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Viktor Toth
Attended Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Lives in Ottawa
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Viktor Toth

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I saw a question on Quora about humans and gravitational waves. How would a human experience an event like GW150914 up close? Forget for a moment that those black holes likely carried nasty accretion disks and whatnot, and that the violent collision of matter outside the black holes' respective event horizons probably produced deadly heat and radiation. Pretend that these are completely quiescent black holes, and thus the merger event produced on...
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I just came across this gem of an example of bad coding in the C language. Most C implementations allow arrays as function arguments. What is less evident (unless you actually bothered to read the standard, or at least, your copy of Kernighan and Ritchie from cover to cover) is that array arguments are silently converted to pointers. This can lead to subtle, difficult-to-spot, but deadly programming errors. Take this simple function, for instance...
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There may be other subtleties, but I cannot think of any right now. In many contexts, an array name is silently converted to a pointer of the same type. Here, it is "preconverted", so to speak, so sizeof() reports the size of the pointer, not the array. Because this is not obvious by any means (unless you actually read the relevant part of the standard, you'd never guess!) you might be using sizeof() in iterations, which is bad. I'm trying to think if there is any other context where the array is treated as an array and not silently converted to a pointer... Anyhow, my point is that accepting a formal declaration of int[] and then ignoring it amounts to setting the programmer up for failure. (I happen to have known about this for some reason ever since I first wrote code in C. However, I suspect that I am in a small minority.)
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If you are not following particle physics news or blog sites, you might have missed the big excitement last month when it was announced that the Large Hadron Collider may have observed a new particle with a mass of 750 GeV (roughly 800 times as heavy as a hydrogen atom). Within hours of the announcement, a flurry of papers began to appear on the manuscript archive, arxiv.org. To date, probably at least 200 papers are there, offering a variety of ...
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This is NASA's week of tragedy. Today is the 30th anniversary of the loss of the space shuttle Challenger with seven souls on board. One of my notable memories of this event is that it was the first time that I recall that the national broadcaster in then still communist Hungary didn't dub a speech of Ronald Reagan. I think the speech was actually carried live (it took place at 5 PM EST, which would have been 11 o'clock at night in Hungary; late,...
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One of the blessings of being self-employed is that I don't need to read IT job advertisements on a regular basis. But for those friends of mine who do, I just came across this gem that helps translate the common buzzwords and catch phrases that appear in these ads: Don't let any of this deter you from going after that position... just tamper your expectations.
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I've become a calendar boy. Or to be more precise, an illustration in a paper that my friend and colleague, Eniko Madarassy and I published together early last year in Physical Review D found its way to the 2016 calendar of the American Physical Society. Now if only it came with perks, such as getting a discount on my APS membership or something... but no, in fact they didn't even bother to tell us that this was going to happen, I only found out...
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Viktor Toth

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If this discovery withstands the test of time, the plots will be iconic: The plots depict an event that took place five months ago, on September 14, 2015, when the two observatories of the LIGO experiment simultaneously detected a signal typical of a black hole merger. The event is attributed to a merger of two black holes, 36 and 29 solar masses in size, respectively, approximately 410 Mpc from the Earth. As the black holes approach each other,...
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Eons ago, back when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, George W. Bush was still a first-term president, there were only five Star Wars films and Java applets were still cool, I created an applet that showed what Mars would look like if its surface was covered by oceans. I liked what I did so I added the capability to use other data sets, including data sets for the Earth. The applet is worthless now, or almost so. Java applets are no longer suppor...
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There is an interesting paper out there by Guerreiro and Monteiro, published a few months ago in Physics Letters A. It is about evaporating black holes. The author's main assertion is that because of Hawking radiation, not even an infalling ray of light can ever cross the event horizon: rather, the event horizon evaporates faster than the light ray could reach it, neatly solving a bunch of issues and paradoxes associated with black holes and quan...
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I was never a fan of conspiracy theories. Most popular conspiracies are highly improbable: maintaining complete secrecy would require thousands of people to cooperate for many years. But just how improbably are conspiracies, really? Well, now there is a quantitative estimate, thanks a paper by David Robert Grimes. Grimes used several specific, high-profile cases of actual conspiracies to estimate the likelihood that a conspiracy is revealed by a ...
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Recenly, there was a particular piece of music that caught my attention on CBC's The Signal: Sapokanikan by Joanna Newsom. The song begins with the lines, The cause is Ozymandian The map of Sapokanikan is sanded and beveled The land lone and leveled By some unrecorded and powerful hand. This made me re-read Shelley's timeless poem about the ruined statue of Ozymandias in the desert: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look at my works, ye Mig...
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It is nice to have a paper accepted on the penultimate day of the year by Physical Review D. Our paper in question, General relativistic observables for the ACES experiment, is about the Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES) experiment that will be installed on board the International Space Station (ISS) next year. This experiment places highly accurate atomic clocks in the microgravity environment of the ISS. How accurate these clocks can be dep...
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Have him in circles
97 people
Larry Kellogg's profile photo
Олег Сморыгин's profile photo
Bon wood's profile photo
Raul Isea's profile photo
Kirberlie Melissa's profile photo
Charli Kerns's profile photo
Desert Dreams Decoration & Gen. Maintenance.'s profile photo
Craig Markwardt's profile photo
Анатолий Брушков's profile photo
Work
Occupation
software developer
Employment
  • Self-employed, 1984 - present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Ottawa
Previously
Budapest - Vienna
Story
Introduction
I am a software developer and author of computer books. I also work on some problems in theoretical physics. For more information, please visit my personal Web site at http://www.vttoth.com/.
Education
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
    electronics engineering
  • Fazekas Mihály Gimnázium
    high school
  • Visegrádi Általános Iskola
    grade school
  • Lovag Utcai Általános Iskola
    grade school
Basic Information
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Male
Viktor Toth's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
TIME BANDITS - The New Yorker
www.newyorker.com

In 1933, with his great scientific discoveries behind him, Albert Einstein came to America. He spent the last twenty-two years of his life i

LOWERTOWN EAST: 'YOU WILL HAVE TO MOVE.'
urbsite.blogspot.com

Perhaps no other urban renewal episode in Ottawa is more bitterly remembered by the community it uprooted than the Lowertown East project of

Likely footprint of spiky dinosaur has NASA’s Md. campus on cloud nine
www.washingtonpost.com

A prolific tracker uncovers what he says is a huge dinosaur footprint on NASA’s Greenbelt campus.

rskey.org
plus.google.com

RSKEY.ORG is an online "museum" devoted to the past (and present, and future) of portable programmable calculators.

A simple question, a blizzard of emails, and a peek inside how Canada's ...
www.ottawacitizen.com

The Citizen asked the National Research Council a simple question back in March: What’s this joint study that you and NASA are doing on fall