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PhD Days 2017

Report of the PhD Weekend in Flensburg, 20–21 May 2017

At 08:20 in the morning we gathered on platform 5 of Hamburg central station and then took a train to Flensburg together. We took the bus to the hostel at about 12:00. We were then settled in 4 rooms and had lunch and dinner together in the canteen. After lunch, we played ping-pong and basketball for about 30 minutes.

The PhD workshop started with a ‘partner matching game’. Each one got an English word, and we had to find the one who had a corresponding or related word. During this step, we got more familiar with each other. Then every theorist got a partner from experimental physics, and we formed 8 groups of 2 people. Each of us had to present his/her work to his/her partner. After one hour of discussion, everyone gave a talk about his/her partner’s PhD project to the whole group, he/she also had to try to answer questions from the audience. This lasted for about 4 hours. The student council prepared biscuits, coffee and milk for us during the discussion.

In the evening, Dr. Terry Farrelly from the University of Hannover gave a presentation titled "An overview of quantum computing". This is a topic not directly related to our field. But an excited discussion between the speaker and audience lasted for more than 30 minutes, questions about the physical basics, the technical details and the potential applications in the future were the most discussed part. Personally speaking, this talk was very successful.

For dinner, we went to the nearby restaurant Hinkelstein together. The dinner was kindly sponsored by the PIER Helmholtz graduate school. The dishes were great and the well prepared games called for group work; each of us learned something we never knew before. The beers served as a catalyst of making jokes. This was a happy and unforgettable dinner! The night time ended by a promenade on the bay of harbor. The night was quite, a little cold, but nobody felt tired since we had wine and fun.

After breakfast, we gathered again at 09:30, ping-pong and basketball players showed their passion again. We went to the city center of Flensburg by bus, and enjoyed watching the beautiful view of the city. Flensburg benefits from its unique location, the air is fresh, and the weather is great. The habitants and travellers were enjoying coffee and sunshine, the fisherman were working near the water, seabirds all around. We climbed to the hillside, we had a walk in the inner city and then the harbor, where we separated into smaller groups. We said thanks to Dr. Terry before his departure. Most of the guys chose to leave for Hamburg by taking the train at noon time to Hamburg. Five of us stayed in Flensburg for more time and had lunch there, they got back by the train at 14:15.

by Chao Zhang

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