Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Back at the end of January I went to the Gravitational Wave Data Analysis Workshop meeting in Rome. I was invited to give a talk about pulsar timing arrays to an audience made of largely LIGO/VIRGO and LISA people.
It was snowing as I wheeled my bag through the deserted streets of Bad Godesberg at 6am but it was sunny (if not actually warm) when I eventually arrived in Rome. After I found my hotel went out to take a few photos. I made my way to the Coliseum, I've been there before but it was a long time ago. Coming from the city centre you would think that you could see it for miles but I walked for ages with no sign of it. I was just wondering if I was going in the right direction, when I turned a corner and there it was!

The Coliseum The  Moon through an arch in the Coliseum

The meeting was interesting. The LIGO/VIRGO and LISA people have a great deal over overlap with the pulsar people but they come at it from a totally different angle. As one of the few pulsar people I gave a general review of the pulsar side of things. It's nice to see the interest the pulsar work gets now.

A Roman sending an SMS Through  an arch in the Coliseum

Unlike most conferences I didn't know most of the attendees but I met up with a few colleagues who I hadn't seen in a while and we had some dinners in town. The conference dinner itself was excellent. The restaurant had picturesque views of the city and the Vatican and the food was spectacular.

The  Coliseum and the Arch of Constantine The  Basilica of Santa Francesca Romana

Before I left I went and had a look at the Roman Forum and some of the other sites in the vicinity. Unfortunately the weather all week was pretty miserable with overcast skies and drizzle. Still it stopped long enough for a quick tour.

The  Roman Forum Foro di Augusto

Then I was back on the aeroplane to Düsseldorf (because there wasn't a flight to Köln) followed by a train ride home to Bad Godesberg where it was still snowing.

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