me, thinking out loud…

Posts tagged ‘ps’

PS Ramblings

Note: This post isn’t of much use to others (may be the same with other posts too.. :P)
Just a few ramblings of the 2 month stay @ Delhi…. (allegedly doing a Project!)

  • All Scientists ain’t “Scientists”
  • There’s nothing BIG about Research papers… [You can do all sorts of things in there… something like the TOI comparison of Sachin and the Sensex… ;)]
  • The “Hacker Culture” ought to be adopted (or atleast something closer to it..) at *Research* organisations.. [I thoroughly hated the hypocritical behaviour of the people at my PS.. ]
  • Of all the people, the guy I found closest to being a *hacker* [w.r.t technical skills] was the guy operating the Photocopier… [this could well be a case of poor observation or under-estimation, but that’s what I feel right now.. ]
  • Perfectionists manage to be imperfect at the *perfect* time…
  • Need to develop the ability to *talk* crap!(not just type in.. ) [comes in quite handy.. ]
  • I loved EBERing all these days.. got to keep it going. [jaanees.. need some help in this.. ;) ]
  • Loooong walks are great fun… [anybody game??]
  • I ain’t a very Creative being…
  • I ought to learn to be more tolearant to using Windows, I guess.. [It was a real pain using it…]
  • My Will power (for doing stuff that I hate.. ) has tremendously increased!! Thanks to the one and only….
  • Any project that’s not *my* choice will inevitably turn out to be a Projest [can’t say much abt the others.. ;)]
  • Hostel in Coll is ulti cool.. don’t ever dare compare any other one with it..
  • and found this cool pic… [I guess I need to follow him.. ;)]

Dogs n Blogs

ps: there’s a lot more… but it ain’t coming up here.. :P


Busy without Business…

Yes, that’s what my PS’s been like.. It hasn’t turned out to be as great a learning experience as one would imagine it to be.. [or atleast I hoped, it would be…] On the contrary, its turning out to be bad…

Nowadays, there’s a certain danger of the same thing happening, even in the famous field of physics. I was shocked to hear of an experiment being done at the big accelerator at the National Accelerator Laboratory, where a person used deuterium. In order to compare his heavy hydrogen results to what might happen with light hydrogen, he had to use data from someone else’s experiment on light hydrogen, which was done on a different apparatus. When asked why, he said it was because he couldn’t get time on the program (because there’s so little time and it’s such expensive apparatus) to do the experiment with light hydrogen on this apparatus because there wouldn’t be any new result. And so the men in charge of programs at NAL are so anxious for new results, in order to get more money to keep the thing going for public relations purposes, they are destroying — possibly — the value of the experiments themselves, which is the whole purpose of the thing. It is often hard for the experimenters there to complete their work as their scientific integrity demands.

When I first read this {from Feynman’s Cargo Cult Science [Adapted from a Caltech commencement address in 1974]}, I couldn’t quite figure out what or how exactly things are happening and what exactly Feynman meant by “losing the value of experiments”. But, now I know.. thanks to my PS. A lot of stuff that goes on here..[at least from what I can see..] is quite similar to (in fact worse than) this. PS’s been absolutely disappointing.. I don’t think I’ve learnt anything here that’s worth the effort of spending my hols (too), away from home… [except for Awe-TEM] I don’t think I will be taking back anything with me.. other than may be, a knowledge of stuff that I shouldn’t learn, stuff that I should keep away for the rest of my life…

Feynman is saying this to *me*, Right now!

… I have just one wish for you — the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.

Summer or Awe-TEM!! Whatever… Forever

Writing from Delhi, doing my PS at NPL! One would imagine, that I am here enjoying myself; that I am enjoying thoroughly the exposure I am getting to the world of Physics at a Research Level; that I am spending each moment, inspired. But things haven’t been so rosy here… until today! [All this while I had been only doing a lot of mechanical labor, very unhappily…]

Its around 12 noon, when I get a call, in the lab, from my guide asking me to come down to room no. so and so. I had no idea what that room had, or why I had been called. I enter and I am lead to another room inside. I enter and there’s a huge machine. (first look, reminded me of Vickers’ Hardness Testing Machine, that we had in Lab at coll and I had a test on using it!) and its called a TEM. But when I got closer, I fell in love with it! I dunno how and why, but it looked simply amazing and extremely lovely to me [Nothing like the Vickers’ machine]. A 25 to 30 year old machine, lots of controls all over it, lots of circuitry out in the open… absolutely awe-inspiring..[though I knew nothing about them.]

And then came the moment. The lights in the room were turned off, and slowly and steadily the beam intensity of the TEM was increased. Gradually the Greenish Fluoroscent Screen (displaying a sample magnified X27,000) came to life… with control lights blinking here and there… in the darkness of the room.It was absolutely amazing; A great feeling. Though I was in there for a very short while… an absolutely unforgettable experience; and will remain so, for the rest of my life.

Now, it doesn’t matter to me even if I don’t learn much, during the training period, I don’t mind doing any kind-of mechanical work, I don’t mind not getting any results from my work, whatever… it doesn’t matter any more. This one moment; that’s all that matters.

The PS-1 Ballyhoo…

PS stands for Practice School…

I would’ve titled this post, “NPL… here I come!!” but for all this…

It all began with an unannounced letter from the PS division… giving us just 5 days time to fill up our “PS-1” forms… with Waves round the corner.. this was too short a notice.. and the panic button was pressed.. and pressed real hard!! {lots of heated discussion.. frantic google searches.. repeated calls to/from home.. etc were kicked off…}

Then, the filling up of on-line forms… [oh you thought.. online forms were a cakewalk?? even i thought so.. until this!!] We had to fill a priority list of 214 items.. flat… That was not the big problem… We had a not so well developed form handler…[i’m probably being unfair to the developers…because the server also caused quite a few problems… but that’s the least i can say…] I know of people.. who learnt their options by-heart… thanks to the wonderful system and the server, that made them fill the whole list 4 to 5 times..

Then there was this headache of filling up everything in ink… [one of the rare ocassions.. other than reports for MT n Mu-P… when i wrote so much.. and felt it all useless…]

Then, a meeting organised by seniors to “help” us choose PS[Practice School] stations… noble intentions.. but i ended up being more confused!! [After telling all the good stuff.. they came down to the point that staying close to home.. is the best thing to do.. this put me in soup!]

All this is nothing when compared to the “declaration of results” (it wasn’t any exam.. to call the allotment.. results.. but the use of these words is intentional…)
First, there was an April fool attempt by one of the students… it was quite cleverly planned but the little error of sending everyone the same password.. ended the whole thing tamely.. but it dindn’t go for nothing.. it was successful in rebuilding the stage… people began discussing the topic..

After a wait of 4 days… the D-day finally arrived… and people went crazy!! As if the excitement wasn’t enough.. the PSD added its bit.. the results weren’t sent to everyone at once.. they sent it one by one, discipline-wise… (god only knows how they managed the feat[around 1400 students!!], manually)
People were eagerly waiting for the results… a world cup final would have been no match… F5 keys on all the keyboards took a beating… People shouting wildly!! (both in delight and rage..).. There was quite a lot of Drama…

Now after the reality has sunk in… its a bit cooler… but still quite humid.. every talk inevitably is leading just to this… a lot of analysis, discussions and post-mortem going on…. happy about their partners/collegues… people getting angry with others(both for discussing and not discussing about it..)… unhappy with partners… phew! a lot of action all around the place… [It’s as if a sleeping Giant has just been woken up…]

After all this hype and ballyhoo.. i just hope the PS stands up to something… I mean.. I hope I stand up to it…. and do something.. some small bit of work.. that’ll keep me hooked for a couple of months.. something that’ll be worth thinking of later on in life… something that’ll be worth posting abt…:-P
ok!…. “NPL… Here I come…!!”

I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.

Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s levels of aspiration and expectation.
Jack Nicklaus

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