### The Gates Connection: National Treasure: Book of Secrets

 Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V

I did a bit more research on the Masonic connections surrounding the new National Treasure movie yesterday. First, a brief recap:

1. The content of page 47 of the Book of Secrets is left as an unanswered mystery at the end of the movie.
2. Masonry and especially Scottish Rite Masonry makes several references to Euclid’s 47th problem also known as the Pythagorean Theorem.
3. The Scottish Rite’s degree lectures were re-written by Albert Pike who is mentioned throughout the movie.
4. The first reference I found to Euclid’s 47th problem in Morals and Dogma , (the Scottish Rite lectures by Albert Pike), was in the 20th degree lecture. The second reference was found in the 25th degree. In the movie, Patrick Gates and Ben Gates have the following dialog:
"I haven't talked to your mother in 25 years."
5. 32 is the number of degrees in Scottish Rite masonry. The additional reference to 25 led me to review the lecture for that degree yesterday.
6. 47 is the number of degrees between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer.

These two latitudes are associated with the equinoxes and with St. John the Baptist Day and St. John the Evangelist’s day. The movie was released on December 21st, the winter equinox.

After reading three pages into the lecture of the 25th degree I found the following quote:

”The Galaxy, Macrobius says, crosses the Zodiac in two opposite points, Cancer and Capricorn, the tropical points in the sun’s course, ordinarily called the Gates of the Sun.”

The capitalization above is Albert Pike’s. The underlining is mine. How’s that for a possible Gate’s family tie-in for the fourth movie? Will it turn out that the Gates’ ancestor knew Albert Pike?

One last note: the title of the 25th Scottish Rite degree is “The Knight of the Brazen Serpent”. Remember the snake pictograph on the wooden plank found in the Resolute desk?

### Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems, there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes!

What do we actually want?

To convert the Cartesian nabla

to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates.

What we’ll need:

1. The Cartesian Nabla:

2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates:

3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system:

How to do it:

Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables.

The chain rule can be used to convert a differential operator in terms of one variable into a series of differential operators in terms of othe…

### Lost Phone

We were incredibly lucky to have both been in university settings when our kids were born.  When No. 1 arrived, we were both still grad students.  Not long after No. 2 arrived, (about 10 days to be exact), mom-person defended her dissertation and gained the appellation prependage Dr.

While there are lots of perks attendant to grad school, not the least of them phenomenal health insurance, that’s not the one that’s come to mind for me just now.  The one I’m most grateful for at the moment with respect to our kids was the opportunities for sheer independence.  Most days, we’d meet for lunch on the quad of whatever university we were hanging out at at the time, (physics research requires a bit of travel), to eat lunch.  During those lunches, the kids could crawl, toddle, or jog off into the distance.  There were no roads, and therefore no cars.  And, I realize now with a certain wistful bliss I had no knowledge of at the time, there were also very few people at hand that new what a baby…

### Lab Book 2014_07_10 More NaI Characterization

Summary: Much more plunking around with the NaI detector and sources today.  A Pb shield was built to eliminate cosmic ray muons as well as potassium 40 radiation from the concreted building.  The spectra are much cleaner, but still don't have the count rates or distinctive peaks that are expected.
New to the experiment?  Scroll to the bottom to see background and get caught up.
Lab Book Threshold for the QVT is currently set at -1.49 volts.  Remember to divide this by 100 to get the actual threshold voltage. A new spectrum recording the lines of all three sources, Cs 137, Co 60, and Sr 90, was started at approximately 10:55. Took data for about an hour.
Started the Cs 137 only spectrum at about 11:55 AM

Here’s the no-source background from yesterday
In comparison, here’s the 3 source spectrum from this morning.

The three source spectrum shows peak structure not exhibited by the background alone. I forgot to take scope pictures of the Cs137 run. I do however, have the printout, and…