Exploring the World from the American West
... a row of narrow paper spines representing monographs on various subjects to which Peter had given his attention at one time of another. -- Jill Paton Walsh
Seeing inside the Earth with Seismology
Seismic velocity anomalies in the Earth's upper mantle under the western US:
The Trees of Colorado
The Native Trees of Colorado. A guide to all native trees of Colorado, with details for easy identification.
Weather for the Boulder area and other weather forecasts and observations
Wierholm (Boulder): detailed point forecast from the National Weather Service
Boulder meteogram (point forecast plotted)
Weather at NCAR, north Boulder
Windy.com -- numerical weather prediction models in a high quality map display
Graphical Forecasts -- numerical weather prediction models in a high quality map display, National Weather Service
Investigations in Historic Technology
These reports are the best investigations in the history of technology that I have done. I think they are the most complete and correct accounts of their topics available now.
How the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt Were Built
Since 1990 archaeologists, scientists, and engineers have gained a clear understanding of how the ancient Egyptian pyramids were built. This is one key report:
Insight from Geometry and Physics into Construction of Egyptian Old Kingdom Pyramids. Stuart Kirkland Wier. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 1996, vol. 6, issue 1, pp. 150-163.
See also my further calculations Pyramid Calculations: Manpower Estimates for Khufu's Pyramid (1998), and the Reader's Guide to Ancient Egypt.
The analyses are based on energy and gravitational potential energy. For books about ancient Egypt, see my Reader's Guide to Ancient Egypt.
"Pyramid power, people power," Nature 19 Sep. 1996, p. 218. "Here, the calculations remove much of the mystery from the pyramids, revealing them as a substantial, but entirely plausible, civil engineering project for their time."
"Counting the Pyramid Builders," Scientific American Sep. 1998, pp. 98-100.
"New Estimate of labor needed to build pyramid," Chemical and Engineering News 14 Oct. 1996, p. 88.
"Hoeveel mannen heb je nodig voor een piramide?," Het Parool (Amsterdam) 28 Sep 1996.
, Le Figaro (Paris) Sep. 1996.
These programs are truly excellent documentaries of building the pyramids of ancient Egypt, showing what we know now, based on extensive archaeology and science. They also describe the cultural setting, and why they were built, as we understand it now.
Techniques established by my report of 1996 below are demonstrated, such as moving large stones with sleds along wooden beams laid across the paths, lubricated with a water-clay slurry, which greatly reduces friction and hence energy demands. As shown, fewer than 20 men can continuously move a meter-sized stone block up a 5 degree slope using this method. Bettany Hughes' presentation is perhaps the best such explanation of the pyramids that I have seen.
Bettany Hughes: Ancient World Engineering: Ancient Egypt. (2008, "Channel 4")
Decoding the Great Pyramid (Copyright © 2020 Nova). Decoding the Great Pyramid (Copyright © 2020 Nova) copy on youtube.
More Historic Technologies
Superbly Small: Alberto Santos-Dumont's Demoiselle Airplanes of 1907-1910.
The story and technical details of a delightful and interesting small personal airplane from 1909.
Text Copyright © 2017 - 2020 Stuart K. Wier. Reproduction, retransmission, reuse, or redistribution prohibited without prior written consent of the author. Individuals and libraries may print one copy for their personal use.
The Design of Jules Verne's Submarine Nautilus,
the revision of 2015. Published in Extraordinary Voyages, vol. 19, no. 3, June 2013, pp. 1-24.
Text and new original diagrams and illustrations Copyright © 2015 Stuart K. Wier. Reproduction, retransmission, reuse, or redistribution prohibited without prior written consent of the author. Individuals and libraries may print one copy for their use.
Firearms of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
This investigation (2005-2010) was, to my surprise, the first history and published report on this subject, desite long interest in Lewis and Clark. Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2010 Stuart K. Wier. Reproduction, retransmission, reuse, or redistribution prohibited without prior written consent of the author. Individuals and libraries may print one copy for their use. (Published in modified and erroneous form by a magazine titled We Proceeded On, in 2006, without my approval. Use this correct online version available here; do not use the erroneous version).
Meriwether Lewis's Lead Powder Canisters
published in The Journal of the Early Americas, vol. , issue , January 201-.
Copyright © 2005, 2010 Stuart K. Wier. Reproduction, retransmission, reuse, or redistribution prohibited without prior written consent of the author. Individuals and libraries may print one copy for their use.
The Vortex and The Jet A Journey into the Beauty and Mystery of Flight by Reiner Decher (175 pages, Springer), published in March 2022, is an introduction to air flow details in aeronautics, from how wings produce lift to how jet engines work. It's college-level physical science (vectors and entropy for example). I provided 'critical reading' and suggestions for technical descriptions and wording. Buy The Vortex at Amazon. You can download the whole book at Springer. This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access.
My latest ultralight airplane design, #3: the Bumblebee.
It is inspired by the Demoiselle No. 20 of September 1909 of Alberto Santos-Dumont, but with updated design principles and materials. Not a "copy" or a "replica;" some old weaknesses are fixed with modern treatments. This should have clearly better performance than the "Damselfly", next, and is basically a modern U.S. ultralight.
Airplane Design #2: the Damselfly.
A fairly close copy of the Demoiselle No. 20 of September 1909, using modern materials and slighly modified specifications for overall improvements but with the same configuration, and so it could lift a modern pilot. Should be more airworthy and stronger than the original. This would be useful mostly for airshows, flights less than 20 miles, and altitudes of a few hundred feet.
Aircraft Design #1: The B1-RD - Demoiselle.
Modifying the excellent ultralight aircraft Robertson B1-RD to more resemble the 1909 Demoiselle by Alberto Santos-Dumont. March 15, 2016
Aircraft designs Copyright © 2016 - 2020 Stuart K. Wier. Not for use in aircraft construction.
Reproduction, retransmission, reuse, or redistribution prohibited without prior written consent of the author.
Replicas of the "Demoiselle" Aircraft of Alberto Santos-Dumont, through 2019. Text Copyright © 2019 Stuart K. Wier. Reproduction, retransmission, reuse, or redistribution prohibited without prior written consent of the author.
My photographs of WWI replica aircraft, at Dawn Patrol's Gathering of Eagles Airshow, June 18, 2016. With special processing to create photos in the style of 1916.
GPS in Geophysics
The GPS velocity viewer A digital tool to show a map view of the speed and direction of points on the Earth's surface, caused by tectonic (geological) motions, as measured by high-precision GPS instruments. This also can show tectonic plate boundaries, volcano locations, and historic earthquake locations. This is the smallest, and most successful, software project I did at UNAVCO. GNSS Quality Analysis Plotting programs Anubisplot and teqcplot.py. If you work with GNSS and GPS high precision observations, RINEX files, and teqc or Anubis, you may find these useful. If these words puzzle you, just forget it. I did this for my personal interest without UNAVCO support. Vertical crustal velocities in the western US from GPS. An early research report attempting to estimate crustal vertical uplift rates from GPS data, in 2011, when such measurements were just beginning to emerge from the noise. The results are interesting and plausible. Maps of data were made with the UNACO IDV, and objective analysis (gridding) was computed inside the IDV. Continuous Fields of Ground Displacement Determined by Barnes Analysis of GPS Locations for the 11 March 2011 Tohoku-oki Earthquake. April 3, 2011.
The next three items are about my work on using numerical weather forecast model output to generate weather surface forecasts at every point in the area covered by the forecast (such as North America), including adjustments for surface altitude. The National Weather Service (NWS) operates some of the best numerical weather forecast models (computer forecasts) in the world. Twenty years ago these forecasts were for conditions inside the atmosphere, to provide guidance for NWS human forecasts, not surface weather forecasts for where people live, and the results were not available to the public.
My work was the initial concept for the National Weather Service computer-generated 'graphical' and 'point' weather forecasts, which you can request for any location, using for example the most recent digital tool NWS Graphical Forecasts. The data in these digital forcasts are initially generated by computer, and then reviewed and edited where necessary by human forecasters.
Compare the map displays in the new digital tool from the NWS to the weather maps in my report from 1997 Overview of "Model-based Initialization": Generating Initial Surface Forecast Values from NCEP Models .
Reports of related work: Using Numerical Model Output to Provide Initial Forecasts of Surface Weather (1996)
Designing a Sundial for Clock Time. How you can design a sundial for any location, which gives clock time correct to a minute or two.
History and Culture
The Reader's Guide to the Mountain Men of the American West, a complete bibliography.
A Simple Brick Bake Oven for wood-fired baking. A dry-stack oven you can build in an afternoon which lasts for years.
Biscuits, Crackers, and Hard Tack in Early America; published in The Journal of the Early Americas, vol. 1, issue 1, January 2011.A Reader's Guide to Ancient Egypt (to 1997; expanded in 2020)
Iron-gall ink and Quill Pens: Sources for Colonial & British Writing, up to about 1820: Pens, Ink, and Penmanship. Compiling many very good but obscure sources.
How to Dress a Turtle, or, Sources of Information about American Cookery in the British Colonies & Early Republic . Compiling books and other sources of authentic original recipes.
Photographer Wier a 19th Century Photographer in the 21st Century
Traditional Sail Boats
The Patricia a 19 foot keel daysailer.
The Wier Tartan Pat Wier's Tartan No. 1
Website Use report. Average count per month of views or article downloads, January through June 2019.
Article ave. count per month Complete site 16841 Colorado Trees home page 2200 Jules Verne's Nautilus design 1018 Mountain Men Bibliography 992 Brick Bake Oven plans 979 Biscuits and Crackers 636 Pinyon Pine 1158 Ponderosa Pine 559 Firearms of Lewis and Clark 449 Cottonwood 301 Bristlecone Pine 287 Junipers 254 Aspen 233 Skiffs 247 Sharpies 175 Sundials 182 Santos Dumont's Demoiselle history 138 Santos Dumont's Demoiselle replicas 93
Total site visits January through June 2019 = 101046, averaging 550 per day.
My reports on the native trees of Colorado have about as much demand as everything else put together.
The most significant items published here are the original investigations in the history of technology: "Construction of Egyptian Old Kingdom Pyramids", "Superbly Small: Alberto Santos-Dumont and his Demoiselle Airplanes", "The Design of Jules Verne's Submarine Nautilus," and "The Firearms of Lewis and Clark."
Original material Copyright © 1981-2022 Stuart K Wier
Reproduction, retransmission, reuse, or redistribution prohibited without prior written consent of the author.