Good Bye to Year 2011

Year 2011 was indeed a year full of Exciting happening. From Arab Uprisings to Royal Wedding and to Assassination. But this year the field of Technology and Science in general heaved heavy loss of some of the greatest Pioneers passing away. This post is dedicated as a tribute to the persons who made a great impact of todays technology and Science :

Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) Apple Founder

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – October 12, 2011) Founder of C & Co-Founder of UNIX

John McCarthy (September 4, 1927 – October 24, 2011) Pioneer of Artificial Intellegence (AI) & reciept of Turing Award

Robert William “Bob” Galvin (October 9, 1922 – October 11, 2011) Motorol Ex-CEO & pioneer of Six-Sigma

Gerald Anderson “Jerry” Lawson (December 1, 1940 – April 9, 2011) Video Game Developer

Robert Morris (July 25, 1932 – June 26, 2011) Cryptographer & Pioneer of Information Security

Paul Baran (1926–2011) Inventer of Packet Switching Technique & First Metal Detector

Anthony E. Siegman (1931–2011) Pioneer of Masers and Lasers.

 
Ralph Marvin Steinman (January 14, 1943 – September 30, 2011) 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (posthumous)
 
Simon van der Meer (24 November 1925 – 4 March 2011)  Nobel Prize in Physics & accelerator physicists who discovered W and Z bosons
 
Baruch Samuel “Barry” Blumberg (July 28, 1925 – April 5, 2011)  Nobel Prize in Medicine (1976) for ‘discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases’ also identified the Hepatitis B virus, and later developed its diagnostic test and vaccine.
 
Willard Sterling Boyle (August 19, 1924 – May 7, 2011) co-inventor of the charge-coupled device and reciept of 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for “the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor”
 
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (July 19, 1921 – May 30, 2011)  Co-winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (together with Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally) for development of the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique.
 
Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer (January 31, 1929 – September 14, 2011) A German physicist best known for his 1957 discovery of recoilless nuclear resonance fluorescence for which he was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Physics.
 
Har Gobind Khorana also known as Hargobind Khorana (January 9, 1922 – November 9, 2011) A Indian-born American biochemist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley for research that helped to show how the nucleotides in nucleic acids, which carry the genetic code of the cell, control the cell’s synthesis of proteins.
 
 

Series Lectures on Quantum Physics

Just found this links bookmarked while cleaning my Laptop links mess :P . The Lectures are from Indian Institute of Technology, Madaras (India) by Prof. V. Balakrishnan. 
Personally I found Prof. Balakrishnan doing a remarkable job at explaining these confusing issues , avoiding common pitfalls; and he demonstartes honesty of not trying to sell the theory, avoiding the common “shut up and calculate” style that is very common (and which I am suffering in my undergraduate years). The lectures doesn’t uses any advanced mathematics; thankfully, and keeps at a completly basic and easily understandable level, and I think it should be understandable by anyone with a ‘next to nothing’ knowledge.


LINK


There are a total of 31 Lectures available online i.e. almost a 31 hours of fun:D Prof. V Balakrishnan certianly keeps the lectures intresting; certainly worth watching.

Note : Almost all the lectures are of around 1 hr so keep in mind you bandwidth, if any.

Radiations

Today I was reading the book titled “World of Physics Volume II by Jefferson Weaver”; a great book that contains Nobel speeches and information on some of the greatest contributions in science, but more on that later. Anyways back to the topics, in that book in the chapter regarding the Scattering Experiment by Lord Rutherford, in it he coined the terms as Alpha(α), Beta(β) and Gamma(γ). But in the paper he called them as Alpha, Beta and Gamma Rays. While I discarded it as irrelevant, in my further reading the terms used were as α and β particles while γ Rays. That was what burned my curiosity : Why α and β as particles while γ as rays?
Now when I looked up for definition of a particle I found this

“… a particle is a small localized object to which can be ascribed several physical properties such as volume or mass…” – Wikipedia

And the answer to question is the mass of the three elements.

Alpha (α) : Alpha particles are made of 2 protons and 2 neutrons.
This means that they have a charge of +2, and a mass of 4.

Beta (β) : Beta particles are made of 1 electron. Beta particles have a charge of minus 1, and a mass of about 1/2000.

Gamma (γ) : Gamma are not particle rather they are a bust of energy i.e. they are in wave form. Thus it has neither any charge nor any mass.

Hence Gamma as called rays while the other as particles.

Magic of Shadows

Well just today morning I was reading in the college library a basic book that was, if I am correct, a 11th grade physics book. The first topic was unsurprisingly about the ‘States of Matter’ and some student, in the past, had written in the margin a small but interesting question; which I admit I dismissed. But later in further reading the question came back to hunt me :)
Now back to the interesting question :

“Why do transparent objects, like glasses, have shadows?”

After dusting through various books i found this accurate description of shadow :

“Shadow, a dark area within or next to an illuminated one. Shadows are caused by the blocking of light by an object….”

Finally after almost 2 hrs I found the answer that is hopefully accurate :
In general, if any body or object is sheded with some light on it. It is observed that some of the light passes through the body, while others are reflected off it, the rest is absorbed by it. In the Transparent materials, the intensity of incident light passing through the body portion in most cases is much larger than the intensity of the reflected and absorbed, but this is highly dependent on the angle of incidence of light. Therefore, edges, curved parts of the incident light passing through the body portion varies from place to place. Hence the transparent bodies do allow light to pass but the shadow created is essentially of the wind and dust particles, which is seen as darker spots.
Do excuse any grammatical mistakes. And if there is any mistake please do comment. This is my first time of writing the blog and I intend to update it a frequently as possible with more such curious questions that arose in my mind.

Series Lectures on Quantum Physics

Just found this links bookmarked while cleaning my Laptop links mess :P. The Lectures are from Indian Institute of Technology, Madaras (India) by Prof. V. Balakrishnan.

Prof. Balakrishnan does a remarkable job at explaining these confusing issues, avoiding common pitfalls; and he demonstartes honesty of not trying to sell the theory, avoiding the common “shut up and calculate” style that is very common (and which I am suffering in my undergraduate years). The lectures doesn’t uses any advanced mathematics and keeps at a complete basic and easily understandable level, and I think it should be understandable by anyone with a ‘next to nothing’ knowledge.

There are a total of 31 Lectures available online i.e. almost a 31 hours of fun:D Prof. V Balakrishnan certianly keeps the lectures intresting; certainly worth watching.

LINKS

Note : Almost all the lectures are of around 1 hr so keep in mind you bandwidth, if any.

Radiation α, β, γ

Today I was reading the book titled “World of Physics Volume II by Jefferson Weaver”; a great book that contains Nobel speeches and information on some of the greatest contributions in science, but more on that later. Anyways back to the topics, in that book in the chapter regarding the Scattering Experiment by Lord Rutherford, in it he coined the terms as Alpha(α), Beta(β) and Gamma(γ). But in the paper he called them as Alpha, Beta and Gamma Rays. While I discarded it as irrelevant, in my further reading the terms used were as α and β particles while γ Rays. That was what burned my curiosity : Why α and β as particles while γ as rays?

Now when I looked up for definition of a particle I found this

“… a particle is a small localized object to which can be ascribed several physical properties such as volume or mass…” – Wikipedia

And the answer to question is the mass of the three elements.

Alpha (α) : Alpha particles are made of 2 protons and 2 neutrons.
This means that they have a charge of +2, and a mass of 4.

Beta (β) : Beta particles are made of 1 electron. Beta particles have a charge of minus 1, and a mass of about 1/2000.

Gamma (γ) : Gamma are not particle rather they are a bust of energy i.e. they are in wave form. Thus it has neither any charge nor any mass.

Hence Gamma as called rays while the other as particles.

Shadows

Well just today morning I was reading in the college library a basic book that was, if I am correct, a 11th grade physics book. The first topic was unsurprisingly about the ‘States of Matter’ and some student, in the past, had written in the margin a small but interesting question; which I admit I dismissed. But later in further reading the question came back to hunt me 🙂

Now back to the interesting question :

“Why do transparent objects, like glasses, have shadows?”

After dusting through various books i found this accurate description of shadow :

“Shadow, a dark area within or next to an illuminated one. Shadows are caused by the blocking of light by an object….”

Finally after almost 2 hrs I found the answer that is hopefully accurate :

In general, if any body or object is sheded with some light on it. It is observed that some of the light passes through the body, while others are reflected off it, the rest is absorbed by it. In the Transparent materials, the intensity of incident light passing through the body portion in most cases is much larger than the intensity of the reflected and absorbed, but this is highly dependent on the angle of incidence of light. Therefore, edges, curved parts of the incident light passing through the body portion varies from place to place. Hence the transparent bodies do allow light to pass but the shadow created is essentially of the wind and dust particles, which is seen as darker spots.

Do excuse any grammatical mistakes. And if there is any mistake please do comment. This is my first time of writing the blog and I intend to update it a frequently as possible with more such curious questions that arose in my mind.