Science Tourism: Max Planck Institute

Munich

Ok, maybe it isn’t quite as exciting as the Large Hadron Collider, but I stood in the very office where Heisenberg worked. I tried to absorb any lingering quantum waves that might collapse as particles (in the form of a brilliant idea) in my mind. I did actually have a new thought about the dissertation today, a title for the chapter on language ideologies: Language as a club. I can’t remember, now, whether I had the idea on the way going there or on the way back… but with relativity perhaps it doesn’t actually make a difference?! I’m also thinking about rearranging the sequence of chapters . . .
The reason I was at the MPI at all was mundane – I had to submit my final report on the grant. “Who still uses Internet Explorer?” Dada asked. Hmmph. I agree! The IIE must have a contract with Microsoft that precludes using other platforms, such as Firefox or even Safari. So I was fortunate that the Institute has a small computer room with terminals for visitors, otherwise I’d be up to a very un-fun scramble to meet tomorrow’s deadline.
I picked up the Excellence Cluster Newsletter (Issue 2 May 2009) and read the Public Outreach Coordinator’s statement on the successful launch of “Herschel” and “Planck” from a European spaceport French Guiana. Herschel’s job, according to POC Barbara Wankert, is ‘to explore the mechanisms of star formation;” and Planck aims to generate “a better understanding of the energy fluctuations…that formed the template for today’s distribution of galaxies.”
Meanwhile, I am returning to The Man Who Knew Too Much, a book I started last November and had to set aside. Until now!

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