Quantum Physics and the End of the World

Author: Tony G.

Only at SSP will you find people who willingly wake up early for lecture…a quantum physics lecture at that…on the day the Orbit Determination is due. Anyways, I got my daily exercise today sprinting to the classroom/dungeon for Dr. Andersen’s lecture. While I still don’t (particle)ary understand quantum physics, it was still really interesting to work through the math of Boltzmann and Planck—who are actually real people with real papers, outside of having their names as useful constants. Oftentimes, I find the extended process and history of scientific discovery as interesting and conceptually important as the ultimate results that are practical today. For example, this piece of classical physics theorizes that everyone should be vaporized, which could probably use some revision. 

Ultraviolet Catastrophe

Speaking of history and super high-energy objects, Dr. Rengstorf’s afternoon lecture on quasars was pretty interesting. We did an exercise as a class to see how bright the first-discovered quasar was and as usual, it turned into an exercise of counting zeros, although the numbers weren’t as crazy as his fate of the universe lecture. It also turns out that Dr. Rengstorf documented 11 new quasars in his PhD thesis…so if 11 quasars corresponds to one “Dr.” then…

Dr. Dr. Dr….(x50000)…Dr. SDSS

It’s pretty crazy how different the learning experience is at SSP than at high school. I guess SSP is meant to be a pre-college program to some extent and not an extension of the regular school year (thankfully), but then again, college still has tests and grades, and most likely does not make mention of relativistic hedgehogs or ghost asteroids or Hyde looking like a California surfer dude. 

Long story short, SSP is special—not just the academics, but the events, the laughs, the people. I don’t think I’ve talked to so many people since…yeahhh I’ve never talked to this many people before. And talking is actually enjoyable—maybe I’m just a confused extrovert. The joy in suffering together really does a number. 

With the lectures coming to a close and the program wrapping up, I find myself in a race against tomorrow, because I know in a few tomorrows, everything will change. I know that I will continue living and find new horizons, but what I have right now at SSP can never be replaced. So, I’ll keep my blog post short to make a few more memories before the world (for the last 5 weeks) ends. 

About me:

Hi! I’m Tony and I’m from Glastonbury, Connecticut! Outside of school, I love to play and listen to music, bike outside, and do puzzles. At SSP you can find me walking around at midnight, playing ping pong, or more likely, locked up in the pset dungeon…