The Colour of Music : Notes of Equal Temperament

The Colour of Music : Notes of Equal Temperament

Reading Time: 11 minutesEqual temperament and just intonation are two of the methods used to divide an octave in western classical music. While just intonation is based on ratios of simple integers, the equal temperament system uses logarithmic intervals. In part II of this series, the Nerd Druid talks about equal temperament.

The Colour of Music : Understanding Just Intonation

The Colour of Music : Understanding Just Intonation

Reading Time: 11 minutesJust intonation and equal temperament are two of the methods used to divide an octave in western classical music. While just intonation is based on ratios of simple integers, the modern equal temperament system uses logarithmic intervals. In part I of this series, the Nerd Druid talks about just intonation.

Why Indigo? The Mystery behind Newton’s VIBGYOR

Why Indigo? The Mystery behind Newton’s VIBGYOR

Reading Time: 13 minutesFour and a half centuries ago, Isaac Newton used a prism and a dark room to split white sunlight into its coloured components. He labelled seven primary colours, later known by the mnemonic VIBGYOR. Curiously, he chose indigo to be one of the seven, a colour that most people fail to pick out from the spectrum. Why did Newton choose this elusive colour to be one of his chosen seven? Why indigo? The Nerd Druid Investigates!

VIBGYOR : Newton’s Rainbow and Indigo

VIBGYOR : Newton’s Rainbow and Indigo

Reading Time: 11 minutesVIBGYOR is a popular mnemonic for the seven rainbow colours. 450 years ago, Newton split white light into its coloured components and labelled seven of them. Curiously, most people see only six. The Nerd Druid Investigates!

Quantum Dots of All Hues : A Modern Marvel

Quantum Dots of All Hues : A Modern Marvel

Reading Time: 8 minutesQuantum dots are fluorescent nanocrystalline semiconductors that seem to magically change colour with size. The Nerd Druid investigates this 21st century marvel.

E 0102 : A mysterious isolated neutron star

E 0102 : A mysterious isolated neutron star

Reading Time: 11 minutesNeutron stars are exotic remnants of supernova explosions of massive stars. Most rotating neutron stars have extraordinarily high magnetic fields. These pulsars very often have a binary companion star from which they steal stellar matter. Recently, a neutron star in a neighbouring galaxy was found to have neither a binary companion nor a strong magnetic field. Curiously, the position of the supernova remnant with respect to the gases thrown off at the time of supernova does not quite tally. The Nerd Druid investigates E 0102, the lonely offset neutron star.

Semiconductors : Junction Diodes and Transistors

Semiconductors : Junction Diodes and Transistors

Reading Time: 8 minutesSemiconductors are at the heart of modern human civilization. Every word I type using this laptop is an implicit thank you to the incredible versatility and utility of semiconductors, as well as to the wonderful ingenuity of the scientists and engineers who have harnessed the potential of these magical materials to their fullest. The following …

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Exploring the Subatomic World : Electrons and Nuclei

Exploring the Subatomic World : Electrons and Nuclei

Reading Time: 6 minutesThe subatomic revolution began with the 1897 discovery of the electron. Atoms were no longer indivisible and fundamental. The 20th century has revealed the rich internal structure of the atom. In this series of brief articles, The Nerd Druid traces the wonderful history of the subatomic world.

Proton Pressure : How do Quarks Tackle Stress?

Proton Pressure : How do Quarks Tackle Stress?

Reading Time: 9 minutesProton pressure, theoretically estimated to be higher than even neutron stars, has been notoriously difficult to measure experimentally. Recently, however, particle physicists have used a nice trick to measure proton pressure. The Nerd Druid delves deeper.

Direct Urca : How Thieving Neutrinos Cool Neutron Stars

Direct Urca : How Thieving Neutrinos Cool Neutron Stars

Reading Time: 11 minutesNeutron stars are one of the most interesting and exotic objects in the universe. Formed as remnants of stellar cores post-supernova, core temperatures of these ultradense stars at formation can be as high as hundreds of billions of kelvin. Neutron stars cool off by shedding neutrinos–either via the superfast direct Urca process, or by the …

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