Thursday, January 21, 2010

Leaving Bombay for six months

I am leaving Bombay tomorrow for approximately six months. I will be going to Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad via my native place in Assam. I am hopeful of doing some good work there with the phenomenology group there. I have been roaming a lot nowadays attending schools, workshops; may be I should settle down and do some work and wind up my PhD within next two years. I don't know how tough that will be but I have no choice. I am also thinking of not attending the SERC main school this time, but not decided yet. PRL is a nice place, and they are providing me office, good accommodation and library facilities. Hope to have a great time there. But of course will miss IIT campus and my favourite Hostel 13.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Horrible weather

I came back from Mahableshwar after attending the Asian Winter School (bunking the last day of course). The weather there was very pleasant, neither too cold nor too hot. Just after coming down from there I started feeling the heat. I could not believe Bombay can be so hot in January. Although I have been staying in Bombay since last three and half years, I don't remember if the weather was as hot as this in the month of January. I am sweating like hell, and the strawberries which I bought from Mahableshwar thinking that the cold weather will help me take those to my home which is three thousand kilometers away. I am leaving Bombay day after tomorrow, I just hope at least some of the strawberries will be in good shape till then. I always defended life in Bombay talking about the weather here, but looking at the present condition, I don't think I was correct in saying Bombay weather is the best in India.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Second Phase of the Asian Winter school

The second phase of the Winter school here at Mahableshwar started yesterday, which was a really hectic day (with the schedule from 9 am to 9 45 pm) after the tiring trip and banquet party on Sunday. A couple of new lectures have started: AdS-CFT and hydrodynamics by Shiraz, Finite temperature aspects of AdS-CFT by L. Yaffe, HEP Phenomenology by John Ellis (CERN). Shiraz has started with elementary fluid dynamics and after giving two lectures on it, he has moved to the gravity aspects of it. The best part in his lectures is that he never skip anything, he tries to explain each and every point thoroughly no matter how long it takes. Although I never attended his lectures before, I became a great fan of him after I watched his string theory lecture videos (upto part 7) in our Physics department as I mentioned before in my blog. I am not being able to follow Yaffe's lectures however, many of the technical terms he is using are unfamiliar to me. The lectures by John are however too elementary for me since I have been working on particle physics phenomenology for last one year. But still I can't sleep during his lectures, in fact nobody can. He keeps the whole audience alive through his amazing sense of humor and the funny animations in his slides. The school is going to end day after tomorrow; it was really fun both from academic as well as non-academic point of view :P

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Awesome Banquet Dinner

Last night we had a banquet dinner at Fountain Hotel, Mahableshwar where the Asian Winter school is currently going on. It was really amazing.....the food, the drinks and specially the dance floor they arranged. Although they did not have any music to play other than typical bollywood dance numbers, nobody complained however. Forget about few Indians on the dance floor including me, the Japanese, Koreans, Chinese danced like anything. Many of the people on the dance floor had no idea what they were doing..I was dancing like I did on new year's eve in Delhi which my cousins said was really crazy. There were many funny things going on in the stage apart from the dance. Among them, there was a Chinese guy who was wearing a lungi which he bought from Kerala, and while dancing the lungi was falling down again and again :D. Some of the Japanese were dancing such a way that it looked like Kung Fu. The best part was the last ten minutes of our crazy dancing when we requested Kenneth Intriligator (Professor, UCSD) to come to the stage and to our surprise he did not refuse. He gave us good company till the end. It was really enjoyable and one of the best experiences in my life. I never thought I would someday dance like this in front of so many people from abroad. Sometimes I get confused whether I am dreaming all these things or did it really happen. Anyway, thanks to ICTS once again for such an awesome banquet dinner.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Asian Winter School so far

I am attending the 4th Asian Winter School on strings, particles and fields. So far its really great from both academic and non-academic point of view. The location (Mahableshwar) is really cool, the hotel we are staying as well as the food are superb. The lecturers are also great. Andrew Strominger (Harvard U.) has given four lectures on string theory and black holes (Kerr-CFT correspondence to be precise), Antoniadis (CERN) talked about string theory and experimental signatures, Harman Verlinde (Princeton U) is giving a set of lectures on string phenomenology (solving Hiererchy problem, AdS-CFT, F-theory model building etc), Liam McAllister (Cornell U.) has given four lectures on inflationary cosmology and tomorrow he will probably address the issue of inflation within the framework of string theory, Kenneth Intriligator (UCSD) is giving lectures on susy breaking. There are couple of more interesting courses coming up. Although some lectures are too technical for someone like me who has very limited string theory background, but overall my experiences have been good. The organizers are leaving a free slot almost everyday from 3 pm to 6 30 pm for hiking around Mahabaleshwar. Its really fun. Hope the coming days will be even more fun filled. Will keep updated!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

WHEPP XI was awesome!

I am leaving Ahmedabad tonight although WHEPP XI is not over yet. It will be going on till 12th Jan, but since I have to attend the Asian Winter School at Mahabaleshwar from 11th Jan, I have to leave tonight so that I can catch the bus arranged by ICTS from Mumbai International airport to Mahabaleshwar tomorrow. Although during first two days of WHEPP I was kind of giving up with the hectic schedule, now I think I am gonna miss the last three days. It was fun as well as very useful. I came to know about so many different areas of work as well as some unsolved crucial problems. I could think of some new ideas also which I don't know how much do make sense. The best part was attending the talks/discussions by so many famous people working on HEP phenomenology like K.S. Babu, Manfred Lindner, He (the person behind type 3 seesaw), D.P.Roy, Rohini Godbole, George W.S. Hou, Amol Dighe, Thomas Hambye, Silvia Pascoli, Anjan Joshipura and many others. It was really great interacting with many of them. PRL, Ahmedabad made really good arrangements for the participants leaving no options for us to complain about. Hats off to the organizers! I also got the permit to work in PRL for next six months with Prof Utpal Sarkar and my friend Patra which is a big relief for me after the frustrating semester I spent in IIT Bombay without doing any work. I will be coming back to PRL in February first week since I will be going home after the winter school. Will update about the school next time I sing into the blogosphere.