Happy Academic New Year, 2015

June 1, 2015 I was thrilled to start my 3 year tenure as an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow (NSF AAPF) at Caltech. I am therefore declaring June 1 as my official academic New Year. I’m treating this fellowship period as my shot to make a scientific difference, and here’s to the next 3 years. I have an structured routine scheduled, Read More …

#OCCUPYMARS: my experience as a SpaceX intern

I spent my Fall as an intern in propulsion analysis at SpaceX. I had unparalleled mentors in rocketry, computational physics and software engineering. The intern program is top-notch, and to me represented the most effective “in” to the notoriously selective and demanding company. Moreover, the internship duration was a perfect interlude in my academic career. Read More …

General Relativity (thesis series)

To start with some bonus material, the featured image of the post is from Einstein’s notebook during the period during which he was developing general relativity. This post is a continuation series of posts goes through the elements of the concordance cosmology: general relativity, inflation, the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe, cold dark matter (CDM) and a Read More …

Concordance Cosmology (thesis series)

This series of posts goes through the elements of the concordance cosmology: general relativity, inflation, the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe, cold dark matter (CDM) and a positive cosmological constant. I will start with a review of the historical, theoretical, and observational advances that led to each model’s widespread acceptance. The posts are excerpts from my Ph.D. thesis, lightly modified for blog format. No mathematical equations are written, with the intent of making the introductory material accessible to the non-specialist. A full bibliography of references in posts in this series is available. Read More …

Finding earth like planets from the comfort of our own planet

Gravitational lensing results from the fact that General Relativity describes our universe: mass bends light and can function in effect like a lens, bending light in ways that can be used to infer the mass distribution itself. Gravitational microlensing is due to this same effect, but refers to the detection of objects which are of Read More …

The Game of Life-simple rules, complex behavior

Here’s a video introduction to the Game of Life Historically, one of the pioneers of computer science John von Neumann was interested in finding machines which could reproduce themselves. He developed an abstraction allowing him to mathematically model his work on a computational grid. A mathematician John Conway took up and simplified his work publishing Read More …

Cold dark matter heats up – a review of a review

This is a review of the recent paper, to be published in Nature, by Andrew Potzen and Fabio Governato Cold dark matter heats up. The paper is itself a review, containing information published in previous studies. I gave a presentation about it at our weekly Astrophysics journal club. The figure in the header is M82, Read More …

Axolotl Protocol for Cryptographically Secure Messaging: An Illustrated Primer

Whisper At Open WhisperSystems Winter Break of Code, I had the privilege to announce our integrated RedPhone/TextSecure roadmap for iOS and Android.  Code named Whisper, it offers a cross platform one stop solution for secure messaging and phone calls. This is a big deal! Close to a billion people are using data channel messaging and phone Read More …