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location Princeton, NJ
age 25
visits member for 2 years, 4 months
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I am a graduate student studying astrophysics at Princeton. I received my bachelor's in physics and mathematics from Caltech (2011).

My primary interest is in general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics simulations of black hole accretion.


Dec
12
comment Would it be possible to “recycle” nuclear warheads into nuclear energy?
The world isn't powered by nuclear energy because (1) people are ignorantly afraid of the safest power source known to humanity, and (2) it's not overwhelmingly price competitive to operate nuclear plants as opposed to other plants. The availability of fuel has little to do with the politics and economics of the situation, especially since there's plenty of fuel that doesn't come from nation-states voluntarily surrendering their military investment.
Dec
12
comment How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?
@pentane solid angle goes down as the square, which is what Tim S. surely meant.
Dec
12
awarded  Nice Answer
Dec
12
reviewed No Action Needed Does a car consume more fuel when it's raining?
Dec
12
comment How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?
@Peteris Opaque things would block light, but then they would heat up until they were the same temperature as stellar surfaces and thus they would glow just as bright. In such a universe opaque objects essentially delay the inevitable, slowing down the effective speed of light (even if it is infinite otherwise). So I'm assuming either the age of the universe is larger than the thermal equilibrium time, or simply that we refer to the effective $c$ when we say it is infinite.
Dec
12
comment How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?
@DavidRose It doesn't. The two bullets together are necessary and sufficient for Olbers paradox to manifest. The speed of light only enters the second bullet.
Dec
12
awarded  Enlightened
Dec
12
awarded  Nice Answer
Dec
12
reviewed Leave Open String Theory Landscape
Dec
12
reviewed Close How high will the Ball Jump?
Dec
12
comment How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?
@RobJeffries I don't think that's really even a valid question. Of course no "actual" physics works with infinite $c$. For any scenario, I can find a reference frame where finite $c$ and infinite $c$ differ arbitrarily much in their predictions. But at the same time, we don't tell students "don't bother with classical mechanics, since the errors in your results are unboundedly large in appropriately chosen formulations of the problem." Exploring the implications of a working theory that doesn't try to consistently explain everything in the universe is still physics.
Dec
12
reviewed Leave Open How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?
Dec
12
answered How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?
Dec
12
comment How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?
To everyone voting to close as non-mainstream, I remind that this is exactly the cosmology of Newton's time.
Dec
12
answered Why is stress a tensor quantity?
Dec
12
comment Difference between astronomy and astrophysics
See also the tag wikis for astronomy and astrophysics. (I personally edited much of that info in, but I think they do a fair job of representing the field's opinions. But really the terms are often interchangeable.)
Dec
12
comment field solutions for covariant derivative of vector field constrained to zero
Interesting question. Well $\nabla_\mu A_\nu$ is halfway to the left-hand side of the Killing equation, so any solutions are trivially Killing fields. It also looks like a tensor that comes up in some forms of the geodesic deviation equation. And if $n$ is geodesic and taken to be the unit normal vector field of a family of hypersurfaces, then $\nabla_\mu n_\nu$ comprise the second fundamental forms of those surfaces. I wish I could say something more definitive.
Dec
12
reviewed Reopen Electromagnetic mass of a continuous charge distribution
Dec
12
reviewed Reopen How far away must a galaxy be for its light never to reach us due to the expansion of the universe?
Dec
12
reviewed Reopen Why is electric charge the conserved quantity corresponding to global $U(1)$ symmetry?