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...