PhD at Department of Physics & Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University

by Hiroya Nishikawa

My office

I embarked on a PhD program at the department of physics & astronomy at Johns Hopkins University this September. My research interest lies in the field of cosmology. It has been hectic for the past few months since I needed to start a new life here in Baltimore as my PhD program began. This semester, I completed research, took a course, attended a weekly seminar and research meeting, and worked as a teaching assistant. I took one course because (thankfully) I was signed off from other obligatory courses. It covered recent developments in cosmology and high energy physics, which broadened my perspectives of the fields. I spent most of my time doing research, in summary: I am investigating the possibility that the gravitational waves recently detected by LIGO could have come from a merger of two primordial black holes, which dark matter could consist of. Here is a picture of my office (I like the view through the window).

En route to my office

In addition to research, I also work as a teaching assistant for two undergraduate physics courses, in which I help my students deepen their understandings of basic physics. My research group holds a lunch meeting every Wednesday, where one of us gives a talk on a topic of their choosing as we enjoy the delicious lunch served by the group.
I enjoy the social aspects of my life as well. We have a happy hour every Friday evening, where a lot of PhD students in this department come together and engage in some activities and conversations as we enjoy drinks. Since this university is in Baltimore, which is a major city with a lot of entertainment and interesting places to visit, we occasionally go out and explore the city as well. As it gets colder these days (I am writing this report in November), leaves are turning into red, yellow and various colors. I enjoy watching the autumn leaves every day as I walk through the campus from my apartment to my office. I conclude this report with one of the pictures that I took.