Thursday, January 26, 2006

Stickwick Update

We interrupt Stickwick's blog hiatus to bring you some news...

I finally submitted that controversial paper I mentioned a few months back, and it has been recommended for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. Days after I submitted my article, I discovered an interesting new paper that offers a sound theoretical explanation for the phenomenon I report on. (Incidentally, it is an explanation that I proposed to my advisor some months ago!) My advisor has also published a body of work that he's been sitting on for some time that supports my results. So, my paper has moved from the realm of controversy to one of exciting plausibility. As soon as the paper is actually published I'll formally comment on it here.

The next project involves a follow-up to this result with another big data release from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Since this is rapidly becoming a hot topic, it has evolved to become the focus of my dissertation. My previous focus, the curious absence of the most massive galaxies in the universe, has been demoted to a related side project. My telescope proposal for this project was shot down, because another group in Pennsylvania was doing very similar work with the Hubble Space Telescope. However, this group has only done imaging with the HST, with no plans to follow up by analyzing the spectra of these galaxies (very important for confirming results, and sadly the spectrograph on the Hubble died recently). So I have joined forces with this group, and we are going to collaborate on a spectroscopic follow-up using this nifty facility. (And I'm 99% sure my proposal will be accepted this time!)

That's all for now. I'm positively exhausted at this point from all of my activities, and so posting on my end will remain at a minimum probably until late spring. (Carnaby is still actively posting. I think.)


Blogger Rusticus said...

I'm confused.

What's stopping you from posting again? ;)

Good luck with getting the paper published and proposal accepted!

BTW, does this have any bearing on what you are doing:

1/30/2006 7:35 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

That article has indirect bearing on all of astrophysics, but it doesn't relate directly to what I'm doing. Incidentally, I have written a paper with another author that offers an explanation for the nature of gravity (and also speculates about the composition of black holes and how galaxies form) -- it's just a matter of getting up the guts to publish it!

1/30/2006 9:10 AM  

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