Sunday, April 25, 2010

Work Update #2

Last week:

  • I got sidelined by our final quantum mechanics homework set, which ended up consuming several days. We're in the last chapter of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, which deals with scattering (in three dimensions, where it's unsurprisingly more complicated than one). The derivations are particularly obtuse, which is likely a side effect of the book being completed and assembled by a colleague after the author's death. I'm not sure if anyone knows exactly how much he actually wrote before he died, but the book falls apart slowly the deeper you get into it, and it just trainwrecks by the last chapter.

  • Worked with a scaled-down version of the hydrodynamics code to run a few test simulations:
    1. The Sod shock tube - a 1-D "tube" of fluid split into two regions: high pressure and density on one side, low on the other. The evolution shows a shock wave and rarefaction wave travelling in opposite directions from the initial boundary.
    2. The Sedov blast wave - a problem initially solved to estimate the amount of energy produced by a nuclear bomb. Sedov apparently solved it pretty accurately using only pictures of the blast. The setup is pretty simple - assume radial symmetry and put a lot of energy in the center of a stationary fluid. The pressure/density waves radiate outward with time just like you expect they would.

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