Monthly Archives: December 2013

Compact Thermal Models for Electrical Components

I am an electrical engineer and not a mechanical engineer. As such, I depend on electronic packaging professionals to provide me answers to my thermal questions at work. However, I am curious about how the packaging folks estimate the temperatures of my parts because it affects how my team designs products. This blog post documents my early self-education on how the thermal analysis of electronic components is performed. This post will provide the background necessary for more detailed posts in the future. Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | 3 Comments

Difficulty of Viewing Dwarf Planets

I was listening to an astronomer on the radio answering questions on viewing stars and planets. A question was asked about why we can have beautifully detailed photos taken from Earth of distant astronomical objects (e.g. Crab Nebula) but we cannot seem to obtain detailed photos of objects in our solar system like Pluto (Figure 1). The astronomer answered that the distant objects are huge and that we view them from Earth as having a larger viewing angle than a minor planet in our solar system. I thought it might be interesting to look at the relative viewing angle of these two objects when viewed from Earth. Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy | 1 Comment

My Borg Name is "1 of 13"

I work for a small company that has 13 employees named "Mark", which is my first name. It is common for me to be in meetings with three "Marks" present. I have had as many as six "Marks" in a meeting. This makes using our first names difficult, and I usually go by my last name. This system works, but does sound a bit gruff to people from outside the company who here our meetings. Continue reading

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T-Shirt and Cotton Fiber Math

I was listening to a radio program called Planet Money today that was discussing how how intricate the infrastructure is for making something as simple as a T-shirt. They were making a T-shirt that they would sell to raise money to help the garment workers in Bangladesh (see Figure 1). The money required for this effort was raised on Kickstarter. Continue reading

Posted in General Mathematics | 3 Comments

Determining the Bandwidth of A Pulse

Quote of the Day The odds are good, but the goods are odd. — Statement made by an Alaskan woman after she told me that there were 1.6 men for every woman in her town. Introduction I was reading an … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | 2 Comments

Sahara Water Math

I was watching an episode called "Sahara" of the series "How the Earth Was Made" and they had a very good discussion of the history of the Sahara Desert and how it formed. During the presentation, they discussed how ground water can be found that is very old and very hot. I thought I would look into this a bit. Continue reading

Posted in General Science, Geology | Comments Off on Sahara Water Math