Author Archives: daniel

The Death of a Small Star

A few weeks ago we talked about the birth of a star, how tiny pieces of matter start clumping together in very cold and dark regions of space, becoming a protostar, and blowing its shell out with the massive amount of energy from fusion. A star is born in the darkness. It lives anywhere between … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics | 2 Comments

The Standup Paddleboard Project

What did I get myself into? I was supposed to save money, but after a string of expenses I ended up paying the same as a cheaper paddleboard, and about $200 more of what I could have gotten at Costco. This board is mine now, and when I come up with a design from the … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics | Leave a comment

The Doppler Effect

Today we’ll talk briefly about a popular phenomena that few people understand: the Doppler Effect. Sound and light are waves. The pitch of the sound and the color of light are a result of the frequency of these waves, that is to say, how many times the wave “peaks” in one second. This is otherwise … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What is Anti-Matter?

Anti-Matter! Stuff from legend, science fiction, both good and terrible books in the strange section at Barnes and Noble, is it real? What’s it like? Why is it so hard to find? And why is it so uncommon? These questions, and more, summarily answered by science’s hive mind. I’m only but one small remora sucking … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics, particle physics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resonance and Harmonics

Acoustic resonance is the increased tendency for an object to vibrate at a particular frequency that it’s configured for. For example, a guitar string tuned to E will vibrate on its own when it “hears” another E – you don’t have to strike the first string in order for it to move. Harmonics are multiples … Continue reading »

Categories: music | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

The Large Hadron Collider

The new LHC particle accelerator in Geneva is operating at 480 bunches per beam. A bunch is about a hundred billion protons, each one carrying the energy of about a mosquito in flight. When put together, 480 of these bunches have the energy of a 20,000 ton aircraft carrier going at 3 knots. When the … Continue reading »

Categories: particle physics | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Moon’s Locked On

Ever notice that we always see the same side of the moon? If all planets rotate, and all moons rotate, and even the sun rotates, why is it that our moon doesn’t seem to? In fact, it does, but it’s our fault we only see one side. The moon is in Tidal Lock with the … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

A Map of the Night Sky

Have you ever wanted to be able to look at the sky and know right away what it is you’re looking at? If you’ve spent 5 minutes with me outdoors at nighttime you may have seen me point out over two dozen bright stars in the sky. You’d be surprised to know how easy this … Continue reading »

Categories: Astronomy | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Nebulae – Clouds Alight in a Deep Ocean of Darkness

We took a brief look at nebulae, but some of you fed back to me that we didn’t take far enough of a look. A nebula, as explained a few days ago, is a big mass of gas and dust that either reflects or fluoresces light. They are a showcase for the stars that inhabit … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classifying Stars – Luminosity, Brightness, Temperature, and Color

A few days ago, we talked briefly about how stars are made. But no two stars are identical: they can vary in size, internal pressure, temperature, composition, age, mass, mass loss, density, spectra, brightness, and luminosity. Today we’ll talk about some of their visual characteristics. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about their types, and how these two … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Induction

I recently read a book that introduced me to the concept of induction. The theory and philosophy of knowledge, known to smarty pants as epistemology, is a rich and complex field of study where bearded men in ivory towers lined with mahogany think for years upon years without really going outside, therefore kind of losing … Continue reading »

Categories: Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parallax

Fictitious scenario: My science project is due tomorrow! I’m supposed to talk about stars, and planets, and such! Better run to Wikipedia and grab some quick facts. (Note: I do not advocate the use of Wikipedia for academic research, but it’s sometimes a good place to start to familiarize yourself with a topic) According to … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Star is Born

We see them twinkle at night, we make odd shapes out of them, and one of them is a major component of our daily lives as members of a race and components of a complex ecosystem. But what is it, and how did it come to be? The Interstellar Medium When we look into space … Continue reading »

Categories: Astrophysics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Entropy: the Mathematical Description of Inevitable Disorder

Today, I shall talk about one of the most interesting aspects of thermodynamic law: the concept of entropy. Entropy is simply a measure of the energy in a system that is not available to perform useful work. It is the reason why machines are not considered completely efficient. For example, entropy in your body is all … Continue reading »

Categories: Thermodynamics | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hi Danny! How do I subscribe to your lame blog, so you can stop spamming me on Facebook?

I just placed a link on the right that says “subscribe” – just click on it and use your favorite RSS or Atom aggregator, and if you don’t know what those things are then use the “email” tab and subscribe via email using feedblitz! Then tell your friends, your dog, your imaginary parrot, and your … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Women in Science

Before we can set our eyes on the stars and truly appreciate their wonder, perhaps we should get better at recognizing some of the amazing accomplishments that have happened right at our doorstep by none other than the female scientist. For many centuries scientific or academic circles did not allow women to become members . … Continue reading »

Categories: History | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All it Takes is One Mind

I posted this on Facebook a few days ago, but I really wanted it to be my first blog post. Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity in 1916. It made predictions that he didn’t live to witness proven: Gravitational deflection of light by a massive body (gravitational lensing) Perihelion shift of Mercury’s orbit The … Continue reading »

Categories: Discoveries | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment