The Stars of Sgr A* (Sagittarius A Star)

Figure 1. Measured (dots) and calculated (line) orbital position of S0-2 based on 16 years of observations. The orbit matches Kepler’s law perfectly. From Ghez, et.al., Astrophysical Journal, Aug 21, 2008. Peer toward the Milky Way’s center in visible light, and you see clouds of dust and gas obscuring all the stars. But, switch to […]

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Science Fiction….is it really fiction

This was the title of a panel on which I was invited to participate at DesignCon 2010. Of all my DesignCon activities, preparing and presenting at this panel was the most fun I had. Joining me on the panel were Gabe Moretti, owner of GabeOnEDA, Charles Pfeil, engineering director at Mentor, and the author of […]

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Colliding Galaxies at Your Fingertips

When we look at a few Hubble photos of distant galaxies we may get the impression the universe is a static place. Other than the occasional supernova brightening, the galaxies we see haven’t changed much over the hundred years of observational history. But, it may well be the dynamics of energetic galactic collisions that created […]

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Smart Grid Presentation by Bill Parkhurst

On Thursdays, April 8, 2010, Bill Parkhurst of Cisco Systems, presented a talk on the Smart Grid at the Kansas City section of the IEEE in Overland Park, KS. Fundamentally, Bill said, the Smart Grid is whatever Steven Chu, the Secretary of Energy, says it is. He has $4.5B available to fund Smart Grid programs. […]

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A New Scalable Battery Technology for Power Grid Storage

I don’t usually write pieces in this blog that are not directly related to signal integrity, but I recently saw a TED talk on battery storage technology that I think should get more visibility. Prof Donald Sadoway, from MIT, presented a talk on “The Missing Link to Renewable Energy.” Of course, he says, what’s needed […]

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“It’s a Wheel!,” a JPL Engineer Shouts as the First Image from Curiosity Appears on the Screen

Millions around the world counted down the “seven minutes of terror” as we all followed each step of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), named “Curiosity”, execute the final steps of its landing on Mars. The mission control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, part of Caltech, in Pasadena California, was broadcast live. I joined over […]

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Keithley 196 System DMM

I’ve had this Keithley 196 6 1/2 digit multimeter for about 25 years and it works as great today as it did when I first got it. I usually use it on the voltage scale or the Ohms scale. On the 30 v scale, the least digit is 10 uV. When pushed to the limit, […]

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LeCroy WaveAce 2034 Digital Scope General Features

The Teledyne LeCroy WaveAce 2034 is a “gateway drug” into digital scopes. It has the front panel interface typical of traditional analog scopes, but with lots more buttons and features which enable us to tap into its powerful digital signal analysis features. As with a traditional scope, the WaveAce has the features you expect from […]

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Life Long Learning at Your Fingertips

I’ve never given up my thirst for learning more about what interests me in the world. I went to school in Cambridge, MA, where there are 30 large universities in the area, each with weekly talks and seminars. I used to hop from seminar  to seminar, eating the free cookies and cakes and listening to […]

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