Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Life in Brazil so far...
OK, so I'm finally settled in more or less (still waiting for my health insurance to take effect).
Physicswise, I gave my introductory talk on gauge/gravity correspondence and applications to QCD, and I'm starting to work with different people on issues like walking Technicolor, Sakai-Sugimoto models, D7-anti-D7 branes in Klebanov-Strassler backgrounds, superfluidity in D3-D7 backgrounds etc. I'm actually having fun down here.
Life however, is not as simple and laid-back as it used to be anymore. I still need to learn portuguese and make more friends. It takes a huge effort to move around in the city, traffic is messy and public transportation is, at best, chaotic. So hanging out with friends is virtually impossible, at the very least it takes very thorough planning, because I live up north (close to university) and all the nice restaurants, bars etc. are located in Zona Sul. Biking would be nice, but bikes are expensive and roads/traffic make biking a suicide mission. So instead, I'm trying to save some money (for traveling), and I try to go running or work out almost every day...
Living in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, where corruption, drug lords ruling favelas and police violence are a widespread problem is also kind of weird. The difference between rich and poor is much more pronounced than anywhere else I Have lived so far. I think it's a good experience that more people should share, but I couldn't imagine living here for a significant period of time. It's just depressing and frustrating!
on the other hand, the natural backdrop of the city is amazing. Beaches, hills, atlantic rainforest, you name it....the nature is still awesome. I will continue to explore Rio's surroundings!
So to conclude: I have a lack of social interaction and language skill but I am in a nature lover's paradise....trying to enjoy it for the one or two years I'm going to stay!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Rio de Janeiro: Erste Eindrücke
Nachdem ich mir vorgenommen habe, endlich meinen Blog wiederzubeleben, bietet sich mein Umzug nach Rio an, mal wieder ein paar Zeilen zu schreiben.
Rio ist eine riesige Stadt (knapp über 6 Mio. Einwohner im eigentlichen Stadtgebiet) in Südamerika. Das sagt schon vieles. Die Luft ist in vielen Vierteln relativ schlecht, der Verkehr ist, naja, freundlich ausgedrückt, chaotisch und die Schere zwischen arm und reich geht extrem weit auseinander. Im Vergleich zu anderen südamerikanischen Städten ist Rio aber erstaunlich sauber, zumindest in den besseren Wohnvierteln bzw. den touristischen Gegenden wie Copacabana und Ipanema, wo ich gestern abend drei Stunden lang spazierengehen war. Und landschaftlich ist die Stadt mit Meer und Zuckerhüten natürlich überwältigend. Ich war heute mit Behördengängen beschäftigt, was wohl auch noch eine Weile dauern wird. Der gemeine brasilianische Verwaltungsangestellte schickt einen ganz gern mal kreuz und quer durch die Stadt. Auf diese Weise war ich heute zuerst auf der Uni (Ilha do Fundao), um ein Bankkonto zu eröffnen, was aber nur mit CPF (Personalausweis) und Schreiben der Policia Federal (Bundespolizei) möglich ist, dann am Flughafen bei besagter Bundespolizei zwecks Registrierung, dann in der Innenstadt bei der Receita Federal, um den Perso zu beantragen. Das geht natürlich nicht so einfach. Zuerst muss man sich seine Identität auf der Post bestätigen lassen, dann kann man online einen Termin bei der Behörde ausmachen (mehrere Tage Wartezeit). Morgen ganz früh muss ich wieder zum Flughafen, um den ausgefüllten und mit Bildern versehenen Registrierungsantrag abzugeben. Stress! Ausserdem haben wir heute noch einen wireless Router gekauft. Ohne meinen Mitbewohner und Kollegen Marcus wäre ich sicherlich aufgeschmissen, weil eigentlich niemand englisch oder spanisch spricht bzw. sprechen will. Also muss ich wohl oder übel schnellstens portugiesich lernen.
Am Abend sind wir im Stadtteil Barra da Tijuca vorbeigefahren, um der Rush Hour zu entgehen. Barra ist einer der reichsten Stadtteile, wirkt sehr amerikanisch, mit grossen Autos, grossen Malls und moderner Architektur. Daneben, links und rechts, die allgegenwärtigen Favelas. Krasser Unterschied!
Nachtrag: Heute habe ich 6-7 Stunden auf der Dienststelle der Bundespolizei gewartet, bis endlich jemand meinen Paß zwecks Registrierung abgestempelt hatte und meine Daten und Fingerabdrücke aufgenommen waren. Morgen muss ich dann zur Receita, um mein CPF zu beantragen, der Termin, den Marcus für mich ausgemacht hat, ist 10:18 Uhr, pünktlich, bzw. was man in Brasilien darunter versteht.
Ausserdem ist mir aufgefallen, daß Autos und Elektronik aller Art teurer sind als in USA und Europa (wegen der hohen Steuern wahrscheinlich) und daß das Lebensmittelangebot vergleichbar ist mit dem nordamerikanischen (z.B. weiches Brot).
Thursday, April 17, 2008
It's been a long while since my last "real" blog entry...so let me give you a little update on what's been going on. I've been trying to finish writing my dissertation, called "Topics in type IIA flux compactifications", while still keeping up with some of my research projects. Those include finding finite temperature deformations (black holes) to the solutions we found in our last paper, searching for de Sitter vacua and inflation in our toroidal IIA orientifold models. Besides that I've been applying for postdoc positions which turns out to be a long and frustrating undertaking :) I will defend my thesis on May 9th and then spend the rest of the summer trying to finish some of the above-mentioned projects and also figuring out what I'm going to do afterwards.
One option that I particularly like would be CECS Valdivia in Chile, which is beautifully located on the coast 800 km south of Santiago de Chile. I like the idea of living and working in a spanish-speaking country for a while. En route, I could pay a visit to my friends from Hannover, Alexandra de Castro and Leonardo Quevedo who are back in Caracas, Venezuela. I would also like to visit friends and family in Germany over the summer, e.g. my brother who just moved to Munich.
By the way, at the time of writing there is a SWAT team outside of RLM, the physics building, tending to an ongoing aggravated robbery on the 11th floor. Crazy! And last night, my car got broken into in front of my house and my navigator got stolen!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Vail & Silverthorne
Hier gibts schonmal was auf daenisch vom Niels sein blog (der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod!).
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Long time, no post...
I got a little bit lazy writing blog entries. So, let me tell y'all what's new.
Firstly, our latest paper is finally out. So, right now, we're focusing on finding deSitter vacua and/or inflation in IIA orientifold models with general fluxes (or maybe even IIB).
For Thanksgiving, we were driving to Pagosa Springs, CO, in search of some snow. Unfortunately, the conditions weren't nearly as perfect as last year, however, we received about a foot of snow while we were there.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Climbing Mt. Rainier
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Perimeter Institute, August 2007
First of all, my apologies for not posting in a while now. I failed to report on my Mt. Shasta trip and the various weekend trips around Austin. On top of that, I also moved in with Esther, Robert, Hilda and Riita. Our house is in the Upper Eastside Area (78723) of Austin. So far, it's been very nice, but that's mostly because the day after I moved, I took a flight to Canada and I have been there ever since. Which brings me to the main theme of this post: The PPCS 2007, namely the Perimeter Particle Physics, Cosmology and String Theory Summer School in Waterloo, Ontario. Perimeter Institute was founded in 1999, funded by a donation of C$100 million from Blackberry creator Mike Lazaridis. It is a premier institution for research in theoretical physics and probably the most modern such institution in existence (albeit not the most famous one which is without a doubt the IAS in Princeton).
It provides a very nice setting for theorists to do research, featuring blackboards and espresso machines everywhere, an impressive (and slightly expensive) cafeteria called Black Hole Bistro, quiet meeting and discussion areas and so on and so forth.
There are also two pool tables, fire places, table tennis, squash court and fitness studio available on site. Unlike many places in the US right now, they seem to have a lot of funding to spend on long- and short-term visitors, postdocs, summer schools and conferences.
As for the actual school, I have to admit that this is probably the most effective summer school I've been to so far: The lectures are (mostly) very exciting and inspiring and well-balanced between theory and experiment/observation. Here's the reason why some call it the "PI slave camp": Each lecturer assigns a number (order 10) of problems to work on in groups of eight, the solutions of which will be presented by the groups on Saturday. It's a lot of fun (and work).
For further information in spanish, see Linda Uruchurtu's blog entry.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Austin in June
After finishing our latest paper, we are working hard on our other project involving new solutions that include the backreaction of flavor D5-branes in the Maldacena-Nunez background (at T=0 for now).
Also, we went canoing on the Colorado river near Webberville, TX. Some pics are available on Robert's flickr account.
Yesterday, I was listening to Manu Chao playing at Stubbs BBQ.
They are great!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Guadalupe Mountains NP and Carlsbad Caverns NP, May 19-21, 2007.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Bastrop State Park
Am Samstag war ich zwecks Training im Bastrop SP und bin den Lost Pines Trail gelaufen (8.5 Meilen = 13.7 km). Der Park ist sowohl für Läufer als auch für Radfahrer sehr zu empfehlen, ausserdem gibt es eine Verbindung zum Büscher State Park direkt nebenan.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Trip to Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Vail 04/19-04/23/2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Big Bend NP trip 04/13-04/15/2007
This weekend, I went on a camping/hiking trip to the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park together with Esther, Hilda and Alex Zavarsky (from Vienna). We arrived Friday afternoon and built our base camp at the Rio Grande Village campsite after hiking the Grapevine Hills trail. The BBQ was tasty and the nightsky pretty impressive. The next morning we packed our stuff (and decided to carry only one tent) and left for the Chisos Mountains Base, where we parked our car. We then hiked the Laguna Meadows trail to the South Rim, where will stayed for the night (@ campsite SW4). We went to sleep early after eating Ravioli and watching the sun set over the Santa Elena canyon from the South Rim. Sunday morning, we got up early, packed our stuff and trash and left for the Pinnacle Trail. On our way back to Chisos Base we made a nice detour to Emory Peak which is the highest peak in Big Bend NP (2534 m). The last part, i.e the summit block, requires some mild climbing and is actually pretty exposed. However, the views from the summit are definitely worth the effort. Altogether we hiked 12.6 miles on the South Rim Trail and another 2.4 miles to the summit of Emory peak. The Chisos Base (our starting point) is at an altitude of 1660 m, so that we had almost 900 m of differnce in altitude. Pictures will follow soon.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Kurztrip nach Europa, Vortrag in Dublin
Am 2. Maerz landete ich am Frankfurter Flughafen, wo mich meine Eltern abholten und nach Gochsheim fuhren. Einen Tag spaeter war dann die grosse Geburtstagsfeier meines Vaters in Schweinfurt (Hotel Ross). Bei der Gelegenheit war die Familie mal wieder komplett versammelt, was sehr interessant war. Am Montag, den 5. Maerz, gings dann weiter nach Dublin, wo ich am 8. meinen Vortrag ueber RHIC und AdS/CFT halten durfte.
Das DIAS (Dublin Institute for advanced studies) ist ein staatliches Institut fuer theoretische Physik und keltische Sprachen/Geschichte. Christian Saemann und Christian Roemelsberger sind dort momentan Postdocs, so dass es zum Wiedersehen mit den beiden kam. Dublin ist extrem teuer fuer europaeische Verhaeltnisse, obwohl es eigentlich nicht sonderlich gross ist (halbe Million Einwohner). Mein Bed & Breakfast in der Upper Leeson Street war Standard (ohne Luxus) hat aber trotzdem 60 Euro die Nacht gekostet.
Am Mittwoch waren wir am Trinity College zum Seminar. Abends waren wir in diversen Pubs, z.B. am Dienstag im International Pub, wo es Jazz gab und am Mittwoch im Temple Bar Viertel. Am Freitag gings zurueck nach Frankfurt und weiter nach Wuerzburg zu meinem Bruder. Am Samstagabend waren wir dann bei Merlin und Fonz in Bamberg, wo am Sonntag auf der wunderbaren Dachterrasse gegrillt wurde. Im Anschluss gings dann
ueber Schweinfurt und Wuerzburg per Zug weiter nach Muenchen zum Basti und von dort aus weiter nach Walchen (mit Basti und Christopher). Nach vier sehr anstrengenden Skitagen am Kitzsteinhorn gings dann mit der Bahn zurück nach Schweinfurt um zu packen. Leider stellte ich am Flughafen fest, daß sämtliche Flüge in den Nordosten der USA wegen Schneesturms abgesagt wurden. Morgen gibts dann einen neuen Versuch (Dienstag, 20. März).
Monday, February 19, 2007
Winter Park, CO 02/15-02/18/2007
I spend President's Day weekend in Winter Park, CO with Rosie and part of her family (Zach and Pily,
Zach and Jessica, Sarah and Adam, and Mark). We were flying out of Austin into Denver around 6.30 am on Thursday, picked up a rental car and made it up to Winter Park just on time to start snowboarding around 9.30 am. Rosie missed out because she wanted to meet up with the other guys first and settle in. Thus, I was riding alone on Thursday, checking out the ski area. Unfortunately, Timberline lift, which goes to the top of Parsenn bowl, was closed due to wind. Since Rosie's brother was supposed to join us on Friday, I had rented a motel room downtown (America's Best Value Inn), while the others were staying at a really nice condo at the Lakota district. However, a snow storm hit us on Friday, so that Benny never showed since they closed Berthoud Pass. Also, they closed down the lifts by 10.30, so that we only got two or three runs in. Those runs were awesome though, perfect powder conditions. But the winds were too strong for the lifts to operate. The next two days (Saturday and Sunday) were pretty intense, I was riding mostly with Zach, Mark and Adam, which turned out to be really exhausting :) Also, all the interesting runs were plastered with big ass moguls. Of course there were excellent tree runs, too. The Bowl opened back up Saturday and Sunday, however, quite surpringly, the snow of the previous day had already been gone; the wind had blown it away. Saturday was a lot less busy than expected since the pass was still closed, Sunday on the other hand turned out to be one of the most crowded days of the season. Rosie only got to ride on Saturday, fell on her face and got treated to a massage by her sister on Sunday. We came back Sunday night around midnight. I highly recommend Frontier Airlines for travel to and from Colorado, they have really good deals on flights ($200 AUS-DEN-AUS).
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Snowboarding trip to New Mexico
For the weekend, I was in New Mexico with Brendan. Thursday and Friday night we were staying with his friend, Liam, in Albuquerque. Friday morning, we drove up to Los Alamos to Pajarito Mountain, which is a small but very cool ski area. We had really good snow, namely several inches of powder. It was quite cold most of the day (20 degrees Fahrenheit), but at least we were almost alone on the mountain. We arrived around 10.30 am and stayed until almost 4 pm. Then we drove back to Albuquerque, where Liam had already cooked a classic (hot) New Mexican dinner for us. He hadn't been able to join us on Friday. On Saturday, we were driving up to Sipapu with Liam and his friends Jeff and Laura (who gave us a voucher for 2 free tickets for Angel Fire!). Sipapu is a small but pretty decent mountain with lots of powder and nice runs through the woods (Gamble Trees, Worm and Wormwood). They also have a nice little terrain park with boxes and kickers. After Liam and his friends headed home for Albuquerque to be able to watch the superbowl on Sunday, Brendan and I were driving north to Angel Fire. We stayed at the Econo Lodge in Eagle's Nest. After hanging out at the local bar (Lucky Lounge?) we walked home for a good night's sleep. We got up very early Sunday and arrived at Angel Fire resort at 9am to claim our free lift tickets. Angel Fire is kind of a strange resort, because it's mostly flat on one side. It took us a while to find the more challenging runs, but then we had a lot of fun. The weather was beautiful and the snow conditions very good. So we did Hari Kari, Hell's Bells, Angel's Plunge (the most fun, deep powder in the forrest) all day long. In our lunch break we watched the locals competing in the terrain park and half pipe. After a few afternoon beers, we were heading back to Albuquerque to comfort Liam whose team (the Bears) lost to the Colts.
On Monday we spent half a day at Santa Fe Ski Area before returning to the airport in Albuquerque
to catch our flight back to Austin. Santa Fe is pretty small and has only a few demanding runs. The snow conditions weren't optimal due to the sunshine, but it was good enough for a last half day in the snow.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Winter break pictures
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Back to the States...
After almost a month in good old Europe, I'm finally heading back to US and A.
I spent Xmas at my parents' place and then drove down to Walchen, Austria for 14 days of skiing and snowboarding. Unlike Austin, we didn't have a cold winter so far. But fortunately, there's always enough snow on the glaciers at least. Due to the fairly bad snow conditions, I rediscovered my skills on skis, and I took the opportunity to buy I used paair of Atomic Supercross skis from last season. After returning from Austria, I stayed a couple of days in Gochsheim and Würzburg before leaving for CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. There, we had some interesting introductory lectures at the RTN winter school. The highlight was a visit to the construction site of the LHC's CMS detector on the French side. It's huge! LHC is the biggest technological project ever attempted by humankind. While at CERN, I avoided the biggest storm over Europe in the past 7 or 8 years, Kyrill, which took about 30 lives. As a result, several train connections in Germany were closed so that I got a free taxi ride from Frankfurt to Würzburg on my way back.
Pictures will be available soon.....
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Joe Polchinski on Woit and Smolin
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Glider flying in Briggs, TX
This Saturday, some of Laurent's friends (including me) drove north on Hwy. 183 to Briggs, TX, to enjoy a special deal that the Faultline Flyers every first Saturday: $30 flights. It's not that exciting landscapewise (duh) but you learn a lot about flying a glider and catching thermos and how to find thermo spots by looking at clouds and structure/color of the ground. Pictures and movies are available ,too.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Thanksgiving in Pagosa Springs/ Wolf Creek
I had rented a nice cabin two miles outside of Pagosa Springs, CO and 24 miles away from Wolf Creek Ski Area. On Tuesday, the 21st of November, the first of two cars, with Morgann, Devin, Esther and myself, left Austin around 7.30pm for a 16 hour/839 miles drive to Colorado. Fortunately, Esther helped me out, driving for a couple of hours. We arrived Wednesday around noon, after a break in Santa Fe (in order to give Morgann a chance to send her homework to the TA). We unloaded the car, briefly talked to the management and headed for the mountain for a brief afternoon introductory snowboard lesson for Morgann, Devin and Esther. The snow was descent but not as good (i.e. powdery) as the week before, but that changed the following days after some snowfall. The same night, the other car with Brendan, Larsson, Millan and Doro arrived. They had left Austin early Wednesday morning. Thursday morning, we were all heading for Wolf Creek for some serious snowboarding/ skiing. I spent some time teaching Morgann and Devin at the beginner's (Nova) lift, while Esther took a lesson and the others were exploring the mountain.
Of course, I also got a chance to get some runs in, since Morgann and Devin were exhausted after a while :) Altogether, we spent 3 to 4 days (the other car left Sunday morning) boarding and skiing. It was a lot of fun. I especially liked the runs with Brendan, going fast through the woods and other fun terrain. I hope to repeat that soon. Morgann and Devin were suffering a little bit (and Devin got to stay with the ski patrol for one afternoon), but at the beginning it's tough for everybody, so hopefully they'll try it again soon to improve their skills. Some of us spent two evenings at the world-famous Pagosa hot springs, enjoying the warm to hot healing waters in freezing air temperatures. On top of that, we went for a brief dip into the river (it was really COLD), only to get back to 110 degrees Fahrenheit as quickly as possible. Besides the eight of us, we had a friend of Millan, Emil from Romania, stay with us for three nights. He is an experienced skier living in Albuquerque, NM, who is working for a company that is a contractor for the Air Force.
Sunday afternoon, after 3 hours on the mountain, we had to head back to Austin. We arrived Monday morning, the 27th of November, around 5.30 am, just in time to get ready for the day. I think it's safe to say that everbody enjoyed their stay and the yummy, homemade food at the Comardo house, so let's try to make it our Thanksgiving tradition for the years to come. Since my digital camera was broken and had to be repaired in Germany, I still rely on other people's pictures. I'll post a link as soon as possible.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Season opener Wolf Creek Nov 10-13, 2006
Due to El Nino, there is plenty of snow already at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Therefore I took my chance and checked the place out this weekend. Pagosa Springs is a really nice and quiet little mountain town featuring world famous hot springs.
Wolf Creek opened on October 27th and has already received 90 inches of snow including 12 inches Saturday night, so that the conditions on Sunday were close to optimal. Powderalarm!!! Just take a look at the pictures.
I'll be back soon, on Thanksgiving, with the crew.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Neuigkeiten aus Texas
I admit that writing blog entries has not been a priority lately. I was too busy doing other things...like getting my car fixed, organizing our snowboarding trip for Thanksgiving,
watching LOST and working on various physics projects. Our flux compactification collaboration has a new member, Daniel Robbins, who is currently a postdoc here in the Theory Group at UT Austin.
For the other project (with Elena Caceres and Lorenzo Mannelli), calculation of hydrodynamical transport coefficients in a N=1 SQCD-like theory (with dynamical quarks!), I am presently trying to learn more about gauge-invariant perturbation theory.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Snowboard season 2006/2007
Since the first trip of the year is coming up soon (Thanksgiving) and everybody is getting excited, I thought I provide I little snowboard video clip for your distraction.
The YTD snowfall at Wolf Creek Ski Area is already 41 inches. Yay!
Update 2006/10/16: 49 inches = 125 cm
Update 2006/10/18: 57 inches = 144 cm
Friday, September 08, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
News von unserem Roadtrip
Ich hatte in letzter Zeit leider nicht viel Gelegenheit, mich um meinen Blog zu kümmern, da hier nicht jedes Motel wireless Internet access hat. Im Moment sind wir in Santa Barbara, CA in einem Coffee Shop und suchen nach einem Motel fü,r heute Nacht. Nachher werden wir hoffentlich auch nochmal zum Strand schauen und zum Campus der UCSB samt KITP, wofür ich evtl. nächstes Jahr ein Stipendium für ein halbes Jahr Studienaufenthalt bekommen werde (schau mer mal...). Für ausführlichere Berichterstattung kann ich den Blog vom Fonz empfehlen. Bilder gibts auf meiner Flickr Seite.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Webberville Canoe & BBQ
Robert, Jens, Esther, Steffi, Doreen, Andreas, Laurent, Loni, Jason, Ali and myself.
Update 08/15: Mehr Bilder!!!
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Camping in Colorado Bend State Park
Monday, July 31, 2006
Canoeing on the San Marcos River
TG Canoe Livery outside of San Marcos. They take their job very seriously and are very organized...highly recommended.
Afterwards, we went to Salt Lick for some BBQ.
On a different note, Lubos Motl mentioned me today on his weblog.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
My third job
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Inks Lake State Park
Diesen Sonntag waren wir im Inks Lake State Park zum schwimmen und chillen. Mit von der Partie waren Robert, Jens, Thomas, Katie, Morgann, Esther, Doro, Steffi und Doreen und ich. Der Park umfasst das südliche Ende des Lake Buchanan. Leider ist immer sehr viel los am Wochenende. Allerdings gibt es dort bis zu 45 ft. (ca. 15m) hohe Felsen (Devil's waterhole), von denen aus man ins Wasser springen kann (Fotos folgen!)...das sieht von unten nicht so spektakulär aus, aber wenn man dann mal oben steht (und nicht mehr zurück kann), ist es dann doch net so trivial...es ist sauglatt weil naß und man sieht nur den Felsvorsprung, über den man irgendwie drüberspringen soll :) Einzige Methode: Augen zu und durch (zum Gück hab ich wenigstens keine Höhenangst). Außer mir hat sich dann nur noch Morgann getraut zu springen...Respekt!
Monday, July 17, 2006
Kanufahren am Samstag, 15. Juli 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
World Cup is over....
Now that the world cup is over, there is suddenly more time again to concentrate on other things:
Besides being a TA for the Uteach Physics of Sensors class (my students are actually high school teachers with a couple of years of experience), I work a second job (in the morning, from 8-12) moving around lab equipment in Prof. Ken Gentle's Plasma lab.
Physicswise, I'm getting interested in two new topics, namely
1) Application of attractor explosions (hep-th/0605047) to Higgs phenomenology and possibly other things like neutron stars etc. (with Uday Varadarajan)
2) Using AdS/CFT to calculate transport properties of the strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma produced in RHIC collisions (with Lorenzo Mannelli)
Friday, July 07, 2006
Bilder vom denkwürdigen 4. Juli
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
MAD League upset with hero for defying laws of physics
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Nach dem Sieg gegen Schweden sind wir mit 2 (!) Autos komplett beflaggt durch die Innenstadt gefahren. Die Amis wussten nicht so recht, was sie davon halten sollten :) Die Mexikaner schon. Die sind jetzt übrigens alle für Deutschland....
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Mansfield Dam Park
Gestern waren wir nach dem letzten Fussballspiel (USA-Italien 1:1 bzw. 9:10 hehe) noch schwimmen und grillen und zwar im Mansfield Dam Park am Lake Travis. Timm und Andreas waren beim Tauchen während der Rest der Gruppe (die zwei Belgier, Maud, Cecile, Chris, Esther, Jenny, JP und ich) beim schwimmen waren. Laurent hat unterdessen unser Essen bewacht :) Später kamen dann auch noch Laetitia und Jared nach. Unser ursprünglicher Plan ist leider dem Gewitter am Morgen zum Opfer gefallen. Mal schauen, on nächstes Wochenende was geht, dummerweise :) sind ja da die Achtelfinalspiele angesetzt.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Review article on the landscape and and update on our progress
Via Peter Woit, I found this review article on the string theory landscape by fellow graduate student Joseph Conlon, which is not available on the arXiv.
Also, check out Wati Taylor's talk at the Google Labs.
Meanwhile, Timm and I are still trying to construct a realistic (whatever that means) Type IIA T^6/Z_4 orientifold model with fluxes featuring standard model or MSSM-like gauge groups (or some extension, like a Pati-Salam model) on intersecting D6-branes. To this end, we are trying to include "metric fluxes" in our construction, which effectively help to get higher rank gauge groups through compensating some of the other flux contributions to the RR tadpole conditions in favor of more D6-branes.
Switching on metric fluxes is tantamount to compactifying on twisted tori (or nilmanifolds). Therefore we need to understand these constructions in detail. Another problem is to understand the spectrum of stable D-branes (BPS and non-BPS with torsion charges) in this background, in order to construct a consistent intersecting brane model. This means we have to study the twisted equivariant KR-theory (Real K-theory) for our model.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
New tool for navigating the arXives
There is a new tool that makes using the arXives more efficient: The IOP Eprintweb. You can create your own account and personalize it. For example, you can set up email alerts, store your favorite papers or just use the advanced search options. Very nice!
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Canoeing on the Guadalupe River
This past Sunday, a group of 18 (!) people gathered at Kerby Lane/ RLM to drive down to Spring Branch, TX to do some serious (haha) canoeing on the Guadalupe river near New Braunfels. (Almost) all of us had a lot of fun...I'll provide some pictures soon (as soon as I can find somebody to read out my SD card, since my waterproof camera wasn't so waterproof after all). Anyway, we rented 9 canoes from Bigfoot Canoe Rentals (see also here) to do the 5 mile trip from Specht's to Weidner's campground (?). We only did 5 miles this time because the water level was low and the river didn't really flow, so we were pretty slow.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Keep Austin weird
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Kanufahren am Samstag
Vor nicht allzu langer Zeit hatte ich die Idee, mal Kanufahren zu gehen. Kurz darauf hab ich einen Artikel in der Study Breaks gelesen, der mich auf Rising Phoenix Adventures in Bastrop aufmerksam gemacht hat. Samstag morgen gings dann mit 2 Autos und 6 Leuten (Pete, Thomas, Cynthia, Jeremy, me and Cynthia's friend whose name I forget) los. Wir absolvierten die 14 Meilen Strecke auf dem Colorado River zwischen Utley (FM 969) und Bastrop (Fisherman's Park) in 5 Stunden. Das hatte hauptsächlich damit zu tun, daß wir eines der beiden Kanus geschrottet haben und zwar indem wir zuerst einen Baum und dann einen Felsen gerammt haben, um den sich das Plastikboot dann natürlich rumwickeln musste. Für den Rest der Strecke hatten wir fast keine Kontrolle mehr über das Boot und sind dementsprechend oft im (warmen) Wasser gelandet. Jedenfalls hatten wir jede Menge Spass...
Thursday, May 18, 2006
So, jetzt hab ich also überraschenderweise doch noch eine Stelle als TA für den Sommer bekommen und zwar für folgenden Kurs:
PHY s386K, Instructors Dr. Sitz, Dr. Bengtson, and Dr. De Lozanne, TAs - Alfred Lee & Matthias Ihl
PHY s386K (Physics of Sensors) course is part of the UTeach program. The
enrollment is made up of students in a masters program for Science and Math
Monday, May 15, 2006
The last couple of weeks have been quite turbulent, keeping me from writing up a blog entry. My parents came to town for 5 days (end of April) and I showed them some new places that I have discovered around Austin in the past year. For example, we went to Oasis on Lake Travis and to Mongolian Grille downtown. Both places are very nice. Also, we went to Lockhart to eat the best BBQ (brisket, rips and pork chops) in Texas at Kreuz Market.
I also went to see "She wants revenge" at Stubb's with Laurent and Nadege.
My next visitor was Artur Widera, who is about to finish his PhD in Mainz (working on ultracold atoms with Immanuel Bloch) and is touring the US to figure out where to do his first postdoc.
Mark Raizen of UT actually made him an offer to return to UT.
I'll try to provide some pictures soon. UPDATE: Robert has some pictures of our trip to Lockhart and my last party on his Flickr account.
On the physics front, Timm and I are trying to extend our orientifold model to include stacks of intersecting D6-branes that support phenomenologically interesting gauge groups.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Weekend camping trip to Padre Island National Seashore
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
New paper available on arXiv
Our paper on moduli stabilization for a type IIA T^6/Z_4 orientifold model will be available soon. Have fun reading ;)
In other news, I spend last weekend camping (in Bastrop) and jet-skiing (on Lake Travis) with Stephanie....a lot of fun. I wasn't aware of the fact that you can actually reach 45 mph on a wakerunner. Impressive.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Viaje a Mexico -- Monterrey, Parque Nacional Cola de Caballo
Monday, March 27, 2006
Spring Break in Germany/Austria
Nachdem meine Eltern in Ramsau am Dachstein Urlaub gemacht haben, haben wir die Gelegenheit beim Schopf gepackt, und uns auf der Xandlalm in Hinterglemm zum Mittagessen getroffen und später nochmal auf einen Absacker in der Hecheralm.
Schade, dass es schon wieder vorbei ist und ich freu mich schon auf den nächsten Dezember ;)
Hab ich eigentlicb schon erwähnt, dass der neue Rekord aufs Naglköpfel bei 22 Minuten steht? (Ich sag nur: Schleppliftspur).
Friday, March 03, 2006
It's about time...