T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’

De Technisch Fysische Vereniging ‘Professor Francken’ is de Groningse studievereniging voor technische natuurkunde, verbonden aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. De vereniging is vernoemd naar de eerste hoogleraar technische natuurkunde in Groningen en is dan ook gericht op studenten en medewerkers van de vakgroepen technische natuurkunde. De vereniging heeft ruim 700 leden en organiseert onder andere binnenlandse excursies en jaarlijks een symposium en een buitenlandse reis. Een aantal activiteiten, zoals de introductie voor eerstejaars en de Bèta-bedrijvendagen, wordt in samenwerking met zusterverenigingen georganiseerd. Het lidmaatschap is een must voor technisch georiënteerde studenten.

Wat is Francken?

Ben je benieuwd wie wij zijn? Wil je weten wat technische natuurkunde is? Of ben je geïnteresseerd in actief worden binnen de vereniging? Hier vind je alle informatie die je nodig hebt.



Bereid je tentamen voor door te oefenen met oude tentamens en uitwerkingen, of natuurlijk door naar de door Francken georganiseerde oefensessies te gaan. Praat mee over de opleiding en laat jouw stem gelden in het NSOS!



Wat te doen na je studie? De academische wereld in, of juist het bedrijfsleven? Kijk hier voor carriere-oriënterende activiteiten zoals lezingen en bedrijvenexcursies.


June 13 till 16 - Practice sessions

Time flies and the final practice sessions of this academic year will soon take place. The best way to start your vacation is to pass all your courses. So make sure to attend if your courses are included! The following practice sessions will be given:

- Electricity and Magnetism 1 in X5114.0043 on Monday June 13 from 10:00 till 13:00 o’clock.
- Structure of Matter 1 in X5114.0004 on Wednesday June 15 from 13:00 till 16:00 o’clock.
- Mathematical Physics in X5114.0043 on Thursday June 16 from 10:00 till 13:00 o’clock.

We’ll make sure there is plenty of coffee, tea and cake!

Committees in ‘16-‘17

As the academic year is almost finished, we can look back at an awesome year full of amazing events! Do you still remember the activities like the Pubquiz, Gala, Christmas dinner, Apenkooi, Hitchhiking, or the Practise sessions, Symposium and many many more? Do you want to help with the organization of these events? Do you want to gain experiences, by working in teams and boost your resume? Or do you like to capture the memories of Francken by taking photos? Apply now, for the committees of the coming academic year! On June 6 after the constitution of the 32nd board, the committees are being exchanged.

To summarize: Do you want to help the association by organizing events and are you interested in the Fotocie, Fraccie, Representacie, Oefensescie, Sympcie, Sportcie or Takcie? Or would you like to have more information? Send a mail to candidateboard@professorfrancken.nl!

June 6 – General Assembly (O-ALV)

It’s almost time for the final General Assembly of the thirty-first board and for the new board to be installed! All gather at Café the Crown at 19:00 o’clock on June 6. We hope to see you there.

May 31 – Excursion to Schut

Schut has been a long-lasting partner of T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’. For years they’ve covered the back of the Francken Vrij with their geometric measurement devices. What qualities are needed to maximise the performance of their machines? And what technologies are available? In a company tour George Schut will show his company, a employee will give some general information about Schut and a trainee will tell about his experiences at Schut.

We will gather 13:30 o’clock at Duinkerkenstraat 21, 9723 BN Groningen. And a group will leave Francken at 12:50 o’clock.

May 26 – Best of Borrelcie borrel

To conclude another year filled with Borrelcie borrels, the Borrelcie decided to recapitulate some of its heights, to give some lows another shot and to try something new. There will be plenty of special beers, stock options on drinks, a living karaoke machine and maybe even a micro Tour de Francken. So be in the Francken room at 17:00 o’clock for an evening filled with pure joy!

The Problem of Choice

Who is Bram?

Bram is a student Astronomy and has been in multiple committees at Francken. He has also been advisory member of the facultyboard. He is currently working on his project “Flipping the Course”.

In one of my previous blog, I stated that a successful project needs focus. This means that at one point, you need to stop doing research and start using the gathered knowledge for more practical ends. Of course, finding the perfect moment for this is quite hard. Since there are still a lot of topics which are not clearly understood, providing ample new topics to research. These new topics will in turn lead to new topics and so on. However once you manage to drag yourself out of this rabbit hole of information, you notice that you obtained quite a few new insights. One of these insights I would like to share with you, it is about the problem of choice.

Imagine yourself in front of alcoholic’s heaven, the Delirium Café in Brussels. This is something you have been looking forward to all your life. So you can’t wait to get inside. Once inside you push your way through the crowd, towards the bar where you start to look at the long list (2004 different brands) of beers [1]. After reading for what seems like an eternity the bartender start to ask you what kind of beer you want. And then it starts. Your pulse seems to quicken, and you become awkwardly aware of all the people behind you pushing you to make a choice. How can you even start to order? You haven’t even finished reading the list. But the pressure of having to choose is suddenly overwhelming. It is at this point that you can do two things:

  1. Stop choosing, mumble some sort of excuse and try to flee out of there.
  2. Hurriedly choose something from the list and hope for the best.

Neither one of the choices feels quite right and you already feel tired from all the decision making today. This simple example already illustrates a problem with decision making. When there are a lot of options people start to feel paralyzed and don’t choose at all (option 1) [3], leaving these people with huge regrets.

Yet what happens if you are able to beat this paralysis and choose option 2?

The problem with option 2, is that it does not matter which choice you make, you always feel kind of let down in your decision. Of course this feels a little counter intuitive, the more choices the better a decision you can make right? Well you’re wrong [2]. Because of the variety of choices your expectations also change. If we have enough options, we expect that there must be some sort of choice which fits our idea of perfection. When we realize that this is never going to happen we feel disappointed or angry even, although the choice was probably really good.

Another reason for this feeling of disappointment is that we are afraid to miss opportunities. I think this is best shown by another example. Picture yourself being a 20-year-old student who is longing for a weekend off (since you are tired of making decisions all week long). However, your friends are planning to go to some crazy party down the block for which you are invited. So on the one hand you would rather stay home, catch some sleep, feed the cat et cetera. On the other hand you are afraid of missing out on stories which will be repeated for weeks to come. What to do? This feeling of missing out is quite apparent in the example above, but we can imagine that this happens on a much greater scale if we have more options.

On the other side, what happens when the amount of choices are limited? Then we will just settle for something for one of the options. In this way you can blame the café, the world or even the universe for choosing badly. You did the best you could.. By contrast when there are a lot options, there is only one person that can be blamed for choosing badly, YOU!

In conclusion, there is a fundamental problem in having a choice. When we decide for one thing we consequently exclude all other scenarios. This leaves us with a feeling of disappointment. This feeling results from the idea of a perfect choice being somewhere out there, together with the experience of missing out. Therefore, we should try to limit our choices, which leaves us overall much happier. But don’t let all this talk of choice distract you from the main message of this blog: When you actually go to the Delirium Café, come prepared and learn all the beers beforehand. Then you won’t be put on the spot. Or…. Just order the same beer as the person next to you.

Many thanks to Alexander Bouma for his major contributions regarding this blog post

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delirium_Caf%C3%A9
[2] https://www.ted.com/speakers/barry_schwartz
[3] Ansoff, H. Igor (1965). Corporate Strategy: an Analytic Approach to Business Policy for Growth and Expansion. New York: McGraw-Hill.



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