Vienna. (Yes, the 80s song’s refrain did ring in my head as I arrived. No, I still have no clue what the lyrics mean.)
I am at the Erwin Schrodinger Institute (named after one of the co-discoverers of the modern Quantum theory upon which so much of our science and technology depends, in case you were wondering – he with the cat) for a while. There is a workshop here on the study of aspects of nuclear physics using holographic methods from string theory, a topic I’ve told you quite a bit about before. This is week one, and there are some longer survey talks that have been put on to set the scene and get everyone on the same page. It is an excellent way to start a workshop. As a bonus, present are some of my old friends from my postdoc days who I last saw in Madrid earlier this year, Karl Landsteiner (one of the organizers) and Esperanza Lopez, (you may recall me chatting a bit about those days in an earlier post), and, as icing on the cake, to my surprise Rob Myers, a friend and collaborator from even further back, is here too.
It is not just about old friends and colleagues, but new ones too. I’ve met and re-met a number of people, some of whom I’d known only as names on papers I’d read. Of course, the physics conversations have already been very good, as well as the catching up on gossip and so forth.
This all means at least one thing for sure. Good food. Karl and Esperanza have already taken some of us to an excellent restaurant so far, and Daniel Grumiller, who I met in Madrid earlier this year and who is based here, has promised what I’m sure will be a splendid meal of local cuisine later in the week. (Left: Digging into Somlauer Nockert, a tasty dessert of, I believe, Hungarian origin.)
Anyway, since I’ve been getting up at 5:30 am and getting to the breakfast room (where I am now) early, it is supposed to be my plan to work on the Project for the first part of each day until the first talk at 10:30 am. So I had better not sit here eating the tasty cakes and drinking coffee and blogging. Well, not for too much longer anyway…