On anticipation and the history of science

Photo by Caleb Oquendo on Pexels.com

In mid-2012, shortly after physicists working with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe had announced the discovery of a particle that looked a lot like the Higgs boson, there was some clamour in India over news reports not paying enough attention or homage to the work of Satyendra Nath Bose. Bose and Albert Einstein…… Continue reading On anticipation and the history of science

When cooling down really means slowing down

Consider this post the latest in a loosely defined series about atomic cooling techniques that I’ve been writing since June 2018. Atoms can’t run a temperature, but things made up of atoms, like a chair or table, can become hotter or colder. This is because what we observe as the temperature of macroscopic objects is…… Continue reading When cooling down really means slowing down

The Nobel intent

About three weeks from now, the Nobel Foundation will announce the winners of the 2015 Nobel Prizes. Every year, commentators, opinionators and enthusiasts try to guess who will win the awards – some of them have become famous because they’ve been able to guess the winners with uncanny accuracy. However, as it happens, the prizewinners’ profiles…… Continue reading The Nobel intent

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…… Continue reading Gerald Guralnik (1936-2014)

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…… Continue reading The non-Nobel for Satyen Bose

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…… Continue reading Would you just calm down about the Bose in the boson?

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…… Continue reading The Indian Bose in the universal boson