The best surfspot in the world

This week I’m back hard at work after a short break with The Surf Experience in Lagos, Portugal. It was certainly worth taking a few days out, staying in a beautiful big house in the Algarve with about 20 other guests. Each day we went to the beach in a convoy of jeeps, west or south coast depending on the wave conditions.

Arrifana beach on the west coast

As usual, the camp was full of Germans – my favourite people to go on holiday with, and a great opportunity to improve my German. There was a lovely atmosphere in the house every evening, as the guests dined together and shared a few beers before collapsing into bed. Defnitely my favourite surfspot in the world.

Surfcamp in Lagos

I got plenty of work done too – I read a chapter of Manjit Kumar’s book on quantum physics every night, as I have been asked to review it for Physics World, the flagship magazine of the Institute of Physics. Today, it’s back to the real world, as I take our third years for a course in the quantum theory of solids.

On the plane home, I had a great thought for their first lecture. I think I’ll do some revision by getting the class to derive de Broglie’s relation from relativity, and to show how it led Schrodinger to his wave equation (they’ve already had a course in qt). It’s a nice starting point for solid state physics, and I had great fun going through the derivations on a napkin on the plane home (ok, they’re not really derivations but such outlines give students a great feel for the quantum world) – really nice physics.

Next week is Science Week in Ireland, and I’m giving several talks on the LHC, so I’m knee deep in that preparation too…sigh. I miss Lagos.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “The best surfspot in the world

  1. zeynel

    As per the Wikipedia link that you referenced the wave nature of the particle refers to probability function, and it does not mean that the particle is moving as a wave, as your slide may suggest. Is this correct?

  2. Absolutely…although de Broglie initially postulated that the wavefunction represented a pilot wave for the particle , it turned out not to work. The most accepted interpretation is that the square of the wavefunction is a measure of the probability density of the particle – rather abstract, but a crucial part of the modern interpretation of qt…

  3. Hello Doc!
    Well we have a new president here in America..
    I hope this finds you well…
    Best wishes and still lurking on your posts..
    BTW.. We don’t live that far from chicago..I almost went to the party…

  4. cormac

    Hey hoops, long time no hear….yes, great news about Obama. Someone should do a cartoon showing the rest of the planet heaving a sigh of relief.
    hopefully the US will soon take the lead on issues such as the global economy and climate change…

  5. dvd

    hey mr c..just heard u were showing some concern tonite in trinty..giving u this link to peruse at your…6 years worth i believe…scroll and enjoy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Our_Time_(BBC_Radio_4)

    some goodies for your discretion..catch ya!

  6. dvd

    maybe ur about at weekend if so cofe?

  7. dvd

    scroll and view and click!!!!!!!!!!

  8. cormac

    YES! fab fab link Dave, many thanks….all the In Our Time programs backed up for years. Can’t wait to go through them….
    there’s also a more direct link at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Our_Time_(BBC_Radio_4)
    yipee