Week 6: I need arrays. (A Raise? get it? puns...)

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Sunday, July 6, 2014


Kirsten Randle

After further discussion with Dr. Chuss and Karwan, we needed to change the optimization method. Instead of optimizing the CMB power over the bandwidth to the total power (which increases with atmospheric opacity), I'm optimizing it over the total photon noise, which has a more complex relationship with the overall power. I also needed to develop a method for optimizing both band edges as opposed to fixing it at a certain width. This results in very pretty colormaps of band edges.

Basically this plot shows that the best start and endpoints of the observing bandwidth are at the deepest red in the center. Now, I just have to deal with the arrays in some clever way that I have yet to perfect to isolate the maximum, or the most ideal bandwidth.

Also, over the past week, I've been learning how to solder and attempted, unsuccessfully, to start on some delicate wiring for the new detector. Hopefully with some diligence I'll be able to improve and contribute to the wiring.

After a pretty busy week, it was nice to head home early on Thursday. For the 4th, we headed out to claim our spot for fireworks viewing at about 11am. While the idea was vaguely preposterous, it served our needs well. Not only did it ensure our group prime viewing for the evening fireworks display, our sunny spot also served as a group base camp for everyone who was doing various activities on the mall. We watched the fireworks with diffraction glasses, which should be required for all fireworks. It. was. awesome. We had an endless supply of snacks and lemonades for the day, and it was delightful.

Last weekend, while not as epic as a DC Independence Day celebration, was still fun. We sunned on the national mall for a few hours on Saturday, and Sunday we tackled the Air and Space Museum and the folklife festival. I decided I want to live in the Air and Space Museum. That, or become an astronaut. I've probably decided this about 10 times in my lifetime, but it just keeps getting reinforced. While the folklife festival was very interesting and the Kenyan goat stew I tried was delicious, I couldn't help but walk away with a vague uneasiness about the event. It felt vaguely imperialistic and exploitive to try and summarize two vastly different nations' cultures in a couple of tents in our federal back yard.

Kirsten Randle