Thursday, July 10, 2008

Perimeter Institute - Waterloo - 2

Another day is almost ending here at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Canada. After my talk yesterday, Jonathan Walgate was kind enough to take me to a local pub on King Street called "The Jane Bond" that offered an excellent vegetarian burrito. We ended up talking to Debbie Leung, and Sundance Bilson-Thompson for several hours afterwards. Topics ranged from the current cinema, academia, to personal histories. I was quite tired by the time I crashed on my bed at my apartment which is on the seventh floor and has quite a view of the Waterloo-Kitchener area.

I spent a couple of hours in the morning translating one of Ghalib's wonderful ghazals with Tony Barnstone on Skype. He is in Greece right now, so connecting via Skype is the best way forward for us right now. Ahhhh, the wonders of modern technology. When you use it in the right way, there are no limits to your productivity. Later I had lunch with Lee Smolin whose book ("The Trouble With Physics") I had read a while this year. I had been wanting to meet him and give my opinion and what I thought of his views. He is quite the gentleman and extremely down-to-earth.

Later in the afternoon, I talked with Chris Fuchs about SIC-POVM (Symmetric Informationally Complete Positive Operator-Valued Measure). His office which is essentially one door down from mine has a nice cream-colored leather couch and a low-rise coffee table next to it, all of which sits on a nice pastel-colored rug. Instead of sitting on the couch I decided to sit cross-legged on the rug while Chris derived the SIC-POVM formalism and explained its importance and a potential link to understanding the foundations of quantum mechanics. He gave me quite a bit to chew on. Now all I need to do is masticate really well and then be confident enough to digest all the mouthfuls. He makes one feel so comfortable part of which I think is due to his Texan drawl - very friendly and down-to-earth. He is full of great physics' stories. :)

I met up with Sean Gryb and we threw a frisbee on the front lawn at PI. He's a graduate student of Lee Smolin's and works in quantum gravity. Tonight is burger night at the Black-Hole Bistro and their beef patties come in three different hot settings: spicy, mild and plain. Any guesses to which one I will be having?


Anonymous said...

Let me guess you had the "Spicy" Burger. What an interesting name for a Bistro, "Black-Hole" reminds me of Stephen Hawkings.

The Quantum Poet said...

I did have the "Spicy Burger" and it was quite fresh, though it could have been a bit more on the spicier side. :)