Peter Higgs, self-promoter

I was randomly rewatching The Big Bang Theory on Netflix today when I spotted this gem: Okay, maybe less a gem and more a shiny stone, but still. The screenshot, taken from the third episode of the sixth season, shows Sheldon Cooper mansplaining to Penny the work of Peter Higgs, whose name is most famously … Read more

Gerald Guralnik (1936-2014)

Of the six scientists who came up with the idea of a Higgs boson in the mid-1960s, independently or in collaboration with others, I’ve met all of one. Tom Kibble was at the Institute of Mathematical Science, Chennai, in January 2013 for a conference. He was 80 years old then, and looked quite frail. Every time somebody … 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

The Indian Bose in the universal boson

Read this article. Do you think Indians are harping too much about the lack of mention of Satyendra Nath Bose’s name in the media coverage of the CERN announcement last week? The articles in Hindustan Times and Economic Times seemed to be taking things too far with anthropological analyses that have nothing to do with … Read more