Road To Reality–Part I

This past year I read Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe

The tome is definitely the read for anyone interested in our current understanding of reality from the ground up. It doesn’t shy away from mathematics like most popular science accounts. Rather, as mathematics is the gasoline to travel the Road, it fuels the reader up along the journey. Yet the mathematics quickly progresses from exploring what a number exactly is to a graduate level textbook equivalent and this whirlwind journey is not to be taken lightly. Rather than a Road, I actually consider The Road to Reality to be more of a Roadmap indicating a path to reality without fully providing the reader with the tools to travel it. It worked for me–a Physics PhD student–as most of the book was putting familiar things in a grander context. However, for those not on the Road as a career, supplemental work is probably needed to get the most out of the book. In the that spirit I am presenting a condensed Roadmap in chunks of 6 chapters (there are a whopping 34 chapters covering 1123 pages) with additional links to online courses (primarily sourced from the wonderful Khan academy, Coursera, and MIT OCW).

Without further ado, I present the Roadmap I of VI of Chapters 1-6 of The Road to Reality: Read More …

NASA Space Apps Challenge

Directly after coming back from Doha to Zürich, I got a quick 6hrs of sleep and took the train to Lausanne where I was a co-organizer of the NASA Space Apps Challenge sponsored by the Swiss Space Center, among others. We had over 30 people at the event, and 3 distinguished guest speakers and judges (including Dr. Prasenjit Saha from my institute, on crowd sourcing gravitational lensing measurements), and an action packed weekend. Read More …

NASA now accepting applications to the Astronaut candidate class of 2013

NASA is now accepting applications to the Astronaut candidate class of 2013.

I’m absolutely applying. Although hoping to venture to space in any case via the private sphere, I still think NASA will best SpaceX to the first mission to Mars and as far as riding the wave into the future goes, that is the place to be. Read More …

Human vs. Vacuum

While Neil Stephenson laments that we have lost our space faring capabilities and sees it as a harbinger of societal decay as a whole, I am getting waves of future shock just from SpaceX’s vaporware. So I’m more optimistic; the basic conflict human vs. vacuum may yet be won as private companies rightly take interest in the final frontier. Also if the powers that be are listening: sign me up for the first trip to Mars. Read More …

Kliq movie is live

I’m amazingly lucky to have only hobbies, even though I work constantly. The Kliq movie is live! I am extremely proud of the work myself, and my cofounder Michael Craig have done thus far and where we are taking it next, making it easier than ever to interact with people, friends, acquaintances, and potential new best friends, business partners, etc. at events you are already RSVPing to. Read More …

pv-astro poster, simulating the Milky Way, and supercomputer lovefest

I gave a short presentation Friday about pv-astro at the Swiss National Supercomputer Center’s User’s day. We also got to hear a few talks, including about Lucio Mayer’s recent work on a realistic simulation of a Milky Way type galaxy similar to our own. Finally we got an update about the machines at the center being upgraded in October. Some people like fast cars, motorcycles, and airplanes. Me however, I like big machines, with lots of cores and an obscene amount of RAM. Read More …

So a neutrino runs into a tachyon in a bar….

So a neutrino runs into a tachyon in a bar…. HHere’s a collection of interesting twitter snippets from physicists I follow on twitter about today’s neutrino webcast announcing the surprising, and frankly unbelievable, results that the OPERA collaboration observed superluminal neutrinos. I haven’t watched the webcast myself, nor read the paper beyond the abstract yet so can only comment that I believe it must be systematics. That said it would be insanely interesting to be proven otherwise. Finally, the following highlighted tweets are in reverse chronology, because, well… I’ve been here since the day after tomorrow, said the tachyon. What took you so long? Read More …