Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Perimeter Institute

Yesterday, I went to visit a fellow blogger at the Perimeter Institute. For those of you unfamiliar with PI, it's a theoretical physics research institute that was created by the founder and co-CEO of Research in Motion (RIM), Mike Lazaridis. RIM is famous for inventing the BlackBerry.

Anyway, after getting lost along the way, having to call DH to guide me to PI (there was construction all over the place!), parking in a random lot, not being able to find an entrance to the building, and being an hour late, I found Bee!

She took me on a tour of PI, which was very cool indeed. Definitely the nicest physics building I've ever seen! They had a gorgeous library, little nooks with seating and blackboards everywhere (I wish I took photos of the boards, as they were all filled with equations and diagrams - much like you would expect at a theoretical physics institute), and people talking physics in the hallways.

We also talked much about the paintings put up around the modern, airy, building - some were gorgeous, some were...well...I didn't know what they were until Bee told me! Again, I should have taken photos. She also showed me the gym (empty), the children's play area (empty) and the racket-ball court (also empty). I'm sure they get used more in the winter!

The PI is undergoing some massive renovations - well, renovations is an understatement. They're basically doubling the size of the building to accommodate all the new students and researchers. Right now, there are random desks in the hallways for some of these unfortunate souls.

Fig. 1: A model of the current building (white)
and the addition (brown).

After the tour, we walked to a nearby Starbucks and had coffee (she has a "usual" - how cool is that?) and chatted about our careers, work places, and husbands. Unfortunately, because I was an hour late, I could only spend a couple hours there, but it was a great visit.

Thanks for having me, Bee!