• Question: what are some fond memories and or once in a lifetime experiences that have stuck with you that were as a result of your interest in science and maths?

    Asked by Toni V on 12 Dec 2023.
    • Photo: Patrick MacGregor

      Patrick MacGregor answered on 12 Dec 2023:

      There are a number of ways this could be answered…you get to meet cool people (e.g. I met Jim Al-Khalili at a conference), you get to visit cool labs (I’ve been to USA, Germany, CERN). I also got to present my research to the UK government which was pretty cool.

      But I think the fondest memories are when I’ve been in lectures and had the lecturer just explain something that I’ve come across before, but demonstrate where it comes from and how it came about. One particular example is showing that centripetal acceleration is v^2/r simply by expressing the position of the particle in terms of polar coordinates, and then getting the acceleration from the position. It’s not significant, but it was really nice to see where that formula came from without having to just accept it.

    • Photo: Jonathan Edward Davies

      Jonathan Edward Davies answered on 5 Jan 2024:

      Getting the opportunity to be based at CERN for a year and see the experiments underground. The travel to meetings and conferences abroad is always a great perk of the job. I also love to opportunities to speak to the public about what I do and hopefully pass on some enthusiasm.