Monthly Archives: July 2012

Tachyon


Tachyons are particles that are often used in science fiction the most recent time I encountered the tachyon was in the game AI war, in which it was used for stealth detection. In reality however the tachyon probably doesn’t exist. The tachyon is an hypothetical particle that was first proposed by Gerald Feinberg how described the particle as an particle that could move faster than light and had an imaginary mass. Imaginary in this context means a amount times the square root of -1. After its proposal however it was soon realised that even an imaginary mass does not allow a particle to move faster than the speed of light. After this the particle became a major flaw in the theory used to predict the particle namely bosonic string theory. String theory in short is a theory that describes particles not as 0 dimensional objects(points) but rather as oscillating 1 dimensional objects (lines or strings) these strings oscillate in extra dimensions predicted by the theory, it is one (actually multiple since there are multiple types of string theory) of the theories that tries to describe quantum mechanics and general relativity in one theoretical framework, a theory that does that is also called a Theory of everything(TEO) since it describes all the known forces in one theory. Now back bosonic string theory, bosonic string theory is a theory that tries to describe everything with bosons, bosons are all particles that have integer amounts of spin( a quantity for how fast a particle spins around its own axis), particles with halve integer spin are called fermions. Besides bosonic string theory there are multiple types of supersymmetric string theory, theories where for every boson type there exists a fermion with the same mass and internal quantum number. I hope this was some interesting background information on Tachyons.

Math Jail


A while back I watched some videos from minutephysics about some math and infinity the first one is about a proof that seems to be rather contradictory to other math stuff (and common sense) and the second is both a reaction on the commotion(math jail) over this and some more physics related explanation(go watch the videos their great). The truth about physicist (at least a lot of the ones I know) is that they use a lot of sloppy math which in my opinion is kind of a double edged sword, on the one hand it makes calculations and proofs a lot easier on the other hand in certain (rare) circumstances you can get some things which are completely different from the actual result, but well that’s why we have mathematicians and experiments.

Day9 tv and Nerdy romance


Today I was watching a video from day9 where among other things he told a story about how he asked a girl out by writing an letter in old english and got an java script as answer (if you want to hear the details watch the video) and this reminded me of the time I wanted to sent a girl a valentines day card but wanted to do it anonymus. So what did I do I made a new email adress with my name encrypted in the email adress name, by using an easy encrytion scheme namely taking the first prime number to be “a” the second prime number to be “b” etc (a key like that is called a cryptographic key) and emailed her the drawing I had made and scanned.

Reus


Today I found out that my highschool endproject(a numerical simulation of the 3 body problem interpreted as an binery starsystem where a third star is added) partner is making a video game called Reus. In the game you play the role of nature and need to strike a balance between yourself and mankind. The trailer and the concept art look very nice have a look here

MIT online courses


Being a physics student I sometimes watch videos at MIT opencourseware and when I do I always find it a little weird that some of their undergraduate courses have stuff in them that is thought in highschool in my country. It’s not that strange if you consider that in the USA children aren’t split up  into 3 levels (vwo, havo and vmbo) which means that highschool courses can’t get the difficulty and speed they have in the Netherlands or other countries where children split based on intelligence.

Here are some of the courses I found a lot of highschool material in:

Microecnonomics

Classical Mechanics

Selon


Well it’s kind of surprising to me but the day I start this Blog is the day I find out that the nickname I’ve been using for years (Selon) is the name of a chemical formula. In English the structures name has another e behind my nickname but in my native language (Dutch) it’s exactly the same

Image

Back in highschool I did like chemistry but at the end of highschool not that much anymore. But in my physics classes I’m not a total stranger to chemical formulas, even though now I’m more into the math side of physics than in the chemistry side of it.

Why can studying be so depressing


It’s not because the actual content is worse than an actual job or highschool. It’s because it isn’t supposed to be as bad as an job or highschool, it should be something you really like that your passionate about, because if it’s not it shapes your live into an direction you don’t want. If you study mathematics for example but can’t stand to see equations the jobs you will get later in life will still be about equations for a long time after you have finished your mathematics degree. That is why it’s so depressing if you don’t like your studies (anymore) because there is too much pressure to at the very least like what you’re doing and if not find something else you like.