As you might have heard on my website, my newsletter, my Twitter, or, if we’re colleagues at Caltech, at work, I am currently working on the South Pole Telescope (SPT) onsite at the South Pole in Antarctica for January-November 2016 (I am employed by the University of Chicago). I have taken a sabbatical from my NSF Astronomy […]Read more "When Antarctica Just Isn’t Cold Enough: South Pole Telescope (SPT) Fridge Cycle"
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 "Finding earth like planets from the comfort of our own planet"
Some months ago, I reviewed a paper about the efficiency of human space exploration versus robotic space exploration. The question isn’t as simple as you might think.Read more "Humans vs. Robots: Showdown in Space"
Yesterday was a big day for physics. A new particle was discovered, a boson, at the energy 126GeV, with every indication it is probably the much sought after Higgs.Read more "Higgs Boson"
Originally posted on In the Dark:
One of the challenges we cosmologists face is how to quantify the patterns we see in galaxy redshift surveys. In the relatively recent past the small size of the available data sets meant that only relatively crude descriptors could be used; anything sophisticated would be rendered useless by noise.…
Using the new Voxcharta.org system, I was the only physicist at my institute to upvote this paper, Dynamic Bayesian Combination of Multiple Imperfect Classifiers (pdf), more in the realm of machine learning or computer science than traditional astrophysics or astronomy. As such I was nominated to discuss it at our weekly journal club. Here I give a brief review of concepts needed to follow the paper, and then go in depth into how we can use the opinions of multiple lay people as to whether an object is a supernova or not to achieve a highly accurate classification at the expert level.Read more "Dynamic Bayesian Combination of Multiple Imperfect Classifiers"
I use the Stay Focused Chrome extension to block Wordpress, Google Reader, Hacker News, Twitter and Facebook at work, beyond 2 minutes of aggregate usage.Read more "Scientific Paper Reading, Voxcharta, Excellent Notation"