time reversal

the stories of four physicists separated by the whims of fate

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Alex visits California

September 28th, 2009 No Comments

My brother came out to Berkeley this past weekend, so I determined it was my duty to show him some of the awesome things about California. Day 1: Alex showed up around 2pm, looking completely exhausted and really sick of traveling. Clearly the only solution to this was beer-lunch, so we went to Jupiter for […]

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I passed!

September 21st, 2009 No Comments

I passed my prelims! After 4 weeks of studying physics that I’d forgotten years ago, I’m finally done. The oral exams were interesting–I totally rocked the classical exam, but barely passed the modern exam. I was amused by this because at MIT I spent 3 semesters on quantum and 1 day on lagrangians. In any […]



September 4th, 2009 No Comments

I spent the last 2 weekends doing written prelims, which are basically 6 hour exams on all of undergrad physics. I found out today that I passed both of them (barely–the classical by 3 points and the modern by 7 points), so now I get to move on to taking oral exams. I have 2 […]



August 28th, 2009 No Comments

I got an e-mail today confirming that I have PQed once again for the summer season at Pole. I’ll be leaving the states Nov. 7, 2009 and am tentatively scheduled to return on Jan. 21, 2010, though that could be earlier if all goes well, or later if things go poorly. You can (and should!) […]


New house!

August 4th, 2009 1 Comment

I moved into my new house this weekend. So far we’ve built a wall, hung 2 doors, replaced the hot water pipe to the bathroom sink (yay for blow-torches in tiny crawl spaces!), weed-whacked the entire yard, pruned all of the plants, pick-axed out a garden plot, acquired furniture for ourselves and the common spaces, […]

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Tuolumne Meadows (and stuff)

July 26th, 2009 No Comments

It’s been a long time since I’ve had time to post here. Basically, I’ve just been working WAY too hard. Luckily though, I managed to get away last weekend with Tucker and my climbing partner (Kevin) to do some climbing in Tuolumne Meadows, which is in Yosemite National Park. We arrived Thursday night, and there […]

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Journey to the end of the night

June 21st, 2009 No Comments

I got an e-mail a few weeks ago from a friend who is spending 9 months isolated from the real world, encouraging me to spend one night running through it. Last night, there was a street game in Oakland, which was basically a giant game of tag mixed with a running race mixed with a […]


The Black Dewar

June 17th, 2009 No Comments

Almost exactly 3 months ago today I posted that I started taking apart my cryostat to refurbish it and make it bad-ass. It’s finally done, and it works really well. I can optically test 160 detectors at a time at 250mK. I presented the preliminary tests from our first optical cold run at our collaboration […]

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It’s official

June 16th, 2009 1 Comment

I’m sitting in a meeting in Chicago right now, and about 5 minutes ago I got an e-mail with the subject line “Grantee Medical/Dental Checklist Email” from the United States Antarctic Program. It looks like I’m going to pole again. Almost everyone else who knows how to run the telescope camera is graduating, so I’m […]

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The rules of Science

June 10th, 2009 No Comments

I have an undergrad working with me, and I’ve been slowly teaching him the rules of science. So far, we have experienced the following rules in action together: 1. Nothing works on the first try. 2. Everything breaks at least once. 3. Every way it can break it will break. And today, we learned a […]

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