Search found 159 matches

by tommclaughlan
Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:16 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0760: "Moria"
Replies: 113
Views: 26506

Re: "Moria" Discussion

Wow, I have Lord of the Rings on DVD, GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
by tommclaughlan
Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0750: "Book Burning"
Replies: 121
Views: 28150

Re: "Book Burning" discussion (#750)

Seriously, does noone read A Softer World?

http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=549
by tommclaughlan
Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:45 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LHC Thread
Replies: 10
Views: 1300

Re: LHC Thread

We've already had 3.5 GeV beams in the LHC. ;) We just didn't make them collide. The plan for the LHC run for the next few years is as follows: 30th March, we COLLIDE the first two 3.5 GeV beams together. This is an exciting moment and no doubt all the press will be there for their 'first scoop of t...
by tommclaughlan
Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0702: "Snow Tracking"
Replies: 135
Views: 39320

Re: “Snow Tracking” discussion

I'm kinda disappointed a lot of you seemed to be confused on the Higgs boson one! I think we need more outreach! The decay drawn in the last panel looks like it could be a 4 lepton Higgs decay. That'd be where the Higgs is created in a proton proton collision, perhaps by gluon fusion, then decays to...
by tommclaughlan
Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:46 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: salaries of XKCD'ers with full time jobs?
Replies: 26
Views: 2350

Re: salaries of XKCD'ers with full time jobs?

I'll add to my boasting that I also teach undergrads for extra pay, and get paid trips to CERN :D (and can legitimately use the 'for business' option in booking flights there!)
by tommclaughlan
Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:12 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: salaries of XKCD'ers with full time jobs?
Replies: 26
Views: 2350

Re: salaries of XKCD'ers with full time jobs?

Another grad student here. I'm in the UK so I used the internet to translate it to dollars... I get about $21K a year but I don't pay any tax on it, which in the UK makes my salary equivalent to $26k net. I'll be expecting to double that in my first job after I graduate. I'm pretty much the same si...
by tommclaughlan
Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Time in transit from earth to pluto at 1.5 G Accel?
Replies: 24
Views: 3222

Re: Time in transit from earth to pluto at 1.5 G Accel?

you could always just account for relativity regardless. if gamma is small then it just becomes classical non-relativistic kinematics...
by tommclaughlan
Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:08 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LHC proton effect if it hit a human.
Replies: 23
Views: 3695

Re: LHC proton effect if it hit a human.

However if the proton is moving so extremely fast, it simply doesn't have enough time to interact. This is simply not true. Proton proton collisions are generally not 'collisions' in the true sense of the word. It is the partons (quarks and gluons) within the protons which interact with each other ...
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:33 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LHC proton effect if it hit a human.
Replies: 23
Views: 3695

Re: LHC electrons affect if it hit a human.

skeptical scientist wrote:... Brian Cox, who is a physicist and works on the LHC.


Me too :D
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:29 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Modern einsteins
Replies: 92
Views: 10561

Re: Modern einsteins

I'd say Weinberg deserves to be pretty high up. He's like a rock star of particle physics. I heard a story around the particle physics department water cooler that he was 'scouted' by a university in Texas who were wanting to get bigger in the HEP field, so they asked him how much they would have to...
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LHC proton effect if it hit a human.
Replies: 23
Views: 3695

Re: LHC electrons affect if it hit a human.

However, at 10^11 protons per bunch... that's 110MJ per bunch, or the equivalent of getting hit by a fully loaded 18-wheeler - 40 tons - at 55mps (123 mph). That would, of course, be fatal from kinetic impact alone - your body would be red mist - nevermind the radiation. Not only that, all the ener...
by tommclaughlan
Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:57 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0623: "Oregon"
Replies: 141
Views: 43064

Re: "Oregon" Discussion

Noone corrected that Oregon Trail was actually developed in '71?

I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOU
by tommclaughlan
Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:35 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Geocaching
Replies: 48
Views: 8740

Re: Geocaching

I got a new phone the other day with a GPS on board. I installed the Geocache Navigator application, which connects to the geocache website, downloads the info of nearby caches and then acts as a compass/map with different map settings (topological, street maps, satellite view). I found two caches w...
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:07 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Isn't everything a black hole?
Replies: 32
Views: 3202

Re: Isn't everything a black hole?

Yep, the Schwarzschild radius is the main factor. Take the Earth, for example. It has a Schwarzschild radius somewhere around the size of a golfball at the centre. Now the reason all the mass in the Earth doesn't get sucked into this is because it is a large body and the mass is spread out. If you w...
by tommclaughlan
Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Astronomy Software
Replies: 3
Views: 2183

Re: Astronomy Software

The Sky is a pretty powerful program for producing star maps, tracing historical/future data, finding eclipses/equinoxes/etc. The only problem is that it is fairly expensive at close to $300. The upside is that it is capable of remotely controlling telescopes making it very easy to observe whatever ...
by tommclaughlan
Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:45 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I left some uranium-239 on the table...
Replies: 16
Views: 2176

Re: I left some uranium-239 on the table...

I left some protons on the table [imath]10^{36}[/imath] years ago.

They are still there.
by tommclaughlan
Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:41 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Show the world your desktop! [Mommy, what's 56K?]
Replies: 2356
Views: 444797

Re: Show the world your desktop! [Killing 56K since January]

Here's mine in Vista.
I think I got the image from 4scrape.
Spoiler:
desktop.jpg
desktop.jpg (216.76 KiB) Viewed 5612 times
by tommclaughlan
Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:37 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Going into Electrical Engineering...
Replies: 7
Views: 1564

Re: Going into Electrical Engineering...

My dad's an Electrical Engineer (but he worked up from apprentice electrician) and he seems to do pretty well for himself, as in, plenty of work etc.

Can't help you on the subject matter though!
by tommclaughlan
Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:34 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: My first Stirling Engine (built from trash and paperclips)
Replies: 1
Views: 611

Re: My first Stirling Engine (built from trash and paperclips)

That's pretty cool!

You should try and rig it up on wheels and see how fast you can make it go.
by tommclaughlan
Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:43 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9386902

Re: Fleeting/Random/Thoughts (now with 20% more fungus!)

Tomorrow is the last day of my MPhys degree.
Statistical Physics exam, could be either really nice and actually enjoyable to do, or a complete and utter nightmare!
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:44 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Combinatorics headache
Replies: 9
Views: 1852

Re: Combinatorics headache

Start with all 'slots' blank. You have a specific number of A, B, M and you are going to put them in until all slots are filled. How many different ways can you put the first particle in? Then how many times can you put the next one in? etc etc. (taking into account that one is already filled) If th...
by tommclaughlan
Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:49 pm UTC
Forum: Gaming
Topic: Left 4 Dead: 2!
Replies: 55
Views: 3333

Re: Left 4 Dead: 2!

L4D2, from what I've read (in PC Gamer UK), will have quite a few cool improvements. As I understand, there is more of a 'getting to know the characters' element. There might be other groups of survivors that you encounter as you are trying to get wherever it is you are going. I believe the military...
by tommclaughlan
Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theories about the origin of the universe?
Replies: 33
Views: 3051

Re: Theories about the origin of the universe?

I plead the anthropic principle
by tommclaughlan
Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theories about the origin of the universe?
Replies: 33
Views: 3051

Re: Theories about the origin of the universe?

I thought I was wrong about that. So, if density is mass divided by volume, and the mass is not infinite, does that mean that space did not exist before that point, the volume having to be 0? Not to mention the question of whether, or in what form, time exists on that scale. Ah, entropy, of course....
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: 1kg of electrons in a sphere
Replies: 48
Views: 9143

Re: 1kg of electrons in a sphere

We'd best start running!
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: 1kg of electrons in a sphere
Replies: 48
Views: 9143

Re: 1kg of electrons in a sphere

I agree, but at least we are half as fucked as we would be if someone fired a kilo of electrons at us.

The moral of the story is, if you see a kilogram ball of electrons, stand as far away from it as possible.
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:28 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theories about the origin of the universe?
Replies: 33
Views: 3051

Re: Theories about the origin of the universe?

The idea of an explosion is misleading. It's an expansion, but it is not expanding into anything, it is the expansion of space. It is correct we haven't observed anything with infinite mass, that is impossible. The big bang didn't have infinite mass, only infinite density. (Assuming a finite univers...
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Theories about the origin of the universe?
Replies: 33
Views: 3051

Re: Theories about the origin of the universe?

The question 'what caused the big bang?' is pretty much irrelevant. To cause the big bang, the event must be before the big bang, therefore it exists outside of the universe. Thus it cannot have any effect on the universe. You could say 'a giant hippopotamus with laser eyes created the universe' and...
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:01 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: 1kg of electrons in a sphere
Replies: 48
Views: 9143

Re: 1kg of electrons in a sphere

Assuming a uniform sphere, wouldn't they all radiate out in a sphere? In that case, depending on where you were standing, you'd get (your surface area)/4*pi*(distance to sphere) of the electrons hitting you? The same would be true in the positron + electron sphere. Not all of them would annihilate, ...
by tommclaughlan
Sat May 30, 2009 12:29 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Insider Science Jokes/Lingo
Replies: 129
Views: 28998

Re: Insider Science Jokes/Lingo

PM 2Ring wrote:I've also seen the top & bottom quarks refered to as truth & beauty, especially in older books.


Those books were probably written around the time of the discovery/postulation of the top and bottom. There was an active effort to get them named truth and beauty which didn't catch on.
by tommclaughlan
Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:21 am UTC
Forum: Gaming
Topic: Left 4 fun (and Zombie Panic Source)
Replies: 804
Views: 55143

Re: Left 4 fun (and Zombie Panic Source)

If anyone is up for a game sometime, my steam ID is tommclaughlan
by tommclaughlan
Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:15 am UTC
Forum: Music
Topic: Screamo
Replies: 12
Views: 1563

Re: Screamo

Only two or three people here got it right. Orchid, Saetia, pg.99, Aussitot Mort, Gospel, Hot Cross. Starting to go a bit less chaotic than those, try Transistor Transistor or A Day in Black and White. In fact, just buy everything Level Plane records has ever put out. Also: Rolo Tomassi and Whores W...
by tommclaughlan
Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:12 am UTC
Forum: Music
Topic: I like obscure rap/hiphop...do you?
Replies: 52
Views: 12484

Re: I like obscure rap/hiphop...do you?

Anything involving Doseone is pretty obscure, and there's a few Hip Hop style projects he's been involved with.

Check out cLOUDDEAD, Themselves, 13&God (13&God have a lot more electronica/mellow influences)
by tommclaughlan
Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:50 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Omegle!
Replies: 701
Views: 132850

Re: Omegle!

I was chatting for a while to a software engineer, who wasn't from the forums, but does know xkcd. Although they found out about Omegle completely independently. Another conversation involved me being greeted with 'you better not be boring, everyone else on here is boring', then having them disconne...
by tommclaughlan
Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:39 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: UKcd
Replies: 12
Views: 1109

Re: UKcd

Sort of on topic.
xkcd is mentioned in 'The Last Word' in NewScientist this week.
by tommclaughlan
Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:11 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Star explodes, forms black hole. Pictures
Replies: 6
Views: 1990

Re: Star explodes, forms black hole. Pictures

Definitely artists impression images. For that kind of detail it would have to be in our galaxy and fairly close to us, which would be bad news. The actual pictures probably look more like: http://wps.aw.com/wps/media/objects/500/512494/colorimages/image/supernova.jpg Basically a REALLY bright star ...
by tommclaughlan
Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:53 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Nested loops
Replies: 25
Views: 1779

Re: Nested loops

A slightly crude way of doing it is to have the same if statement at the end of the other loop too. for(int i = 0; i < 100; i++) { for(int j = 0; j < 100; j++) { // Some code. if(condition_met) break; } if(condition_met) break; } or if the condition is an expensive calculation, then do something lik...
by tommclaughlan
Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:08 pm UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Old old notebooks.
Replies: 2
Views: 676

Re: Old old notebooks.

Well, anything old enough to be super cheap, but not so old that there's no chance in finding a battery replacement should it need one, which is likely.

I'll have a look on craigslist, thanks.
by tommclaughlan
Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:09 am UTC
Forum: Hardware
Topic: Old old notebooks.
Replies: 2
Views: 676

Old old notebooks.

Any idea where would be the best place to buy OLD notebooks. Old IBM thinkpads and such.

I want to see how cheaply I can get up and running a Linux machine with internet/word processing etc.
by tommclaughlan
Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:02 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: What **should** you be doing right now?
Replies: 1272
Views: 111066

Re: What **should** you be doing right now?

Revising stuff about the universe.

Well, at least stellar/galactic formation/evolution.

Go to advanced search