The God Particle, Ringworld, and Red Mars

I’m not supposed to be “working” on this at the moment, so I’m not going to make much of a blog post about it.

I made an effort to try out my rules today — a 7:00 PM hockey game required me to leave work at 6:00, and because it was our final playoff game, we had a celebration afterward. I opted to stay and celebrate, but that meant I didn’t get home until just now.

Still, I read 40 pages of The God Particle earlier today, and the remaining 25ish pages of yesterday’s Ringworld. I’m reading some more of Red Mars before I go to sleep, just because it’s damn interesting.

To conclude, doing the best I can to fit reading into smaller moments is helpful, and I’ve got way less stress thinking “It’s 12:30 and I have 70 pages to read!” — I didn’t get them done earlier. Try harder tomorrow!

In Other News

I spent many of my spare moments today (and yesterday) thinking about math and physics problems. I’m playing with ellipses a bit before I try to write a planetary orbit simulator, and I’m going to use that simulator to show off some math I did yesterday to make a program that calculates how large of a Ringworld we could make with the material inside the Earth. It turns out: pretty big! 1000km across by 500m deep, at roughly the same orbit as the earth. (I believe; I might be misremembering the results)

For simplification, I used our greatest distance from the sun as the radius of an imaginary “circular” orbit, and then I used the volume of the earth with the earth’s radius found on wikipedia. From there, you could supply a depth and it would tell you the width, or vice versa. Depth is the distance below your feet if you’re standing on the inner side, and width is the direction of each of your fingers, when standing on the inside looking along the ring.

I’m hoping that, eventually, I’ll have a javascript solar system model where you can click planets to change source materials (maybe allowing multiple selection) and then render an arbitrary ringworld with that volume of material, and you’d be able to play with its width or depth via sliders or something. That’ll take me some time and figuring, but it would be pretty cool to have!

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