Flat-pack physics

I had the great honour of being invited back to my alma mater at Keele University yesterday evening. Except this time I found myself on the other side of the lectern, speaking to the Keele Physics Centre about how the art of origami is having a profound impact on the way we build things in physics.

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I’m back. And I’ve nearly caught up on the last month’s sleep…

It’s been a while. I finally got my dissertation (on quantum cryptography in case you’re interested) completed and submitted on time, which led in rather nicely to a period of intense revision in time for my final exam (on general relativity and theoretical astrophysics) last week.

It’s always a surprise to me how I can study something all year and then, two weeks before the exam, fail to recall anything that I’ve read. Luckily, I was able to to rectify this – at least partially – in time for the exam. To be honest, though, I’m mostly just glad that it’s over. I’ve really enjoyed my studies*, but for the last few months I’ve been looking forward to having a bit more time to get on with some of the other things on my ‘to do’ list.

And here I am. Provided I’ve managed to pass everything (which I won’t find out until December), I now have somewhere in the region of an extra sixteen hours each week to play with.

But I also have a long list of things I should really have done by now but haven’t, including a load of article and other writing ideas, a dog that has never experienced the hills of Dartmoor and the Brecon Beacons and a kayak in the shed that hasn’t seen nearly as much use as it should have done. Oh, and a pitifully neglected blog.

So I guess it’s time to crack on…

* In case you didn’t know, for the last five years I’ve been studying part-time for a degree in physics with the Open University. Which has meant spending virtually all my lunch breaks, evenings and weekends reading about things like quarks, neutrinos and supermassive black holes. And which is amazing fun, but leaves very little time for anything else – like sleep.