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Posted in February 2013

Third Lecture Advanced Statistical Mechanics 2013

was today, on the last day of February. We have started with Lagrangian multipliers, of all things, since this piece of analysis did not sound to more than a half of the students. Then we finish the probabilities, and get to the formulation of statistical mechanics. As a matter of fact, we have just started lecture #3 with an example of a two-level system. The lecture appeared more abstract and dry than intended, I have to work on this.

Second Lecture Quantum Transport 2013

has taken place today. I begin to like the room F 104 where the lectures take place. It’s cozy, and I can conveniently sit while giving the lecture. We went through counting statistics and a half of the quantum interference lecture, just finishing Aharonov-Bohm effect. We have had an interesting discussion of the effect.

Second Lecture Advanced Statistical Mechanics 2013

was mostly about probability theory, a stuff pretty dry by itself. To make sure that I’m not making drier than it is, I’ve invited Jos Thijssen, director of master education, to provide some feedback. His impression from the lecture was favourable. It was also my impression of last years that during this lecture I loose a significant part of the audience. Let us hope it won’t be the case this year.

Cirprian Padurariu has defended his Ph.D. thesis with me on 18-2-2013.

We did four papers together. Leo Kouwenhoven, Yaroslav Blanter, Daniel Esteve, Leonid Gorelik, Jan Aarts ans Jan Zaanen were the commitee members. Ciprian will go to Grenoble for a post-doc position soon. Good luck, Ciprian!

Fairy Tales 2013

our showcase course of theoretical physics has started with a bigger number of students. They looked sufficiently fascinated. There was a problem with lecture tempo and detail level. Anybody read this? Can I have some feedback please?

First Lecture Quantum Transport 2013

there were many students as well. Somehow I wanted to say more about elementary quantum mechanics than it was intended. I do not think I did it trying to come in tune with the audience: I think its level was higher. Anyway, I did not have time to say a word about counting statistics: must do this in a week.

First lecture Advanced Statistical Mechanics 2013

Before the lecture I was shocked by a ridicuously big number of students who have enlisted themselfs for the course. In fact, it almost exceeded the capacity of the room reserved for the lecture. The reality appeared more realistic, still the number of attendees was pretty high. There has been even a hope risen that it stays high during the course.

The students are also much more active in enlisting for the presentations – another good sign.

Thus inspired, I made the lecture in a pretty good pace: I almost finished it! There was an interaction with the audience. A daughter of a colleague bashed me about mistakes in the slides.

No, seriously, it was a good start!


meeting of a new European collaboration has taken place in Helsinki on 5-2-2013. Our project is called INFERNOS, and we want to make and investigate daemons – fortunately, little ones, preferrably, at nanoscale. More about the project.

Tomohiro Yokoyama

who visited me in Delft in course of our collaboration on spin-orbit effects in Josephson junctions, has got his Ph.D. degree on 31-12-2013. Congratulations! Today I have learned that he has also secured a post-doc job in RIKEN institute in Japan. This gives a chance to our futher collaboration.

Landry Bretheau

has sucsessfully defended his Ph.D. thesis in Saclay, a suburb of Paris on 1-2-2013. I was in the committee. A part of the thesis was the pioneering observation of doublet state of superconducting quasiparticles,, 40 years after its theoretical prediction. Yet it has many parts, some even more fascinating… The discussion with the opponent could have been more smooth, yet Landry managed to stay within the restrictions of formal politness.

Remarkable thesis work. And it was first time in my life I tasted home-made foie gras.

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