27 July 2011

Dark Energy Camera imager of the Dark Energy Survey completed

This month, Fermilab technicians and Dark Energy Survey collaborators installed the last of 62 science-quality charged coupling devices, or CCD’s, into the imager for the Dark Energy Camera [called DECam] currently housed at SiDet. CCDs work like film, and each one contains 8 million pixels. The camera also has another 12 CCDs of 4 million pixels each for guiding and focusing. The imager will head to Chile in mid-August for installation on the Blanco telescope. DES collaborators in Chile just finished installing the off-telescope components of the DECam imager liquid-nitrogen cooling system in preparation for the camera’s arrival. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Dark Energy Survey, DES, is trying to determine what is expanding the universe and how dark energy is connected to it by imaging distancing galaxies.

[via: DES at Facebook]

15 January 2011

Grand Theft Auto IV: Frictionless

You’ll get GTA IV to go insane beyond Carmageddon or Postal by configuring wheel friction to a negative number. You wouldn’t play any game missions using this very easy mod, but going on some bat shit insane rampages is a compulsory part of all GTA games anyway. I’ll definitely try this at some point for this very purpose.

On the Windows version, this friction free effect can be achieved by editing the handling.dat file in your GTA 4 folder (the default is “C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV”), by reducing the value “wbias” to around -9 for each vehicle.

Here’s another video, and for the bandwidth impaired, some modest screenshots illustrating the dangers of having cars bounce around urban areas (1, 2, 3).


20 June 2010

How to completely destroy the earth

[via:Hacker News]

23 October 2009

1. A 3-kg object is released from rest at a height of 5m on a curved, frictionless ramp. At the foot of the ram is a spring of force constant k = 100 N/m. The object slides down the ramp and into the spring, compressing it a distance x before coming to rest. (a) Find x (b) Does the object continue to move after it comes to rest? If yes, how high will it go up the slope before it comes to rest U =  3(9,21)(5)=147,15 U5 = 1/2(100x^2 = 50x^2 ...? NO. There is an elephant in the way
Not only is there an elephant, but it’s levitating.


15 March 2009

Light interference on soap film

Light interference on soap film


16 January 2009

Our world may be a giant hologram

This is too complicated to be summarized by me, but very much worth reading. Black holes are awesome.


11 July 2008

Schrödinger’s cat comic with five random endings


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