### Masonic Patent

The picture below is of an old, circa 1887, Masonic Patent. The story goes that Masons used to present these to gain access to lodges they visited in their travels. The next several posts will point out some of the symbolism of this patent, and what it means.

First though, has any reader seen this patent in their lodge? It portrays the York Rite degrees as the viewers eyes move from top to bottom. I'd like to find out what regions of the country this patent may have been used in.

Jason said…
Earlier this morning I had a meeting with fellow PHA Masons and Stars at a Lodge in Miami, FL. I was stunned to see this patent hanging on the wall. Unfortunately, there were no Brothers from the hosting Lodge present so I couldn't ask them about where this patent originated from. Once I do learn more about it I'll be sure to get back to you!
Jason said…
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Jason said…
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Hamilton said…
Wow! Awesome! Thanks!

I found mine at a curio shop in Austin, TX. They had no idea of the origin.

Send my greetings to the brothers out there!

### 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…

### The Valentine's Day Magnetic Monopole

There's an assymetry to the form of the two Maxwell's equations shown in picture 1.  While the divergence of the electric field is proportional to the electric charge density at a given point, the divergence of the magnetic field is equal to zero.  This is typically explained in the following way.  While we know that electrons, the fundamental electric charge carriers exist, evidence seems to indicate that magnetic monopoles, the particles that would carry magnetic 'charge', either don't exist, or, the energies required to create them are so high that they are exceedingly rare.  That doesn't stop us from looking for them though!

Keeping with the theme of Fairbank[1] and his academic progeny over the semester break, today's post is about the discovery of a magnetic monopole candidate event by one of the Fairbank's graduate students, Blas Cabrera[2].  Cabrera was utilizing a loop type of magnetic monopole detector.  Its operation is in concept very simpl…