In fall of 2012, the Institute for Theoretical Physics upgraded its in-house supercomputer cluster. The machine has over 3,000 processing cores, 12 TB of memory, and is connected together with an Infiniband network. I created a stop motion video of the construction process. The video has over 79,000 views from almost every country in the world.
From 5. April 2011 until 11. March 2012 the Zoology Museum at the University of Zurich opened a special exhibit featuring research into the search for life in the Universe. Together with Prasenjit Saha and the Museum team we explored the extreme environments on Earth where life survives, consider what conditions are necessary for life on other planets and show how scientists discover other worlds light years from our Solar system. We have only just begun the search and already we are finding about one planet every week!
When the first pulsar was detected the regularity of its signal was thought to be a sign of intelligent life. Alas, it turned out to have a natural explanation: A pulsar is a spinning neutron star emitting a beam of radiation in the radio frequency. The beam is slightly misaligned with the rotation axis and so the beam sweeps passed the Earth like the light from a lighthouse. Below is a part of a signal from the pulsar PSR B029+54, which “pulses” every 0.7 seconds.
In 2008, the University of Zürich celebrated its 175 year anniversary. I helped design the exhibit for the Institute for Theoretical Physics and wrote the interactive simulation software StarSpray. The newest version of that program appeared in the Zoology Museum exhibit!