Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eigenstates of fluffies

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Soft soft and chub chub~~~

Even though I was spurned by quantum mechanics, I could not help but make another reference...

There was one, and now there are two... of the same kind! Snuggly chub chub.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Greensleeves, classic

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That opening line on the flute and harp takes my breath away every time. I actually think it'll also sound amazing on an oboe-clarinet sequence. I think this originates from my affinity with bodies of water where I can see the shores. And tall grasses waving in the wind.

Maintenance tasks

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Looks like I'll have to work up the discipline of getting up early every Sunday morning to get stuff at the only Farmers' market within biking distance. Having to depend on other ppl for rides can be such a hassle...

Despite being freaking expensive, I hope the quality factor would be worth it somehow... 'cause I'm starting to think that part of my time-to-time deranged tendencies might be related to dietary deficiencies. My problem-solving ability is my tool of the trade, and I can't afford to be regularly (even more) messed up in the head than I already am.......

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Maybe I'm a psychologist in an alternate universe

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Two pennies of thought I find fascinating...

(1) Dissociative identities in the context of self-exploration or self-examination, in a metaphysical or ontological or hypothetical sense.

(2) The characterization of triple agents, e.g. Severus Snape (Harry Potter series) and Colby Grainger (Numb3rs). Like what are their motives, their inner conflicts, etc...

And I want to play with nano-photonic crystals... in a representational form. Yes... more nerdy poetry. Though that kind of poetry takes me a lot of brain power to generate.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Random convo between two huge nerds

(9:24:39 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Apparently with a particle accelerator you can burn a tumor deep inside a person without even making an incision.
(9:24:51 PM) Me: I see
(9:26:37 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: The particle beams can be steered very precisely, and only deposit their energy at a particular penetration depth.
(9:26:58 PM) Me: I see.
(9:27:06 PM) Me: Very targeted.
(9:27:22 PM) Me: I'm curious
(9:27:38 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: If you want to hit a tumor in the middle of somebody's brain, you can't really do damage to all the surrounding tissue.
(9:27:39 PM) Me: I'm taking quantum mech now since I think circuits are getting small
(9:27:48 PM) Me: amazing.
(9:28:24 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Anyways, particle accelerators cost billions so hospitals aren't getting them any time soon.
(9:28:25 PM) Me: but I guess this technology is not portable and very expensive
(9:28:32 PM) Me: aahahah
(9:28:46 PM) Me: hospitals are trying to make things *cheap* and *small*
(9:29:06 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Not really, those MRI machines probably cost tens of millions.
(9:29:10 PM) Me: I know
(9:29:17 PM) Me: they want portable MRI's
(9:29:23 PM) Me: I think many groups are working on that
(9:29:31 PM) Me: some group @ Harvard has a prototype
(9:30:00 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Yeah
(9:30:18 PM) Me: I'm trying to figure out exactly what my research is.
(9:30:25 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: By taking QM?
(9:30:25 PM) Me: I don't have an advisor yet
(9:30:33 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Does the teacher have a german accent at least?
(9:30:47 PM) Me: oh, QM is what I think I should know for any research in circuits, devices, etc.
(9:30:53 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: You can't learn QM from somebody that doesn't have a german accent.
(9:31:08 PM) Me: Mine has an... Australian???
(9:31:15 PM) Me: Scottish?? Welsh??
(9:31:18 PM) Me: I don't know
(9:31:30 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: 4 out of 5 of my QM professors were german.
(9:31:31 PM) Me: But I don't think is German
(9:31:38 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Fail.
(9:31:45 PM) Me: lemme check his CV.
(9:31:45 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Tell him to learn a german accent.
(9:31:49 PM) Me: HAHAHAHHA
(9:32:00 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: So he doesn't sound like an imposter.
(9:32:36 PM) Me: He's a Scot.
(9:33:06 PM) Me: well, his undergrad is in Scotland
(9:33:17 PM) Me: so that's prolly where he's from.
(9:33:18 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: There's a lot of people working on quantum computing right now, but I don't know if that's really covered in most QM classes.
(9:33:25 PM) Me: nope
(9:33:36 PM) Me: not at this elementary level I'm doing :P
(9:33:37 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Most classes just go on and on about atoms.
(9:33:51 PM) Me: I'm doing this operator thing
(9:34:04 PM) Me: expectation values? of momentum and position operators
(9:34:12 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: It's all just linear algebra.
(9:34:20 PM) Me: we went right into Schrodingers
(9:34:24 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: You should be familiar with that from those circuit thingies.
(9:34:29 PM) Me: oh
(9:34:36 PM) Me: But I guess I don't know how to set it up
(9:34:49 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Oh you're doing the schrodinger formalism.
(9:35:00 PM) Me: since this was actually pset from my semiconductor physics class.
(9:35:06 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: That's just messy because you have to take integrals all day long for your homework.
(9:35:23 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Later on in life you learn the dirac formalism, and the math gets simpler.
(9:35:23 PM) Me: oh, I didn't actually do that fortunately
(9:35:38 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Apparently schrodinger was some kind of man slut.
(9:35:42 PM) Me: yes
(9:35:51 PM) Me: I'm doing QM in like 2 classes right now
(9:35:57 PM) Me: one is called QM
(9:36:04 PM) Me: the other is semiconductor physics
(9:36:38 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Yeah. I guess they usually call it solid state physics.
(9:37:10 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: I think schrodinger also had something against cats.
(9:37:22 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: I'm allergic to them, but I have nothing against them.
(9:37:22 PM) Me: sigh.
(9:37:30 PM) Me: I'm allergic to them
(9:37:34 PM) Me: and I like cats.
(9:38:46 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: I don't know any solid state physics, since I work on miniature particle accelerators.
(9:39:01 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: But I hear the hot topic is graphene.
(9:39:11 PM) Me: and carbon nanotubes
(9:39:18 PM) Me: and solar cells
(9:39:18 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Yes.
(9:39:29 PM) Me: these are the groups here that are getting $
(9:39:45 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Apparently you can produce nanotubes by rolling up graphene like making an eggroll or something.
(9:39:57 PM) Me: yeah ahahah
(9:40:00 PM) Me: mmmm
(9:40:19 PM) Me: That sounds like cool stuff, but I don't wanna spend time in a bunny suit all day.
(9:40:28 PM) Me: So I guess I shall do the modeling
(9:40:33 PM) Me: if I actually research about this
(9:40:41 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: See, half the people that start grad school here think they're going to work on string theory with steve weinburg and become the next einstein. The truth is there's no money in string theory, so they all end up doing experimental solid state physics, where the benjamins are.
(9:41:12 PM) Me: I can see that
(9:41:31 PM) Me: there're many groups here doing optical waveguides
(9:41:38 PM) Me: something I should know about for my stupid quals
(9:41:53 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Actually the solid state people spend most of their time wondering why their afm or sem or stm or whatever doesn't work.
(9:42:03 PM) Me: sigh
(9:42:06 PM) Me: how depressing
(9:42:14 PM) Me: Just like the PhD comics
(9:42:28 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Part of my group does optical waveguides.
(9:42:59 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: You're just getting older.
(9:43:02 PM) Me: Here, the professors explicitly said they don't know jack about their students' work
(9:43:06 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Reality is starting to stare you in the face more.
(9:43:09 PM) Me: And they're PROUD OF IT
(9:43:22 PM) Me: ahahaha
(9:43:32 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Professors don't really care about the details of your work, they just expect results.
(9:43:39 PM) Me: heh
(9:43:52 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: It's not really academia, these research groups are mini research factories.
(9:44:07 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Or research paper factories.
(9:44:09 PM) Me: Intel is one big ass research factory
(9:44:13 PM) Me: yeah
(9:44:16 PM) Me: lol
(9:44:19 PM) Me: I need papers
(9:45:01 PM) Me: well I mean, I'm still dealing with classes and ... qual prep... that's not getting done
(9:45:38 PM) Me: Actually, my ultimate life goal is to be like Henry Thoreau.
(9:46:09 PM) Me: I don't think there's a place for that
(9:47:52 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Hell, they just gave a guy a nobel prize just for not being bush.
(9:49:11 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: To get a nobel prize in physics, you have to invent the ccd or the fiber optic cable. Then you have to stick around and not die for 40 years until everybody agrees your earth-changing invention is nobel prize worthy.
(9:49:22 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: But in politics, you just have to not be bush.
(9:49:24 PM) Me: That's why I say
(9:49:45 PM) Me: The Physics Prize should have more $$$
(9:49:56 PM) Me: and they should give it to their grad students.
(9:50:10 PM) Me: That goes for the prize for medicine
(9:50:12 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: What does an 80 year old emeritus professor need a million dollars for, to buy a sports car?
(9:50:12 PM) Me: and chemistry
(9:50:25 PM) Me: I think the insulin one
(9:50:40 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Actually, lots of the old 70 year old professors in my department do in fact drive sports cars.
(9:50:44 PM) Me: the guy who won it gave to his grad student collaborator
(9:51:07 PM) Me: That's because they didn't have sports cars when they were young and dirt poor
(9:51:10 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: porsche, bmw, one guy had a ferrari that he crashed I think.
(9:51:11 PM) Me: like we are now
(9:52:09 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: I find it ironic that 90% of sports car owners are bald old men.
(9:52:24 PM) Me: They want to think they're still young
(9:52:30 PM) Me: suave and cool
(9:52:34 PM) Me: like James Bond
(9:52:55 PM) Me: People who wear helmets while biking - safe and uncool
(9:53:05 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Maybe they go cruising picking up girls 1/10th their age.
(9:53:10 PM) Me: People who don't wear helmets - dangerous but cool
(9:53:24 PM) Me: like James Bond
(9:53:31 PM) Me: except his death rate is 0%
(9:53:35 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: This post doc I work with doesn't stop talking about his sport bike.
(9:53:39 PM) Me: lol
(9:53:53 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: And won't stop watching motorcycle crashes on youtube.
(9:53:56 PM) Me: Dr. Yang of parity violation fame
(9:54:04 PM) Me: he married a girl 50 years younger
(9:54:08 PM) Me: freaking sick
(9:54:24 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: It be ironic if her name was yin.
(9:54:29 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Yin and yang's parity violation.
(9:54:33 PM) Me: Some people like to live on the dangerous side
(9:54:42 PM) Me: wow that was the funniest thing I've heard all day
(9:55:55 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: You know there's a tv show on cbs based on making fun of physicists?
(9:56:14 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: They tell jokes like that to try to pick up blond bimbos and get laughed at. But not in the good way.
(9:56:41 PM) Me: Big Bang Theory?
(9:56:57 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: You know, some physicist probably invented the cathode ray tube, which lead to the tv, and they use the tv to make fun of physicists.
(9:57:00 PM) Me: I watched the first 10 minutes of the 1st ep
(9:57:05 PM) Me: and got annoyed at it
(9:57:48 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: I've never seen a tv show before where I got every single reference.
(9:58:06 PM) Me: wahaahah
(9:58:08 PM) Me: amazing
(9:58:09 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: I even have digital copies of some of the posters they have in the background.
(9:58:14 PM) Me: dude
(9:58:20 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Nasa public pics and stuff.
(9:58:33 PM) ParticlePhysicistFriend: Sad.
(9:58:49 PM) Me: no it's not
(9:59:12 PM) Me: physicists don't have to be freaking inept like that
(9:59:25 PM) Me: they could be cool and suave like freaking James Bond

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Truncated dreams

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So two nights ago I was dreaming that I was about to go swimming. But the dream itself only included the mundane preparation interspersed with moments when I ran around a pool (in various locations) as a child. So I never actually did the swimming in the dream because I woke up before then.

Last night I dreamed about going to buffets with a large salad and dessert bar. But yes... I didn't get to eat any of the stuff I got in the dream.

Does this indicate unfulfilled, subconscious desires? I do know that lately I've sought out images of scenery with either running rivers or lakes. Probably because I'm not feeling the presence of the ocean or the bay here, and the campus lake is a freaking dried puddle. I mean, the temperature difference throughout the day is like 30 degrees F. That's basically a desert.

And yesterday for the whole day I ate a bowl of pasta with some lettuce and a bit of leftover pork.

So maybe the desires are not so subconscious after all.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

We are all superpositions of eigenstates

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From my quantum mechanics class...

Prof: Here's how you remember that when a wave runs into a hard boundary, it will experience a 180-degree phase change. This demo will hurt so I have to take off my glasses.

[Prof walks into a wall]

Prof: Now you see that I have experienced a 180-degree face (phase) change...

(In a subsequent class.)

Prof: Remember that individual eigenstates are stationary in space...

[Prof does a robot freeze in a funny position]

Prof: That's an eigenstate.

[Another pose in a funny position]

Prof: That's another eigenstate. Now I look like an idiot.

This prof has a very flamboyant persona. Awesome demos. Makes up for the less-engaging Powerpoint slides. He reminds me of Doc DS from Intro Chem at the 'Tute, who is seriously a Godfather/pimp. And Doc S has board technique that totally rocks. Having done "chalk talks" before, I realize how hard it could be to lecture coherently while writing down equations and responding to the class, etc...