Rafael's Other Interests

Of course, theoretical physics is not my only interest. However, most of my hobbies are also related either to physics or to the world of technology.

In spite of following a PhD in theoretical physics, I am also an amateur astronomer. I started this expensive hobby at the Asociación de Astrónomos Aficionados (ASAAF), a student association at the UCM. The thing is that, nowadays, I have two telescopes, a computerized mount and several cheaper astronomical articles (the DSLR camera is not taken into account). I love both visual observation and astrophotography, and have taken a small collection of astrophotographs with my own equipment. However, I think the most interesting activity, in this field, is showing the sky to other interested people, as I did in a number of disclosure events, mainly in small tows in Guadalajara (Spain).

Although this is actually part of my job, I have always been interested in informatics. Specially, in things like programming, managing Linux systems, informatic security,... Besides the usage of several computing clusters in Germany (Leibniz-Rechenzentrum), and Spain (Red Española de Supercomputación), I created from scratch the group webpage of the Florence Particle Physics and Cosmology Group, and administrated the ones from the T30f at TUM, the research group at UCM, and have been in charge of the administration of the ASAAF's server. It is remarkable that I built the webpage of the Florence group from scratch using pure HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It is also remarkable that, with a small assistance, I managed to recover the damaged MySQL databases from the old Astrowiki and Wiki de ASAAF that were hosted in ASAAF webserver, (MediaWiki suported sites). Such server is now decommissioned due to administrative reasons. During a year, it was though that the only way of recovering those databases was handily reconstruction of it. Several people were being asked for this repetitive task.

Furthermore, I have also been interested in electronics. Specially, in building MW radio receivers and transmitters, and in microcontrollers ((PIC16F84A and PIC16F73)). Indeed, I have obtained a 'ham radio' license which I hope to fully use as soon as possible. I even went to Campus Party, to the robotics section. And afford for my own electronics laboratory, including an oscilloscope. The best moment is when you manage to get your circuit running. Specially, taken into account how fragile look those circuits, mounted over protoboard modules. I had to learn by myself, reading books on the public library and visiting webpages like http://www.pablin.com.ar .

I also got interested into chemical photography. I learned to develop by myself black & white films at the Asociación Fotográfica de Guadalajara (AFGU), and have used both 35mm and 6x4.5cm reflex cameras. Of course, nowadays I have several albums of films (of both formats), slices and black & white photographs. I specially like the apparency color photographs (both chemical slices and digital) taken at night, with a tripod.

Lastly, I developed an interest in outdoor and winter sports. Remarkably, hiking and skiing. I am interested both in Summer and Winter hiking, the last including the usage of snowshoes, crampons and piolet. Anyhow, I am restricted to easy Winter hikes requiring such equipment for safety purposes, NOT proper (and super-risky) ice climbing.

Last updated: January 2020. Copyright: Rafael Delgado Lopez.
Astrophotography gallery available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License