history of science

A Physicist is a physicist’s way of talking about himself.

In my case therefore you see, 0 publications in 2001. The year I joined my PhD, I was learning more about snow-fall, JC Peney and Bus rides. 2002 I have hardly 1 or 2, that was the year when in the later half I was given the privilege of being able to sign for science papers. The next year I am already acquainted quite a bit, so signing more than 1 paper a month is no irksome involvement. I already know what I am signing it for. 20 papers a year. Then it grows to 60 papers the next year, thats papers a month, my team of 400 was producing where I have a legit share of expert contributions, through weeks of data-collection, analysis and data-mining etc. (There would be papers where I won’t have legit share, .. ) The next year 2005-2006 was my peak, 70 papers, You can check my pictures from 05-06 (on f-b) and see how much I was involved in the literally tons of ways experimentalists contribute ;) No kidding not everything is visible outside the vacuum pipe, its risky)

Then you can see I am gradually climbing down, but its hard enough to climb down faster because you already have a history. Becoming celebrity is a one way affair, no return. With years my direct contribution goes down but history has that which is yet to come and that shows up as bigger share in contribution. (Just like the electron’s history-of-all-path must contribute towards its momenta for future)
I think thats a good connection, like the electrons the Physicists are lost, they are picking on different things and survive and their history makes it bigger.

Why scientific inventions are more and more imminent?

Even accuracy of Aristotle’s theory in ZOOLOGY was achieved in 19th century. He was therefore one of the most prolific and far reaching genius ever. After a 2000 year it took only 300 years for Einstein to overturn Newton. It took only 30 years before a group of genius (Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Bohr, Dirac et al and later Feynman, Fermi etal) who could revolutionarily modify the theories put forth by Einstein. Then it often oscillates anywhere between 3 to 100 years to see theories are overturned (or rather significantly modified) by successive group of scientists.

Still some gravity !!

So talking about gravity fondly I have made a remark “Its not gravity that makes you fall”. You would be shocked as if you fell down but its not due to gravity but something else is at work, Am I a Physicist propounding a phantom theory? The actual statement I made is “Its not gravity that makes you fall, it only makes you fall FASTER”. That was known to Galileo, which we often very conveniently forget and make an erroneous statement that things fall because of Gravity. So it caters to the law of inertia also. So satellites would still fall irrespective of the absence or presence of Gravity. (although the inertia would mean they would be at absolute rest if we do not take into account enough of its past when something had hit it harder to slow it down or sped it up, in any case when enough history has been allowed to see that no forces or extra actions were disturbing its inertia, IT MUST BE MOVING AT UNIFORM MOTION without any debt to a force-bank called Gravity. If Gravity isn’t there the inertia is still the same and it would continue to be moving at the same speed, which as a specific possibility be ZERO)

So apart from the fact that Gravity only causes us to fall faster its also an erroneous fact to say: Gravity is caused by Masses. Or its innocuous looking twin-statement masses attract masses and thats called Gravity. It has two basic history why its often thought or said so. 1. History of how theory of Gravity developed. 2. History of how Gravity was taught.

Optical Path and Fermat’s Principle.

Mirror and Fermat’s principle: We can see ourselves in the mirror and take our mirror reflected selfie as a consequence of Fermat’s Principle, the topic of discussion of the blog.

Snell’s Law governs refraction which is adjustment of optical paths in in-homogeneous media because light can no more travel at its speed in free-space.

Snell’s Law and Refraction.
The above expression comes from Fermat’s optical theorem, called as “Fermat’s least time principle” which can in turn follow either from;

a. Huygens’s Principle; that light travels like spherical wave-fronts hence satisfies geometric rules or,

b. Principle of least or stationary action ( or Hamilton’s action principle ).

So in the beginning of our understanding we thought “Light travels a path which is shortest, or the least-path”. This is due to Heron of Alexandria, who lived between 10 AD and 70 AD. Then this path which is traversed by light was redefined to something called optical path, which led us to our understanding that “light travels the path of least time”.

All physical laws are derivable mathematically –with appropriate physical understanding, from Hamilton’s Action variation or Principle of Action, made to provide the least or stationary time. Then time is replaced by definition of action as the most general formulation of the law.

So all in all, path/distance >> Time >> Action . That is crudeness goes towards abstract physical understanding. This can be recognized as an attribute of unification and tells us why Mathematics reigns supreme in Physics.

In the last few weeks I am trying to understand why light traverses straight lines and why it refracts. The other day, I saw a little mug, floating inside a bucket full of water. Inside water any object would look shortened, this is known by a phenomenon called as refraction.

Lets envisage the phenomenon or observation, via this quickly reproducible trick. Lets dip our favorite pencil in a glass of water and another in a glass filled with air. This is how it looks, I quickly made this arrangement to which my 3 year old niece just glued with rapt attention.