Mechanics was the first bit of physics I ever really liked—the idea of being able to memorise a few basic laws and then apply them to untangle and solve different situations is a nice one, even if it was only ever endless particles on massless springs and balls rolling down smooth slopes and all the usual rubbish.
However, where do Newton’s laws actually come from? Why does F = ma? I didn’t think it was even valid to ask that these questions until my mechanics lecturer in first year casually mentioned that you could derive all that stuff. Until then I thought that was just the way things were, and you could measure it (more balls rolling down more slopes) and that was good enough.
Calling this the end of week one is definitely cheating, since I’ve only had two days of lectures! It’s been great to be back in London and see everyone who has stuck it out for another year though.
A thing that has surprised me this term is that that the most timetabled hours I have for any course is actually for a sort of business course. I missed the introduction of this course last year as I was sneaking the end of term off volunteering at Cheltenham science festival, but what I heard about it filled me with utter dread. This is two actual sentences from the PowerPoint we were given in the first lecture:
‘The UK’s most viable route to continued prosperity is to go to higher technologies, higher added-value solutions to problems which result in create wealth.
Summer is finally over. It’s been a long time since I’ve been at uni, and it feels even longer!
My summer was full of beaches, pancakes, relaxation, jumping in streams, and I even played quidditch!
As I’ve mentioned, I’m doing a masters project this year, but somehow my timetable seems fuller than ever with lectures and even a sort of business course (again [!]), so between that and applying for jobs, this year is going to be intense!
This is really just a short blog to say hi, that I will be blogging again this year and of course welcome to all the new students!
The day after the PREDICTS Symposium it was the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) DTP Conference 2015, in the same venue at the Natural History Museum! I got up early to help set up at the Museum and welcome delegates. This Conference was for members of the DTP and showcased our work with talks, a three minute thesis competition and poster session. The three minute thesis competition was a challenge to explain our theses to the audience in just three minutes using one static slide with a prize for the audience and judges’ favourite.
One of the research groups I am connected too – Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (PREDICTS) has just come to the end of its first three years. To mark the occasion a one day symposium was held at the Natural History Museum with talks on overviews of what the project has achieved, the latest results, and a look ahead. I was invited to do a 15 minute talk on my PhD work researching human effects on soil biodiversity which use the PREDICTS framework. The Symposium was webcast live on YouTube and attended by many PREDICTS researchers past and present so I was rather anxious!
Between handing in my MSc thesis and my viva voce, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join Dipterists from the Natural History Museum on a collection trip to Scotland as part of the Dipterists Forum Autumn Field Meeting. Despite the daunting prospect of a long journey and sharing a cottage with people I barely knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for an intensive week studying flies which was also my first trip across the border.
HELLO ALL!!!!!!!! Hope everyone’s having a fantastic summer 🙂
The blog’s been a bit quiet for the past couple of months (actually silent). So far the holidays haven’t been a chance to relax, but overall they’ve been pretty good fun.
The last two weeks of term after exams were finished were filled with plans with my friends for pure fun, but in reality were filled with evil estate agents and looking at house after house (if we didn’t find anywhere we planned to camp out in the basement of Charing Cross Hospital with the vampire who lives there – long story…) We eventually found a house – really close to Charing Cross campus, which is where a lot of our 2nd year teaching will be.
This week’s Throwback Thursday is about the cabbage white butterflies I had on my London balcony back in August 2013 while I was studying for my MSc. This also formed the basis of an article in the Amateur Entomologist’s Society Bug Club Magazine.
It is true you do not have to go far to see wildlife, even in the midst of a big city. Invertebrate scholars are particularly fortunate in this regard as insects, arachnids etc. really are everywhere, in your home and even on you. Here in my student room in Earls Court, London I have a little balcony which I have used to grow salad and tomatoes.