How hard is it to violate Pauli’s exclusion principle?

A well-designed auditorium always has all its seats positioned on an inclined plane. ​Otherwise it wouldn’t be well-designed, would it? Anyway, this arrangement solves an important problem: It lets people sit anywhere they want to irrespective of their heights. It won’t matter if a taller person sits in front of a shorter one – the … Read more

Where does the Higgs boson come from?

When the Chelyabinsk meteor – dubbed Chebarkul – entered Earth’s atmosphere at around 17 km/s, it started to heat up due to friction. After a point, cracks already present on the chunk of rock weighing 9,000-tonnes became licensed to widen and eventually split off Chebarkul into smaller parts. While the internal structure of Chebarkul was responsible for … Read more

Higgs boson closer than ever

The article, as written by me, appeared in The Hindu on March 7, 2013. — Ever since CERN announced that it had spotted a Higgs boson-like particle on July 4, 2012, their flagship Large Hadron Collider (LHC), apart from similar colliders around the world, has continued running experiments to gather more data on the elusive … Read more

Ironing out an X-ray wrinkle

A version of this post, as written by me, originally appeared in The Copernican science blog on March 1, 2013. — One of the techniques to look for and measure the properties of a black hole is to spot X-rays of specific energies coming from a seemingly localized source. The radiation emanates from heated objects … Read more