I’d just like to introduce myself – my name’s Nebz and I’m a postgrad student here at Imperial College doing a master’s degree in Preventive Cardiology.
I love blogging, but I’m afraid to say I’m a bit of a mixed bag, and over this academic year I’m sure I’ll be putting up a random spread of posts on different topics. So while a lot of my posts will be about graduate life at Imperial college and my adventures around London, if you’re also interested in reading about:
science (in particular cardiology *cheesy grin*)
Then please drop by every now and then because I may talk about these things!
Now that I am 19 years old, a second year and living in a flat that I rent myself, I feel like I should have my life slightly more together. I had grand plans for this year. I would decorate my new room with fairy lights and candles, prepare delicious homecooked meals every week in my new kitchen, study every night at my brand new Ikea desk and keep a spotless home. Domestic goddess meets super intelligent lady biologist if you will. I would have my cake and eat it too once I’d moved into my new flat with my housemates.
So, the other day I had my first comprehensive tutorial. I’ve mentioned them before—they are the two three hour papers on the last three years of Physics that strike fear into everyone’s hearts. Since the start of term I’d heard people discussing their revision plans for them, which is always a terrifying conversation to overhear, especially when you haven’t even looked at a paper!
Comprehensives are actually supposed to be a selling point of an Imperial Physics degree I think, because they are all about whether you actually can do Physics not just remember stuff for a one-off exam. Of course, that’s what makes them scary—I think to some extent everyone thinks that their good exam results are a very improbable fluke—or maybe that’s just me… 😛
Anyway, the paper we looked at in my first tutorial was actually much less scary then I expected.
This week’s blog is actually about Imperial third year…I’ve been writing so much about other stuff this term that anyone reading this thinking of applying to here is probably under the impression that we don’t do any work at all!
Third year Physics consists of three core courses: ‘Light and Matter’, ‘Physics of the Universe’ and ‘Fluid Dynamics’. I am doing LM this term—so far it is a continuation of Atomic Physics from last year—an in-depth look at what goes on inside real atoms and how they interact with light. It has two more parts about light and magnetic fields interacting with solids, which look like a continuation of Solid State.
This is a quick catch-up blog about a couple of weekends ago, which was another busy one!
On the Friday night I helped out with Science London for the first time at the RI lates evening—I helped run a speed-dating event with a scientific twist! It was a pretty fun event to help out on, though leaving the email about it open on my boyfriend’s computer did lead to some confusion 😛
Anyway, there is a theory that we are more attracted to people that look similar to us, so we matched people up based on facial matching software as well as their preferences during the regular speed-dating.
It’s official, I have now been back in London for a month. I am no longer a fresher – it usually takes me a moment or two to remember this when someone asks me what year I’m in – and I do grown up things now that I live in a flat and not halls, like pay rent, set up direct debits and clean the kitchen. Wow.
After a great (but long) summer, it’s been a little bit difficult to settle back in to Imperial life but I’m enjoying my courses so far and also the change to my timetable! Morning labs can be hard to motivate yourself before but on a non-lab day I now get a lie in rather than the continuous 9am starts that I had last year so I’m not complaining too much!
So, the weekend before last I attended the Battle of Ideas at the Barbican as film crew no less! Having being pumped full of camera knowledge for the last two weeks the culmination of all my training was pretty stressful, especially as I had to get up at six both days…
The WORLDwrites crew was split up into four rooms to film the debates, though there were loads more going on all the time. The Barbican is vast– it’s like its own little city with streets of flats and two tower block included (it is my new ambition to live there) with open spaces, restaurants, multiple cinemas, fountains and millions of conference rooms and theatres.
So freshers came to a close and I jetted of to France for my birthday weekend at 7am after beach bop. We had hired out a castle in rural France all to ourselves…it was amazing! Then came back to London and back to reality. There is just so much content this year and it is a mission trying to stay on top of it all already…ahh!
We have done a bit of pharmacology, neuro, endo, haem and ANATOMY! I reaaaaally love anatomy this year. We are currently doing anatomy of head which is so interesting (mostly because you get to examine human brains..).
Last Thursday I went to a meeting of the London Forum for Science and Policy (LFSP). I didn’t really know what to expect from this, but it was amazing! It is a newly set-up student think -tank whose job will hopefully be to mediate conversation between scientific experts in their fields and politicians. Through it you can learn about writing policy papers, the way that policy is implemented and hopefully help policy makers get the evidence they need. In this meeting we were spoken to by Dr. Jason Blackstock a senior lecturer in Science and Global Affairs from UCL, who introduced to us just how vital it is to teach scientists the workings of policy.
For seconds, lectures are already interesting 😛 I finally found out what people are going on about when they say ‘centrifugal force isn’t real’ and how Newton’s laws can apply when we are not in an inertial reference frame. That has bugged me for years—being on a spinning planet flying across the solar system, how can we use F=ma if we are already always accelerating?
It turns out when you look down at the Earth from a stable—let’s say relative to the Sun, vantage point, you see things on the surface of Earth moving as you would from Newton’s laws.