Migration to Hugo

Motivation With the ebb of workload from first year graduate courses, I decided to rekindle the blog that I had setup a couple years prior. As a former professional Python developer, I had chosen Pelican as my static site generator (SSG) in late 2018. The set of plugins looked sufficient, and I could always write my own if needed. Fast-forward to this week, and the situation is different. The Hugo community has grown, broadened, and supported more use cases.

Standup, Hugo! Creating a Blog with Hugo

Preliminaries Let’s quickly review what you’ll need to build a Hugo blog, and what it will mean to have a Hugo blog at the end of the process. What You’ll Need Before we begin, you’ll need a few things. I’ll list the essentials below (as well as my recommendations where relevant) Git, the ubiquitous VCS of the era GitHub account, for storing your blog content (and hosting for free!) Text Editor, for writing content and editing configuration files (I recommend either Sublime Text for simple uses or GoLand for those who also need to edit GO code for plugins) What You’ll Have By the end of this post, the hope is that you will have:

Fermi Problem: Galactic Spaghetti

Often in discussions about blackholes, the question arises of observer experience when falling into a blackhole. Due to the extreme tidal forces experienced along such a path, the observer would be stretched out - a process colloquially referred to as spaghettification. This week I would like to look at a happier use for spaghetti near blackholes. If an observer in a stable circular orbit around the supermassive blackhole at the center of our galaxy were to use spaghetti as a tether, how much spaghetti would be required?

Fermi Problem: Baseball Blackhole

The question of interest this week is: If all baseballs ever used in an MLB game were compressed into a blackhole, how large would the blackhole be? To estimate the blackhole radius $r_{BH}$, we’ll need to compute the number of baseballs used in MLB games, translate that number to a total mass, then compute the blackhole radius of the corresponding mass. Counting Baseballs We begin with a lower-bound on the number of baseballs used in all MLB games.

Found This Week #1

As this is the inaugural issue of the found-this-week series, I’ll briefly note my motivation and inspiration. The title of this series is an overt nod to the famous series This Week’s Finds written by the inimitable John Baez. I have learned a great deal from that series and his book on gravity, and have the utmost admiration for Baez’ abilities as a physicist and communicator. It is my hope that this series will be found useful by some, insightful by at least a few, and accessible by many.

Fermi Problem: A Different Manhattan Project

For this week’s installment of Fermi estimation, the question of interest is: How fast would the sun burn an amount of hydrogen equivalent to the above-ground mass of Manhattan? To estimate the burn-time we’ll need to guess at a few quantities: the above-ground mass of Manhattan, the solar luminosity (total energy emitted from the sun), and fraction of energy emitted from the core of the sun that makes it to the surface.