Category Archives: Books

The Universe according to Me

:Posted by Gaurav

All the theoretical physicists around the world are looking for the Grand Unification Theory. A theory that incorporates everything in the universe including the universe itself. The four forces in nature are all that make up this universe or rather I should say that universe which can be observed. Definitely we haven’t seen the edge. Neither we have found any center. On the other hand our universe is so big that by laws of mathematics, which we have devised, we are at the center.

Thus all the theories and the calculations we have done cannot be imposed on that part of the universe that we haven’t observed. We may ourselves be an exceptional part in the universe where the value of Planck’s constant is what it is. This is pure imagination but, according to quantum physics, a valid one. The constant will have multiple Eigen value states until and unless it is actually observed. So there is always a possibility that we would not be able to imagine what is beyond the observable boundaries like the experiment with Schrodinger’s cat.

So here’s, what I should say, an extended version of what you all know.

The Universe according to me is designed in three basic simple steps. These are :

1) Initiation

2) Chaos

3) Re-Order

Everything that we see is a result of some kind of initiation. This may be somewhat opposite thought to those who believe in coincidences. But actually, if observed carefully, coincidences are merely the happening of two or more events simultaneously. It is the nature of human mind to find the relation between two events that it observes simultaneously.

Consider a small accident happening. A car hits a truck and loses its rear view mirror. Obviously, the two drivers first come out to check the damage, if any done, to their respective vehicles. The car driver sees that he has lost a rear view mirror and starts yelling at the truck driver. The truck driver doesn’t thinks that it was his mistake. The observers around see the broken mirror and start creating their views about the accident. Each of them has a different theory. Some would say that the truck should have stopped because there was traffic. Some would say the car was speeding and they thank God that no one is hurt. Some would say the car driver is drunk and that’s why he is wasting his time and energy for such a small damage what could have been a big one. Some would say it was just a coincidence.

There can be a correct theory. But the coincidence is that the car and the truck came in contact with each other. So the observers make their theories and name them as coincidences. For eg. An observer who observed the car before collision would say that the car driver is to blame that he was speeding. It was a coincidence that the truck took the car’s rear view mirror.

Hence, everything has an initiation, we just name it coincidence.

Then comes Chaos.

The world has been chaotic in some or the other point in time. Consider the above example again. The car hits the truck. So everything around it changes. If the car had not hit the truck, everyone would continue their work as planned. The truck would have safely crossed a road. The drivers would not have got out of their vehicles. All the observing people would not be observers at all. Of course I am taking the collision as the initiation. The initiation was followed by the chaos by the immediately above assumptions not happening. Everyone came out of the order they were meant to remain in.

And then comes Re-Order.

In the same example, eventually everyone has to go to work or home or any place they want to. So they move away from the site of accident. The two drivers take their vehicles out of the way due to honking of oncoming traffic and the road becomes busy again. But here the order is created due to initiation of some other kind(like the honking).

Hence if observed carefully, everything in the world has an initiation and then go into chaos and then reorder. This was also happening at the time the ‘ Time ‘ started. And it is happening to this very day. The chaos and the reorder become the initiation of other processes thus making the nested cycle of themselves.

The Immortals of Meluha: Book review

By: Manas Chaturvedi

 

The Immortals of Meluha. Debut novel of the trilogy series by a debutant author, Amish Tripathi. Bestselling book of the year 2011 in India, selling more than 125,000 copies. Instant success. A possible movie in line with the plot in plan.

All this hype and success was enough for me to buy this book and go through what thousands of readers were talking about. And I was not disappointed. I am already on the second novel of the trilogy series, The Secret of the Nagas, as I write this. This review is being written for those who haven’t yet got a chance to read this amazing piece of mythological bestselling fiction.

 

What was once your life is now your legend.

 

Before I start to write this review, I would like to make one thing straight. This book is not based on religion, God or any other philosophy related to religion, nor is it written for religious readers. I, myself, am an atheist, and a proud one. This is a mythological fiction book, and even though you are a ‘non-believer’, you will still enjoy this trilogy series.

 

The story of this book revolves around one of the most revered and worshiped Gods in Hinduism, Lord Shiva. The whole plot of this book is centered around Lord Shiva. The story is circled around 4000 years ago, when Lord Shiva, or simply Shiva for now, was a normal village tribesman who led his small tribe of the Gunas located at the foor of Mount Kailash in Tibet.  The Gunas lived a normal life suited for a small tribe. Until one fateful day, the Gunas, along with Shiva, were invited by the Suryavanshis, who ruled a majority of North India, or Sapt-Sindhu( as it was called at that time) to migrate from their simple way of life back there at Mount Kailash, to a more efficiently-run Meluha, a near-perfect empire ruled by the Suryavanshi rulers. What follows is the journey of Shiva as he embarks on the path of becoming a legend, a Neelkanth, a Mahadev, or simply put, God of Gods. As the back of the book rightfully mentions it’s plot in a sentence;

 

THE STORY OF THE MAN.

WHOM LEGEND TURNED INTO A GOD.

 

The book is elegantly written. The historical characters and events mentioned in the story has been thoroughly researched and well documented. The debutant author has also done credible work to hold on to the interest of the readers throughout the story. The end is abrupt, but that’s what makes the readers of the first book wait for the release of the second part of the trilogy series. One thing is guaranteed. If you have read the first book, there is no looking back. You have no choice but to complete the trilogy series, for the plot and the story is that much fascinating! A must check book for fiction lovers.

 

Will come back with the review of The Secret of the Nagas in the coming days. Keep reading bookworms!

 

 

 

check dimensions

Posted by Gaurav

There is this theorem in the first semester engineering (MU) which gives the formula of centrifugal tension in a belt.

T=m(v^2)

T->the centrifugal tension in the belt

m->mass of the belt

v->the belt velocity

Even if u don’t know anything about this let me tell you that the equation is written as it is given in the various textbooks many of which are recommended by the best colleges of Mumbai.

The problem is with the dimensions. The left side of the equation has the dimension of force whereas the right side has the dimension of energy. We already know that an equation with incorrect dimensions is incorrect. I asked about this to my teachers but I am not satisfied by their answers. Hoping to get the answer from you.

IIT TechFest Day 1

By: Nikhil Malankar

2012 has started on a very good note for me since I just got cured from chickenpox and then all things are going perfect till now. Because of my illness I had to cancel some of my plans the previous year but luckily enough I got cured before the TechFest 2012. Now I won’t be whining further about my illness which would of course bore you but I’ll continue with what the post is actually about. So, yeah the TechFest! I’ve been using this word TechFest all the time. What exactly is this ‘TechFest’? Ofcourse, you guessed it right that it has to do something with Technology and Festival. Well, the TechFest 2012 is an annual College Festival of Indian Institute Of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B). First of all before proceeding with the info on the TechFest I’d like to give a short description to IIT-B.

IIT-B Main Building

IIT-B is located in Powai, Mumbai. It would not be wrong if I were to say that IIT-B is the ‘Indian Harvard’. Right from the awfully big campus to the scattered genius talent, everything reflected a bright atmosphere. An atmosphere that is way beyond a conventional education center. And I was like, ‘Whoa! What would it be like to be in such a great institute?’. But then even the most beautiful thing in this world has some flaws in it. And that would soon be realised by us in the coming hours. So, let’s get to the TechFest now! The day was 6th of January, 2012 when this magnificent campus had invited us to witness this Fest. The day started off with us reaching Powai and actually getting trapped in the ‘Entrance Test’. No! There was no official test to get an entry (Who would go to such a place then?) but we were confused about the entry to the campus. And then after asking here and there we finally found it in a matter of a mere 15 minutes. Anyways, we got in to find out that we had forgotten to take the Visitor’s card that was required for certain activities in the fest. After walking for almost an hour we had to go all the way back to the main gate to get the visitor’s card. How boring was that, buf!

Well, now we were in utter confusion! Such a big campus, so many things to do and ample amount of time. What to do? Sit four lectures? Eat? Keep walking and discover more of IIT? Or just sit at one place and wonder? Well, to be on safe side, we tried it all! 😀 First we were just randomly wandering here and there. Then we almost had entered a lecture hall and we also sat there but then they told us to wait outside and stand in that awfully long line! Duh, who would like to stand in a line after sitting on those comfy sofas? So, we went ahead. Kept walking in the almost seemingly infinite path to discover this ‘CricBot’. Cricket is a famous sport, for my American, Chinese and Japanese Bros and sis’. And ‘Bot’, well as we all know, Robot. So, basically it was a Robot which can play cricket. Participants assembled their robots and one by one came to display their seemingly overflowing knowledge. Extensive C++ codes and wires here and there plus a laptop in every student’s hand-made it seem like a perfect geek spot! So, we went inside and there the first participating group came. Unfortunately because of some technical difficulties the robot was working in a bizarre manner. Just think! Almost a year’s effort getting destroyed in front of your eyes in 10 minutes. Despite of the efforts the team only managed to make the robot twirl around and get itself tangled. Felt bad for those guys. Then came the second group. By this time our enthusiasm was almost finished so we waited for 15 minutes and left the hall to enter again the vast world of IIT.

CricBot poster

After this we went to the Japanese exhibition wherein they had kept all the JapTech on display ranging from artistic vases to hybrid cars and PlayStation 2. Well, a time pass item.

Now we had already wasted a lot of time so we really wanted to do something. One of the friend in our group was really frustrated and wanted to go home. But then you can never actually leave your friends when you are in a group. You just can’t resist to be with the group. So, convinced that he would be convinced somehow we headed for the lecture. And yeah! Our conviction held true. Now we were heading to the lecture that would completely change the way we looked at life. It was about a 10 minute wait for the lecture and then we headed into this classroom that we had seen only in films and newspapers. Truly magnificent and sliding classrooms with ample space for walking and ample space for sleeping on the back benches. 😀

So, the lecturer was Mr. Sugata Mitra, an Education Technology guy from MIT Media Labs. He explained us about his work that primarily focused on spreading education through computers and his research states that if a person can read then he can learn anything, and by anything I seriously mean anything ranging from basic arithmetic calculations to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Much of this concept depends on belief and creating curiosity within a child. He presented some awesome statistics that represented his research in the field from 1999-2002, 2002- 2006 and 2007 to present. Mr Sugata believes that if a child is provided with a computer and a broadband connection he/she can learn anything and everything as swiftly as the child who is attending that expensive school in the neighborhood. Not only this but you can even pretend to be a Doctor by just renting an apartment and putting up a signboard as ‘Dr. So&So’ and buy a nice desk plus a computer with a broadband
connection. This experiment carried out by Mr. Mitra, known as ‘The Hole In The Wall’ project, was a worldwide success. How cool would it be to never learn from a teacher, isn’t it? In simple words: You can teach yourself. I’ll give you a simple example for this. Now that you have read about Mr. Sugata Mitra, if you are interested in knowing more about him, you will directly contact your best friend ‘Google’ for more info on him. This means that you are teaching yourself about this person and adding to your knowledge. As simple as that. Truly mind-blowing speaker. I also got the opportunity to talk with him in person and appreciated his efforts in the field of Education Technology. Sugata Sir’s research has helped many students from rural India to England, America, Indonesia and many more.

The 2nd one from right in Black T-Shirt is Sugata Mitra Sir

After attending the lecture we were all charged up to sit for yet another lecture since, by now, we had realised that the lectures at IIT are truly magnificent. But then our stomachs had a different story to tell. So, we went to the cafeteria near the Hospital/Parking lot and ate. The next lecture that we wanted to attend was at 4.30 and it was 2.30 as of now. So, we did a lot of time pass strolling around here and there and then time went by swiftly.

Next was Simon Singh’s lecture. Simon Singh is the author of many best seller books and notably known for ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’. 4.30 to 5.30 and that was his lecture. Truly magnificent. Manas has posted his experience about Simon’s Lecture. Here I’ll provide some snaps of him.

The one in the Mohawk is Simon Singh

Oh and after the lecture got over it was almost 6 PM. And we had to rush now or else we would reach home late since the college was far away from our residences. And well, would not like to share the travelling experience back home. We were CRUSHED in that jam packed bus! Anyways, signing off.

Well, that’s the way we roll! 😀

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Comments welcome! 🙂

Book review: The Prophecies of Nostradamus

By: Manas Chaturvedi

 

I have always believed that the most strangest and the most interesting books are always found on the streets. God knows from where those hawkers collect those amazingly rare books from…not that the readers have any problem with that.

The book that I am talking about was one of my prey while I was out hunting for a good book. Everyone has heard of Nostradamus. Someway or the other.  I have always been fascinated by his legend. Nostradamus, although said by many to be over-rated, has always impressed me with his just so accurate predictions and his mysterious life. So much so that I had actually wrote a poem on him:

With a pen and paper
in a dark room
He predicted things
we could hardly assume.

Napoleon shall reign
Hister shall dictate
He precisely predicted
Everyone’s fate.

So the instant I saw The Prophecies of Nostradamus lying in a lowly bookstore in a sorry state, I just HAD to purchase this classic book.

The book in itself seemed mysterious to me, just like the legend of Nostradamus. With a creepy black cover, and yellow rough pages, this book seemed to have been hand-written by The Old Man himself! The book starts with a brief but a thrilling biography of Nostradamus, and how his prophecies and predictions were found by an Italian couple almost out of nowhere somewhere around the 1930’s. Erika Cheetham, the author of this book, has surely given enough efforts in preparing this mammoth book, by editing and translating the Latin and Italian predictions into plain, simple English for the benefit of the curious modern readers.

I guess this book is also avaialble on the net for free in the pdf format. So if you too want to enjoy the journey through the eyes of Nostradamus just like I did, better buy this wonderful book. For this book is one hell of a rare classic book!