I like being a research student. I have pretty much free reign to show up to any modules that I think might be useful to me. In all honesty, this is a dangerous thing to tell a science nerd like me, because my immediate temptation is to go forth and learn things! So the modules in forthcoming semesters that I think might be worth investigating are…

Spring Semester ’08

  • F31SQ1 – Space-Time & Matter (Lvl 1)
    This module seems, frankly, far too basic for me. The only interesting part is on Lorentz transformations, and I could probably learn about them in an afternoon.
  • F32SA5 – Structure of Galaxies (Lvl 2)
    In all honesty, this module is quite remote from the things I actually study. On the other hand, it would certainly be worth attending if only to boost my understanding in the astro seminars.
  • F33SA7 – Extreme Astrophysics (Lvl 3)
    This one looks like fun. Unfortunately, if I attend it will be solely for fun. In the harshest environments in the universe, no chemistry occurs. This module will be all about nuclear interactions and plasma physics around black hole, quasars, neutron stars and suchlike.
  • G13GER – General Relativity (Lvl 3)
    Relativity, the effects of gravity and the curvature of space-time. Actually, seeing as over astrophysical scales, photons are affected by gravity, this one might well be worth attending. The maths in it would probably be helpful too.
  • G14BLH – Black Holes (Lvl 4)
    I’d love to go to this one, but again, this has nothing to do with my field of study. To my knowledge, chemistry isn’t really important around black holes. Mind you, some must occur around the outer edges of a black hole accretion disk… Mustn’t it?

Autumn Semester ’08

  • F14CCH – Computational Chemistry (lvl 4)
    I’m probably going to take this as an assessed module. I’ll definitely need to do some computer modelling at some point, because most astronomers do. Besides, hopefully, I’ll already be learning about computer modelling in 6 months time…
  • F32AA4 – The Structure of Stars (lvl 2)
    All about stars. Now stars are already my specialist subject, and I know far more about them than, perhaps, any other part of astronomy. That said, there will probably be some extremely useful mathematical models and stellar dynamics in this module.
  • F3CAA6 – Cosmology (Lvl 3)
    Also for the benefit of understanding the astro seminars (which is always a good thing), the cosmology module actually looks like it could be a lot of fun!
  • F13ST1 – Special Topics in Chemistry: Molecular and Laser Spectroscopy
    June’s module on spectroscopy could prove extremely useful. It’s definitely worth considering.
  • F34AG1 – Gravity (Lvl 4)
    Very simply, everything you could ever need to know about gravity. Useful looking module.

Spring Semester ’08
I’m going to be stuck into my research project by this point. Attending lectures would be foolish.

A fair few to choose from, anyway. Decisions, decisions. Ah well… with a couple of exceptions, most are essentially background reading. Useful, but not essential. Still, I could show up to a few for fun, right?
Am I talking about going to astrophysics lectures for fun?
I am aren’t I?
Man, I really am a nerd…

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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4 Responses to Modules…

  1. invaderxan says:

    Oh, those systems become very interesting indeed… Nuclear chemistry still dominates as hot stellar plasma becomes even hotter due to the ridiculous gravitational forces involved. The effect on the stellar chemistry though, is something I don’t know about…
    Black holes are cool.

  2. dr_psycho says:

    Okay, I take your point begrudgingly and to a limited degree.. But what about binary systems with stars orbiting blackholes and the oscillation between classical and ultra high energy chemistry… =P

  3. invaderxan says:

    Well, not the kind of chemistry I study, anyway. In extreme environments, molecules get ripped to shreds. You’re talking about nuclear chemistry and plasma physics there. In fact, the accretion disk around a black hole can convert matter into energy more efficiently than nuclear fusion in stars does! Not much chemistry, because there’s too much energy being flung about. ;)
    Of course, I’d never say never. I read somewhere, there was a hypothesis of life forming on Neutron stars, based on nuclear reactions instead of chemical ones…

  4. dr_psycho says:

    Chemistry not important to black holes!! What are you talking about dude!! It is the very process of chemistry at the utmost of universal extremes that allows us to see these phenomena, gain more understanding about both them and the nature of physics and the universe.. In my mind it’s probably one of the more interesting areas to look at chemistry due to the interesting temporal effects present round a black hole…..
    … but that’s just me =P
    …………now the idea of life occupying that niche, that would be intriguing though probably somewhat implausable. However at the extremes of impossibility there exists the probability of possibility, no matter how improbable never say never ;)

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