Friday, February 16, 2007

Astronomy and astrophysics

I've just finished my latest paper, 'Mathematics and explanation in astronomy and astrophysics':

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0702/0702137.pdf

It does exactly what it says on the tin.

8 comments:

Neil Forsyth said...

You lost me by paragraph two. Of course, I didn't expect to understand it. It could be a recipe for pancakes for all I know. But it looks very impressive. You should treat yourself to a nice cup of tea after all that hard work.

Susan Balée said...

I looked at this paper, marvelling at the math, the ideas, not understanding most of it. My mind is like a little lump of dead carbon compared to your supernova brain, Gordon.

Suddenly, I feel like I'm in 8th grade again, beginning to make D's in Algebra....

Gordon McCabe said...

I put some nice photos in Section 2 Neil!

Gordon McCabe said...

There's nothing wrong with D's Susan. Or double-D's for that matter.

I consider myself to be quite dim. The other day, the bulb in my bathroom exploded. And I do mean exploded: it went off like a shotgun, and fired the glass bulb out of the bayonet cap, leaving the cap in the socket. So the light in the bathroom didn't work. Yet this didn't stop me pulling the cord of the light switch every time I went into the bathroom for the next 2 days. Stupid, you see.

Neil Forsyth said...

Ha, ha. Very funny, Gordon. Thicko Neil might enjoy the pictures instead.

They are nice. Gee, there must be hundreds, even thousands, of stars up there. Do you do a pop-up version?

Gordon McCabe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon McCabe said...

That's one for Dragons' Den maybe: a pop-up electronic document reader. Maybe holograms are the pop-ups of the future.

They are nice photos though. I get an odd feeling when I look at the stars with the naked eye, which I can't quite put into words. It's not just the cliched feeling of the vastness of space, and the depths of time. It's a feeling of just how 'recent' the universe is, in some sense. Those balls of fire calibrate our universe in some sense. Looking at the stars is the only way in which we can actually transform our relationship to the universe into an experience. It's that feeling. But it is ineffable.

Neil Forsyth said...

I'm afraid I have all those cliched thoughts and feelings. But I think I can see where you are coming from. However, I not sure what you mean by the 'recent' bit. Sometimes, my mind boggles just thinking about human history. Quite frankly, the history of the universe doesn't play on my mind much, but it's future does, or rather our future in it. That is, given that we know so little, it may have some nasty surprises in store for us. I'm scared by the universe. The universe gives me extreme vertigo.