Week 1: Leaving the Desert; Entering the Humidity

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Sunday, June 1, 2014


Kelby Peterson

My first week as an SPS Intern has been a whirlwind of new and exciting things as well as a blast of jet lag, culture shock, and some mild climate changes. DC has been a great experience all around; from the awesome food to the Memorial Day Parade I have had great experiences exploring the city. Moving from Utah to Washington DC has given me a glimpse of what humidity and a big city is truly like. Learning to navigate the metro, not to stand on the left side of the escalator, and to always carry an umbrella are just a couple of the many things I've learned outside the normal internship hours so far this week.

My first few days have been spent at the American Center for Physics meeting many of the national staff for some of the various societies located there. I've had a great time being thrown into knocking on doors and introducing myself to all of the staff members, listening to what each of the American Institute of Physics Directors do, eating lunch with Nobel Laureate John Mather, and so much more. It has been a blast getting tips on how to read journal articles from Physics Today editors, using diffraction glasses to do light spectroscopy with Toni Sauncy, and prepping demos for outreach events with the SPS SOCK Interns.

Mark, Ashley, Kelby, Kearns and Jake in front of the DC Memorial Day Parade.It's been amazing to become such quick friends with all the other interns; joking and laughing with people I met days ago. We’ve explored museums together, gone to the top of the Washington Monument, taken a selfie from the middle of the Memorial Day Parade, gotten hopelessly lost in the city, and stayed up late laughing and geeking out together. Meeting the interns from different parts of the country has been awesome. I love hearing about how each school runs their physics department and SPS chapter, as well as the non-physics backgrounds we each bring to the table. We are all so different yet really have become fast friends looking out for each other, teasing each other, and sharing the highlights of our new internship experiences.

This summer is already off to a really great start and I hope to keep up the pace. I’m so excited to be working at NIST, exploring a new field of research, and meeting so many more brilliant people.


Kelby Peterson