Splash Biography

NICHOLAS RUI, UC Berkeley undergraduate, physics/astrophysics

Major: Physics, Astronomy

College/Employer: UC Berkeley

Year of Graduation: 2020

Picture of Nicholas Rui

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm Nicholas Rui, a third-year physics and astrophysics undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. I have a serious passion for all things physical and would like to share that passion with the world.

A shortlist of things I am or have been:
* Co-vice president of UC Berkeley's Society of Physics Students
* Star cluster researcher (J. Lu group)
* Solid-state defect researcher (N. Yao group)
* Member of the Physics Department Major Curriculum Committee
* Co-facilitator of Astronomy 98/198: Python for Astronomers
* Grader for Physics 110A: Electromagnetism and Optics

I can be contacted here:

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M507: Mostly Complex in Splash Spring 19 (Mar. 16, 2019)
Mostly hidden behind the shroud of the standard mathematics curriculum, complex numbers are actually both simple and elegant. In this class, we will dive into the basic mathematical structure of complex numbers, both from a conceptual and computational perspective. We will draw from examples in physics to see that the imaginary unit $$i$$ is, ironically, one of the most practically useful ideas we have.

S391: Why Quantum? in Splash Fall 18 (Nov. 04, 2018)
Quantum mechanics, along with rocket science and brain surgery, has been canonized as the exclusive domain of nerdy math-abled people who spend their free time solving integrals under a dim desklamp. While there is a tinge of truth to this, the questions posed by quantum mechanics has philosophical relevance to anyone, regardless of background. By posing straightforward questions about seemingly simple systems, we can paradoxically understand the well-stated adage by Richard Feynman: "If you think you understand quantum mechanics then you don't understand quantum mechanics." This course requires no mathematical knowledge and only requires a mild dose of curiosity. Very limited mathematical notation may be utilized, but no prior knowledge is required.

S392: Spacetime in Splash Fall 18 (Nov. 04, 2018)
Albert Einstein is well-known for myriads of achievements, with his magnum opus probably being the theories of special and general relativity, which was a fundamental paradigm shift in the way we think about the universe. Relativity is an extremely elegant geometric theory which can be linked to a variety of physical phenomena, including muon decay and microlensing. General relativity ultimately stems from a seemingly mundane fundamental question: why does everything at the Earth's surface, regardless of mass, fall at the same rate? Some knowledge of electromagnetism and linear algebra is somewhat advised, though this should not prevent a curious student from exploring this beautiful subject.