• Who am I?

    I am Qrystal; or at least, that's my dot-name! Har har. (My name is really Crystal, but that's not as internet-searchable; hence, switching the C for the little-used letter Q.)

    I am here because I enjoy writing. I do this mostly for myself, but I also have a passion for helping others learn things from the things I write. Now that I am done my Ph.D. in Physics, I am stepping away from academic research so that I can indulge in some creative ways to share my knowledge and inspire the appreciation of scientific thinking in others. I am also working as a tutor, which is one of the jobs I've most enjoyed doing in my life so far.


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  • “I Don’t Have Time”

    Monday, August 1st, 2011

    Recently, I’ve been noticing myself thinking that “I don’t have time” for this, that, or the other thing that I want to do. And this is despite knowing that it’s usually unhelpful to think such a thing, because “you’ve gotta make time“, blah blah blah. At the same time, I know there is also some [...]

    Date and Time Notation

    Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

    Please consider the 12h time to be a relic from the dark ages when Roman numerals were used, the number zero had not yet been invented and analog clocks were the only known form of displaying a time. Please avoid using it today, especially in technical applications! I took a moment to research a little [...]

    Boldly trying to explain spacetime

    Friday, February 20th, 2009

    There seems to be some confusion [among the students in my Physics and Society class] about spacetime, which is completely understandable because it’s difficult to visualize. I’m going to review some of the main ideas of it here, hopefully clearing up some confusion along the way. The main quote many people gave in their summaries [...]

    Relativity and Time Dilation

    Friday, February 6th, 2009

    The fact that time isn’t consistent for everyone is a very troubling idea, and even physicists have a hard time learning about it initially. Imagine how difficult it was for Einstein to convince his peers about it originally! He didn’t even have the benefit of science fiction to lean upon for sparking the imagination! In [...]

    Phoenix Tracks the Midnight Sun

    Thursday, July 24th, 2008

    Yesterday, Mars Phoenix shared another gorgeous image with the world: the Midnight Sun on Mars.  (I can’t help but think of Phoenix as having a personality, because of the first-person perspective tweets I follow on twitter!)

    Integrate over time…

    Monday, January 28th, 2008

    Recently, I have been contemplating ways to improve my perception of time so that I can make better use of it. I am trying to resist doing too much reading about the subject, because it is very important not to let myself whittle away my time reading instead of doing. I do allow myself to [...]

    So what DO I want to do with my life?

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

    I’ve been feeling the pressure of time lately, and I know I am certainly not the first to be concerned about what the future will hold. I’m also not the first to worry about how my choices now will affect that future, nor the first to ask, “How will I manage both a professional life [...]