Amsterdam! I’m here for a workshop for a while. It is on string theory – many aspects – and so the mix of people is a good one overall, with conversations ranging from high energy physics, the LHC (including the Higgs announcement at CERN expected tomorrow) and black holes all the way over to condensed matter and various kinds of exotic physics one can do in the laboratory in that context. It should be an excellent time here… It is good to be back in the city after over a decade, and to catch up with a number of friends and colleagues in the field. I also want to properly explore the city this time, not having done that much exploration last time. (Photo above is a snap taken of the lovely moon that came out last night, with the Amstel and accompanying reflections and so forth… Was pretty to see.)
I’ve been trying to read some notes in preparation for working on a draft of a
paper, sitting in an excellent cafe not far from my hotel, and embarrassingly I’ve been nodding off, due to my jet lag. It is a bit too cosy and warm in here…. Hmm, I’ve just been informed by someone that there was whispering in the kitchen of the cafe just now about whether I was “the guy from The Universe”. Somehow they’d decided that I was since I was looking at lots of algebra… I suppose that makes sense, but I hope they don’t think that what I’m working on is so intensely boring that I’m falling asleep into it…!! (in fact, I’m quite excited about it since we’ve found a whole bunch of interesting solutions that’ll be useful for some of the condensed matter applications I’ve been talking about…. Bt I think I’ll hold off telling you anything more until we’re done writing…) Well, it is nice that The Universe has a strong audience over here too. I ran into some other fans on the way over here too this weekend, at Newark airport… If any of you are reading, thanks for watching the show!