Is our participation useful?

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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RE: I don't know, but he

Message 82491 in response to message 82489

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I don't know, but he promised to write me again and I shall ask him. As far as I can know, psychology might be the answer. People tend to enlist in projects like folding@home which promise to find a cure for cancer, AIDS and the like. SETI was a starting point, and everything else kind of piggy-backed on its success. Einstein@home is more away from common people's interests and yet it has a good number of followers. Maybe people are not satisfied with the ivory tower mentality of many scientists and are willing to take part in a research.Astronomy always had the support of amateur astronomers. It is more difficult to be an amateur physicist and amateur chemists have burned many homes with their experiments.

You know that's quite true. The amateur/pro 'divide' in astronomy is not very firm at all. It's so much easier, and fulfilling, to gaze up at night with whatever you have at hand and partake. It's not like you can have your own B-meson factory in the garage. Even though there's no cure for cancer coming from E@H, or perhaps even any 'result' in some of our lifetimes, it does attract.

Actually it's not just Einstein. He's one of a long pedigree within astronomy, throughout history, for breaking new ground and changing views. To know, rather than just suspect, the existence of GW's would be a story similiar to the light 'bending' by stars, Michelson-Morley, Gallileo, Newton, Copernicus etc .....

My personal favorite is Tycho Brahe who decided that talk is cheap, and if you want to determine the validity of theory then measure to the best of your ability and ask theory to quantitatively predict, and then chop the rubbish away. He didn't seem to theorise alot, but was obsessed with measurement and it's nuances and so laid the groundwork for Kepler to nail the patterns. A 'computer' then was a real person. Slightly later logarithms became a dramatic time saving tool really revving up their productivity many-fold. There's an analogy with here with E@H. :-)

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Stranger7777
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Yes. Throughout all the

Yes. Throughout all the history we can found examples that show us how combined efforts lead to new discoveries (Faradey and Maxwell and so on). And now we can combine our efforts all together to reach new aims, that was not available even some years ago. And that's great!

By the way, may be a new screen saver with modern computer graphics can make this project more attractive for amateurs?
I've been playing for a long time with this project and found it very attractive for amateurs to advertise them the charm of astronomy and astophysics as well.

May be it's time to start looking this way reaching a new level of popularity?

DanNeely
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RE: or perhaps even any

Message 82493 in response to message 82491

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or perhaps even any 'result' in some of our lifetimes, it does attract.

A continued null result over the course of the lifetimes of most current participants would actually be a *MORE* momentus discovery than actually picking up a signal would be.

I didn't think to save it, but 6mo or a year ago Bernd (Bruce?) posted a copy of a poster they presented at a recent conference. While there's a good chance that the current experiment won't find anything; with the possible exception of the crab pulsar* no known objects are within the sensitivity of the current instruments the follow on Advanced LIGO and LISA experiments a decade or two down the road should be able to pick up dozens of known pulsars. Not finding them would be the first experimental evidence that relativity isn't correct.

* The crabs expected signal strenth was right on the theoretical performanace limit, but the graphs weren't detailed enough to see if, or how badly, the massive 60hz noise spike would degrade the reception at 54hz.

Mike Hewson
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RE: RE: or perhaps even

Message 82494 in response to message 82493

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Quote:
or perhaps even any 'result' in some of our lifetimes, it does attract.

A continued null result over the course of the lifetimes of most current participants would actually be a *MORE* momentus discovery than actually picking up a signal would be.

I didn't think to save it, but 6mo or a year ago Bernd (Bruce?) posted a copy of a poster they presented at a recent conference. While there's a good chance that the current experiment won't find anything; with the possible exception of the crab pulsar* no known objects are within the sensitivity of the current instruments the follow on Advanced LIGO and LISA experiments a decade or two down the road should be able to pick up dozens of known pulsars. Not finding them would be the first experimental evidence that relativity isn't correct.

* The crabs expected signal strenth was right on the theoretical performanace limit, but the graphs weren't detailed enough to see if, or how badly, the massive 60hz noise spike would degrade the reception at 54hz.


Agreed, which is why I put result in quotes. :-)
Perhaps 'answer' has a better meaning ie. 'do gravity waves exist, yes or no?'
Many good results in history have been 'nulls'. Michelson-Morley of course. Or malaria not being caused by 'bad air' - except if one includes the relevant mosquitos hovering in it!
Suppose we get something really off the wall, say like some rhythmic omni-directional GW beat. It'll be like I.I.Rabi when the muon was discovered "who ordered that?" :-)

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Rod
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RE: By the way, may be a

Message 82495 in response to message 82492

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By the way, may be a new screen saver with modern computer graphics can make this project more attractive for amateurs?

May be it's time to start looking this way reaching a new level of popularity?

Please... Lets not try and classify all amateurs into one lump...

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

Stranger7777
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I agree. But it will be great

I agree. But it will be great to refine the look of the screen saver as well.

Bikeman (Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein)
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RE: * The crabs expected

Message 82497 in response to message 82493

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* The crabs expected signal strenth was right on the theoretical performanace limit, but the graphs weren't detailed enough to see if, or how badly, the massive 60hz noise spike would degrade the reception at 54hz.

As for the Crab pulsar, in fact the expected frequency is much closer to the 60 Hz EM interference line,more like within 60 +/-1 Hz including Doppler shift I guess (see 'crabtime website').

CU
Bikeman

Mike Hewson
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RE: I agree. But it will be

Message 82498 in response to message 82496

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I agree. But it will be great to refine the look of the screen saver as well.


Well, there's a competition to produce one here. The immediate difficulty being cross-platform library issues, integrating OpenGL to various platforms and BOINC interactions. I've been doing some pretty basic level animation with OpenGL but cannot as yet make a 'screensaver' per se or query the BOINC manager for state info as regards the current work units - assuming one wants to specifically link animation characteristics to such state.

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

rbpeake
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RE: After a bit of a search

Message 82499 in response to message 82475

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After a bit of a search I found this post by Bruce Allen ( circa '05 ) on the cost savings due to us volunteers on power costs.
I guess there's a lot of ways that 'value' can be assessed for one's involvement in the project. We seem to look at this issue recurrently, which is a fine thing. Some questions which probe this:

If, say, the current contribution of was replaced by the equivalent processing contributed by an otherwise unrelated bunch of volunteers - would that change one's view?

If, say, an even greater fraction was done in house by the project ( 99% + ), and only a select few outsiders were invited to assist - would that change one's view if one were selected? If one weren't?

If, say, no large clusters at all were involved, but as a result the project had less total power - how would one feel about that?

I'm not searching for 'right' or 'wrong' here, just trying to define the intent.

I think it seems fair to say that the success of E@H depends upon volunteer efforts - we are the base horsepower.

There are probably many non-targeted and non-technical benefits, mainly of a social nature. For instance :

- the open nature of involvement acts as a social force in that for whichever countries materially contribute formal funds to LIGO and allied GW efforts, then those burdened taxpayers can have a hands on glimpse of the outcome of such spending through involvement. [ Contrast that with the Manhattan Project ... ] For me DownUnda it would be close to a mere few cents per taxpayer directly or otherwise ( AIGO say ).

- stimulation of youth to pursue science. Heaven knows they need a shove in that direction these days. I understand Livingston LIGO has a nifty visitors centre frequented by all ages and Hanford does tours. E@H is an important public web presence. This sounds like a waffly benefit but should not be under-rated. Many a successful scientist will 'date' their personal epiphany in following a science career from very specific exposure in their youth.

- it crosses national, ethnic, religious, gender, and political boundaries, AND is a neutral preserve for those measures [ see moderation policy ]. In a world beset with a plethora of divides this is an incredible blessing. A similiar situation occurred during the Cold War with mathematics.

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) and of course, it exposes a multitude of Windows users to the benefits Unix type operating systems. :-)


And personally, it is just a lot of fun! Like any hobby, there are expenses associated with it, and the cost of the energy is weighed by each of us by the personal benefits to determine if it is worth it!

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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RE: And personally, it is

Message 82500 in response to message 82499

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And personally, it is just a lot of fun! Like any hobby, there are expenses associated with it, and the cost of the energy is weighed by each of us by the personal benefits to determine if it is worth it!


Fun! Of course! I hang my head for forgetting to mention that one ..... :-)

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

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