How asking a question on Stack Exchange kick started my career in research

I did my undergraduate degree at Aberystwyth University in Wales. I took the astrophysics course, which ran in parallel to the plain physics degree for the first two years, covering all the basics such as mathematical methods, classical mechanics, waves, optics, thermodynamics and so on. In the third year the astrophysics became the main focus,…… Continue reading How asking a question on Stack Exchange kick started my career in research

Thesis off-cuts: the ancient history of general relativity

Chocolate frosted donuts with sprinkles are ready to be served during the grand opening of Dunkin' Donuts in Fremont, California, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. This is the first Dunkin' Donuts shop to open in Alameda County. (Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group)

I have recently been thinking a lot about what introductory and background material I want to include in my PhD thesis, as my self-imposed December deadline continues to hurtle towards me at an alarming speed. Concurrent with this thinking, I’ve also recently been enjoying a fantastic book called The Poincaré Conjecture by Donal O’Shea, all…… Continue reading Thesis off-cuts: the ancient history of general relativity

Travelling during the pandemic

This week has been a particularly exciting one, and not just due to the XENON experiment result that has set both the arXiv and cosmology Twitter abuzz. Fate finally smiled on me and the Spanish borders have reopened to non-residents, thereby allowing me a small window of opportunity to return to Madrid to collect the…… Continue reading Travelling during the pandemic

The joy of journal clubs

Presenting papers in journal clubs is one of my least favourite things to do. While I enjoy reading in general, I find reading academic papers a chore, especially if the writing is uninspired or the results obscured by reams of unfamiliar theory. However, papers are the currency of academia and, to stretch the analogy, journal…… Continue reading The joy of journal clubs

Homeless due to COVID19! Madrid week nine

I’ll admit it’s a bit of a clickbait-y headline, but yes, on Tuesday I was made homeless due to the coronavirus pandemic. Let me explain. I’m currently living in Madrid, on long-term attachment from my home university of Portsmouth in the UK. I’ve been here since January to work with a collaborator of mine. We…… Continue reading Homeless due to COVID19! Madrid week nine

Show time: Madrid week eight

On Friday last week I boarded a late morning flight from Madrid to London. Three hours later I was speeding south on the familiar train from Waterloo, looking forward to my long weekend in Portsmouth. The main purpose of my trip was to see the annual University of Portsmouth Dramatic and Musical Society (DMS) show.…… Continue reading Show time: Madrid week eight

Paper day! Madrid week seven

Today my first paper as first author came out on the arXiv! You can check it out here: In this work, we reconstruct a coupling function between dark matter and vacuum energy. Such models are generally motivated as solution to problems such as the Hubble tension, so we were keen to update our previous…… Continue reading Paper day! Madrid week seven

The mountains are calling: Madrid week six

This week was largely uneventful in terms of science, so instead this week’s blog is about what I got up to at the weekend. We finally had two days of solid sunshine (my idea of typical Spanish weather has certainly been changed over the past six weeks) and I decided to head to a small…… Continue reading The mountains are calling: Madrid week six

If at first you don’t succeed: Madrid week five

Last week was a week of success for me. I solved a problem that’s been plaguing me for about six months! I’m not going to talk in great detail about what exactly the problem was (I’m saving that for a post in a couple of weeks’ time), but it was one of those small, persistent…… Continue reading If at first you don’t succeed: Madrid week five