Tag: Reflections

science / science - 2 months ago

The power of being able to say “I can explain that”

Caltech condensed-matter theorist Gil Refael explained his scientific raison dê’tre early in my grad-school career: “What really gets me going is seeing a plot [of experimental data] and being able to say, ‘I can explain that.’” The quote has stuck...

science / science - 4 months ago

Space-time and the city

I felt like a gum ball trying to squeeze my way out of a gum-ball machine.& I was one of 50-ish physicists crammed into the lobby—and in the doorway, down the stairs, and onto the sidewalk—of a Manhattan hotel last December. Everyone had rec...

science / science - 5 months ago

Balancing the tradeoff

So much to do, so little time. Tending to one task is inevitably at the cost of another, so how does one decide how to spend their time? In the first few years of my PhD, I balanced problem sets, literature reviews, and group meetings, but at the de...

science / science - 5 months ago

I wish you a Charles River

Three-and-a-quarter years ago, I was on a subway train juddering along the tracks. I gripped my suitcase tightly and—knowing myself—likely gripped a physics paper, too, so that I could read during the trip. I was moving, for my postdoctoral fellowsh...