crap. I get to use liquid helium (which has a temperature of around -269°C) which I thought would be exciting. I was sorely disappointed. I now have so much lab report to write up which I should probably go and do now.

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