Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012

Who’s up for open access?

by Lucas Wilkins

Looking through the recent petition/vow making against the commercial nature of academic journals (http://thecostofknowledge.com/) I couldn’t help notice a fairly strong subject area bias. So, I scraped the subject area fields of the website and made this pretty graph:

But what does it mean?

January 12, 2012

An easy synchronisation experiment

by James Thorniley

Imagine a circuit that causes a little light to flash on and off. Imagine that the frequency of that flashing is itself dependent on the light at a particular sensor. Imagine that such a circuit is placed next to another identical circuit, such that the light from each circuit is directed at the sensor on the other circuit. What do you expect to see? Find out after the break…

January 6, 2012

Jelly challenge: decode the chaotic messages

by James Thorniley

Whilst hyperflunking across the interdimensional quantum vibration matrix, your spaceship detects three jumbled up signals. They sound like random noise, but you suspect they are in fact secret messages from Glycerol Soap Bomb, the ruler and Maximal Liapunov Exponent of the planet Cholesky Decomposition. The messages can be downloaded from the following locations:

January 4, 2012

A secret message from another dimension

by James Thorniley

We’ve touched on the difference between chaos and randomness before.  One strange property of chaotic systems is that they are able to synchronise to each other, so that in spite of their intrinsic tendency to vary wildly, a chaotic system can (actually quite easily) be persuaded to match the behaviour of another chaotic system. As this post will show, it is possible to use this property for a kind of secret message transmission.

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