Dec 16, 2008

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Tuesday Physics Tattoo – Smith Chart


From Chris S’s website at UCSB

The SMITH chart is a graphical calculator that allows the relatively complicated mathematical calculations, which use complex algebra and numbers, to be replaced with geometrical constructs, and it allows us to see at a glance what the effects of altering the transmission line geometry will be.

Here is what a real Smith Chart looks like.


Source Chris’s UCSB website

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Nov 25, 2008

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Drake Equation (to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations) tattoo

Now that we have found and seen actual planets on other stars, it is an appropriate time to discuss the Drake equation again.

The Drake equation attempts to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact.


This has to be one of the most delightful tattoo that I have come across. It is a pictorial representation of the Drake Equation.



N is the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible;


R* is the average rate of star formation in our galaxy
fp is the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne is the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fl is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
fi is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
fc is the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L is the length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

The tattoo above is a pictorial representation of the above seven factors. It starts out with a picture of galaxy and then each of the element of the equation is shown in a pictorial form.

Of course, our friends at XKCD have an extra factor:


Source of tattoo

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Nov 18, 2008

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Taking a physics textbook to the tattoo parlor – awesome Maxwell Equation tattoo




Continuing our series of "Tuesday Tattoos", here is TEH’s awesome Maxwell Equation tattoo on his ankle:

I had mine done nearly two years ago. Attached is photographic proof of how awesome it is to bring a Griffiths text into a tattoo parlor.

Notice that the equations oscillate about my ankle, as if they were mediated by a virtual photon.

The Griffith book that he is referring to is "Introduction to Electrodynamics".


I asked him if he really took the Griffiths book to the tattoo parlor and he quipped:

Indeed, Griffiths was brought to the parlor. I’m pretty sure that Griffiths texts should be brought everywhere.


And I couldn’t agree with him more. If you are stranded on a deserted island, and could carry only one book, I highly recommend that you consider carrying the Griffiths Electromagnetism book.

Of course, if I knew that I was going to be on a deserted island and could only take one book, I’d probably refuse to go, but if that choice wasn’t available, I’d take:

"How to build a boat for Dummies"

but Griffiths would be my second choice, honest!

Here are the couple of other Maxwell equation tattoos that we have posted earlier.


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Nov 11, 2008

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Tuesday Physics Tattoos: Maxwell equation and speed of light in dielectric medium


Rev. Brendan F. sent me his intricate Maxwell Equation tattoo. This is very artistic, each letter is exquisitely drawn and the total concept is beautifully done. From the picture it is hard to see the scale, but it seems like a very large tattoo.

And this one is my favorite; it is simple, pure physics tattoo. The beauty is not in the lettering but in the equation itself.


Speed of light in a dielectric media.

Thank you Antonia H. for sharing it with us. She is an Australian writer living in Paris and her Flikr stream is here.

By the way, you can derive the Antonia’s tat equation from Brendan’s tat. And of course, in grand physics tradition, the actual derivation is left as an exercise for the reader.

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Oct 28, 2008

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Extraordinary Fibonacci Tattoo




My half-sleeve after the first sitting. It’s being done without any black ink. At the top is a nautilus shell, … Around the nautilus shell are the first eight numbers in the Fibonacci sequence: 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21. This represents the perceived chaos in nature that is really a careful pattern, often indiscernible without careful observation.

Art by Bones at Fallen Angel Tattoo, Citrus Heights, CA.

Source Tribe net

The Fibonacci Tattoo adorns Bo.


An accomplished fusion Belly Dancer in CA.

In describing the Fibonacci Tattoo, she describes the job of a physicist rather well:

This represents the perceived chaos in nature that is really a careful pattern, often indiscernible without careful observation.

Isn’t that what all physicists do? Carefully observe and descen a pattern!

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Oct 21, 2008

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Physics Tattoo Tuesday : Feynman diagram tattoo


After I showed you the tattoos of bubble chamber tracks; you probably knew that Feynman Diagram tattoos were coming, right!

The Feynman diagrams are some of the most intuitive and fascinating constructs in physics. The above diagram shows electromagnetic force being mediated by a photon.

The tat belongs to Vince Sanchez and looks like he got it just a few months ago.

Stay tuned for another interesting Feynman Diagram tattoo coming up in about 4 weeks.

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