As with the past two years, I have remained a member of the OU German club. I really like its style of casual meetings where students can practice their conversation skills, but as I’ve gotten more and more experienced with German, I’ve struggled to find partners at these events who can carry on a full conversation with me. And unfortunately, my busy schedule doesn’t always allow me to attend the Stammtisch events. That’s why this semester, I was really excited to help organize the second annual Society of Physics Students and German Club crossover event!
There has always been a strong correlation between physics majors and the German department; for those who don’t already start out in both departments, a majority of students seem to choose German to fulfill their foreign language requirement; many then go on to add a minor or second major in German. It’s always fun to walk into the study rooms in the physics building and hear people practicing their German skills together.
This year, we were lucky enough to coordinate with Dr. Schwettmann, a German professor in the physics department. He gave us a tour of his research lab and a lecture of fun and simple physics demos, all conducted in German. Afterwards, a physics student gave a presentation on his recent internship in Germany.
Historically, Germany has always been at the forefront of the physics world. It’s always really fun for me to combine my two majors, and an event like this helps me find other people who are interested in both languages and physics! But beware: as Dr. Schwettmann told us, German has some false cognates for common physics terms: German “Impuls” is English momentum, and English impulse is German “Kraftstoss”!
In the future, I hope that these two clubs can continue to host crossover events.