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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FTIR Goes Mobile

In my ongoing FTIR project I've come up with a new solution to a new problem. I've included a slideshow below - clicking on it enables the full screen and shows notes from flickr. What follows is a short description of the projects current status.
So, If I can't get a projector (I'm having a hard time buying one) I'll need to borrow one from my University - which means setting up at the university! I couldn't do that with a pipe table so I needed to fabricate a portable one. With the guidance of my father-in-law (who is an amazing engineer and builder) I was able to build this portable table.
One would be quick to notice that it has no way to block outside noise (background IR radiation), but I have a solution for that. The next upgrade on the table will be to add a flexible curtain line around the lower portion of the FTIR frame. This way I can attach a curtain that will minimize the interference of outside radiation. This should give the camera an unimpeded view of the acrylic surface.
I'm still worried about IR radiation from the projector itself. I'm hoping I can find a filter to reduce the IR radiation from the projector without impacting the overall visual aesthetic of the projection. I'm also planning on making a new compliant surface. I'm still using tinkerman's method - which I've linked to (on the nui forum group) below. The only difference between my method and his is I use mineral spirits while he uses Xylol.
Because of that I adjust my ratio - 3 parts Mineral spirits to one part Silicone. Below are some pictures of my father-in-law and me working on constructing this frame. We did this in the course of an afternoon with about $15 worth of material from Home Depot.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thoughts on Time

It's been an while since my last post. I'm still working on the table and I'll be posting updates on that soon. Currently, I would like to pose some thoughts on time and time travel. These are more questions and I'd like to get feedback from the audience out there if possible.

Let's suppose time travel is possible. So, instead of doing the cliche thing where I use my Delorean to run down my grandfather I use my time machine in a different way. I travel back 1 second in time to meet myself. Now there is 1 "copy" of me, and the two of us are traveling forward. After another second elapses we both go back in time to meet both of us. Now there are 4 copies of me running around. If I repeat this ad infinitum, there will be an infinite number of copies of myself running around, and the number will be increasing exponentially with every passing of the second hand.

Eventually, my the mass of all my copies and myself could potentially be greater than the mass of the Universe. Wouldn't that violate the law of conservation of mass?

If that is, indeed, a valid argument - does that contradict the possibility of time travel altogether - or simply my outlandish thought experiment?