152 reputation
7
bio website omnifarious.org/~hopper/…
location Seattle, WA
age 42
visits member for 2 years, 11 months
seen Nov 7 '12 at 20:01

I'm offering my services as an online tutor for Python on TeachStreet. And if you feel like giving me a tip for a good answer, send me some Bitcoins at 1bDMa8UcyHX71kNJUVcCyrDCkum3TDybQ.

I've been programming since I was 8. I started with Apple Basic, then Timex Sinclair (ZX-81 at the time) Basic. After that I discovered the list of op-codes next to the ASCII chart in my ZX-81 manual. I began to compile my own hand-lettered sheets that put all the addressing modes of a given instruction in the same place so I could more easily handle-assemble small machine language programs.

It's gone on from there. The learning never ends.

Currently I do most of my programming in Python and C++ on Linux. I have a strong preference for Open Source software.

I've noticed that this site tends to have a slight bias for existing members. Members with a higher reputation tend to be voted up more even if their answer is very similar to someone else's with a lower reputation.


Sep
5
awarded  Commentator
Sep
5
awarded  Critic
Sep
5
comment Is time continuous?
@BrendanLong - Except there's the philosophical question of "If there's no way to measure it, does it even exist?". Largely, for example, the answer for Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is that the information about a particles position and velocity don't actually physically exist simultaneously. So, if we can't measure a unit of time smaller than Planck time, if it's physically impossible, then perhaps it doesn't even exist.
Feb
18
comment Do mass and the Pauli exclusion principle conspire to make light fermions take up more space?
Oh, the fact the W boson has mass has some bearing on the range of the weak force? Is this because the W boson will very quickly decay into other things?
Feb
17
revised Do mass and the Pauli exclusion principle conspire to make light fermions take up more space?
edited tags
Feb
17
comment Do mass and the Pauli exclusion principle conspire to make light fermions take up more space?
Yes, this is basically what I was asking. And I'm curious about neutrinos from a theoretical perspective rather than a practical one. I mean, maybe someday we'll find a way to create a 'weak field' of appreciable strength and use that to trap neutrinos just like we use electromagnetic fields to trap electrons in quantum dots and the like.
Feb
17
asked Do mass and the Pauli exclusion principle conspire to make light fermions take up more space?
Jun
4
awarded  Scholar
Jun
4
accepted Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?
Jun
4
comment Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?
This is interesting. Unfortunately, the number of symbols and equations involved mean I would have to spend several days (and many google searches) in order to understand it.
Jun
4
awarded  Supporter
Jun
4
comment Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?
I corrected my use of terminology. :-)
Jun
4
comment Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?
@Georg - While I agree with your skepticism, the amount of evidence for something like dark matter is mounting higher and higher. Gravitational lensing studies are the most concrete evidence I know, particularly the gravitational lensing near galaxies that have recently collided. Their dark matter halos behaved significantly differently from the visible matter, differently in a manner that suggested some sort of mass that interacts only through gravity. So while its existence is questionable, I don't think its as questionable as all that.
Jun
4
awarded  Editor
Jun
4
revised Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?
added 4 characters in body; edited title; added 2 characters in body
May
20
comment Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?
@Michael Luciuk: Its temperature would increase, and that would result in dark matter moving at an average higher velocity. Thinking about it, that's likely inconsistent with the fact that dark matter appears loosely clumped around galaxies. It still has most of the energy it had at the big bang, but if it had sucked up more from gravity waves, it would probably have too much for even the diffuse cloud that now exists. It would likely have dispersed a lot more evenly throughout the universe.
May
20
comment Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?
@Michael Luciuk: Well if dark matter really is dark (which there all indications that it is), it wouldn't have any way to re-radiate the energy except through gravity waves of its own. I think one of the reasons its posited that dark matter can't coalesce into larger aggregations is because it has no way to radiate energy, and so can't really slow down.
May
20
comment Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?
@Jerry Schirmer: Thanks. It was just a random thought that occurred to me, and struck me as a question that physicists may not have thought of yet. I figured they probably had.
May
20
awarded  Student
May
20
asked Would dark matter absorb gravitational waves?