Saturday, June 14, 2008

A week in Munich, well Garching

Hi faithful reader, I’m quite sorry that I have not being posting much during my stay in Garching, mostly it is a quest of not enough time to write the post. The days were filled to the brink with conferences and by the time we were done with the eating (and drinking, it’s Germany you know) well it was past time to go to sleep to wake up for another such day. When I’m telling that the conference was filled to the brink, I mean that in 5 days we had 70 talks, most of which lasted 25 minutes. We also had 3 discussions sessions in which many important things was said. Now, I must say that I’m a little disappointed with the meeting, it started very annoyingly for the 4 Canadian that came. To make a long story short I could say that roughly half the talk on the first day where exactly the same presenting the same result from the same surveys. They also took short cut that I find unacceptable and concluded from very little data things that I know are far more complex. The meeting was also mostly about kinematics while I’m working on population synthesis. While you might not know what each of them are you probably realize that with different name come different field.

However, thankfully on the second day, talk that have meaning for me (still some with “questionable” science) where presented and I got to discuss with some very interesting people about my project. I found that what I was doing is way in advance of what most of the European are doing and in fact that some of them don’t even think it is possible. So that’s nice, now I also learned that Astrophysics is an amazingly powerful force for technological develloppement. In the next 5 to 10 years because of astronomers need we are first going to double the amount of data of the English internet and then we are doing to DOUBLE the world internet data transfer. Ok, not exactly, new network for large scale interferometers are going to 1st in England transfer each second as much data as the entire British section of the Internet (about 1 Gbps (that Gygabites/seconds)), then either in Australia or South Africa the core of the “Square Kilimoter Array” is going to by plugged into a network that is going to transfer as much data as the entire internet (that 1Tbps, or Tera or 1000 Gygabytes/second). Now those network are going to be independent of the Internet for simple reason, they would actually slow it down! Think about it we are actually talking about doubling the bandwidth of the internet here, the internet which is the largest most extensive data transfer network in the history of mankind. And that only for astronomers, aren’t we nice?

Ok you might say that it will be only for astronomers and that you aren’t going to profits from that technological advancement and it’s true. Except that sooner or latter the computer, optical-fibers and technology that are use for our telescope will be implemented into the global network and then, think about it we can double the data transfers of the internet in a single country. That mean that we can probably EASILLY multiply the internet by 4 or 5 in every country. We’re talking about real time 3D images and data transfer AND manipulation here. That simply amazing.

Well I will talk more about the meeting in a following post when I have time to write them, now I’m waiting for my holyday flight from Munich airport to Amsterdam. I had a few revealation as to why KLM services as degraded since my last flight with them… a merger with Air France! Well ok, probably not but I’m not a fan of Air France except for the fact that I always have services in French. One more thing, the Munich airport is slightly weird, usually you have every check-in counter in the same place (or in two places one for international flight and one for internal flight) but in Munich you have check in counter at each terminal branch, so you have to know where you will be boarding to get to your check-in point. Well it makes the distance between the check point and check-in shorter but you have to walk quite a lot so I don’t know if it is really an advantages because I prefere to walk without my big backpack.

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