I went mooning last night, and got a spectacular view of the super-mega-ultra blood moon eclipse. The skies in Boston being perfectly clear which made for some great photographs. I shot the picture below from my roof, surrounded by all the light pollution of Kendall Square. I was surprised by all of the stars which showed up in the photographs, which were not visible to the naked eye.
I recently had a Rapid Communication accepted at Physical Review E. This paper represents several years of effort while I was at Samsung to develop a model of the growth of metal dendrites during electrodeposition. In addition to looking pretty, understanding how these dendrites grow is important for making rechargeable batteries with significantly higher energy density than current technologies. The dendrites eventually cause a short-circuit during cycling when a metal electrode is used. In this paper I constructed a phase-field model that accurately captures many of the observed features of electrodeposits. This will be a valuable tool for mitigating dendrite growth, particularly for pulsed charging. The model provides an estimate of the time at which the interface becomes unstable, and could be used to optimize the pulse time while still maintaining a flat interface. The video on the right shows one of the simulations that is presented in the paper. The blue lines are electric field lines, which indicate the direction of migration of ions in the electrolyte (white). The video shows that, after a short period of stable growth, the interface becomes unstable. The electric field concentrates at protruding tips, causing them to grow faster and shield the nearby electrode. When the field at a tip gets too high, the tip splits and the process repeats. Quantitative phase-field modeling of dendritic electrodeposition
With all the snow in Boston this winter, several new mountain have formed out of desperation for places to put snow. Here are of few pictures of what I call Mt. Kendall. Since the first day of spring was last week, I wanted to document Mt. Kendall, which I pass each morning on the way to work. It has a vertical of about 30 ft, multiple peaks, and several glaciers. As the mountain melts, an interesting collection of show shovels, parking cones, bits of car bumpers, and other debris has begun to emerge. It might be interesting to take an ice core and study the strata from the different storms to learn about what people were doing last January.
For some reason, the Kendall Square Diamond which was abandoned at this location several years ago was kindly moved to the side before the dumping began, and was spared the full wrath of Mt. Kendall.
I have also heard reports of another mountain at the western edge of MIT that many have begun calling Mt. Cambridge-manjaro. It is supposed to be good for late-season sledding.
Anyone want to guess when the last day I can find snow here is? My guess is the first week of June.