December 17, 2003

What do I know ?

What do I know ? Not a lot. My head is full of phlegm and aching from the trials of negotiating the transport system between London and Oxford. Nothing new there, but compounded by stumbling onto a northbound - rather than southbound - Bakerloo line train. Lack of concentration. Of course I should have been on the Circle line but that was broken, as per usual.

Sometimes I wonder what I really need to know. Today I took my photos into the department and people were very positive and enthusiastic about them which is nice. I suppose they are the first sign that I do more than just poke around asking questions, that I produce something approximating art. So in a sense I could spend my time taking photos and pass myself off as an artist in residence without really knowing a lot about Astrophysics.

But that would be missing the point. There is something really fascinating about the offices and the people in them. They all have very distinct personalities - the offices and the people - and the light is often very beautiful. So a degree of understanding what the people are interested in, working on etc helps to get the best results. And that involves talking to people.

The point is though that I want to know about Astrophysics, to understand it. It's inspiring and a lot of it is pretty way out. There's a part of me that seems to need to understand how things work and you can't get much bigger than the workings of the universe - or smaller than quantum mechanics. This is where they meet so I'm in the right place. That's why I wanted to come here.

It's tough though. Today I went to a lecture and really it was a bit above my head. So much maths. So do I learn the maths ? Do I need to ? Probably not but I'd like to and feel a certain compulsion to. I get the impression that there are some things you can only really understand through the maths.

So it's nearly christmas and everyones off to their parts of the world for a few weeks, term is over. It's been really enjoyable and the people have been very warm and welcoming. A good time to piece together what I know. When the phlegm goes it'll be a lot easier.

Jannas off to NYC to live and work and we never got to build the little universes.

Posted by Jem Finer at December 17, 2003 10:16 PM