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am_Unition  ·  437 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 5, 2017

Just saw this, my bad. (Great pun thread over in the new pub, btw, let's keep it going indefinitely)

I think plasma is just a new regime of physics for you to explore. Hopefully you don't tire of it too quickly. :)

Speaking of, I've gotta do a proof today of the convolution theorem for both Fourier and Laplace transforms. It's on wikipedia, though, so what's the point? Also on wikipedia: incredible animations. My favorite is this depiction of Liouville's Theorem. These are popping up in a lot of new places over the last two or three years. Class notes are becoming more and more irrelevant, unless they are used as an attendance grade, i.e. burying requisite information for homework in the middle of a lecture.

I tallied the total number of graphics from my course's content this semester. It's like... 10. Static, 2D plots, all of them, and the count even includes a graphic showing the definition of the coordinate system used to handle large angle scattering. The rest is equations and some words. I'm a spatial intelligence person, that's pretty much why I went into this ruckus, and to have some of that taken away is rough, especially when this is absolutely a physical system, not an abstraction like QM. Still, it helps you grow, but growing hurts. Fast growth, especially.

I've been a little more than slightly alarmist, recently, but I do worry about the state of academia. My plan is to (re)join and cultivate the growing number of "private sector" academics, but I worry my doing so is contributing to a greater problem. The money, first granted to one gov't branch by another, must then exchange hands once more, through contracts between gov't and the private/industry group. Dude, I don't know what it's like in your realm, but every time I turn around, someone high up in an institution has agreed to roll out someone else's kid's software (or whatever reason), and it takes all of the clerical people suspiciously long to learn the new workings. The argument that the bureaucratic structures have ballooned to wholly inefficient entities holds many buckets of water, and we've simultaneously made it more difficult for small business owners to get off the ground, especially small business owners seeking federal $'s. I've digressed, sorry. Pretend that I gracefully made my way back through the rant to establish that without some type of intervention, scientists will be leaving the United States in measurable numbers over the next few years. [edit: since concrete predictions are always preferable, I'm guessing 7% - 9% of scientists will leave the U.S. over the next 5 years. Total number of scientists is ~6 million, so I'm saying about half a million scientists throw in the towel] Trump's not even so much as a kick out the door. Maybe I'm wrong, but I know I've seen some characteristics in several different departments that I wouldn't peg as "healthy". And nowhere's perfect, but we've got several of the worst problems extending across the nation.

Sorry for the doom n' gloom. We'll be OK, bro. Compared to the rest of society, things will just about always look better for us, so it's hard to get bent out of shape. Speaking of, I might postdoc in Stockholm, Austria, or Norway, but I might not postdoc at all. Got options, at least.