Archive for the 'Science' Category



23
Nov
07

Atoms..

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Atoms

Some people raise uncertainty
To a principle
As though we were nothing but atoms
Atoms don’t bleed
It’s not anticipation makes them breathless
They expect nothing
And so
They’ve no need

Some people say, Nature’s dialectic
As though she knew how else things could have been
Nature doesn’t choose
She never bates her breath in expectation
She’s no need
And so
Nothing to lose

© e-poems.org

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17
Nov
07

Anna of Arithmetic

This eloquent piece form a Book – “The Advent of the Algorithm” by David Berlinski expressing a contemplation that has prevailed in me.
Why we should we care to read literature ? it also explores underlying relationship between Art & Science..

Anna of Arithmetic

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Reading a novel with an innocent eye, students very often lose themselves in its pages, making their decision about the novel on the basis of whether they felt comfortable or at home within its world and more often than not identifying the author with his or her protagonist, every novelist receiving from time to time letters addressed to his creation — Dear Anna, don’t do it. Such is the triumph of art. But such is the triumph of illusion, as well.

After some experience, the student learns to step back, recognizing that Anna, she’s got to do what she’s got to do, and this because what she’s got to do is artistically required. No one reading Anna Karenina is quiet prepared to see her departing the novel, therapist in hand, and briskly getting her life together. A sense of literary sophistication begins when aesthetic standards are substituted for moral judgments. This makes art profoundly amoral undertaking, but a profoundly interesting one as well.

Mathematics is, among other things a form of art. Before Hilbert, mathematicians and logicians had banged around within the confines of various mathematical systems, hoping against hope to arrange the system so that it seemed entirely secure, the effort as doomed as the correlative effort to persuade Anna Karenina to undertake therapy.

Hilbert persuaded everyone to step back. Stepping back, mathematicians saw mathematics for what it might be, a formal game, the perspective cold but liberating. Thus removed from what they habitually did, mathematicians, like students of literature, were forced to ask not whether the Anna of arithmetic seemed nice, friendly, kind of snooty, confused, or otherwise irritating, but whether she made artistic or mathematical sense. A question of judgment had come to replace a question of certainty.

And with judgments come standards. They must, those standards, be chosen so as to reflect the original impulse yielding the decision to distinguish mathematics from metamathematics. And they must, those standards, be standards that can be met by proof, even if it is proof delivered in the meta language itself, for without proof, there is simply no mathematics at all.

©-David Berlinski.

05
Nov
07

Finding Feynman..

This is wonderful thoughts & poem on science & philosophy by Physicist Richard Feynman, form his book “Classic Feynman- All the Adventure of a curious character… “ Beautifully expressed & encapsulate.

Kind of Meaning of it all…

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The value of science

We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvelous than the imaginings of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater then the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for all of us to be stuck- half of us upside down- by a mysterious attraction to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.

I have thought about these things so many times alone that I hope you will excuse me if I remind you of this type of thought that I am sure many of you have had, which no one could ever have had in the past because people then didn’t have the information we have about the world today.

For instance, I stand at the seashore, alone, and start to think:

There are the rushing waves
mountains of molecules
each stupidly minding its own business
trillions apart
yet forming white surf in unison.

Ages on ages
before any eyes could see
year after year
thunderously pounding the shore as now.
For whom, for what?
On a dead planet
with no life to entertain.

Never at rest
tortured by energy
wasted prodigiously by the sun
poured into space.
A mite makes the sea roar.

Deep in the sea
all molecules repeat
the patterns of another
till complex new ones are formed.
They make others like themselves
and a new dance starts.

Growing in size and complexity
living things
masses of atoms
DNA, protein
dancing a pattern ever more intricate.

Out of the cradle
onto dry land
here it is standing:
atoms with consciousness;
matter with curiosity.

Stands at the sea, wondering: I
a universe of atoms
an atom in the universe.

Richard Feynman

01
Nov
07

Newton & Einstein

This is the third in the series of posts of introducing poetry of physicist John Archibald Wheeler.

Isaac Newton, in his great Principia, first formalized our understanding of gravity as a force that acts at a distance through space, drawing any two masses together. It is often thought that Einstein’s geometric theory of gravity proved Newton’s concept of gravity to be wrong. But Einstein never spoke of anything more often or more forcefully than his admiration for the courage and the judgment of Newton.

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Oh great thinkers of the past,
You identified and solved
Many a mystery of motion
Where others could see no mystery.
The faraway and strange
You linked to the near and clear-
Fall of apple to orbit of Moon,
Inertia here to influence of mass there,
Speed of light to pattern of spacetime.
Thanks to your hard-won insights,
The whole great story of gravity
Now comes to us
In a single simple sentence:
Spacetime grips mass,
Telling it how to move;
And mass grips spacetime,
Telling it how to curve.
By your own childlike spirit of inquiry
Remind us that we, children all,
Only little by little are seeing with new eyes
This strange and beautiful universe,
Our home.

– © John Archibald Wheeler

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29
Oct
07

Theory of Reality

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A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest.

A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. … We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.

– Albert Einstein, 1954

27
Oct
07

Window of Possibility

Why the Hubble Ultra Deep Field is the most incredible photograph ever taken
Why one particular photograph should be in every classroom in the world.

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Hubble Ultra Deep Field Photo: NASA and STSCL

We live on Earth. Earth is a clump of iron and magnesium and nickel, smeared with a thin layer of organic matter, and sleeved in vapor. It whirls along in a nearly circular orbit around a minor star we call the sun.

I know, the sun doesn’t seem minor. The sun puts the energy in our salads, milkshakes, hamburgers, gas tanks, and oceans. It literally makes the world go round. And it’s huge: The Earth is a chickpea and the sun is a beach ball. The sun comprises 99.9 percent of all the mass in the solar system. Which means Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, etc., all fit into that little 0.1 percent.

But, truly, our sun is exceedingly minor. Almost incomprehensibly minor.

We call our galaxy the Milky Way. There are at least 100 billion stars in it and our sun is one of those. A hundred billion is a big number, and humans are not evolved to appreciate numbers like that, but here’s a try: If you had a bucket with a thousand marbles in it, you would need to procure 999,999 more of those buckets to get a billion marbles. Then you’d have to repeat the process a hundred times to get as many marbles as there are stars in our galaxy.

That’s a lot of marbles.

So. The Earth is massive enough to hold all of our cities and oceans and creatures in the sway of its gravity. And the sun is massive enough to hold the Earth in the sway of its gravity. But the sun itself is merely a mote in the sway of the gravity of the Milky Way, at the center of which is a vast, concentrated bar of stars, around which the sun swings (carrying along Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, etc.) every 230 million years or so. Our sun isn’t anywhere near the center; it’s way out on one of the galaxy’s minor arms. We live beyond the suburbs of the Milky Way. We live in Nowheresville.

But still, we are in the Milky Way. And that’s a big deal, right? The Milky Way is at least a major galaxy, right?

Not really. Spiral-shaped, toothpick-shaped, sombrero-shaped—in the visible universe, at any given moment, there are hundreds of thousands of millions of galaxies. Maybe as many as 125 billion. There very well may be more galaxies in the universe than there are stars in the Milky Way.

So. Let’s say there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy. And let’s say there are 100 billion galaxies in our universe. At any given moment, then, assuming ultra-massive and dwarf galaxies average each other out, there might be 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe. tThat’s 1.0 X 10 to the twenty-second power. That’s 10 sextillion.

Here’s a way of looking at it: there are enough stars in the universe that if everybody on Earth were charged with naming his or her share, we’d each get to name a trillion and a half of them.

Even that number is still impossibly hard to comprehend—if you named a star every time your heart beat for your whole life, you’d have to live about 375 lifetimes to name your share.

Continue reading ‘Window of Possibility’

26
Oct
07

Revelation of Space

Continuing from my previous post, I present another poem by physicist Dr. John Archibald Wheeler.

New York Times article By Dennis Overbye “Peering Through the Gates of Time” enlightens :
Dr. Wheeler helped explain nuclear fission with Bohr, argued quantum theory with Einstein, helped build the atomic and hydrogen bombs and pioneered the study of what he later dubbed black holes. Along the way, he indulged his taste for fireworks and mischief and became the hippest poet physicist of his generation, using metaphor as effectively as calculus to capture the imaginations of his students and colleagues and to send them, minds blazing, to the barricades to confront nature.

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Oh event,
Sparkling grain of sand
On the fabric of existence,
Oh interval,
Gossamer tie
Between event and event,
You tear away the clouds
Of “absolute space” and “absolute time”
And reveal to us spacetime-
Spacetime as doorway,
Doorway during traveller,
To the enormity
Of space and time
Open to our visitation.

© John Archibald Wheeler : Born 1911




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