Here’s what I’ve been doing the last week. I’m not going to call this a Saturday night science post lest I find myself on a treadmill like at the other place, and besides it’s Sunday morning and before long the silly clock changing thing will kick in. I’d hoped to wrap this up hours ago, but little did I expect that a bizarre confluence of IPv6, Gmail anti-spam filters, and obscure sendmail.cf configuration parameters would devour my entire day.
In 1995, I posted C-ship, in which I used a notional ship able to accelerate at a constant rate of up to 100 metres per second per second and ray-traced images and animations to provide an intuitive sense of how one perceives spacetime when travelling at a substantial fraction of the speed of light. My inspiration in this was the Mr Tompkins stories by George Gamow, in which physical constants such as the speed of light and Planck’s constant were set to values near the human experience to illustrate how physics behaves at the scale of the very large and very small. I’d hoped to use virtual reality to provide a visceral sense of such a world, but that was far beyond the technological capability of the time (and apparently the imagination of developers today), so I settled on a more static presentation.
The update brings all documents up to contemporary Web standards (XHTML/HTML5) and embeds animations and audio which previously required separate applications or plug-ins directly within Web pages. Typography uses Unicode characters, and equations have been re-rendered to be more readable.
Enjoy your voyages on C-ship.