100 years ago, Albert Einstein published what is considered the foundational work of his theory of “General Relativity,” a scientific theory of space and time. Tomorrow, two large experiments and collaborations – LIGO and VIRGO – will present the status of their searches for one of the last undiscovered predictions of General Relativity: travelling distortions in spacetime called “gravitational waves.” Rumors are flying, hopes are high, and I am just waiting for their scientific papers.
Last week was a whirlwind of a week. I attended an awards banquet on Tuesday night for professors nominated for the SMU Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence awards, only to then have it revealed I had also been selected for a more significant honor. I delivered my Godbey Lecture on Thursday to celebrate 100 yeards of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. I hosted my first STEM “Facul-Tea” time on Friday. And… I caught my third cold or flu in two months. What a week.
This week was a busy one. My introductory physics course is rolling along and so is Honors Physics, whose membership suddenly swelled. Jodi traveled to Washington D.C. for an American Physical Society leadership event, and I guest-lectured for her Modern Physics class. There were lots of meetings and a fair bit of paper writing for my physics analysis. I held my first undergraduate “Physics Tea Times.” And, in less than a week is my public Godbey Lecture celebrating the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s publication of the General Theory of Relativity.
This was the best start to a semester that I have had in a long time. My first day of class was Tuesday, and my course has hit a major milestone this semester. My ATLAS colleagues and I are making excellent progress on analysis work and a conference note for the Moriond Conference in March. I started hosting “Tea Times” in my office this week, now that it is a comfortable space for work and interaction. Our department was proud to see another graduate student complete the qualification milestone that puts then into formal Ph.D. candidacy.