Not so long ago, in a far, rainy and remote island surrounded by mist and fog, where
were my daily living, I was for 5 now very distant years, a most (!) happy Post-Doctoral Fellow in the General Relativity group of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, at the University of Cambridge. If you have ever wonder what's that mad-wolf-howling late at night until the crack of dawn, now you know who's and why: It is me (who got lost from the pack)! Life at Cambridge is far from dull (contrary to what you may have heard)! Even the official college-cat gets a full swing of apres-lecturing entertainment (you may need some specific software to see this elucidating movie).
Before that significant period in my academic enlightenment, I did my undergraduate (B.Sc) and graduate (M.Sc and Ph.D.) studies at the Physics Department of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon in Portugal. Overall, I had the enormous privilege to benefit from the feedback, guidance and support of people such as A. Barroso, P. Crawford, J. Mourao and S. Hawking.
Currently, I am a tenure-track lecturer (C3 category - Associate Professor)
at the Physics
Department of UBI
(Universidade da Beira Interior) in
Portugal. Moreover, I am a member of
the research centre CENTRA
in IST, Lisbon.
UBI is a young university and a former polytechnic. It has recently expanded in many academic directions but claims that (i) "... UBI is just a step behind Oxford ...", (ii) "... surely it will constitute the Portuguese Cambridge ...", together with strange sightings reporting that CAM (Cambridge Alumni Magazine) and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) were found in the ground level of some UBI labs (!) should be regarded from a cautious perspective. There is a long way yet to go. My opinion and suggestions for a credible strategy are comprised in a MANIFEST I wrote with the title A UBI e as Sombras de Platao (UBI and Plato's Shadows) [in Portuguese!], regarding the current situation of Portuguese Universities and UBI in particular. Feedback has been close to the coldest cosmological vacuum (the latter is probably also far more attractive). The manifest was published in the UBI on-line journal URBI et ORBI , where this other interview of mine as well as another one are also available.
Nevertheless, UBI has surely many advantages and significant improvements have been made in the last few years. Most notably, implementing active research in theoretical physics in the areas of Cosmological Implications of Superstring Theory. Since the start of my tenure (1998) I have extensively used the funding of several research projects (some of which I was the the head coordinator). These have provided for the creation of LAG (Laboratory of Astrophysics and Geophysics) and endorsed the acquisition of several most needed means for research. You can also check on the resource facilities which are available for research here, in case you will be visiting us within a project/programme collaboration.
This just goes to say that when you face
hard times, having arrived with a handful of
you can find solace in an
iluminating Japanese proverb that says more or less:
"You cannot change your destiny but you may raise in the
challenge of it". And so I have been doing and will try to
continue to do so.
Herewith you can find several useful items [a brief description,
lecture notes (if available),
the programme and evaluation methods (i.e., grading),
bibliography, previous tests/exams,
student questionaires, schedulle for tutorials,
problem sets (if available), other resources for learning
assistance] regarding the subjects I
have, am or will be lecturing:
I usually teach two (or theree!) of the above subjects for semester, amounting to 14 hours per week or even more (including tutorials) and yes, it is really a (very!) hard work. In particular, when you also strive for sucess in other academic directions.
Recently, I have also been preparing a Physics for Poets course, hopefully to the interest of others beyond the physics community, outreaching a wider group with a sincere interest in (rigourous) science.
I do also sincerely trust to have the opportunity to
propose and coordinate further lecture courses at UBI on subjects
such as (i) Advanced Topics in General Relativity
and (ii) Superstring Theory. One may ask if there is
the need to teach and study them at UBI. Does anyone
(besides some physicists) care
about those scientific border lines? Well, yes, and
click here to see why and how.
The following items constitute topics who have drawn and/or have my current academic attention:
I have formulated a list that includes several subjects for research, aiming at different ranges of time and difficulty. They may raise your interest and constitute a good motivation to join our research activities.
visitors (graduate students or Post-doctoral fellows) may find a
description of our resources
made available to their
Herewith you can obtain a
summary of my recent and current research activity.
It basically focuses on (Quantum) Cosmological
Implications of Superstring and Supergravity
(M-)theories. Quoting W. Pauli, "Ich warne
Neugierige", i.e., I caution the curious, meaning that it
involves a strong commitment to a dedicated and (wolf-pack) predatory
pursuit attitude until the (scientific!) aim is seized.
Detailed information about my career status updated(!) in postscript and PDF format:
Find a collection of some of my available papers/publications at:
Reports - submitted/recently published
Projects/Work in progress
I have also been organizing a few semester-seminars at GATC-UBI. Most of these seminars (were and) have been devoted to the (presentation and) discussion of new ideas (and approaches) describing the possible cosmological implications of superstring theory features (e.g., (mem)brane effective actions, multidimensional space-times, etc).
Some useful notes/information:
Find here information (at a general public level) on the following issues (they will be updated/improved soon):
Several colleagues and sites found the above e-reports interesting and/or useful.
In Portuguese we can find here a summary of some my recent research work. It corresponds to part of the documentation I submitted for my Agregacao.
In addition, here are two files (coverted from PPs to html format) of talks (at a Public Understanding of Science level) I gave in 2001 and 2002:
I was interviewed by Diario de Noticias (leading newspaper in Portugal) about my achievements and projects. You can see the interview here:
I speak several languages(!):
|English||very good, fluent|
|French||very good, fluent|
|Spanish||very good, fluent|
And here is a list of countries I visited (I enjoy a lot to travel!):
I enjoy reading current newspapers and magazines
as well as watch BBC-World and spend evening/after dinner hours reading a good book, indulging myself with dark-bitter-chocolate, drinking the best Port wine there is, while listening to piano music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Grieg, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann or Sibelius. Recently I also start listening to "smooth jazz". In particular, I do enjoy N. Jones, L. Ekdahl, D. Krall, S. Nergaard, S. Kent, which constitute "jazz female voices" whose effect is to produce the most decadent chocolate ambience (in the very nice sense that they do melt you without mercy). Oh, well so I may not go to heaven, but ("decadent") dark-bitter chocolate and sweet Port wine just control me in these days. But here are some of the books I have finished or am finishing reading (some are in Portuguese):
If you have netmeeting features in your PC, you may see me work at UBI, pondering over a cosmological problem within a superstring scenario. You may even participate in some e-chat workshop/seminar in String Cosmology (only if you are involved in the research programme).
In addition, you may also watch me chasing my cats (Miss Brownie - the mother, PepperBall, Joyfull and MikeTiger - the kittens) or them chasing me. They were snatched and resqued from the jaws of the terrible Uruk-hai and a group of menacing orks, joined by evil sourcers, near the dark tower of Barad-dur, on Mordor. Well, not really. I just found the mother cat (I was not aware of that condition of hers yet!) near the Administrative Head Office (aka, Reitoria) of UBI. By the way, I am not a Tolkien fan, although I fancy some of the heroic sequences.
Blissfully, I am married to an understanding and (very!)
supportive as well as most beautiful wife. In the attached photograph she is the one
(yes, you guessed it) in the red-tartan overcoat feeding
the furry little thing (yes, you guessed it also) that is a
squirrel, with a bit of Cadbury's chocolate in Hyde Park,
London, in a very cold winter morning in early December.
Recently, she was also sighted giving biscuits to a family of a mother racoon
and 3 cubs in the UBC campus, Vancouver, Canada.
Currently, my office is in the 5th floor of the Physics Building at UBI, facing SE, in the back of the foothills of Serra da Estrela (Portugal highest mountain, 2000 meters). It can be quite nice in Autumn and Winter (provided it has snowed and the heating is on, otherwise bring a y.o.h.s. - your own heating system!).
If I'm not at my desk, you may find me at
|Sometime in September||Lisbon, Portugal||PhD Juri|
|Sometime in September||Geneva, Switzerland||RTN meeting|
|Sometime in October||Lisbon, Portugal||PhD Juri|
|Sometime in October||Porto, Portugal||Science-Religion Conference|
|Sometime in October||California, USA||String Cosmology Conference|
|Sometime in November||California, USA||Cosmology Workshop|
|Sometime in December||Florida, USA||Cosmology Conference|
|Sometime in January 26-30||India||GR Cosmology Conference|
|Sometime in February||Poland||Quantum Gravity Conference|
|Sometime in June||Cargese, France||Cosmology Conference|
|During July||Dublin, Ireland||GR17 Conference|
|During August||Michigan, USA||String Conference|
|During September -December||...||...|
Please be patient; Don't call me, I will call you...
My address is: Physics Deparment, Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI), R. Marques d'Avila e Bolama, 6200 Covilha, PORTUGAL
UBI's phone and fax: (351)-275-319703 and (351)-275-319719.
You can also email me by clicking:
"Die Tintenscheisserei ist endloss".
if you want to hear his voice!
... and if you, like myself, feel often in these recent (and not so recent) livelong days a little bit more tired than usual, ...
Aetus: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero;
Voa: aproveita o dia presente, confia pouco no amanha;
Fly: seaze the moment, trust little for what tomorrow brings.
Odes, I, 11 - Horatio