Friday, 31 October 2008

Off to Oxford and pondering diffraction

The OxiMUN starts tomorrow and I'm hoping to have a bit of fun and meet some interesting people. Besides that, I have some interesting diffraction phenomena to investigate and explain. When linearly polarised light is incident on a reflective diffraction grating, it does not go onto all orders of diffraction in the same proportions as does unpolarised light. When the linear polarization incident upon the grating is rotated, one can visibly see some orders losing intensity and others gaining intensity. Generally, negative orders go one way (all increase or decrease to various extents) and the positive orders go the other way (again, variable). Its not immediately obvious to me why this should happen, and it'll be interesting to see if I can figure it out Buddha ishtyle. He would appreciate a challenge like this, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, I'm to debate a New Space Treaty at Oxford. I have the vaguest of ideas about what has gone before this, and strong opinions on the subject, which generally makes for an entertaining combination :D lets see how much I can bluff among the best in the country. Well, more or less the best, I think I must be the only person geeky enough to voluntarily opt for the Space Commission !

And I find that my mental abilities have degraded alarmingly in many respects ! I am not as agile as I used to be, and simple calculations and integrals etc which I would not have had to think about at all once upon a time now seem to vex me. This obviously cannot be allowed to continue and so I have already spent lots of money and no time (typical !) on a possible solution - The Art and Craft of Problem Solving by Paul Zeitz. I intend to work through the book and see if my brain can pick up the ropes and go the old Indian rope trick again :P lame.

And on top of all this, I'm supposed to be looking into control systems for a lunar lander and lunar bus even. (Go Frednet !) I have the books, I just need to spend some time and learn some stuff ! and that's what I mean when I say Ive lost the spark and the sheen a bit, the zest for a long tough problem solving and concept crunching session has more or less been evicted from my personality by the mind numbing influence of the Internet, and instead of doing the wonderful stuff I could be doing, I spend time refreshing the same 3-4 pages over and over again for hours.

My thesis is beginning to look up too, I have some nice mask design to do now, and then some modeling and fabrication side by side. The modeling is for some innovative new devices and the fabrication is for an old device I had tried over the summer but it dint really reach a full and satisfactory conclusion. Apart from that there is all the totally fascinating slow-light stuff which I just adoore, and I intend to get into that majorly. Plus there are the awesomely exotic essays I have to do for the Lab course and the "Experimental Quantum Physics at the Limits" course (dont you just love the "At the Limits" part of it ! thats what made me take the course :D )

So all in all, life looks good :)

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