I have brought this up a few times on Social Media over the last few months as I have hit different milestones; acceptance, passing peer-review, preliminary online publishing, etc.

But now the full article, with color figures, is available online. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022459612003210

Transmission electron microscopic study of pyrochlore to defect-fluorite transition in rare-earth pyrohafnates

Fig. 1. Schematic of the partial pyrochlore unit cell showing different cationic and anionic (O) sites.

It’s still free and open as I’m posting this, but I’m not sure it will stay that way forever. Hopefully in the not too distant future I’ll post a slideshare, or a video explanation. I’ll also check with Boise State to see if I’m allowed to publish the poster I presented on this same research at PacRim ’10 Conference.

I don’t love math… It’s just a theory.

Prize awarded for largest mathematical proof – physics-math – 09 September 2011 – New Scientist


I love numbers and science, their simplicity and absoluteness. In an equation, if it is solvable, then there is a rational explanation for the solution. In many cases there is only one correct answer. All of my favorite science and engineering puzzles are this way. With one elegant indisputable solution. Unfortunately life is not always, or even usually, this way. Possibly why I love hard science (not soft science like psychology or part of biology) so much. It is ordered and logical, once you finally figure it out.

Up until today I thought I like math. I was actually under the impression that I enjoyed math itself. Until I read the above article and realized that the thought of numbers and equations that take up hundreds of thousands of pages, decades, and dozens of Ph.Ds to solve. It gave me a headache just thinking about math that complex. I’m not saying that I couldn’t read Aschbacher’s 1200 page paper and understand most of it. Granted it may take me as long to fully understand it as it took him to write it. But the thought of having a job like his filled me with dread. Which to me was odd, because if I truly LOVED numbers and math as I thought I did, I should relish the thought of diving into a pool of unsolved mathematical mystery and emerging with buried treasure. But I don’t. At least not on that scale.

What I realized is that I love numbers when their solutions result in actionable knowledge. If I use regression or integration to determine when a condition is at it’s best/worst or simply IS, and that knowledge means that this doohickey should be like ‘this’, or made out of ‘that’, or is ‘something’. I’m not saying that their solution doesn’t MEAN something. It means A LOT, and generations from now, their theorem will effect the way things work that the average person doesn’t even know exist despite depending on them. But when that equation was solved they didn’t then run out and MAKE something. It simply was a completed equation.

I LOVE puzzles, but what I really love are solutions and MAKING things. Not simply making them, but making them better than before. I love research, and part of all science is hypothesis and theory. But I could not live in a world of theory, where solutions aren’t actionable outside the world of more theory.

Brain Image Reproduction

Starting a few years ago I began to wonder if it would be possible to record what you saw like a video.  Or keep track of all of the great and fleating thoughts that you had throughout the day, without having to write them all down.  What if you could take an image that you created in your imagination and make it come to life without the need to have great fine motor skills.  That would be great for minds like mine which are creative but forgetful and lack some of the skills required to express or recreate your thoughts and ideas.

Apparently research being conducted in japan at ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories is working on solving this problem.  As of right now they can only roughly recreate black and white images viewed by a person.  But maybe the ability to read neurotransmisions and rectreate there significance digitally is not an acheivement that should be prefaced with the preposition “Only”.

More info at: Pink Tentacle

Research Abstract

I recently submitted my first abstract for a materials Conference.  The first conference to which I have submitted the abstract was PACRIM8, hopefully I will still submit the abstract to ACERS and TMS.  below is the current draft of the abstract.  Research as always is continuing and the project develops as time goes on.  Check back for updates, or ask any questions you may have.

Crystallographic Characterization of Rare-Earth Hafnates

Thomas J. Anderson

Dr. Rick Ubic

The nature and degree of disorder in the Ln2Hf2O7 (Ln = La → Lu) series has never been fully quantified. The purpose of this study is to investigate the structure of such pyrohafnates and specifically to determine the degree of both cation and anion disorder, both of which have implications for ionic conductivity. Towards that end, several lanthanide pyrohafnate compounds, Ln2Hf2O7 (Ln = La, Pr, Nd, Tb, Dy, Yb, and Lu), have been synthesized via a solid-state reaction mechanism. The crystal structures were determined by electron diffraction, and Rietveld structural refinements were conducted using neutron diffraction data collected at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. As expected, low-Z lanthanides result in pyrochloric compounds whereas high-Z lanthanides form fully fluoritic ones. Intermediate lanthanides form partially disordered pyrochlores, and some show anionic disorder unconnected to cation disorder. As expected, the fluorite-equivalent cubic lattice constant was found to decrease as Z increases.