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Anonymous
10:15 AM
@Secret I was reading through the transcript. Tbh I find the concept of soulmate very naive and illogical.
 
Sure, all real life relationships need some degree of understanding and balance between both parties, to accept the weakeness of the personality of the other while to adjust oneself to achieve mutaul understanding
This is why maintain a relationship takes a lot of effort, but it is worth the trouble
 
Anonymous
@Secret Right, I will agree to that. It is impossible that you'll ever find a perfect partner in the absolute sense of the word.
 
and of course, there are a lot of things outsiders like me don't really understood outside a relationship status, these will likely become clearer to me later on...
That's true, but anyway, I am probably way too lazy to start a relationship with anyone else, so (insert phrase to complete the sentence)
 
Anonymous
Same here :D
 
10:32 AM
Sometimes I get the feeling Randall is not actually a fan of physicists :P
 
Anonymous
@Kaumudi.H Oh, don't worry. They are young adults blinded by their oxytocin levels. :P If I were in your place I'd just go and enjoy the movie without giving a damn about the people beside me. :D
 
@ACuriousMind Haha! "I said brains. All they've got are string theorists". I love xkcd.
 
Luckily for you, this string theorist also finds that funny ;P
 
Why is that lucky for me?
 
Well, I guess it might not matter to you if you don't care about insulting me...
 
10:45 AM
@ACuriousMind he's just quoting from the XKCD comic you linked ...
 
How do I check if a point (x,y, z) is inside a cube (8 corners are given)?
 
In my days working for Unilever Research I knew a chap who spent his whole career working on the physics of granular flows.
 
@JohnRennie I know! But that doesn't make the statement less potentially insulting (and I actually know at least one guy who doesn't like xkcd because of that strip, which seems petty to me, but...whatever)
 
@Yashas a randomly oriented cube or a cube with the edges aligned with the axes?
 
@JohnRennie random
actually it isn't a cube, it is a cuboid
 
10:47 AM
I'd probably rotate the axes to line up with the cuboid. Once you've done that the problem is trivial.
 
no easy way? :(
I was looking for something to do with distances
distance b/w the point and every corner is less than the length body diagonal?
 
Well I suppose you can measure the normal distance to each of the six faces ...
 
I need to write code for it
distance looks simple :p
and usually other people won't understand if I use too much of math
 
Anonymous
@Yashas That should be simple if the coordinates of vertices are given
 
10:50 AM
Distance is insufficient. For this example, all absolute value of distances from the corners are less than the body diagonal
 
ah
 
I think the two ways John has already proposed are the "simplest".
@Secret You need to use signed distance.
I.e. set up all the normal vectors either pointing into or out of the cube, then you can tell by the signs of the distances whether the point is inside or outside.
 
Anonymous
I'd first of all rotate the axes so that they align with the sides of the cube and put one vertex to (0,0,0)
 
Anonymous
I guess JR suggested that
 
@Blue the code is going to look dirty and trig functions are expensive operations
 
Anonymous
10:53 AM
@Yashas Could you tell me what your code is going to input?
 
Anonymous
Will it input the vertices?
 
@Blue 8 corners
even though 8 aren't needed to define a cuboid, u get all 8 of them
 
Acuriousmind's suggestions of normal vectors might help you to avoid the trig stuff
 
@Yashas that's why I'd go with the signed distance - you pre-compute the plane equations for the cube's faces once, and then you just have 6 linear algebra operations, which should be fairly inexpensive.
 
Anonymous
Another way could be that if the equations of two opposite planes are $ax+by+cz=d_1$ and $ax+by+cz=d_2$ then the point should satisfy one of the planes whose form is $ax+by+cz=d_3$ where $d_1<d_3<d_2$
 
Anonymous
10:56 AM
Similarly for two other sides
 
It does feel as if there ought to be some cunning method involving the distances to the vertices ...
 
Anonymous
That's one alternative to the distance method which ACM sugested
 
@JohnRennie yea exactly :D
 
@JohnRennie Nope, the distances to the vertices just constrain the particle to spheres around the verticles, and intersections of spheres don't give a cube.
 
I have no idea how we can make use of inequalities without computing the equations of the planes
 
10:58 AM
@Blue finding equations and playing with them isn't easy coding-wise
 
This problem is one of the examples where we humans are good at finding the solution (we can literally tell by inspection whether the point will be in the cuboid), but computers need to take a few steps. Somehow computers cannot "see the full picture"...?
 
Anonymous
@Yashas I can think of only two methods as of now. I'll let you know if I get something easier later on. BTW the method I suggested has only 3 condition checks.
 
@Secret I think that commits the fundamental error of implicitly assuming that "tell by inspection" is somehow less computationally intensive than a few linear algebra operations.
 
Anonymous
This ^ :)
 
That's true, but is sometimes confuse me, how and what type of calculations are our brains doing to do all these inspection type solutions
 
11:02 AM
@Secret Another fundamental error: Assuming our brain does "calculations" :P
 
Everytime in an unfamilar field when I saw people solve problems by inspection, I always thought "magic happens" and I then spent a lot of time to no avail to understand why and how that magic happens
but when I finally get used to the field, I stop questioning about it, but deep down, why the magic happens is never resolved, its just ignored, almost subconsciously
 
Anonymous
@Yashas Okay, I found an easier method using dot products.
 
Anonymous
2
A: Check if a point is inside a rectangular shaped area (3D)?

MichaelThe three important directions are $u=P_1-P_2$, $v=P_1-P_4$ and $w=P_1-P_5$. They are three perpendicular edges of the rectangular box. A point $x$ lies within the box when the three following constraints are respected: The dot product $u.x$ is between $u.P_1$ and $u.P_2$ The dot product $v...

 
and it will take events like these (somebody else ask about a related question) to force the brain to think about the question it silently ignored
I think I really have a low tolerance for unexplained things
 
Anonymous
0
A: Check if a point is inside a rectangular shaped area (3D)?

Trey ReynoldsGiven $p_1,p_2,p_4,p_5$ vertices of your cuboid, and $p_v$ the point to test for intersection with the cuboid, compute: $$\begin{matrix} i=p_2-p_1\\ j=p_4-p_1\\ k=p_5-p_1\\ v=p_v-p_1\\ \end{matrix}$$ then, if $$\begin{matrix} 0<v\cdot i<i\cdot i\\ 0<v\cdot j<j\cdot j\\ 0<v\cdot k<k\cdot k \end...

 
11:08 AM
@Blue Basically the same as the plane approach, since computing these three vectors is the same as computing the normal vectors to the faces.
 
Anonymous
@ACuriousMind Yup, but this will be a bit shorter if you are going to write a code. Finding equation of planes and dealing with them will be more difficult.
 
Anonymous
But, yes. They are essentially the same
 
We can "tell by inspection" only if the point isn't close to one of the faces.
 
@Blue Well, if we're going to try to make efficient code we'd have to know what language he's programming in, whether it has good native support of vectors or not, etc... Short code is not always best code.
 
It does feel like there ought to be an easy way though. I think you subtract the co-ordinates of the point from each of the eight vertices, then check whether there's one vertex in every octant.
But I don't know how to prove that it's correct.
 
Anonymous
11:12 AM
@ACuriousMind Oh. I assumed he is using something like C++ or Java. :) Anyhow, let him decide for himself :D
 
4
Q: Can our brain do trigonometry?

Shaun WildI was sitting in college today today doodling around as I was bored, when I drew an arrow onto my paper, Looking at the arrow, I predicted that the arrow would move in the direction it was facing. Then, I thought "How did I know it would move in that direction?". Being a programmer/game developer...

ok, it seems the brain guess based on some rules
 
No, my idea is incorrect. I'll keep thinking about it.
 
11:32 AM
> 27 minutes laft
 
I've been wondering for a while, what how exactly is a particle defined in physics?
In the mathematical sense, is it an object or a statement?
or neither?
 
@Secret I somehow woke up early enough for this
 
@user400188 What kind of physics? Classical mechanics? Quantum mechanics? Quantum field theory?
The answer is different for each of them.
 
interesting
 
@SirCumference That's good, cause you are also a cosmologist, so the AMA is going to be interesting
 
11:37 AM
is it too much to ask for an overview of what it is in all of them?
 
@Secret prospective cosmologist ;)
 
if so, then I would like to know what it is for QM or QFT
which ever one you are more familiar with
 
I, meanwhile, is likely to be quite quiet as I don't know enough cosmology to generate questions
 
Anonymous
I would like to know how a beginner like me should get started with cosmology. :)
 
Jim
everybody ready for some Jim time?
 
Anonymous
11:40 AM
Hi @Jim :D
 
Jim
Hi @Blue :D
2
 
@user400188 Well, in classical mechanics, a "particle" is something localized at a point that has a list of properties like position, momentum, charge, etc... In quantum mechanics, it's still something with a list of properties, but now that list is just something you can potentially measure rather than a list of numbers. In QFT, you could read this answer of mine but I can't give a good answer if you don't already know quantum mechanics.
 
Anonymous
user image
5
 
@Blue YO that looks amazing
I don't think we have that in the states
 
Anonymous
So, when is the AMA starting ? Right now?
 
11:41 AM
@Jim We'll start in 20 mins, anything organisatorial we need to discuss?
 
Jim
Yes, I believe you win for the best pun-based name of this event
@ACuriousMind not that I know of. I should probably note that I can only guarantee an hour of my time, but will stick around longer if able
 
Thanks for showing up pal.
 
Jim
who me? I set the time, it'd be kind of a dick move to not show up, in that case
 
Indeed, a worse case senerio.
 
Anonymous
@Jim Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself. I haven't seen you around in the h-bar much. Are you a professor at an university? (Seems so from " Professionally, I run an undergraduate physics teaching laboratory, which includes designing and implementing all the experiments.")
 
11:45 AM
Oh, we can just start asking?
 
Jim
@Blue Sure, when the session starts, I'll give myself a proper intro
 
T - 13 minutes
 
Jim
@SirCumference Well, I'm not averse to answering questions at any time, but for the sake of others, it might be best to hold off until 1200Z
When we start, I'll introduce myself and then attempt to answer the top questions on the meta post. It's only fair that I first get to the questions that people actually took the time to write out in advance
 
@Jim Do you want to pick the questions to answer yourself or should someone like me throw them to you (we've done both in the past, I don't have a preference)
 
14
Q: July 2017 Ask Me Anything with Jim (long may he reign)

JimI'm Jim and if you haven't heard of me then, whatever "it" is, you're probably doing it wrong (I'm always self-advertising). I've been asked to do an AMA several times and I'm finally getting around to it. We'll get to the timing further down the page. About Jim Academic I have a masters degre...

 
Jim
11:49 AM
@ACuriousMind I'll just run through them in order of community votes; highest to lowest
 
@ACuriousMind your right. I wasn't able to understand the answer you linked with my current knowledge of QM.
 
Anonymous
@TheRaidersofLasVegas Thanks. I think that answers my question.
 
Anonymous
I hadn't read the meta post earlier
 
np, pal
T - 7 minutes
 
@ACuriousMind How do you define the "something" in your answer? Is it some physical object?
 
11:54 AM

 Backup Room – The h Bar

A backup room for when The h Bar is busy. (chat.stackexchange....
^for those who want to talk Physics etc
 
I noticed you go on to say the thing has a list of properties, how does this list indicate that there is actually a particle there? (or is it just assumed that this is the case?) The same question applies to when the properties can only be potentially measured in QM.
 
@DawoodibnKareem I know, I know :-) Thanks. They simply assume, I'd guess, that they've discovered something completely new and adulty, which is what gives them the license to be patronising.
 
@Kaumudi.H Well, it's new and adulty for them.
 
Jim
for all those who have internet clocks open, I'm going to try to start at 1200z, right down to the second
 
11:58 AM
Who's Jim, and can he fix it>
 
Jim
@djsmiley2k Yes, to both
 
@Blue :-) We're not watching a movie together, we're having dinner.
 
@Jim \o/
I'm kinda very new here, but with a long lasting interest in physics, as long as I don't have to go tooo deeply in to the math :)
 
Hi and welcome to this edition of physics.SE's AMA with Jim, a Canadian cosmologist. His introductory meta post with pre-submitted questions is here, but feel free to ask additional questions at any time. Please keep unrelated discussion out of this room while the AMA is in progress, use our backup room for other chatter instead.
3
 
Jim
Hi everyone. I'm Jim. I've been a contributor here on Physics.SE for however many years my profile says (I think 4, but I'm not going to take the small effort to verify that). I'm a theoretical cosmologist and a space engineer. No, I am not a professor. I run an undergraduate physics lab, which makes me more of a technician who designs practical course material. I am not actively doing research, but I'm still fairly familiar with cosmology. But enough about me, let's talk about me...
 
12:00 PM
Ooo Ooo, I can ask you the same question I asked Brian Cox, if you'd like :D
 
Jim
@djsmiley2k sure, but let me address the questions that were asked in advance first
10
A: July 2017 Ask Me Anything with Jim (long may he reign)

ACuriousMindAs a fellow theorist (albeit with a very different focus), In your view, what are the most interesting theoretical insights cosmology has produced in the last few decades? In your view, what are the most interesting/most promising open problems in theoretical cosmology? As a fellow gamer, W...

 
Sure Sure :)
 
Jim
this is from our own mod, ACM
1) in my view, the most interesting insight comes from the observations of the acceleration of expansion
it led to the theoretical formation of our ideas of dark energy
 
user84215
Perhaps gravitational waves
 
Seriously?
 
Jim
12:02 PM
but, more interestingly, it means that, theoretically, there cannot be any larger structures that form in our universe than what already exist
 
This is this happening at 8am
 
Jim
@0celoñe7 1200Z
 
What does that mean?
 
Jim
so think about it, even though the universe expands, the cosmic filaments are the largest things gravity can make
 
12:03 PM
@0celoñe7 center of the earth time.
 
wow thats weird
 
aka center of the universe time
 
Anonymous
@0celoñe7 UTC
 
Because.... everything is at the center.
 
Jim
As for the interesting open problems, the issues of dark matter and dark energy are very engaging. We still don't quite know what they are and whether we should include them on the gravity side or the matter side of the einstein field equations
I've seen numerous works that could be correct and have very different interpretations. So whichever can come up with testable hypotheses will hold all of our attentions
 
user84215
12:06 PM
Maybe WIMP
 
Isn't that more a question of semantics, Jim? Would it necessarily bring about any new physics?
(Not sure if I'm allowed to ask questions while you're answering, so tell me to shush if I'm not :) )
 
Jim
@PhilipCherian who knows
@PhilipCherian it's called "Ask me Anything". Anytime kinda works too
And the best game I've played in the last 5 years probably goes to Borderlands 2. I was going to give it to a Bioware game, but Borderlands takes gold because of the coop campaign feature and the amazing humour
 
@Jim What does it mean to include them on one side or the other (except for typography)?
 
Jim
@ACuriousMind it doesn't technically make a difference, but we try to lump all terms that are components of gravity/curvature on the left and all matter-energy terms on the right. Saying we don't know what side to put it on means we don't know what to call it. It's symbolic
 
user84215
12:10 PM
WIMPs are not good candidates for dark matter?
 
Well, they're good candidates, but.. as far as I know, they're conjectured
 
Ah, it's just another instance of us not really knowing what the dark things are, gotcha.
 
@Jim perhaps you can answer my question from earlier then? What exactly is a particle, and how does it differ from the list of statements that describe the particle (in your field of expertise).
Also, in the mathematics we use, do we distinguish between the particle and the list of statements that describe it? Or is this a piece of meaning that is tacked on at the end?
(of course, prioritize then ones asked in the meta post first by all means)
 
Jim
@aminliverpool I'm not a fan. They've stuck around for a while, so they're not a bad candidate, but I've seen no evidence for why they should interact with the Electroweak forces at all. To keep searching for them with these forces seems like a long shot
@user400188 good question, I'll get to that after the meta list. But it might be a good idea for you to be more specific than "list of statements". As it is, I'm not entirely sure what you mean
our next question is from @HDE226868
8
A: July 2017 Ask Me Anything with Jim (long may he reign)

HDE 226868I have two related questions about your background in theoretical cosmology: What made you choose theoretical cosmology in particular? What first drew you to the subject - especially after doing "space engineering" for your undergrad degree? You write I never used telescopes or real data. ...

 
Ok, I'll get to wording it better while the rest are answered.
 
user84215
12:14 PM
What does String Theory say about them?
 
Anonymous
BTW what is "space engineering" ? Is it same as "Aerospace engineering"(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerospace_engineering) ?
 
It's not not rocket science. ;)
 
Jim
to be honest, I've always been interested in why things work and how to predict the patterns in the world around me. I've not been much to care for looking through telescopes or showing through experiment that things work. So theoretics was a natural draw. Since I love space and the deeper aspects of how the universe works, cosmology was also an easy choice
 
I prefer spacetime engineering
 
Jim
Honestly, the theoretical experience strengthened me. I don't have a lack of experimental experience. I was in engineering, which is more experimental than experimental physics. In fact, I'd say I suffered more in my understanding of cosmology because I was too experimental
 
Anonymous
12:18 PM
@Jim Makes sense. But why didn't you choose to do a physics degree instead of aerospace engineering in your undergrad (since you were interested in theoretical cosmology more)?
 
Jim
cosmology is very math intensive and has copious abstract and theoretical concepts. I wish I could have had many more years of theoretical prep, but the experimental stuff I have was a good way to view the theory from multiple angles. It gives a broad and less biased perspective
right from the beginning, I chose to study engineering and then go into physics. That way I'd end up with what I want, but I'd see not only where the science comes from, but also how it is used
plus it means I get to say I have degrees in rocket science and theoretical physics. Want random people to say you're really smart a lot? That'll do it
 
Anonymous
@Jim Okay :P I seem to be in the exact same situation as you. I'm an electronics engineering undergrad who wishes to go into physics (and yeah, i'm interested in cosmology too :D)
 
Jim
Okay, here's a more personal question from Yashas:
9
A: July 2017 Ask Me Anything with Jim (long may he reign)

Yashas How does a person suffering from ADHD realise that they have ADHD? At what point in your life did you realise that you were suffering from severe ADHD? What strategies did you use to get through university with a learning disability?

 
@Jim Huh, do you have ADHD too?
 
Jim
first off, I realised I had it when I was diagnosed at a young age. They told me it meant I would have difficulty concentrating (among other things) and I went, "Yup, that is definitely true!"
 
12:23 PM
How old were you?
 
Jim
@skullpatrol 8 when I was diagnosed, but we knew much earlier than that
 
@SirCumference Oh, wut, you as well?
 
@Kaumudi.H Yep. Though by the time I was 12 I wasn't hyperactive anymore, just trouble focusing
 
Oh, wow, I see.
 
Jim
I always knew I had it, because it was extremely obvious I can't focus for long periods of time or anything like that. But I didn't realize how severe it was until I was older. I went to a session with other ADHD individuals and after interacting for a few weeks, we all agreed I had the worst case. Plus all my siblings have it, but milder. Plus I take the highest safe-for-adults dosage of my particular medication in order to mitigate the effects
so yeah, 1+1+1=severe
I had a few strategies to get through university. I'm going to boast a bit; I do have abnormally high potential for learning, which cancels out a lot of the "disabled in learning" stuff and makes me not require as many strategies, but there were a few I needed
 
12:28 PM
@Jim Ya ever find yourself suddenly hyperfocusing on a particular assignment? I know that is a symptom of ADHD and something I've experienced
 
Jim
@SirCumference yes, it's annoying that I can't choose when to do it though
The most helpful strategy has to be where I choose to do work. I don't ever do work at home unless it's an emergency.
 
Do your parents have it?
 
Yeah. I've got a bad case of ADHD too, but it's pretty cool when you suddenly find yourself super productive
 
Jim
@skullpatrol my dad does, but he didn't know it until a few years ago (we knew though)
 
@Jim Most ADHDs reported about experiencing free associations, do you have such experience before, how do you deal with it?
 
Jim
12:30 PM
I know I'll get distracted at home, so I marked it as a work-free environment. That means if I want to get something done, I have to stay at school until it's finished. No opportunity to go home and not finish
@Secret what is that?
plus no guilt from not working at home
 
Isn't there anything a therapist can do to help?
 
Jim
the other good strategy is in taking notes. If I write down everything on the board as the prof writes it, that means I have to listen to what they say and read what is written. Maybe I don't pick it up the first time, but it becomes familiar. That way, when I go back, I can recall seeing something before. It also means I can't start daydreaming; I have to keep writing
@skullpatrol I dunno. Probably not for me. I've managed it myself. But honestly, I've never looked into it
 
@skullpatrol The disorder is caused by a difference in brain structure and how many chemicals are released. Therapists can give advice to help you work, but the best way to deal with it is a combination of motivation and (often) psychiatry
 
Jim
@SirCumference and medication to rebalance chemicals
 
@Jim Yup, especially dopamine (what makes you happy, interested, etc.), which is released a lot less in people with ADHD (causing the shorter attention spans)
 
Jim
12:36 PM
not going to lie, it's hard. Not just the inability to focus on work, but that also means there are social problems. It's amazing how much you have to focus to really pick up on stuff. Plus the impulsivity leads to interrupting a lot, which people don't much enjoy
but, you adapt and overcome
 
Please look into what a therapist may have to offer.
 
Jim
@skullpatrol I don't really have any problems I need a therapist to solve. I'm happy and productive
 
@SirCumference Is there a test that measures the chemical imbalance?
 
Jim
@0celoñe7 no idea
 
A physical, observable test?
 
12:37 PM
@0celoñe7 Usually one is not needed, but studies certainly prove it exists and is significant
 
How do they prove it?
 
Jim
@0celoñe7 Science
 
@Jim "Science."
 
Jim
Now you're catching on
 
Same way they prove a lot of clinical disorders. Checking whether you experience symptoms, and giving you their best assumption
 
Jim
12:38 PM
anyway, our next question is from the fun @KyleKanos
 
@0celoñe7 Oh, the studies? Using CAT scans, etc.
 
Jim
7
A: July 2017 Ask Me Anything with Jim (long may he reign)

Kyle KanosWhat aspect of theoretical cosmology did you study? Was it paper-based work or computer-based work? If the latter, what kind of software/languages were used?

 
(O great, google is super not helpful on this, this is the only source that is at least journal basedhttps://springerplus.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40064-016-3509-2 that has used the term)

But basically, free association is you experience something, and then said the first thing that spontaneously came to mind. For example, the article I link here talked about how children were asked to create any images in whatever they like

I apologies I cannot find any source that does not mention Jung nor Freud, the only source where I saw that word used properly is written in chinese
 
@Jim Do you not feel bad for using a drug to boost your performance?
 
Athletes do it.
 
12:40 PM
@0celoñe7 They're not performance-boosting, they're meant to balance chemical deficiencies
 
Jim
@0celoñe7 No, the disability keeps me from being able to realize my potential in a way that average people are. The medication closes the gap. I feel fine especially because it allows me to be a productive member of society instead of a drain on its resources
4
 
@Jim Closes the gap? How are you to know if it closes the gap (skeptical such a thing exists in the first place) or shoots you beyond?
 
Jim
@Secret I don't know. It wan't a great description
 
nvm then
 
Anonymous
@0celoñe7 How does it matter? He is not taking part in any event like Olympics or some sport competition where using drugs is not allowed.
 
Jim
12:43 PM
@0celoñe7 I can recognize when I know I have the capacity to perform a task but am incapable of meeting it because of my disability. The medication does not completely fix this. I still have worse time concentrating than my peers. It does not make me starter, just allows me slightly better to direct my efforts according to my will
 
To come back to Physics, what's your personal take on the possibility of first order phase transitions in the early universe? I'm rather keen on working on it, but somehow there don't seem to be many groups that are, and I've heard people occasionally tell me that they aren't too hopeful of - for example - the electroweak transition being first order...
 
@Blue So you think all children should be on an Adderall regimen?
 
Jim
@PhilipCherian coming back to physics, I've still got a question from @KyleKanos that I said I'd answer. I'll have to get back to you
 
@Jim ok! :)
 
Jim
anyway, my work include a large amount of pencil-on-paper math
 
12:45 PM
@Jim You keep blaming the disability. Have you tried to do without the medication for a long stretch (year+) in adult life?
 
Anonymous
@0celoñe7 All children don't suffer from ADHD
 
Jim
however, to save time, we did lots of it in mathematica
@0celoñe7 yes. I failed miserably
 
Are you a visual thinker?
 
Context: 0celo was misdiagnosed with ADHD and believes it doesn't exist
 
Jim
we did blind studies on me as a child. I performed severly worse when on a medication that didn't help
 
12:45 PM
@SirCumference Thanks. I was beginning to become really confused.
 
@SirCumference Misdiagnosed?
 
Jim
@skullpatrol yes
 
@0celoñe7 Your own words
 
@Blue @0celoñe7 @SirCumference Please take this discussion to the other room if you really want to continue it.
 
Jim
I also have an abnormal memory. I remember events in sensory inputs, instead of remembering processed information
 
Anonymous
12:47 PM
@ACuriousMind @Jim Is a part of this discussion about ADHD too I guess. But sure, we can move on to some other topic
 
@Jim You mean, e.g. you don't remember the abstract statement you read in a book but where it was located on the page and how the page looked?
 
Jim
back to the question I'm answering; I did have majority in comupational work. We used python and fortran mostly, but I added some matlab and C as well
 
@ACuriousMind I do that.
 
I do that too, which is why I asked if that's what he meant by "sensory input"
 
Jim
@ACuriousMind No, I remember the words as well. As a visual thinker, thoughts come as visual hallucinations, which I can then remember as sensory input
 
12:48 PM
I have books memorized, roughly, in the sense that I know exactly where the statement is, how long it is, etc., but often have no clue what it contains.
Lately I've been trying to recall things without checking the books.
 
Next question please :-)
10 min left
 
@Jim Ah, I don't think I can quite understand that, but anyway - you were starting to answer a physics question ;)
 
Jim
@EmilioPisanty asks us:
4
A: July 2017 Ask Me Anything with Jim (long may he reign)

Emilio PisantyI'll bite. Sorry, but I'm Canadian, eh? And go ahead and make jokes. Is the top of your head attached to your body? Also, how much of your day is spent in the vicinity of trees and/or rocks?

 
THEY'RE MINERALS, @EmilioPisanty
 
Jim
No, my head is not attached
And, this one is real, I spend most of my day very close to rocks and trees
In my office at the university, my window looks out to a large forest.... in Toronto
 
12:52 PM
Do you like camping?
 
Anonymous
Toronto seems to be a nice place. I'd like to visit it someday. :D
 
My windows looks out onto the facility services break/work room. Quite a strange arrangement.
 
Jim
It's alright. But I grew up in a rural area. To me, camping is like going home. You spend a lot of time with nature on every side of you
plus black flies are a real problem in Northern Ontario, so going camping up there is ill-advised some times of the year
another question from @KyleKanos:
3
A: July 2017 Ask Me Anything with Jim (long may he reign)

Kyle KanosYou don't mention anything about music, just wondering your musical tastes/interests. What type of genres/artists/albums do you listen to? Do you find yourself more able or less able to study with music playing?

 
RE: remember events in sensory inputs, instead of remembering processed information: For me, I can sometimes see movies playing in my mind when I read some abstract statement, sometimes triggering emotions of some sort. But because I know they are just my mental images, they don't considered by my brain as sensory information.
 
Last 5 minutes people.
 
Jim
12:55 PM
I find that music distracts me way too much when studying, so I don't listen to it then. I'm also what you'd call musically neutral. I don't dislike any genre of music, I think they all have merit. But I also don't have much of a place for it in my life, which leads me to not listen to it often
Okay, let's open it up to other questions from the floor
 
@skullpatrol Just hoping he'll get to my question (last one)
 
Jim
0
A: July 2017 Ask Me Anything with Jim (long may he reign)

Sir CumferenceIs there anything that surprised you about your field/career? What's the hardest part about being a cosmologist? Lastly, do you consider cosmology to be a branch of astronomy?

 
Oh. Cool.
 
I was hoping to see that too
 
Jim
Yes, it was surprising how much of cosmology is grinding away at the math instead of thought experiments. It was naive of me to not expect that, but I didn't
 
12:57 PM
@Jim What is your favorite Skyrim mod?
 
Jim
The hardest part has to be writing papers; I'm really slow at that; can't focus on writing that well
@0celoñe7 don't play skyrim
 
E.g. I should be writing my proposal but the AMA is so interesting that I paused
 
Jim
And no, I don't consider cosmology a branch of astronomy. I think cosmology is to astronomy what atomic physics is to chemistry
 
@Jim Sir Cumference faints
 
@Jim Good.
 
12:59 PM
::runs for water::
 
@Jim What do you play?
 

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