Friday, October 05, 2007

very initial steps...

State College, Wednesday.

The afternoon seminar was by Mocioiu (Penn State) who talked about me favourite sub-atomic particle, neutrinos. The discussion was mainly focussed on what we've learnt about neutrinos over the last 10 years, and it seems, quite lot such as - non-zero masses, flavour switching, physics beyond the SM of PP (and this is even before taking cosmological results into account!). Now, instead of trying to understand neutrinos from the Sun, we are beginning to get in a position to understand the Sun from neutrinos (inner fusion processes etc.) She also talked about atmospheric neutrinos from *VERY* high energy cosmic rays (>10^9 Gev), and current experiments aiming to detect them. However, the bottom line of this (for me) was that no-one has yet to see a single very high energy neutrino from a cosmic ray and the most distantly detected neutrinos are still from 1987A...

Thursday a.m.
Spent most of the morning trying to write a potential introduction to, ahem, my next paper. Basically trying to motivate a cross-clustering analysis of LRGs and QSOs...

Thursday p.m.
Got a little bit side-tracked in doing a lit review for current/past papers on the Alcock-Paczynski effect, only to discover Bohdan Paczynski actually died earlier this year :-(

Worked a little bit more on my PSU TLT and am realising that this needs to be finished before I can start working on my LBNL talk!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Already struggling...

Well, it seems as if getting back into daily postings is gonna be tricky...

- V. good talk by Nemmen (UFRGS, Brasil) about models and modelling jets produced by supermassive black holes in nearby giant ellipticals (e.g. Allen et al. 2006). He basically made a good case that the spins of these black holes needs to be high (a=0.75 -1), with thick ADAFs, which to me, isn't *that* surprising. (Nemmen et al., 2007, MNRAS, 377, 1652)

- Continued to get up to `proper' speed with the SDSS and CAS/DAS.

- Went over some absolutely basic celestial sphere geometry/astronomy


- Sat in on an Astro 291 class in case I have to cover for Don on Friday. Was good to go over the basics of Planck distributions, leading to L = Area.sigma.T^4 and then to work out how many x-ray photons one can expect to emit in a human lifetime (clue: really not that many...)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Half an orbit

Good evening and welcome back to NPRs Research.

After some time (6 months, ahem!) I thought it was a grand idea to get the ol' blog fired back up and see what we can do.

For those that don't know, I successfully handed in and defended my thesis at Durham University in May/June of this year, and have now been at Penn State University, working with Don Schneider for the past 2 and a bit months.

So, what's the grand plan? Well, if I'd knew I'd tell you, but basically, for starters and in four words, Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

To that end, I re-read the Stoughton et al. (2002) Early Data Release (EDR) paper today, as well as got to grips with the main papers in Xiaohui Fan's recent collection, regarding the high-redshift (z>5.7) quasars in the SDSS and the epoch of reionization. Then just as I was potentially about to so something useful, the server died. Ah well, looks like we're back to normal already...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Is Pluto a planet?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


The first version of me AAOmega LRG clustering paper has been posted to the AAOmega LRG BAO collaboration and have already had some really good comments back from key members.
This is all geared towards the AATAC 07B deadline next week (March 15th) and will be very interesting to see once more what happens.

As a slight spin-off from the w(theta) work that myself and Sawangwit (Durham) have been doing, I've been corresponding with Martin White (Berkeley) and Michael Brown (Princeton) regarding their Bootes NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey (NDWFS, e.g. White et al. 2007 and Brown et al. 2007 ). The preliminary result is that the HOD models they employ from the clustering results to infer merger rates of >L*red galaxies, could match my 2SLAQ LRG xi(r) real-space correlation function very nicely (with the obvious health warning about comparing data/models with compeltely different selections). What this means we'll still need to have a think about!

Friday, February 23, 2007

LRGs vs. ELGs

Hot off the press... (and therefore still very prelim)

With the help of Angulo et al. (2007) I think we *finally* have a delta_w estimation for (what would have been/still could be) an LRG ATLAS BAO Survey versus a WiggleZ Emission Line Galaxy (ELG) Survey.
Basically, given the parameters which should appear in due course in Ross et al. (2007a), (as well as looking at Parkinson et al. (2007) and the method of Angulo 07), I/we think the LRG delta _w would be 8.4% vs. an ELG value of 11.5% (essentially for equal telescope time).

However, this is all fairly academic since only one project at the mo has got the green-light ...

Why I'm proud to be Scottish...

The only link to NPRs Research this has, is both are primarily connected to statistics and alcohol. Ahem.

Monday, February 19, 2007

All good things...

After 7 plus years, my time in Durham is drawing to a close, especially as pasteurs new beckon...

However, to this end, there will be many send offs. This starts tonight with "The End of an Era" as Dr. Scales, Dr. Butterley and myself have a couple of beers with old friends.

The week of "celebration" looks set to continue on Friday with a potential school outing to Wet n Wild.
The boys in Room 311 are so looking forward to this event, they've even set up a wiki. Superb!

Meanwhile, the AAOmega Pilot/Clustering paper is now looking v. nice with good comments from Cannon (AAO), Wake (Durham) and of course El Shankso (Durham).