V for vendetta

The Hindu published an article on October 28, 2013, titled “He has arrears in engineering, PhD in physics“. The article spoke of a 19-something year old Rohit Gunturi, a final year student of engineering at Anna University but already a PhD holder in physics from UC Berkeley. Inspiring as this is, the story at first … Read more

The literature of metaphysics (or, ‘Losing your marbles’ )

For a while now, I’ve been intent on explaining stuff from particle physics. A lot of it is intuitive if you go beyond the mathematics and are ready to look at packets of energy as extremely small marbles. And then, you’ll find out some marbles have some charge, some the opposite charge, and some have … Read more

In the Valley of Drums…

For lack of a more sensational beginning: Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen fantasy fiction series is the best piece of writing I have ever encountered. Erikson’s experience as a archaeologist and an anthropologist is brought to bear in every line of the 10-book epic, producing a tale that is vigorously gripping yet mercilessly sophisticated. … Read more

The non-Nobel for Satyen Bose

Last week, as the Nobel Prizes were announced and Peter Higgs and Francois Englert won the highly coveted physics prize, dust was kicked up in India – just as it was in July and then in September 2012 – about how Satyendra Nath Bose had been ‘ignored’. S.N. Bose, in the 1920s, was responsible for … Read more

Would you just calm down about the Bose in the boson?

July, 2012 – A Higgs boson-like entity is spotted at the Large Hadron Collider. Indians decry the lack of celebration of S.N. Bose, the Bengali physicist whom bosons are named for. January, 2013 – The particle found at the LHC is confirmed to be a Higgs boson. Further outcry about S.N. Bose having been forgotten in favor … Read more