Plural Form

Take a figure of a historical patent, meticulously drawn before there was software. It's a Plural Grating Spectrograph. Wonder about the appeal of antique technical drawings. So modest, so sublime. Copy it, multiply it. Slowly rotate the color wheel, until the purples meet the reds again. This is an impossible spectrum. There are no purples … Continue reading Plural Form

Found Prose: Retrospective 2012-2022

You will not want to read this. Nobody does, me included. But creating it has been an interesting experiment. I have been scouring this blog for sentences, one from each blog post. In chronological order, starting in 2012. I had permitted myself to re-order sentences, but I have rarely used that option. The fountain pen … Continue reading Found Prose: Retrospective 2012-2022

Loops Near the surface. Lumped Together in Space.

There was a time, when most articles here looked like lab reports or chapters of a thesis. Occasionally, there was a weird poem thrown in. Now is the time for art only, and the thesis-like postings provide for raw material. Temperature waves beneath the ground, driven by the oscillation of the temperature on the surface … Continue reading Loops Near the surface. Lumped Together in Space.

Jellyfish of Diffraction

Diffraction patterns by elkement, collage with 1945 patent drawing

Diffraction patterns, again. But this time I tack them to an imaginary semi-circular screen. Screens grow bigger in radius with increasing wavelength - growing more reddish. If every wavelength would be diffracted in the same way, all peaks would lie on a radius of the circle. But as red is diffracted more, maxima move to … Continue reading Jellyfish of Diffraction

Creative Process. Evolution.

My creative process has been evolving gradually in the past year. ~ I am thinking about a little piece of physics, and how it is described with math. ~ Then I am creating a SageMath notebook (plus custom code) that outputs a set of functions as parametric curves in a three-dimensional space. Here, diffraction patterns … Continue reading Creative Process. Evolution.

Newton’s Space Probes Investigate my Ribbons of Diffraction

I have been calculating diffraction patterns for visible light. Curves are displaced to turn the whole structure into a wavy ribbon built from colored wires or threads. I have turned these images into collages, adding Isaac Newton's drawings from Opticks (1704). The more I moved Newton's figures around, and the more I twisted the ribbons … Continue reading Newton’s Space Probes Investigate my Ribbons of Diffraction

Transforming the Celestial Sphere

A spherical spaceship swooshes by at 99% of the speed of light. What will it look like? Squashed because of Lorentz contraction - like an ellipsoid? No. The outline of a moving sphere will remain spherical. Roger Penrose explained this first in 1958 - 50 years after Einstein's formulation of the theory of special relativity. … Continue reading Transforming the Celestial Sphere

Complex Alien Eclipse

My colorful complex function lived in a universe of white light. I turned off the light. Turned it into its negative. Expected it to look bleak. Like thin white bones on black canvas, cartoon skeletons of imaginary alien creatures. But it is more like the total solar eclipse I watched in 1999. There is interference, … Continue reading Complex Alien Eclipse

Familiar Wave. Come to Rescue.

A poem from text snippets of my last three posts, interlaced with a metamorphosis of my last drawing. ~ ~~ ~~~ The familiar wave is in the middle, oblique. accessible to intuitive interpretation. To tame it, sort of, come to rescue Or are they? Going from up to down you only care about directions What … Continue reading Familiar Wave. Come to Rescue.

Joys of Geometry

Creating figures with math software does not feel like fabricating illustrations for science posts. It is more of a meditation on geometry. I want to literally draw every line. I am not using grid lines or rendered surfaces. I craft a parametric curve for every line. A curve is set of equations. Yet, playing with … Continue reading Joys of Geometry

Spins, Rotations, and the Beauty of Complex Numbers

This is a simple quantum state ... |โžš> = ฮฑ|โ†‘> + ฮฒ|โ†“> ... built from an up |โ†‘> state and a down state |โ†“>. ฮฑ and ฮฒ are complex numbers. The result |โžš> is in the middle, oblique. The oblique state is a superposition or the up and down base states. Making a measurement, you … Continue reading Spins, Rotations, and the Beauty of Complex Numbers

Galaxies of Diffraction

These - the arrangement of points in the image below - are covectors, sort of. I wrote about them, some time ago. They are entities dual to vectors. Eating vectors, spitting out numbers. Vectors are again 'co' to vectors; they will eat covectors. If vectors live in a space with axes all perpendicular to each … Continue reading Galaxies of Diffraction

Elliptical Poetry

look at these towers Using the map creating a distorted image projected up to the sphere All connecting rays follow this rule Imaginary number i makes an appearance that borders on the poetic Itโ€™s nothing more than a whisper construct the proof for yourself something of a dying art avoid thinking about anything there has … Continue reading Elliptical Poetry

My Elliptical Cone

I've still been thinking about this elliptical cone! It has been the main character in my geometric proof on stereographic projection mapping circles to circles. The idea has been to reduce a three-dimensional problem to a two-dimensional one, by noting that something has to be symmetric. A circle on a sphere is mapped to some … Continue reading My Elliptical Cone

Circles to Circles

Using stereographic projection, you create a distorted image of the surface of a sphere, stretched out to cover an infinite plane. Each point on the sphere is mapped to a point in the equatorial plane by a projection ray starting at a pole of the sphere. Draw a circle on the sphere, e.g. by intersecting … Continue reading Circles to Circles

Lines and Circles

I poked at complex function 1/z, and its real and imaginary parts look like magical towers. When you look at these towers from above or below, you see sections of perfect circles. This is hinting at some underlying simplicity. Using the map 1/z, another complex number - w=1/z - is mapped to z. Four dimensions … Continue reading Lines and Circles

Construct the Labyrinth from Which You Plan to Escape

Found Poetry found me. I started this website as a science blog, but then I saw poetry in mundane texts - just as you see faces in things. I created poems from spam comments, from search terms, from physics textbooks, from book spines, from error messages, from Facebooks ads, from any text anywhere in the … Continue reading Construct the Labyrinth from Which You Plan to Escape

Secure Poetry: “I have been quite confident”

A poem from snippets of two postings on cybersecurity. Trying to carve words out of jargon. Details on the creative process at the bottom of the post.   I have been quite confident I have been inspired In this simple way to find both options take note of an extra stealth factor I hardly ever … Continue reading Secure Poetry: “I have been quite confident”

Farewell Pandemic Poetry

I've lost many chances to create poetry from pandemic politics. So many metaphors weren't used to serve the fine arts. But finally I rise to the challenge. Our grand opening-up-anything is being celebrated in each of our provinces. Text snippets from one of these press conferences this week are intruding my waking and sleeping mind. … Continue reading Farewell Pandemic Poetry

Peter M. Schuster on History of Science

The late Dr. Peter M. Schuster was a physicist and historian of science. After a career in industry, he founded a laser technology startup. Recovering from severe illness, he sold his company and became an author, science writer, and historian. He founded echophysics - the European Center for the History of Physics - in Pรถllau … Continue reading Peter M. Schuster on History of Science

Poets Who Speak of Jupiter

In the third chapter of the first volume of his legendary physics lectures, Richard Feynman discusses the relation of physics to other sciences. He says that astronomy got physics started, and its most remarkable discovery is that stars are made of atoms of the same kind as those on the earth. He adds this famous … Continue reading Poets Who Speak of Jupiter