Wednesday, February 08, 2006

ZPL and Relativity

my boss is insane. he's teaching the relativity course and he's been doing this way way too long. the blackboard becomes a flurry of greek mixed with squiggles everywhere. there's this wonderful thing that one does in math, where you wrap up some assumptions in the notation to make it like a short hand. but then it ends up with 2 subscripts, 3 superscripts and hidden things like "if you see the same subscript in the line, there's an implicit sum over all the variables" or "a comma means take the partial derivitave with respect to everything that follows the comma". it gets you cross eyed after 20 minutes. anyways, my life this week so far has been going over the GR notes and rewriting them into this little book i have. it's the only way i can keep up.

the other major accomplishment this week was learning the zemax programming language. it's a lot like most languages so that was pretty easy. i made a little "macro" that told zemax to compute the expected polarization for a bunch of different pointings of the telescope. hoo-freekin-rah. back to greek chaos.


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