Today was spent on all sorts of physics. I do enjoy a good conference! I think I’ve become inured to having no idea what’s going on in a presentation at this type of conference. I remember at my first big conference, I felt so overwhelmed. Now I just don’t mind anymore 😉
There was nothing that really jumped out at me today. The fact that there doesn’t seem to be any major announcements occuring this conference probably didn’t help. The highlight of the day was Steven Weinberg’s opening keynote address, where he covered 100 years of subatomic physics. (Weinberg is a well respected Nobel laureate, for those of you who weren’t aware!). I heard a number of talks today, most of them on General Relativity. Most of the bigger stuff, I was already of, which surprised me a little. Stuff on numerical relativity, dark matter, gravitational wave detection and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was mostly old news to me, for the most part. Individual contributed talks on specialized research was more random, but that’s the way it goes. I guess I’m starting to feel like more of a member of the community. There were a number of presentations on a new way of visualising the dynamics of general relativity (Kip Thorne’s tidal tendexes and vortexes [sic]), which was interesting and cute, but I didn’t see it as something that was ultimately particularly special. I’ve met a bunch of people that I meet at this conference every year, which I have enjoyed.
This evening, I’ve just worked on pulling together my presentation for tomorrow morning. I had worried that I didn’t have enough to say, but now that it’s basically written, I’m feeling much better. Indeed, I’m going to have to speak quickly to get through everything. However, I am satisfied that I’m not falling into any of the typical presentation traps – none of my slides have too many words on them, and I’m not trying to explain anything in detail, so it should be understandable to a large audience. Talks that are just pages of text on the wall are so annoying…
The other highlight of my day? My colleague and I found a frozen yoghurt self-serve place that charges by weight. Soooooo good!