Happy New Year!

I just want to thank everyone for making this a great year. I hope I can put some Christmas pictures on here in the upcoming days. My wife has the camera, but we had a great time. As for the year as a whole, there have been high notes and low notes, but the director has said, “cut” and that year is in the can. Lets see what we can do with the new year.

If anyone has some suggestions, I would love to hear them.  I am working on a couple of novels and a couple of games, as well as some science related topics. I have a lot of (real) work on radiation effects waiting for me at the office, but nothing interesting for discussion online.

Oddly enough, my boss has actually re-opened the “Nuclear Rockets” can of worms.  I know several of your are Nuclear Rocket fans, so I will try to figure out what tools I can use to develop the concepts further. I am a big fan of nuclear electricity powering plasma engines, but the boss wants to go direct to Nuclear Thermal. For those of you who don’t know the difference (probably about everyone) I’ll have a full discussion later. I am a nuclear engineer, as well as a plasma physicist, so I hope I can explain it without making a hash out of everything.  (But not today, Mondays are not good for coherence.)

Have a Happy New Year! I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and I hope we all can look for many returns. Comment in regularly, I could use the feedback.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Someone pointed me to some lovely pictures of a snowflakes , much enlarged.  I’m having a bit of dificulty with the scale, as it has both 2.0 kV and x30 and 1 mm on the screen.  2.0 kV electron microscopes are good for measureing 1 Micron sized objects, so… I expect that 1mm doesn’t mean 1 milimeter, but 1 micron.  Still, odd to have a x30 on the screen.

This is a picture of a X30 view of a snowflake .

In any case, these look very different.

An image from an electron microscope could be 2 million times larger, but these appear to be on the order of a hundred times larger. 

Here is a good page  where you can see a few pictures at x450 magnificaiton with an electron microscope, and then compare that to the similar light magnification.

Have fun clicking about. Snowflakes can have that nice “standard shape” but they have many variations on the theme, needles, columns, grid hex.  Odd.  Worth looking at for a snow in day.

Let me check my notes