1. Sonification of the transits of the remarkable Kepler 11 planetary system.

    Audio available for download: astro.uvic.ca/~alexhp/new/figures/kepler11sonata.mp3

    Kepler 11 has a compact system of six planets, detected by the Kepler observatory through their transits of their host star: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler-11

    Here, I've taken each transit seen by the observatory and assigned a pitch and volume to it. The pitch (note) is determined by the planet's distance from its star (closer=higher), and they are drawn from a minor 11 chord. The volume is determined by the size of the planet (larger=louder).

    The near-4:5 mean-motion resonance (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_resonance) of the innermost two planets is audible as the notes "beat" against each other.

    A triple-transit (three planets crossing the face of the star at once) in August 2010 is also audible. This event is what is illustrated in the artist's impression of the system used in cover photo.

    Creative Commons license - 2012 - Alex Harrison Parker, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

    # vimeo.com/44945226 Uploaded 7,610 Plays 0 Comments
  2. Music of the (Exploding) Spheres

    Audio available on SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/alexhp-1/supernova-sonata
    Original post: astro.uvic.ca/~alexhp/new/supernova_sonata.html

    From April, 2003 until August, 2006, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope watched four parts of the sky as often as possible. Armed with the largest digital camera in the known universe, CFHT monitored these four fields for a special type of supernova (called Type Ia) which are created by the thermonuclear detonation of one or more white-dwarf stars. These explosions are extremely energetic, and can be seen across vast distances in space.

    These four fields covered roughly 16 times the area of the full Moon on the sky, or roughly 1/10,000 of the entire sky. Even though such a small fraction of the sky was monitored, 241 Type Ia supernovae were seen during the period of observation.

    This video is a compilation of the 241 Type Ia supernovae seen in these fields during the CFHT Legacy Survey. The four Deep Fields are shown in color, and the positions of all the supernova are illustrated as time progresses. The animation is rendered at 15 frames per second, and each frame corresponds to just under a single day (one second in the animation corresponds to roughly two weeks of real time).

    Each supernova is assigned a note to be played:

    The volume of the note is determined by the distance to the supernova, with more distant supernova being quieter and fainter.

    The pitch of the note was determined by the supernova's "stretch," a property of how the supernova brightens and fades. Higher stretch values played higher notes. The pitches were drawn from a Phrygian dominant scale.

    The instrument the note was played on was determined by the properties of the galaxy which hosted each supernova. Supernovae hosted by massive galaxies are played with a stand-up bass, while supernovae hosted by less massive galaxies are played with a grand piano.

    Note that the brightness of the supernovae as illustrated in the video are not to scale - because they are so distant, even these extremely powerful explosions appear very faint once their light reaches us here on Earth.

    Created by Alex H. Parker (University of Victoria) and Melissa L. Graham (University of California Santa Barbara / LCOGT).

    Source of images: Stephen Gwyn's CFHTLS pages - .cadc-ccda.hia-iha.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/community/CFHTLS-SG/docs/cfhtls.html

    Source of SNe data:
    (Conley et al. 2011) adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/bib_query?arXiv:1104.1443

    (Sulivan et al. 2011) adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/bib_query?arXiv:1104.1444

    # vimeo.com/23927216 Uploaded 108K Plays 8 Comments
  3. A collaboration between members of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and Theatre of the Ayre. See them at Spitalfields Music June 10 2013, York Early Music Festival July 9 2013 – for bookings contact http://www.daviesmusic.com. For more on the performers see http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com and http://www.elizabethkenny.co.uk.

    # vimeo.com/66978614 Uploaded 426 Plays 0 Comments
  4. The essence of digital computing is the use of continuous physical states to represent a discrete number of symbols and the ability to perform logic based on those symbols. Although electronic circuits are exceptionally well-suited for this, any system that can handle symbols as both input and output is a digital computer. Here, I've demonstrated the construction of simple digital computers (specifically, binary logic gates) using pulleys and weights.

    Want to build your own?
    See the stuff you'll need here: http://bit.ly/pulleylogicgatesstuff
    See pics here: http://bit.ly/pulleylogicgatespics
    And feel free to reach out to me with questions: alex.gorischek@outlook.com

    # vimeo.com/93042377 Uploaded 239K Plays 14 Comments
  5. Some programmers are simply more effective than others. Kent Beck famously described himself as "not a great programmer, but a good programmer with great habits."

    Over the last year or so I've been working with, and observing, some very good programmers with quite exceptional - and rather surprising - habits.Is there a better way than katas to learn a new language? Is copy-and-paste always evil? Should you always test-drive production code?

    In this talk Dan introduces the idea of programming patterns - patterns of effective programming behaviour - and describes some of the more unusual but effective programming patterns he's collected over the last year.

    These are not patterns for beginners, but then again, Dan argues that patterns aren't for beginners anyway.

    # vimeo.com/43659070 Uploaded 2,428 Plays 0 Comments

Matthew Skelton

Matthew Skelton

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