July 15

Here’s a short look at what we did today:

First up was Dr. Anderson’s morning lecture, which started with videos of a human outrunning a cheetah and a train getting struck by lightning. From there we revisited our friends Alice and Bob as we wrapped up our discussion of special relativity. We next moved on to the tidal effect and finished with an introduction to Hamiltonian mechanics. After lunch, in Dr. Rengstorf’s lecture, we continued our discussion about the formation of our solar system. Momentarily sidetracked, we also contemplated the definition of intelligence and learned how we can use the SkyX to become rich astrologists. In the evening, we had an optional TA lecture by Mathis, who taught us why L = T-V in Lagrangian mechanics and the correct way to pronounce Einstein and Minkowski. In between lectures and meals, if not playing Assassins, Diplomacy, or Frisbee, we spent most of our time in the computer lab, our “second home,” working on problem sets and asteroid projects.

Probably the most exciting thing to me right now is the progress my observing team, the Pie-thons, has made on our asteroid. Although we started out with some weather challenges, we’ve been able to get three successful image runs of our asteroid, 1999 ML, thus far. The following is a picture of me removing the grating on our telescope with Kathryn holding the ladder (thank you to Kathryn’s parents for taking the picture):

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Shown below is my observing team in front of the colorful progress board with one of our TAs, Mathis, who looks even shorter than normal.

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Overall, it’s been an awesome several weeks so far, and I can’t wait to see what the final (less than) two weeks has in store. To end my blog post, I thought I’d add a meme of our TA Mathis:

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(credits to Victor for the caption)

-Annie C.

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