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Is speed of light the maximum one can achieve?

By: Nikhil Malankar

 

What is the first scientific thought in your mind whenever you see a light source or a light beam from any source? Whenever I see a light beam the first thought or question arises in my mind is how can light have such a tremendous speed? The second thought which usually comes in my mind is that if light has such a tremendous speed, then can anyone travel more than the speed of light? The whole article is based on the same concept. I always wanted to clarify this doubt about light. I may go wrong somewhere while writing some concepts. If you find any mistake then do let me know about the same through your comments. Let’s start with the discussion.

We all know that the speed of light is 670616629mph to be precise enough. Take a simple example to understand my concept. The example goes as follows: Suppose you are travelling in a car with a speed of 5m/s. Now you want to travel at 6m/s. So, you pump in more fuel to go a little faster with a speed of 6m/s. But is this possible if you were travelling in a shuttle which is able to travel at the speed of light? Take a simple example again. Example is: Suppose you are travelling in a shuttle which is travelling at 670616628mph. Now you pump in more fuel to travel at 670616629mph which is the speed of light. Now you are travelling at the speed of light. But now is it possible to go further than this speed? Or is the speed of light is just ‘THE’ ultimate speed in the universe? As the speed of light is a ‘physical thing’ we also can’t see of increasing or decreasing it. But is there anything else which can travel with a further speed? If it is then what is it? Let’s go into some further details.

Suppose if we are able to travel at a speed greater than 1mph than that of light. Now the question is that will it affect the shuttle? If the shuttle does not get affected then is there a possibility to go at a further speed? If the shuttle does not get affected then what is the maximum speed one can achieve? If light is the upper limit then why is it so? How does it charge the particles at such a fast rate? And if we are able to travel at a greater speed than that of light than what should we call it? Here I would also like to bring one of the existing concepts of ‘Black-hole’. Black hole is such a powerful thing that it can also attract light which is supposed to have maximum speed. So, if Black-hole can attract at such a great speed then can’t we artificially create such a great speed? If the concept of Black hole actually exists then it is also possible to create such a speed which is also able to attract light. According to the theory of relativity, a Black hole is a region of space from which nothing, even light, can escape.  It is called black because it absorbs the entire light incident on it and it reflects nothing. It is a perfectly black body. The life span of a Black hole is infinitesimal but it keeps on multiplying itself at a very high pace. Black hole is also very small in size. But as it keeps on multiplying itself it turns out into a huge mass which attracts anything and everything. So, can’t we use this concept to create an artificial speed which is actually greater than that of light? It would be an ultra speed to travel. How can we use this in day-to-day life? Let’s see further.

If we are able to get a speed higher than that of light then a whole new dimension would open up. We would be able to discover the universe and those hidden mysteries about so many things. So many unanswered questions would have a justified answer. It would also help for advancements in technology and we can also find out if aliens exist or not. If anyone arrives on any conclusions using this piece of information please do let me know. Thanks for reading this article.

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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.

Simon Singh’s lecture@ IIT-B Techfest

By: Manas Chaturvedi

 

Date: 6th January, 2012

Event: IIT-B Techfest

Location: PC Saxena Hall, IIT campus

I had been waiting for this day to come for about a month or so. And when the day finally came, I couldn’t have been happier. It was the annual Techfest hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay. Me and a couple of my friends had planned and waited for this day to come for a long time now. We studied the fest’s schedule, we studied it’s campus beforehand, and even planned how we are going to travel there and stuff like that! We WERE that excited about the Techfest. Now since Nikhil has already written an article about how the first day of the techfest fared for us, I wouldn’t waste your or my time reviewing the first day of the techfest again.

The main reason why I was so keen on attending the IIT-B Techfest was because of the star-studded lecture series hosted by the IIT. Prominent scientists, entrepreneurs and other dignified authorities were scheduled to conduct one-hour seminars or lectures during the span of the three day course of the Techfest. Those lectures, collectively called the Lecture Series, were a real crowd attractor. Students from all over the country traveled to the Techfest for a chance to see their role models up close and personal. Me too, like hundreds of other students, was excited about these Lecture Series. Although I had not planned to attend each of the lectures, I was certainly waiting eagerly to catch up with Simon Singh’s lecture on Fermat’s Last Theorem on the first day of the Techfest. The lecture was scheduled to start at 4:30pm local time, but since I was determined to not miss the lecture due to being late or due to unavailability of seats in the auditorium, me and a couple of other friends of mine reached there almost forty-five minutes before time. Now, Simon Singh is a British author who has specialised in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner. His written works include Fermat’s Last Theorem (in the United States titled Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem), The Code Book (about cryptography and its history), Big Bang (about the Big Bang theory and the origins of the universe) and Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial (about complementary and alternative medicine). He has also worked in the BBC for about 7 years in the 1990’s. In short, you don’t wanna miss seeing him in person if he’s about to conduct  lecture somewhere near you!

We entered the hall at about 4:30, the same time the lecture was scheduled to start. But I wasn’t complaining. As soon as I got myself a seat in the auditorium, I saw a mohawked guy standing in the opposite corner of the hall to where I was sitting, and that dude was on his cellphone. Yes! That mohawked guy, wearing a gray suit, was indeed Simon Singh! I was actually seeing him in person standing just a few meters away from me! He spent a few more minutes talking on his cellphone, catching a glimpse here and there of his potential lecture audience in the hall and also talking to the organizers and other members of the Techfest team. After a brief formal introduction from a student, Simon Singh was finally ready to step into the main stage and deliver his long-awaited seminar. As mentioned earlier, the topic for the lecture was ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’. For those of you who don’t know, Fermat’s Last Theorem was world’s most toughest math problem until it was solved by Dr. Andrew Wiles, a Princeton University professor in 1996. Simon Singh, the author of the bestselling book on Fermat’s Last theorem and director of the documentary on the same topic, started with the origins of this problem, going back into the 17th century when Fermat, a French mathematician, coined a theorem which would infamously be termed as the most difficult math problem of all time. Simon explained us about the Fermat’s Last theorem with the help of his critically acclaimed documentary and various Powerpoint presentation slides. The lecture ended at around 6pm, half an hour late than it was previously scheduled to end, but no one was complaining. I was eager to hear more from this guy. The lecture ended with a formal five minute question-answer session. Those sixty minutes were something which I will never forget about in my life..

P.S: As I was sitting in a corner most seat of the first column of rows in The Convocation Hall of the IIT Campus, waiting for Venky Ramakrishnan’s lecture on the second day of the Techfest, Simon Singh walked past me to catch his allotted seat in the first row! WOW! He was only about half a meter away from me when he walked past me lol.

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! 🙂