Archive for September, 2008

MINDSPARK ’08

My college technical event: MINDSPARK 2008. Its going to be the BEST!!

website: http://www.mind-spark.org

Paper Presentation competition: http://www.mind-spark.org/EVENTPAGES/paper.html



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Large Hadron Collider: Rumours and Fact

Its 9.30 am in the morning. I am forcing myself to read the last bit of material of energy conservation opportunities in boiler design when suddenly the phone rings. Maa picks it up. She talks for a while and then asks me “Did you know they are going to make a big bang today in a few hours?”

I am like “What?!”

“And that there is possibility that the world is going to end?”

I am still stuck on “What?!”

“Ya its on the TV and someone called and told me.”

I turn on the TV.

It turns out that the scientists at CERN are going to enter the first proton beam into the Large Hadron Collider. Wiki article here.

Fortunately, for once the ‘News Channels’ are quashing the rumours and not adding more fule to the fire.

Coz poeple believe rumours like – “There is going to be a tsunami”

I mean even if the 1:5 zillion (thats what I figured are the chances of going wrong are) probability came true, believe me, it would not lead to a tsunami.

Another rumour – “A big hole will be created (on earth) and the whole universe and the whole universe is going to collapse in it”. I was like “COME ON, not that bad!” Does the speaker have any idea about how blackholes are formed. And that millions may exist in the Known universe. And just how infintely large and mind-bogglingly expansive it is?

Then there are words screamed like “mahaprakop” (Great wrath of God) and “mahapralay” (Great Flood which will sink the entire earth) which are totally out of the reference.

From what I could gather with my limited knowledge of nuclear physics is that CERN had just introduced a proton beam into the collider, for testing. And it was successful. The high energy collisions are due to start after 21st October Thus, even if the fears are granted (very very hypothetically), still why today??!!?!

The LHC is the largest laboratory and the most expensive experiment till date. The accelerator has a course of about 27km containing 900o magnets! And protons are accelerated to 99.9999991% of speed of light.

Inside the LHC -(All you need to know awesome video!)

It is to search for a sub-proton particle –  the Higgs boson which is considered to be the Holy Grail of the physicists. (sorry for the pick-up from Wiki, its so beautifully framed). It will help in proving the Grand Unified theory which brings  three of the four fundamental forces – the EM force and the weak and strong Nu force, together at extremely high energies. To achieve this, the LHC will simulate conditions present in the early stages(~t<10^-60s) of the Big Bang when separation of the forces was yet to occur. It searches to explain why gravity is such a weak force and why is it so separate from the other forces. Also its the first step to the “Theory of Everything”! (A nice kaliedoscope anyway!)

Take a look


Fundamentals of Superstring Theory


I have totally lost faith in the fact that “science/education has liberated us from superstition”. People are so insecure that they easily fall prey to such rumors. I met atleast a dozen faces scoffing at the rumors with a bit of hesitance. And perhaps a sort of guilt conscious looms over such God fearing people, so that they are in the constant fear that a misfortune awaits them.

Just a fortnight back on the eve of the lunar eclipse, there was a huge commotion in the settlements near my house. All night there was shouting and commotion. The next day I read in the newspaper that someone had spread the rumor that if you sleep on the eve of the eclipse, you would die in your sleep. And innocent people believed that. The most saddening were that of the small children who were beaten and kept awake.

Again, I am completely appalled at such people. And if educated graduates and post graduates believe such things what about the illiterate ones?

If you want to know what is wrong or what can lead to a global catastrophe, you just have to look into a Mirror.

Neway, my morning was the most entertaining, laughing at one rumor after the next!

Another thing that added to my entertainment was a program called “Tin Deviyan” (Three Goddess’). But that is a post for tomo.

And a necessary disclaimer: “Nothing is wrong with the LHC or CERN or any eclipse. Its science”



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The BMW Gina

This is called Innovation!  

Gina stands for Geometry and Functions in N Adaptations.

in common language, it means the car can literally adapt and change its shape. This is achieved by pulling a polymer fibre over a metal and carbon linkage frame which are actuated by electro-hydraulic devices.

Well, it would be best if I let the pictures speak

And a neatly done video as well

 

What I really like about the design is that the it questions the very fundamentals and the very orthodoxy of our car beliefs. What is exactly is the function of the body frame? Is protection is one of the necessary ones? Or can the purpose of protection be achieved solely to the chassis and the body cage?

The material use is revolutionary – light, flexible, cheap, easy to manufacture.

And the most important part is the human element… The car feels human..check the video out to get what I mean… the ‘Queen’ can ‘blink her eyes’! and when the head rests get up, its like someone is looking after the comfort to the driver…or she’s revealing secrets when she opens her bonnet…

One of the few concept cars that is really sensible, logical and not bizzare!

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Formula One

Well, I never had access to much of an access to F-1 racing before so watching it was out of the question. And then there was the Schumacher Era. I dont know why, but a sport which is dominated by just a single champion has always been boring to me… Same can be said about the tennis era with Federer… Monopoly is one thing I really hate (not the board game of course!) However, getting into mechanical engineering and that too automoile engineering could not keep me away from F-1 for long time. Now I can appreciate both the race part as well the engineering.

Of course I am not an avid follower and definitely not a writer like Aditya here, but have taken a keen interest in it. And following my glorious tradition of not following the champions I will NOT be supporting Ferrari… Instead I would be backing McLaren and Force India, the former to give Ferrari a good fight and the latter for obvious patriotic reasons. And I would like the latter to do what the former as soon as possible! Of course it was achieved in the street circuit of Monaco and it was Raikonnen only who literally thrashed the competition. Of course, all say that it was not his fault but it was Sutil who lost the GLORY.

Anyways, yesterday’s race was clearly one of the best I had witnessed. Such high class drama! Its not that regular that you see such intensity and overtaking in the leader position with such few laps to go and here was a result that nobody could have even predicted even a few minutes ago. And Hamilton being penalised under laws which I believe are not that fair, but nevertheless it was much post race drama. The Raikonnen crash meant that he would be pushed further away from the Championship title which holds all signs of degenerating into a two horse race  between Lewis (76) and Massa, the former leading by just 2 points with 5 races to go. The next couple of guys are Kubica and Kimi separated by just one point, Kubica(58) a considerable 16 points away from Massa(74). BMW is another inspired team this year alongwith Toyota.

So looking forward to many such races and race-blogs in the future…

My post on the Australian GP 2009

What are rear diffusers?

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Teacher’s Day.

I read somewhere: ( I forgot the writer’s name, so hats off to whoever he/she is!)

” A good teacher is one who teaches,

A better teacher is one who explains,

An even better teacher is one who illustrates,

But the best teacher is one who Inspires ”

Wishing happy teachers day to all the teachers out there, and specially to those who have taught me!

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