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

Rogue Certificate Challenge: No Hardware Tokens, No Linux, Just a Web Server with Certificate Mapping.

I am back to my favorite security research: How to abuse certificates in a Windows / Active Directory environment! If an Active Directory integrated certification authority sign a certificate with a custom Subject Alternative Name of your choosing, you can impersonate any administrator in an AD forest. I've published two blog posts about how to … Continue reading Rogue Certificate Challenge: No Hardware Tokens, No Linux, Just a Web Server with Certificate Mapping.

Tribute to a Pragmatic Swiss Solar Pioneer – Who Called to Action in 1989

He is called a pragmatic doer, knowing his physics and engineering, devoid of ideology. This is how Josef Jenni is introduced in the preface to his document called How can we achieve the energy transition (Wie erreichen wir die Energiewende). It's a manifesto and a technical overview - by the pioneer whose company had built … Continue reading Tribute to a Pragmatic Swiss Solar Pioneer – Who Called to Action in 1989

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.

Innovation and Scarcity (and Panic)

I tried to avoid such words. They sounded like hollow buzzwords in times of abundance, used by advertizers playing on fears. But our complacent world is taught a lesson, right now, at furious speed. I am following news as everybody else, I am reading about gloomy forecasts. An Austria paper mill has announced today it … Continue reading Innovation and Scarcity (and Panic)

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

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

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 ... |➚> = α|↑> + β|↓> ... built from an up |↑> state and a down state |↓>. α and β are complex numbers. The result |➚> 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

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

Looking Back: Hacking and Defending Windows Public Key Infrastructure (ADCS)

I live at the fringes of the cybersecurity community. I have never attended infosec conferences. There will be a talk on PKI hacking at Blackhat 2021 soon: Top AD offensive security gurus are presenting comprehensive research on abusing ADCS (Active Directory Certificate Services). I only know about that, because I noticed backlinks from their article … Continue reading Looking Back: Hacking and Defending Windows Public Key Infrastructure (ADCS)

Vintage Covectors

Covectors in the Dual Space. This sounds like an alien tribe living in a parallel universe hitherto unknown to humans. In this lectures on General Relativity, Prof. Frederic Schuller says: Now comes a much-feared topic: Dual vector space. And it's totally unclear why this is such a feared topic! A vector feels familiar: three numbers … Continue reading Vintage Covectors

Injecting an EFS Recovery Agent – and Let the Virus Scanner Help You!

How can you read files encrypted with Windows's Encrypting File System if you neither have access to the owner's encryption certificate and key and nor that of a legit data recovery agent (DRA) ... but if you are a local administrator? This work is still inspired by the hackthebox machine Helpline. You were able to … Continue reading Injecting an EFS Recovery Agent – and Let the Virus Scanner Help You!

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 Pöllau … Continue reading Peter M. Schuster on History of Science

Dirac’s Belt Trick

Is classical physics boring? In his preface to Volume 1 of The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Richard Feynman worries about students' enthusiasm: ... They have heard a lot about how interesting and exciting physics is—the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and other modern ideas. By the end of two years of our previous course, many … Continue reading Dirac’s Belt Trick

Motivational Function


Deadly mutants are after us. What can give us hope? This innocuous-looking function is a sublime light in the dark. It proves you can always recover. If your perseverance is infinite. $latex e^{\left(-\frac{1}{x^{2}}\right)}&s=3 $ As x tends to zero, the exponent tends to minus infinity. The function's value at zero tends to zero. It is … Continue reading Motivational Function


New Year's Eve 2019 seems infinitely far in the past. It was the first day news about this mysterious disease had been published in my country. Yet it seems infinitely far away at that time, somewhere in China. Today we see something glowing at the end of a weird long corridor. Despite horrible news, I … Continue reading Infinity

Gödel’s Proof

Gödel's proof is the (meta-)mathematical counterpart of the paradoxical statement This sentence is false. In his epic 1979 debut book Gödel, Escher, Bach Douglas Hofstadter intertwines computer science, math, art, biology with a simplified version of the proof. In 2007 he revisits these ideas in I Am a Strange Loop. Hofstadter writes: ... at age … Continue reading Gödel’s Proof


When you move from fundamental principles (in physics)  to calculating something 'useful' (in engineering), you seem to move from energy to enthalpy. Enthalpy is measured in Joule, as well as energy. It is assigned to a 'system', a part of the physical world separated from other parts by interfaces. The canonical example is a vessel … Continue reading Enthalpy

Statistical Independence and Logarithms

In classical mechanics you want to understand the motion of all constituents of a system in detail. The trajectory of each 'particle' can be calculated from the forces between them and initial positions and velocities. In statistical mechanics you try to work out what can still be said about a system even though - or … Continue reading Statistical Independence and Logarithms

Integrating The Delta Function (Again and Again) – Penrose Version

I quoted Nobel prize winner Paul Dirac's book, now I will quote this year's physics Nobel prize winner Roger Penrose. In his book The Road to Reality Penrose discusses not-so-well-behaved functions like the Delta Function: They belong in the category of  Hyperfunctions. A Hyperfunction is the difference of two complex functions: Each of the complex … Continue reading Integrating The Delta Function (Again and Again) – Penrose Version

The RSA Algorithm

You want this: Encrypt a message to somebody else - using information that is publicly available. Somebody else should then be able to decrypt the message, using only information they have; nobody else should be able to read this information. The public key cryptography algorithm RSA does achieve this. This article is my way of … Continue reading The RSA Algorithm

Integrating the Delta Function (Again) – Dirac Version

The Delta Function is, roughly speaking, shaped like an infinitely tall and infinitely thin needle. It's discovery - or invention - is commonly attributed to Paul Dirac[*]. Dirac needed a function like this to work with integrals that are common on quantum mechanics, a generalization of a matrix that has 1's in the diagonal and … Continue reading Integrating the Delta Function (Again) – Dirac Version

Delta Function Haiku

I have proved that a Lorentzian bell curve becomes the Dirac Delta Function in the limit. Now I want to look at another representation of the Delta Function. As this is a shorter proof, a haiku will do. ~ Infinite numbers of oscillations added. Need to damp them down Symmetrically attach an exponential for each … Continue reading Delta Function Haiku