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I am Secret and will be the next guest for AMA on September 6 at The h Bar.16:00 UTC (2:00 Syd time and 12:00 EDT. For other timezones, check here).

Post questions you like to ask below

AMA took place in informal format. Post questions below to get ideas on what topics others are most interested in. For ideas on how this works, see previous examples in yuggib's, Slereah's and DanielSank's AMA

Completed Education

UNSW Bachelor of science physics and chemistry double major (2012-2016)

Chemistry (physical chemistry: Atmospheric chemistry and molecular dynamics) honours with topic: Investigation of the hydrogen production of acetaldehyde (2016). Link to research group page

Tl:dr

I LOVE QUANTUM MECHANICS and I will DIE FOR IT!!

My expertise is mainly in chemistry and the major topic of the AMA is likely me talking about my honours project (the only thing I have technical info on that is not too far gone in my memory)

Therefore, asking me anything technical in physics and there will be a almost certain chance I made wrong statements. However I can talk to you about roughly what I learn when I browse relevant physics topics in the past in popsci, journal articles and also in my uni studies.

Please refer to "short version" for my interest highlighting only the strongest interested topics in each field

Science interest (SHORT VERSION)

Physics

  • Quantum mechanics (QM): ALL!
  • Quantum field theory (QFT): Nonperturbative methods and interacting fields in curved spacetime, mathematical foundation that does not start with classical fields nor particle notations.
  • General relativity (GR): Approaches on constructing wormholes, CTCs and warp drive spacetimes and their interactions with matter, mathematical formulation.
  • Particle physics (PP): Neutrinos. Beyond the standard model physics. Exotics baryons and properties. Negative experimental tests on the existence of magnetic monopoles and negative mass.
  • Astronomy and Space exploration(A): Non electromagnetic astronomy (Neutrino, Gravitational wave), Titan, Enceladus, Ceres, Europa, Saturn, Pluto, Comets, Microgravity experiments, Next generation space propulsion, beyond the stellar neighbourhood
  • Theoretical physics (TP): Rule of thumb and thought process of building a model. How to correctly interpret the physics from a mathematical expression in the workings.
  • Time: Is time discrete or continuous. Can there exists self consistent events with piecemeal worldlines, models and reports on the origin of the arrow of time. Emergent time, perception of time, nondeterminstic nonrandom evolution of a system (nondeterminstic random evolution is already covered in the context of measurement in quantum mechanics). Experimental tests on the properties of time.
  • Quantum gravity candidates and other gravity theories (QG): All still surviving, especially how they can be mixed together
  • Nuclear physics (NP): Catalysis pathways for nuclear fusion and transmutation processes. Muon chemistry and physics.
  • Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics (Stat): Any process that lead to rapid cooling. Nanokelvin or below physics.
  • Experimental physics (EP): (Would love to learn about) experiment set up technical details on anything quantum (e.g. preparing a quantum state, measures against decoherence, how to entangle/distangle a system, what to do to perturb the state). Table top experiments for high energy scale physics.
  • Condensed matter physics (CM): High temperature superconductivity
  • Mathematical physics (MP): Noninertial reference frames and their transformations. Noncommutative physical phenomenon. Nonlinear maps and their properties relevant to physical phenomenon. Geometry of the phase spaces, parameter spaces and abstract spaces in different types of systems.
  • Computatonal physics (CP): Algorithms on exploration of a physical system by varying its parameters in systematic and user friendly fashion

Biology

  • Microbiology: Microbiome, Microbes in ecology and microbes with special niches and talents,
  • Ecology and complex systems: How species influence each other. How do they interact with the technosphere and the biosphere. Have a tendency to apply biology concepts to cosmological scenarios and as a result a lot of weird models or even pet theories were generated.

Mathematics

  • Probability theory: Way to think about probabilities, improbable events, noncommutative probability. Approaches in doing algebra with probability distributions.
  • Number systems and their algebraic, geometric properties
  • Geometry of any type. Particularly like noneucldean geometry and other geomoetry that requires wrapping ones mind around them to understand
  • nonlinear phenomenon (Chaos, dynamical systems, Nonlinear maps, stochastic processes, optimisation etc.)
  • Abstract algebra of any type, the weirder the better
  • Infinity and infintesimals
  • How to legally tear down a proof in order to force a mathematical object to have certain properties not normally allowed by that system of axioms
  • Asymptotic phenomenon and fixed points
  • Tensors
  • Topology of any type
  • How to make a good proof
  • Counterexamples and why they are counterexamples. Counterexamples as an abstract object
  • Higher dimensional geometry, including explorations of them in computer simulations (e.g. forum group of enthusiasts that study higher dimensional geometry, with some properties of klein bottles investigated via parametric equations)
  • Recursive objects (fractals, recursive maps etc.)
  • Any math object that has something to do with the prefix non- and/or the concept empty. For example
  • Symmetry and asymmetry and their properties
  • Algorithms and mathematical software for efficient exploration of a "vast" mathematical object
  • Division by zero systems, absorbers, and 'rg' (rings without identities and negatives) that approximate them
  • Mathematics visualisation
  • Mathematical modelling on describing complex and networking phenomenon in real life problems
  • Degrees of freedom in discrete data sets, distributions and systems (Suppose we turn every derived quantity of an n dimensional data into points, how many paramters do these points have in order to reproduce the original data set?)
  • Has no interest in prime numbers until I can comprehend their properties

Social science

  • Psychology and neuroscience (Human behaviour, social dynamics, interplay with neuroscience researches)
  • Economics (Decision making, various schools of thought, how to use economics on non money type areas such as ecology)
  • Philosophy (Anything to do with the concept nothingness, non analytic thought processes, various schools of philosophy,The nature of time, bias and how to find and handle them, how to think coherently, philosophical problems arises from physics)

Chemistry interests and research experience

  • Physical chemistry: some experience with Quantum chemistry theoretical frameworks (MP2, CCSD), some experience with transition state models, some experience on calculations with Gaussian 09, some experience on working with lasers in molecular beam ion imaging, some experience with simple atmospheric chemistry and physics models. Wish to learn a lot more about the quantum mechanics of non born oppenhenier systems and state transitions in a chemical reaction. Geometry of the potential energy surface of a system. Unusual molecular dynamics such as roaming and non transition state dynamics. Organic and metal chemistry mechanisms.

  • Organometallics: Some knowledge on the basic chemistry of organoruthenium and organoiron. Knowledge on air sensitive techniques. Knowledge on interpreting multinuclear NMR spectroscopy.

  • Interests in: Metal complexes and other coordination compounds, main group chemistry, other organometallics, energy storage systems involving non hydrogen fuel cells and thermoelectrics, organic chemistry that does not involve drugs (unless the emphasis is the mechanism of the drug or drug delivery system (I fed up with too many people simply make a new drug without study much about how it works)), role of small molecules and other hormones in regulating activity of microbes and ecosystems. Radiochemistry for product manufacture roles, superheavy chemical elements and their properties. Theoretical chemistry (various types of models on how chemicals react and bond, their interactions with physical entities such as magnetic fields etc. at the wavefunction level). Green chemistry (environmentally friendly and efficient ways in doing experiments) and much more

Science fiction related interest and personal projects

  • Worldbuilding (approaches, how to ensure consistencies etc.)
  • Time travel model that is physically plausible (or at least consistent) to unify all known time travel plots and thus provide a quantitative way to calculate when things happen, thus make time travel stories less confusing and to address the poorly considered problem of what is seen for the natives and the issue of multiple time travelers (current attempt here)
  • Physics of scifi that can be realised in the near future (Check Physics of the Impossible for examples on what I mean)

  • Idea mixing: Massive abusing of analogies and properties of mathematical objects in a less rigorous fashion to make jokes or connecting dots between two dissimilar ideas. Mixing of ideas from other field of study and see what comes out.

  • "Question theory": How to ask/generate sharp and precise questions that optimise potential insights or leave no loopholes
  • Circumvention: How to abuse legal and semimoral loopholes, and how to detect and close them
  • Color tiles: Categorise color palettes commonly used in various media and their symbolism
  • Laymanisation: Explaining highly techinical terms in easily understood fashion to a layman without compromising too much rigor and details. Visualisation play an important role on this
  • Irreversibility: How to make a move or process more effective by cutting off as many alternate pathways it can evolve into something else otherwise. How to generate maximal hopelessness to a target. How to interrogate for information without actually using interrogation tehniques
  • Collector of exotic substance: E.g. Trying to work out how to experimentally stablise particles, chemical species so I can bag them and store them at home. Side effect might be I am particularly good at sourcing and storing all sort of materials that otherwise require careful treatment.

Nonscience interests

  • Music. Played the piano about 10 years ago. Otherwise occassional electronic music fragment composition with music production software like FL Studio and MuLab. An interesting accidental example here.
  • Art: I like some impressionist and surreal art, some installation and digital art, non picasso abstract art (picasso's is too blocky and too low resolution thus confuse me everytime I tried to look for the subject of the works), artwork and forms involving geometric shapes, curves and scenery. How to interpret art. Its relation with science, religion and magic. I have little preference for art where people are the subject. (Having said that, my art interest only exploded on 2015, thus please do not ask me technical question about art because I am not an expert)
  • Magic and esoterics: What makes magic magic, what exactly is the key thing of esoterics, The relation of it with science and religion and other thoughts. Various ways to do magic documented in history. Psychological underpinnings of apparent sighting of miracles. See if there are ways in magic thinking that are actually transferable knowledge that can be used to benefit scientific discovery (I am obviously not an expert since this interest starts also on 2015)
  • Various types of computer games, focusing on the story, the game elements, level design and aesthetics. I also enjoy game art. (Again I am not an expert thus avoid asking technical questions on that)
  • Acting like scifi labs announcement systems: You will see a lot of signs of this in my chat activity, the way I talk and how the example of my work tend to be followed with a science log sounding description.

Science interest (Please note I can only be claimed an expert in chemistry fields because I made too many errors due to lack of physical intuition and incoherent thinking)

@=Have ZERO or effectively zero knowledge because has not started studying yet (or too bad at it thus requires restudying e.g. GR, Stat)

&=Have SOME knowledge due to being part of the undergrad study (and reading quantum books for QM). Proceed with caution

Physics

  • &Quantum mechanics (QM): The weirdness, the nonclassical way of reasoning and problem solving inspired by it, nature of the quantum state, properties of entanglement, mathematical formulations and how to teach that to students in a rigorous, but intuitive way. Modern experiments on investigating quantum phenomenon. The nature of measurement. (for others, feel free to add the word "quantum" to the below topics)
  • @Quantum field theory (QFT): Properties of various fields. Interacting fields, nonperturbative methods. Fields in curved or warped spacetimes
  • @General relativity (GR): Geometry and topology of various spacetime solutions to Einstein field equations. Dynamical approaches on modelling events in spacetime (e.g. ADM formalism), Einstein–Cartan theory. Approaches on constructing wormholes and warp drive spacetimes. CTCs and how they interact with other matter. Mathematical formulation and how to explain it to others in intuitive ways without losing too much rigor. Fundamental nature of space and time, properties and information in the context of black holes. Cosmology interest is not as strong.
  • @Particle physics (PP): Properties of neutrinos and mathematical formulation. Mathematical formulation of QCD, QED. Beyond the standard model physics, exotics baryons (pentaquarks, tetraquarks) and properties. Dark matter and dark energy models. Updates on possible T, CPT violation phenomenon. Negative experimental tests on the existence of magnetic monopoles and negative mass (because it has been 50+ years and still no signs of them).
  • @Theoretical physics (TP): Rule of thumb and thought process of building a model. How to correctly interpret the physics from a mathematical expression in the workings.
  • @Time: Is time discrete or continuous. Can there exists self consistent events with piecemeal worldlines, models and reports on the origin of the arrow of time. Emergent time, perception of time, nondeterminstic nonrandom evolution of a system (nondeterminstic random evolution is already covered in the context of measurement in quantum mechanics). Experimental tests on the properties of time.
  • @Quantum gravity candidates and other gravity theories (QG): Causal dynamics triangulation and other background independent models, M, Brane, String theory, Loop quantum gravity, Modified Newtonian dynamics, Twistor theory,Induced or emergent gravity models (e.g. entropic gravity). Common ground between all gravity models proposed so far and how to mix them.
  • @Nuclear physics (NP): Models for nuclear energy states and configurations. Catalysis pathways for nuclear fusion and transmutation processes, muon and muon containing material chemistry and physics.
  • &Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics (Stat): Properties of entropy and information. Any process that lead to rapid cooling, nonequlibrium systems, Chaos, emergent phenomenon.
  • &Experimental physics (EP): How to interpret data to get a meaningful physical result. (Would love to learn about) experiment set up technical details on anything quantum (e.g. preparing a quantum state, measures against decoherence, how to entangle/distangle a system, what to do to perturb the state). Table top experiments for high energy scale physics.
  • @Condensed matter physics (CM): Numerous. Primary one being mechanism of high temperature superconductivity and phase transitions
  • @Mathematical physics (MP): Reference frames and their transformations. Groups that encompass all continuous maps between reference frames and their transformations, and their abstract properties. Noncommutative physical phenomenon (e.g. noncommutative topology, noncommutative algebra, noncommutativity in quantum mechanics). Nonlinear maps and their properties relevant to physical phenomenon, and how to solve problems involving them. Geometry of the phase spaces in different types of systems.
  • @Computatonal physics (CP): Algorithms on exploring a physical system efficiently by varying its parameters in a "drag and drop" or command fashion. How the nature of PDEs and nonlinear equations lead to what algorithm is best solving them.

Biology: Interested in

  • Microbiology: Want to learn more about the role of different type of microbes and how they interact in the ecosystem. Also interested in the impacts of the microbiome to the society. Also like microbes with special talents.
  • Molecular biology and genetics: Interested in learning at the molecular level on how certain proteins function to carry out the role they are assigned, the mechanisms on how genes influence proteins, regulatory factors and ultimately a biological function. Have no interest in reports that say they find a new gene for unless they elaborate more about its properties.
  • Ecology and complex systems: How species influence each other. How do they interact with the technosphere and the biosphere. Sustainable approaches of using the interaction between different species and niches in order to carry out a purpose without wasting too much resources and too much waste produced.

Mathematics (Please assume I have zero advanced knowledge on any of them cause I made too much errors to be significant): Interested in

  • (Same as short version)

Social science (Again assume I have zero knowledge)

  • (Same as short version)

The weirdness

I am weird, VERY WEIRD. You either understand me, or you don't. But I like people who don't understand me, because they are much better at finding out how exactly I think and why I am weird (or not). They are also not easily think what I said implies it is creditable. This "unintentional echo chamber effect" is now identified as a major hurdle to understand myself and me learning knowledge in general. So, in a sense, people who don't understand me actually understood me better than myself and those who understand me.

Finally..A Secret...

Most of my interested topics are highly correlated to my personality traits

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Tell me the secret of how you write such looooong things both in the chat and here also ;P $\endgroup$ – user36790 Aug 30 '16 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ Because 1) I am disorganised 2) I am too detailed oriented and cannot figure out the most important bits 3) because I want to be thorough so as to make my points clear 4) because I got carried away by the tendency to present a lot of point form objects $\endgroup$ – Secret Aug 30 '16 at 5:21
  • $\begingroup$ And indeed, in real life, I speak fast enough that you don't realise you are hearing 1000 something words in a few minutes $\endgroup$ – Secret Aug 30 '16 at 5:23

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