Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One year after the decision

As usual, time flies at the speed of light and one year has passed since I have made the decision to come here for PhD. Compared to what I had anticipated if I followed the previous path, I would say that I have made the correct decision.

Working at ETH with the current group, I have the chance to improve what I was experienced at, such as data analysis and DAQ electronics and also to develop some new skills such as working on plastic scintillating fibers, DRS4 waveform analysis, Inventor Mechanical Design and Comsol Physics simulator. And of course the most challenging one is perhaps German language that takes infinite time to master. It is fun to learn it though. Spending some time attending lectures of advanced scientific programming and quantum information theory also proves beneficial, as I could learn more arts in programming and use more advanced tool and also have more new ideas to aid my research works.

I have my trip to PSI increased recently due to the beam time for Muon related experiments.
It is great to work there with many interesting stuffs but it could be painful to work on those hardware and to do strength demanding works such as moving Lead blocks (~10kg per block!!).
You have to be careful as well as the surrounding is always full of notices of HIGH VOLTAGE, HIGH CURRENT, HIGH MAGNETIC FIELD, etc...... and sometimes you have a huge bottle of liquid helium travelling across your head... that's how it is to work in a particle physics research center...LOL

My freetime is of course as fantastic as my working life. (^-^)p
I have participated in two badminton tournaments, one was organized by Malaysian Swiss Association and another one Zurich Academic Sports Association. I was lucky enough to have won in both occasions, earning myself a MIGROS cash card and an invitation ticket to Swiss Badminton Open at Basel next year for the whole week. But still I feel that myself is still very inconsistent in terms of basics so I have decided to join a club in Zurich. I am still visiting at the moment and perhaps will join soon.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Start of Fall Semester 2011

It has been a long time since I last had the feeling of the beginning of a semester. And I am feeling good with it, definitely a good sign!

As the seniority goes up, instead of only learning, I have to do some teaching as well, for the student labs, teaching students how to perform proper scientific researches and guiding master students until they finish their master theses.

My current main research is finally coming to an end, where me and collaborators are preparing a paper for a journal. Finishing this will actually open up a lot of free time for myself, to conduct other things that I was hoping to do: design and construct detectors, design data acquisition system, and attend some out-of-my-field lectures.
But of course I am not forgetting the most important one: German language! Yes, finally I have taken the German language course. Hopefully I will be able to catch up the conversations of all my German colleagues soon......

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Luzern has been in my mind for half a year since I started to work at PSI and ETHZ. Finally I made a trip to it last weekend, and it was really a nice place with mesmerizing scenes.

to be continued.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tokyo trip

It was sooner than my expectation to be back at Tokyo again, thanks to my friend's invitation for becoming a panelist for an overseas studies seminar.

to be continued.....

Friday, July 15, 2011


I was in France for about 2 weeks to attend a summer campus organized by the University of Strasbourg.

to be continued...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Swiss Physical Society Meeting 2011, Part 1

I spend most of the week in Lausanne, French speaking part of Switzerland to attend this conference. Although hoping for oral presentation, where I don't have to carry a poster all the way from Zürich, I ended up got selected for poster presentation. Well, it was not bad at all, as I can describe my work while drinking wine in front of people who are interested on it.

While thinking I am probably one of the minorities who use LaTeX for making posters, I found out alot of people are actually doing that, and I even saw some with the same layout as my first draft. After all, we are doing the same business, Physics!

Although the official language for this conference is English, I could hardly listen to any English conversation, as most of the people here are the mother tongue of German or French. And the president of SPS even switching the language according to his will during the general assembly of SPS.

to be continued......

Friday, May 27, 2011

Second month of PhD

Time flies really fast and one month has passed without my notice.

My first month was actually full of administrative works, and also meeting up some fellow Malaysians in Switzerland. Other than spending a lot of money, the rest are still good, pretty good start so far.

My "real" PhD life will start next month, where I will do a poster presentation regarding my research work on muonium production at Swiss Physical Society Conference 2011 at EPF Lausanne. As I am using only Ubuntu, terminal only all these days, I challenged myself to create that poster using LaTeX. The design is not that good but I would rather put more time on my research than poster.

After the poster presentation, I will need to prepare for the MuSR experiment, as I have only beam time of four days. A few samples needed to be tested, and also different configurations of magnetic field have to be decided in order to extract both information regarding muon and muonium.
Then a week later I will be going to Strasbourg, France for European Summer Campus 2011. It is a summer school organized by the University of Strasbourg on three topics, particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. They actually have different focuses every year, and I am lucky to have this topic related to my research field. Else it would be hard for me to join.

After the summer school will perhaps be the discussion of the MuSR experiment. Of course, publication will be the best but lots of work has to be done in order to achieve that.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Starting my new life at Zurich

Sorry for being lazy to update this blog.....I enjoyed my vacation in Malaysia for 1 month and now I am back to ETH Zurich again to officially start my PhD and scientific assistant job..... this might be confused but PhD position is really a job here in university in Switzerland.....

Anyway, I am still working hard to look for a permanent place to stay as the rooms in Zurich are very limited and takes a long time to settle down.....

Will share more when everything is stable and I feel comfortable with the life here...

Monday, February 7, 2011


When I was in Tokyo, Sunday used to be the most crowded day for trains and streets. As I will be staying in PSI guest house for about 50 days, I guess it is better for me to get some groceries to cook, so that I can save some money for living.


Taking a bus down to the nearby city, Brugg, I found out that none of the stores are actually opening! Oh, I need to go somewhere else. But still, I am afraid that it would be the same for other cities as well, so I opted for a bigger city, Aarau, which is the the capital of Canton Aagrau. However, the train is not so frequent so I went to Baden, slightly bigger than Brugg, first instead. And I was right. The shops there are opening until at least 5 pm. Cruising into MIGROS, I bought some vegetables, juices, and some "prepared food"s. Not so pricey as compared to eating out, and also much more healthier, I hope. Have been eating lots of oily stuffs when I was in Japan, and it is time for me to change the habit.

Clock Tower in Baden

Later on, I went to Aarau as planned, bought some stuffs as well and grabbed something to eat.
As the bus to PSI ends quite early, I headed back after a short stay. Coincidently, I met one of my Japanese friends on the bus! I thought he is not coming to PSI this month! We had some nice chat and said bye bye after knowing that we will be staying at different guest house.


A quite relaxed day, except I need to spend more for the transportation. LOL.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Switzerland, I am back here again!

Perhaps one of the greatest academic year in my life, in terms of travelling frequency. Started with my first trip to CERN, Geneva, Switzerland on April, I then went to Uxbridge, London, etc in UK during summer and then Zurich, Bern, etc during autumn for the interview of PhD position in ETH Zurich. Today, I am writing this post in the guest house of PSI, where I will be working as a trainee on the research topic related to muonium beam. And oh, I went to Hokkaido with my dear for the first time just last week!
Frankly, I have never thought of my life would be like that. But course, I am in debt to many people who has supported me throughout my life, without them, without me. Although I seem to be very motivated in doing Physics, it was not my strongest subject, as I had better records on mathematics and chemistry in terms of time i devoted on and the results. Indeed, I was thinking of doing theoretical particle physics until my third year in undergraduate studies.
Physics must be based on concrete experimental results. Else it would be purely philosophy (please forgive me, theoretical physicists, :p) And, common sense sometimes is preventing us from making an important discovery. An apple fall down from the tree...Oh, that is common sense..everything will fall down...don't think too much; gravity? I can't think of things other than attractive force....what else can you think of? anti-gravity with repulsive force? you gotta kidding me..but yes, I am working on that, by using "muonium atom" to measure for the first time, gravitational force in between matter and anti-matter. I am sure everyone is expecting null result, but, can you really say it is the same as matter-matter gravity without really measuring it? No for every physicist I hope.