This is a quiet space.

elkement is thinking about well-known theoretical physics. Relearning and reviving the basics again and again. Inspired by the aesthetics of vintage patent drawings and by Sir Roger Penrose’s handcrafted sketches, I am searching for the nexus of science and art. I am experimenting with math software SageMath and descriptive geometry / freehand drawings. Snippets of science articles – incl. my own – serve as raw material for my Found Poetry.

Images shown on this site are my own artworks, my own data, or public domain images. You must not use my content for anything else than your internal / personal use (= looking at it in your browser). In particular, my data, text and images must not be reused on your website without my consent. Attribution is not sufficient! If you are interested in using (licensing) my digital artworks in any way or if you want to get access to high-resolution versions to create prints, see the information on the Gallery page.

The tagline of the blog refers to this quote by Richard Feynman:

“It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined! Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?” –Richard Feynman

I know – it’s weird! You likely you came here, following a link to an article on the ice-tank-powered heat pump system or on hacking Windows Public Key Infrastructure :-) I am still writing about security now and then!

Social Media / contact: LinkedIn and Twitter.

Physics. I am thinking out loud about well-known mathematical physics. Re-learning an re-viving the basics again and again. Inspired by series of textbooks, written by a single person who aspired at covering all of physics, like Roger Penrose, Landau&Lifshitz, David Tong.

Art. I create Found Poetry of my own science articles and of internet search terms. Inspired by the magic of the math underlying theoretical physics, I craft digital art and drawings.

Cyber. I built it, I protected it, and I hacked it. I have been implementing and supporting Windows Public Key Infrastructures. Finally I turned to the red side.

Energy. I used this blog to publish research about the heat pump system we’ve developed. The heat source is a combination of an underground water/ice tank and a ribbed pipe solar/air collector. I was in charge of simulations and data analysis.

History of Science and Engineering. I am standing on the shoulders of giants.

Web. Meta: How this website has evolved. On internet culture.

Life, the Universe, and Everything. Thoughts about Life, Work, Science, Technology, Business, and all their intersections – in spirit of the original name and tagline of this blog:

Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything
Physics versus engineering
off-the-wall geek humor versus existential questions
IT versus the real thing
corporate world’s strangeness versus small business entrepreneur’s microcosmos,
knowledge worker’s connectedness versus striving for independence




44 Comments Add yours

  1. Seb says:

    Hello, I have just found your website because I have a Stiebel heat pump and a Raspberry Pi.

    I want to know If you are still using the tools descibed in your messages.

    1. elkement says:

      Yes, I am still using them!

  2. rob says:

    Hello i have lost my pfx for efs files. My ssd is burned, and i have only one copy in a pen, but pfx is lost. I have some password for wallet crypto, Can you help me? I can give you some btc of this wallet . thanks

    1. elkement says:

      I am very sorry, but if your user profile is lost (which was on the system drive) and there is no PFX backup, then there is no way to recover your private key.

  3. Trump’s election pushed me back to my blog (probably temporarily). It looks like you’re the one surviving member of the blogs I followed when I was here regularly. Nice to see. Take care. -WBD

    1. elkement says:

      Great to hear from you! Yes – I have also noticed that blogs seem to have a half-live of about 1-2 years…

  4. Cardboard Express says:

    Hi there! I just wanted to say that you have an incredible blog, and that I find your writing to be insightful, refreshing, and apt.

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks a lot for your kind comment!

      1. Cardboard Express says:

        You are quite welcome! It was my pleasure really! :D

  5. howardat58 says:

    Muchas gracias for all the “like”‘s. My thoughts included “Who’s been eating my porridge?”.
    Oh, and I do like your blog.

      1. howardat58 says:

        Some years ago, after coming to live in Puerto Rico, I builts a solar water heater from pvc water pipes, sheets of glass and a too cheap plastic 40 gallon tank. Very economical until the tank burst under the 100psi (metric ????) water pressure in the mains. I had to buy a pump and make a feed tank, reducing the financial benefits somewhat ! They call it “La Perla”, a former slum quarter of Old San Juan, due to the use of corrugated iron sheets. Your things are so much more professional.

        1. elkement says:

          100psi is nearly 7 bar – yes, that’s a lot! :-)
          Of course a simple solar system utilizing only gravity has the advantage of being independent of the power grid. I have seen such systems on the Canary Islands for example – and I think they work quite well given a proper tank.
          Our system is optimized for harvesting energy in winter, via convection of air – so these are different requirements anyway.

  6. M. Hatzel says:

    Hi Elke, I had promised to send you an article on living off grid in Canada. Unfortunately I could not find the one that related to some of the elements of your system; I don’t think I have a copy of the magazine on hand any more (looked every where). The magazine is no longer in publication, and I couldn’t find any archives to it on line. Here is the only article I could find… it might be of interest.

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks a lot, Michelle, for sharing this! Yes – this is impressive! What I find most intriguing is that these home owners believe in simplicity, there are no allusions to “smart home” etc. I like the simple “air conditioning” and the living roof in particular.

      1. M. Hatzel says:

        It is really interesting, and I think more common than we know. Most of Ontario is covered in bedrock so the cost of building and trenching in utilities is quite high. Going simple helps!

  7. M. Hatzel says:

    Here is a link for an article I promised to find on living off grid in Canada. There was a second article from this publication that I would have preferred to send you, but I can’t find it among my old magazines. Unfortunately, this magazine is no longer in publication and I’ve been unable to locate an archive of back copies.

    1. M. Hatzel says:

      (disregard one of these comments–I’m having some internet connection problems today and thought I lost this as it was posting–couldn’t remember what I wrote exactly while recreating the comment!)

  8. howardat58 says:

    Hello Elke.
    Thanks for the like on my calculus without limits post no. 5
    I am following your blog now.
    Did you read the calculus no. 4 one on trig? I am still not sure if there are holes in the argument.
    I shall have another read of your spinning top post. I never felt at the time that the maths shed any real light on the phenomenon.

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks for your comment and the follow – and for pointing me to your post. For other readers, here is the link: http://howardat58.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/calculus-without-limits-4-trignometric-functions-cosine-and-sine

      I like your derivation, and I left a version of mine (that I consider similar) in a comment … I hope it is not too off-topic or I don’t consider too many things as given and a pre-requisite that you wanted to avoid in your derivations. But as a physicist (or probably just impacted by the way I learned to deal with circular motion and which I found really useful) I can never resist replacing sine and cosine by an exponential function.

  9. vera ersilia says:

    Food for thought, food for thought when that is all that life has left to me when I have lived it almost to termination. I thank you.

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks a lot – you honor me!!

  10. cavegirlmba says:

    Hi! Hope you appreciate a blog award nomination… I had the difficult task to select my ten favorites among all the blogs I follow, and your blog has made my top ten list. If you want to pass the honor forward, here’s the link:

    1. elkement says:

      I duplicate the reply I left on your blog now – just to set expectations for other award bestowing bloggers :-)
      Thanks – I am honored to be in *your* Top Ten list!! I appreciate the award but be warned that I usually subvert the acceptance process and I don’t play by the rules ;-) as if anybody did we had a major issue with an exponential inflation of nominations!

  11. applied physicist, Star Trek geek, The Force, quantum field…hmmm….in that case…we have something in common then…and i thought i was the only one who stays awake sometimes thinking of those things! great posts, elke…long may it continue!
    PS im an electronics engineer by trade, and yes, physics was also a part of my studies, too..albeit in a very much watered down version of what you studied!

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks a lot for visiting and commenting! I have always been amazed by the large number of people with similar interests and even careers I have stumbled upon … on the internet but even as colleages in projects. Actually I feel that the “geeky physicist working in IT, with a penchant for sci-fi and philosophy and still waxing nostagic when reading about physics” is nearly a cliché :-D

      1. hehe! cliche indeed, elke!
        thnk u for dropping in…pls keep in touch..we seem t have a lot in common!

  12. Prasad says:

    Just happened to run into your blog. You have got a beautiful space running here. Loved your work. Its very subtle. I guess I will be hanging around here a lot. :) Great work

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks a lot – I really appreciate your feedback!

  13. Peter Mander says:

    Hej Elke, nice new photo! After summer recess I have a post scheduled for September. Keep in touch – always appreciate your comments. Venlig hilsen fra CarnotCycle.

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks, Peter – looking forward to your next post! I will also be back ‘really’ in September! Thanks also for liking my German post ;-)

  14. Glad you dropped by at my blog (and followed!) – via David Yerle – as it allowed we to find your blog. It looks wonderful. It will be a pleasure to follow. Thanks!

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks a lot – I am honored! I have seen your thoughtful comments on David’s, Steve’s and livelyskeptics’ blog – your blog meets the expectations raised by these comments :-)

      1. Great, then we’re in for good reads and intelligent exchange !

  15. Anyone with a Phd in physics gets my full respect!

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks a lot for your comment! I tend to say: I finished my PhD so many years ago – hopefully I am doing something useful now. Not a reason to be impressed, really :-)
      I have been pointed to this very interesting post of yours I am still pondering about:
      But I will rather now rather jump over to your blog and comment there!

  16. Merci de suivre mon blog cher!!! d–0.o–b

    1. elkement says:

      You’re welcome! Fortunately there is Google Translate!
      To other readers: Despite the cryptic nature of this comment ;-) it is not spam. Check out digitalhegemon’s blog!

  17. danielmullin81 says:

    Just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog, so I’ve nominated it for a reader appreciation award. If you’d like to participate, the details are here: http://theunemployedphilosophersblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/reader-appreciation-award/ Keep up the good work!

    1. elkement says:

      Thanks – I feel honored to be nominated by somebody who can write so well!

      However, the conditions for participation are really tough. First I need to reveal the darkest secrets my soul holds by answering questions like “What is your favorite animal?” and second (and worst) this propels me into the acceleration-of-exponential-growth business. If every blogger nominates 5 other blogs and the delay time is about a week, then in about 15 weeks everybody on this planet will have been nominated.
      But I am only standing on the shoulders of giants here:
      http://millenniumconjectures.com/2012/10/15/the-blahs-2-millard-fillmores-bathtub/ .

      However, I think I have found the clue for beating exponential growth ,-) Stay tuned, I am going to reply with a full post in due time.

  18. Fuzzi says:

    the elkement is talking about energy and consulting, have you not always been working in the energy business – and in consulting? anyway, i read about Prof. Z.’s “Quantum Entanglement of High Angular Momenta” on the web and i think what happened to the red website? – and see its still there! nice. and fun. and even updated, whatever website resurrection means, since it wasnt offline. but who am i to split elkemental hair? This must be one of the three remaining websites in the world where you can leave a comment without having to register a user account and providing half of your life in the profiling process or surrender your facebook details. free unprofiled commenting and communication should be set down as a human right. happy resurrection! and thanks for all the fish

    1. elkement says:

      Hi Fuzzi :-) Yes, and the red website (I cannot resist to add the URL: http://subversiv.at) is one of the few remaining sites in the universe that does not allow for commenting at all, and there is no feed to subscribe to. So I need to compensate for that and keep this blog open.
      Actually the site was nearly offline: I have removed a lot of the links from the main menu though the pages were still there. Some of the pages have not been resurrected yet, I am working on this (I really call it “work” – how un-subversive) while I am writing this blog.
      Re energy and consulting business: Consulting – yes, energy – no (just started). Might depend of the definition of energy maybe – subversive energy or energy as in thermodynamics? ;-)

  19. elkement says:

    Hi curtain raiser, thanks for stepping by! I have just scrolled through your awesom blog! Are you probably going to blog on your views on science / why you “left” biology? I would be really interested. Are you still interested in chemistry or biology and do you hope to find something science-related behind your curtain? I have sort of reconnected to my roots now – I am in the startup-phase of working as a consultant in renewable energies. But I will require much more navel-gazing (and related blog posts) in order to rethink and reprocess what has happenend on the way ;-) And this time I have promised to myself not to rush through this phase of change – as I always did when I made a career change in the past.

  20. Hi Elkement, thanks for the follow on my blog. I’m also at the navel-gazing stage but took a slightly different path than you to get to this point. Whilst my ultimate career path had nothing to do with science, I too started off as a science major having earned an honours degree in microbiology after discovering my love for chemistry theory did not translate well into the lab. Nice to meet you!

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