Tag physics

Recent Posts

End of an Era (February 04, 2015)

Hey all,

last week, I handed in my Master’s thesis. I was studying Physics for about 7.5 years now. I started using KDE 3.5.x while still in school and in my first student job as a web developer. At university, I taught myself C++ while working as a sysadmin at the faculty, in order to contribute to Kate, Quanta and KDevelop. I quickly discovered that Physics wasn’t so much my thing but the German education system doesn’t make it easy to switch fields. Thus, I endured and continued. And I kept coding though, mostly in my spare time, but also while working part-time for KDAB. Now, all these years later, I’m one of the official maintainers of KDevelop, and also contribute to KF5, esp. KTextEditor regularly. I created tools such as Massif-Visualizer and heaptrack. I became a Qt approver and maintainer of the Qt WebChannel module. And, starting from May this year, I’ll finally be working full-time for KDAB. Oh, how things have changed! Just compare Plasma 5.2 today to the KDE 4.0 alpha 1 or whatever it was that I tried in 2007 - a difference of night and day!

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Maxwell distribution in C++11 (July 29, 2014)

Hey all,

I recently needed to generate values following a Maxwell distribution. Wikipedia gives the hint that this is a Gamma distribution, which in C++11 is easily useable. Thus, thanks to <random>, we can setup a Maxwell distribution in a few lines of code:

    #include <random>
    #include <chrono>
    #include <iostream>
    using namespace std;
    int main()
        unsigned seed = chrono::system_clock::now().time_since_epoch().count();
        default_random_engine generator(seed);
        // Boltzmann factor times temperature
        const double k_T = 0.1;
        // setup the Maxwell distribution, i.e. gamma distribution with alpha = 3/2
        gamma_distribution<double> maxwell(3./2., k_T);
        // generate Maxwell-distributed values
        for (int i = 0; i < 10000; ++i) {
            cout << maxwell(generator) << endl;
        return 0;

Pretty neat, I have to say!

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The Beauty of our Universe (November 20, 2006)

Granted, the sky we can see in a clear night with its thousands of visible stars and the bright moon is vast and very beautiful. But this tiny glimpse is nothing compared to what Hubble has brought us: Take a look into the colorful, jaw-dropping and mindpopping universe.

My favourites:

And don’t forget to take a closer look at the “highest quality” pictures. I found a new wallpaper there.

Also keep in mind just how huge these things have to be! A ray of light must travel for millions of years to cross these images. Utterly mind blowing!

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