November 17, 2005

Villainy [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at November 17, 2005 2:48 PM

The open thread can be delayed no longer! Also, if you work in Birge Hall and were running electronic equipment yesterday evening that you turned off at 1 am, please leave a comment. Thanks.

Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better: This is a great album that happened to come out the same day as Ladytron's Witching Hour, so I didn't listen to it as much as I otherwise would have. It's very much along the lines of Franz Ferdinand's debut album, although there's a subtle difference in the sound that I can't quite put my finger on, but makes me like the new one even more. There are a couple of motifs that keep appearing in the songs: a bunch of them are about breaking up, and a bunch of others are about, well, being evil. Not that this is a depressing CD, it's more of a revelling-in-darkness CD. This is exemplified by the first track, "The Fallen", which has a "Sympathy for the Devil" thing going in the lyrics. Later on you've got "I'm Evil and a Heathen" and "I'm Your Villain" so they clearly had the dark side on their minds. Of course, villainy has always made for good rock and this album is no exception.

Tags: Music, Open Thread

Poor readings up until 1am when a noise source cleared up?

Posted by: Zifnab | November 17, 2005 4:01 PM

Exactly. Here's the data. The measurement scans along successive columns from left to right. Those diagonal red lines on the right were what we were trying to measure, although in the noisy left half they would be blue lines (because the signal changes sign).

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 17, 2005 4:29 PM

Yep, that really looks like some noise source got turned off. Do yall have a general building email list that goes to a contact point in the various labs? I know we have something like that in Moore, might be handy to find the offending device and get it shielded (or whatever the solution is?).

Posted by: Zifnab | November 17, 2005 4:45 PM

The building adminstrator has an e-mail list of experimentalists, which we might have to resort to (other groups have done this in the past for similar problems). First we are going to try to improve our own isolation, since we have a lot of shielding measures in place on our experiment, and if it's sensitive to external equipment that probably means we're not grounding something properly ourselves.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 17, 2005 4:55 PM

I'd try both simultaneously - knowing what equipment was causing the interference could be very handy in figured out what's wrong with your shielding.

Posted by: Zifnab | November 17, 2005 5:07 PM

Yeah, that's quite a nice piece of data.

One friend who I met at a conference had a piece of data that she was trying to get to a certain point (the runs were very long, so she showed what she had up to then), and the running joke was that we could pinpoint the part on the axis that implied graduation. (She graduated, and I'm presuming the "theory" worked.)

I've also seen occasional plots in talks which had some pieces of data amusingly pointed out.

Oh, and I can't leave a comment here without the following: "So you see that Evil will always triumph because Good is dumb!"

Non sequitur: Travis, do you know any experts on band structure? I have something funky going on with my BEC stuff (a nonlinear band structure situation), and I know which equations are causing it. I know of mechanical systems that give the linear version of the equation I have in mind (linearizations of wind-induced vibrations in pendula), which is a generalization of a Mathieu equation that can have a certain kind of degeneracy. I want to see if there is some sort of solid state system described by the linear version of this equation that I can use as a comparison for our nonlinear situation (that is, comparing the system; not just the equations) and (in particular) I want to try to find out if anybody has seen this particular kind of degeneracy in band structure before.

I'm not really sure whom to even ask to find this out, so if you know any band structure experts that would be good. (This is when it becomes unfortunate that our cond mat group is really small.) I can't really draw the degeneracy here, but even finding out a somewhat optimal person to ask would be very beneficial.

Posted by: Mason | November 17, 2005 5:18 PM

I'm pretty sure Steven Louie's group here at UCB does band structure calculations, but I don't know any of his group members personally. Their website is here.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | November 17, 2005 5:28 PM

as to the source of the interference, maybe you should do what any good gumshoe would do... start knocking on doors.

Posted by: JSpur | November 18, 2005 8:28 AM

FWIW, problems like this (interference) were commonplace at the CSO. Whenever it came up, everyone would start muttering about ground loops, so I assume that's a mistake they made more than once (or twice, or...)

Posted by: Lemming | November 18, 2005 11:50 AM

Hey Gazebo, I just thought I should let you know something. Mason gave a talk today and trash talked experimental physicists--he be steppin'!

So, you just gonna take it?

Posted by: Lemming | November 18, 2005 4:01 PM

What? I didn't trash talk them! I just said it's very difficult for a theorist to convince experimentalists to do stuff and that it's the theorist's challenge to try to convince the experimentalists that they have something worthwhile to test experimentally. That's 100% true.

Posted by: Mason | November 18, 2005 4:58 PM

Oh you shush. I'm trying to start shit here, and talkin' sense and startin' shit don't mix. :P

Posted by: Lemming | November 18, 2005 6:01 PM

I usually only talk shit if nobody else is already trying to provoke something. If somebody else (say, you) is already talking trash, then there is some probability that I'll say something reasonable. There's some other probability that I'll write something that nets me an anonymus potshot. It's all very formulaic.

Posted by: Mason | November 19, 2005 2:17 AM
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