Tag Archives: plasma

Distributed Version Control: A Review

This post is all about stuff that’s only interesting if you’re into programming. Read at your own risk!

Next year as part of my degree I’m working with a partner to create some software that’ll simulate cold, dense plasmas (the physics kind, not the blood-is-made-from kind) and the thought of working on this by emailing files to each other and the like just seems utterly beyond tedious, so I’ve started investigating various types of source control, which will make it a lot easier to work together and keep in sync without getting rapidly into a horrible mess.

Continue reading Distributed Version Control: A Review


So I’m roughly half-way through the exam season, five down, four to go.

Some of them have gone well, others not so well, others were going well until I found myself running out of time, started panicing and ignored the obvious answer…

Anyways, all in all, it’s been pretty miserable so far, and it really doesn’t do wonders for morale. I really just want this to be over, because this whole experience is just making me feel like crap, and I’m pretty damned sick of it.

Right now, I’m supposed to be revising Plasma Physics, because the exam’s tomorrow and for the life of me I have no idea what he’s doing using the Bennett relation to derive the Pease-Braginskii current, and I really need this exam to go well. For a whole bunch of reasons.

At least there’s only 4 left! Plasma I think is generally going to go well, then on Friday there’s Comprehensive II, the sequel to the exam that made us all want to commit suicide the first time around, Dynamical Systems & Chaos on Tuesday, which could be pretty unpleasant, and then Foundations of Quantum Mechanics on Thursday which I think will be pretty good too, so should form a pleasant wind-down. Hopefully.

I’m really not looking forward to results day.

Anyways, back to the physics of the Z-pinch…

The Hard Slog Ahead

Once again I’ve managed to forget that this blog isn’t just to write articles about stuff, it’s also just to write vaguely long-form about where I’m at, and where I’ve been. So, here goes.

Since we last met, I attended the Fairtrade Society AGM, at which I failed to get elected as treasurer. I still believe in the cause, though, so I’m actually changing my buying decisions where there is a Fairtrade alternative. Which is actually kinda peculiar! There was also the Fencing annual dinner, proceeded by the shaving of the president, which was pretty funny. Some people weren’t too gentle with the clippers.

Namih gets shaved

The deadline for MSci project bids rolled in, and with any luck my project will be on using a tree code to simulate plasmas in which collisional effects between particles can’t be neglected (e.g. in a very high density plasma) and provides an O(N log N) computation time as opposed to O(N^2) for naive particle-particle interactions. If you didn’t understand what I just said, never mind.

Coming up, my exams start on May 18th, so I basically have to start hitting the revision really hard and cram a whole bunch of knowledge into my head over the next few weeks. It’s going to be quite a ride. Next term there aren’t really any lectures apart from a single revision lecture for each course, so it’s a straight run-up to the exams, and then we’re pretty much free after that. We have to start preparing for a literature review for the MSci project, which I assume translates as “Raid all the books from the library that are relevant to your project, and then read them”.

My family’s going to come up for a day, and we’re going to see We Will Rock You, so that should be an interesting diversion. I should also be Fencing every Wednesday, so that should keep me active.

Then, once that kerfuffle is all over, there’s the Summer Ball, which should be an awesome wind-down to the year. I honestly can’t believe we’re already at this point again. The rapidity of it all is kinda scary, as are some of the implications of this year being over, like a bunch of my friends finishing their degrees. It’s gonna be weird.