Week One

Choosing Research Groups & Reading Background Materials

Alex George


Monday, May 26, 2008—

I arrived after a flight to Kansas City International and a van ride to campus.  I met most of the other REU participants as well as the program coordinators (Larry Weaver and Kristen Corwin), and we had dinner in Aggieville.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008—

Paperwork was taken care of, followed by presentations on the projects available in Theoretical Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics; High Energy Physics; Experimental Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics; and Condensed Matter Physics. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008—

Presentations on the projects available in cosmology; Experimental Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics; and Physics Education.  We ranked our top choices for projects.  At an ice cream social at Dr. Weaver’s house, we were given our assignments. 

Thursday, May 29, 2008 –

            On Thursday we started reading the background information on the project itself.  Specifically, we were assigned to research:

·        The KamLAND Project Summary

·        The Double Chooz Proposal

·        The Geant Four Website

·        The KamLAND safety sheet

We also had a meeting to discuss the many preliminary questions we had from our readings.

Friday, May 30, 2008—

We presented our four articles in our groups, after spending most of the morning finishing reading.  We then met the rest of the REU students for lectures – Dr. Weaver gave one on waves & lasers; then a philosophy professor gave the first in a weekly series of lectures on professional ethics as they apply to physicists.