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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Einstein was at a scientific meeting when a noted astronomer said, “To an astronomer, a man is nothing more than an insignificant dot in an infinite universe.” “I’ve often felt that,” Einstein said,” But then realise that the insignificant dot who is a man is also the astronomer.”

Science is for man and all enquiries regarding which direction science is taking consequently must be set in terms of man as the end user. If science is spooky science it is simply because man is fearfully and wonderfully made. Let me quote an astronomer.

“I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both those facts is the fact that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact I look up- many people feel small because they’re small and the universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms come from those stars”- Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astronomer

In order to make man see the difference as his self and the visible world without he requires mind.

What is mind?.

Absent-mindedness is a mental condition where a person pays low level attention to events around him. To our present intent and purpose we may say the person is so preoccupied with a specific problem he merely goes through motions of doing basic daily things.

Prof. B.Hoffman, who was working on some relative theories of his own at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, one day called on Einstein at his residence. He explained the reason for his sudden visit. Einstein was willing to hear him and help him if he could. “Put the equations on the board,” the great man directed, “but please go slowly because I don’t understand things quickly.” Unlike Einstein whose mind was contemplative and slow we have geniuses whose mind with lightening speed could solve a problem on hand. John von Neumann was one such, who impressed Hans Bethe, who was the director of the Theoretical Physics Division to wonder “I have sometimes wondered whether a brain like von Neumann’s does not indicate a species superior to that of man?”

Mind of man is his brain in application. Not all men are equal but each holds certain personal tag with which he perceives his world and it must speak for man as the species. His hyper-focus comes at the loss of certain characteristics that we call as absent-mindedness. Some whose intellect never raises above the ground are necessary for compensating the lapses in superior minds. All in all such profiling of mind of man does not make substantial difference. Our safety is in numbers and the cooperative effort of the whole. Man and other species included. Yellow canary in the mine helps as safety lamp when a miner descends into the deep pits of the earth.

Mind is consciousness considering man sees dreams when asleep and mind when awake can recall them and it requires a consciousness that is of a different quality. Nature always spreads her gifts so no man can do without the rest. Dreams visions are all part of a creative Power and Wisdom so man who is clever with hands is as useful as who shall conjure up visions marking the direction for mankind. One represents the whole similarly mind of man is a pixel of the Mind that supplies the necessary inputs for man to evolve. If he has come this far for evil, as we witness the worst excesses of mind in Charlottesville, Virginia, who is to blame? His color?or God? Or godlessness?

benny

 

 

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Science ever changes its boundaries and it brings in technology as well. In applying science to real time and for practical solutions it cannot do without technology. It is not man for science but science for man. Shape of technology unlike science shall consequently depend very much on man. When we hear a buzzword like technology transfer in a global context, does it not imply politics of power? How futile it is to keep arsenal of technology to any specific group we can understand from the Manhattan Project of Los Alamos in the early 40s. At the time US and allies were intent to bring WWII to a speedy conclusion. But as the goals were being met the ideological split between Capitalism and Communism became alarmingly wider. In 1945 the Allies were most seized upon technology behind nuclear warheads from falling into the hands of the Soviet Union. Soviet Union no longer exists and instead it is North Korea who is rattling a nuclear holocaust against the world. Mind you this nation was not even formed at the time.

From the above example what shall we conclude? Now you know science and technology do not speak the same language. Even so you cannot have technology without science. How does science shape up in a changing society and now globalization becoming irreversible march is a serious issue. In whichever case  its outcome shall depend very much on man’s moral sense. If man voids Cosmos of moral imperative one might well visualize science upon command jumping through the hoops of technology instead.

If thinking of man is merely to cut and dice his natural world so he may convert natural resources into dollars and cents a discipline like science has failed to do its job. Is this not what we see in our times? The earth can provide for teeming billions but not their greed as well. We may as well require two and half earths to sustain the ever increasing spiralling consumerism. Technology is the crooked shadow of science where man also casts shadow.

benny

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In 1998, two teams of astronomers discovered the expansion of the Universe was accelerating, rather than slowing down, as the theory at the time suggested. Physicists speculated that the acceleration was caused by something they named dark energy.

Since then, observations have indicated that dark energy and dark matter together account for 96% of the Universe. The challenge has been to find ways of studying these invisible phenomena in detail.

The Dark Energy Survey DES is the most ambitious effort to date. It began in 2004 and involves 400 scientists from 26 institutions in seven countries.

The survey involves taking pictures of 26 million galaxies across a large expanse of the sky using the Blanco telescope in Chile. To do this, the research team had to build one of the most sensitive cameras ever built. The 570-megapixel camera is capable of detecting light from galaxies that are eight billion light-years away.

By studying the way in which the light was distorted by the intervening dark matter, researchers were able to calculate its distribution. And by studying the way in which the distribution changes over time they can calculate the way in which dark energy acts on it.

The team was also able to infer the amounts of dark energy and dark matter from the density and locations of galaxies.

The results show support for previous studies that indicate the Universe is made up of 4% ordinary matter, 26% dark matter and 70% dark energy.

The hope is that a detailed study of the map will give clues about what dark matter and dark energy might be and so lead to a more complete theory of physics.

The data released today draws from just one year of observations. The researchers plan to collect data for four more years over an even larger area of the sky. Professor Ofer Lahav of University College London (UCL), and chair of the DES Advisory Board, says “Once we have the full survey, 300 million galaxies and a thousand supernovae, we may be providing input for a new Einstein to tell us what does it all mean – why is the Universe made the way it is?”(BBC news/Pallab Ghosh-Aug.3,2017)

Now you know science doesn’t have all the answers. Yet there are know nothings to deny God merely because science hasn’t found proof for Him.

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Sir Edward V Appleton (1892-1965) British,

Physicist

Appleton was an English physicist and Nobel prize winner (1947) who discovered the ionosphere.

In 1924 Appleton began research into the strength of the radio signals received at Cambridge from the BBC station in London. He soon discovered that the strength of the signal was constant during the day but varied during the night, rising and falling in an almost regular manner. He suggested that, at night, the Cambridge apparatus was receiving not one but two waves, one travelling directly and the other being reflected by the atmosphere. The existence of a reflecting layer had first been suggested around forty years earlier by Balfour Stewart. In 1902 Oliver Heaviside and A.E. Kennelly had independently postulated the theory of a conducting layer of the atmosphere: the Kennelly-Heaviside Layer. Following their lead Appleton began a series of experiments, which proved the existence of that layer in the upper atmosphere now called the ionosphere. Moreover, by a slight change of wavelength it was possible to measure the time taken by the waves to travel to the upper atmosphere and back. The position of the reflecting layer was thus identified and its height (60 miles above ground) determined. The method used was what is now called “frequency-modulation radar”. The ionosphere was thus the first “object” detected by radiolocation, and this led to a great development of radio research and to a military invention of the greatest importance in World War II

 

Further experiments which led to the possibility of round-the-world broadcasting were carried out and in 1926 he discovered a further atmospheric layer 150 miles above ground, higher than the Heaviside Layer and electrically stronger. This layer, named the Appleton Layer after him, reflects short waves round the earth. Three years later Appleton made an expedition to Northern Norway for radio research, studying the Aurora Borealis and in 1931 he published the results of further research on determining the height of reflecting layers of the ionosphere, including the use of a transmitter that sent out “spurts” of radio energy, and the photography of the received echo-signals by cathode ray oscillography.(Ack: Nobelprize.org, BBC.Co.UK-history)

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Light of my Life is not the light of your life

It was Isaac Newton who from series of experiments postuated that light is a spectrum of 7 colors. We also believe from the colors we see in a rainbow. The red light along one edge of the rainbow is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength of about 620 to 750 nanometres; the violet light along the opposite edge is radiation with a wavelength of 380 to 450nm.

But there is far more to electromagnetic radiation than these visible colours. Light with wavelengths slightly longer than the red light we see is called infrared. Light with wavelengths slightly shorter than violet is called ultraviolet.

Many animals can actually see ultraviolet, and so can some people, says Eleftherios Goulielmakis of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany. In some circumstances even infrared is visible to humans.

Beyond ultraviolet, electromagnetic wavelengths can go shorter than 100nm. This is the realm of X-rays and gamma rays. You won’t often hear X-rays described as a form of light.

“A scientist wouldn’t say ‘I’m shining X-ray light on the target’. They would say ‘I’m using X-rays’,” says Goulielmakis.

Meanwhile, go beyond infrared and electromagnetic wavelength stretches to 1cm and even up to thousands of kilometres. These electromagnetic waves are given familiar names like microwaves and radio waves. It may seem strange to think of the radio waves used in broadcasting as light.

“There is no real physical difference between radio waves and visible light from the point of view of physics,” says Goulielmakis. “You would describe them with exactly the same sort of equations and mathematics.” It’s only our everyday language that treats them as different.

So we have another definition of light. It is the very narrow range of electromagnetic radiation that our eyes can actually see. In other words, light is a subjective label that we only use because our senses are limited.

benny

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There was time when electricity and magnetism seemed different things for a layman. But scientists like Hans Christian Oersted and Michael Faraday established that they are deeply entwined.

Oersted found that an electric current passing through a wire deflects the needle of a magnetic compass. Meanwhile, Faraday discovered that moving a magnet near a wire can generate an electric current in the wire. The idea of “electromagnetism” did not emerge until James Clerk Maxwell showed that electric and magnetic fields travel in the manner of waves, and that those waves move essentially at the speed of light. By a leap of imagination he theorized that light itself was carried by electromagnetic waves – which means light is a form of electromagnetic radiation.

In the late 1880s, a few years after Maxwell’s death, German physicist Heinrich Hertz became the first to formally demonstrate that Maxwell’s theoretical concept of the electromagnetic wave was correct.

Maxwell’s contribution to science is huge. Albert Einstein, who was inspired by Maxwell, said that he changed the world forever. Among many other things, his calculations helped explain what light is.

Having provided some scientific background let me try to explain the concept of the Trinity. Ishall quote relevant parts from the Nicene Creed:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-*begotten Son of God, …light of Light, very God of very God; (*begotten in the sense he is not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.)

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

Electricity, Magnetism and Light are three manifestations of energy. Moslems would call their Supreme Being as the Lord of three worlds. Monotheism is fine and it has its way of manifesting in different modes. The Prophet of incomparable Light has to be inspired which is a mode different from writing down words. To be accurate and not miss an accent or sense is yet another mode; To be able to repeat verbatim is different. I can only answer for my faith. I have seen the light! I can say confidently. So shall say a blind standing under the sun being warmed by the light.

Do not forget the UN has designated 2015 as the International Year of Light.

I read the news this morning:

A toddler 18-month-old boy was killed in the night-time attack on two homes in the village of Duma,on the West Bank. His parents and brother suffered serious injuries. Slogans in Hebrew, including the word “revenge”, were found sprayed on a wall of one of the firebombed houses. On the other hand we had heard how a captured Jordanian pilot was set on fire by Daesh Jihadi elements. Obviously the glory of Light is wasted on them.

benny

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Only recently President Assad admitted his predicament. He is winning a war that he cannot hold because of severe shortage. The Syrian leader must have realized what mass exodus of his people in order to avoid conflict could do to a vast country like his. He also said the army faced a shortage of soldiers. Naturally. This just shows no country can survive if there are no people to make it work. Assad may sit like Robinson Crusoe considering himself as a monarch of all that he surveys. But without a subject he must be a monarch who must foul all over the palace and clear up the mess himself. What pomp! What circumstance! Having said this we shall see nature itself shows the truth is not in the glory of any one or his clan or tribe. These are all sustained by the most meanest article one would not have given a second thought.

Look at the snowflake, it shall not form without a speck of grit or dirt to work its magic on. Similarly our clouds.

Firstly consider planktons. They are like you and me just nobodies managing their role in the marine foodchain, at the bottom Nevertheless most life in the sea ultimately depends on photosynthetic plankton. Also known as microalgae, these tiny or microscopic organisms live near the surface and take their energy from the sun and pass it on through the marine food chain.

Clouds are made up of many tiny droplets of water that have condensed from water vapour onto microscopic particles floating in the Earth’s atmosphere. These particles are known as cloud condensation nuclei. Plankton essentially help provide clouds with these nuclei to form around.

The number of these particles in a given volume helps to determine the number of droplets in a cloud, which can have a big influence on how much sunlight a cloud reflects back into space. The more droplets a given mass of cloud water is broken up into, the more sunlight is reflected, as the overall surface area of the cloud’s droplets increases. Since a significant portion of the planet’s reflectivity, or albeido, is due to clouds, this can have a major impact on the energy balance of the Earth.

But these plankton have a big role to play above the surface of the sea too. In new study published in the journal Science Advances it is found that plankton help to control clouds over remote seas far from land. These clouds in turn bounce the sun’s energy back into space, regulating the Earth’s climate and keeping temperatures cooler than they would otherwise be without them.( (The Conversation-How plankton help control clouds over the world’s most remote oceans/July 21,2015-Daniel Grosvenor)

When we see how many societies are rewriting natural and divine laws we know such societies make capitalism continue as before. When they fatten certain sections on the grounds these are on the assumption that the hands that create national wealth have also ingenuity and daringness. How real are they? Their risk taking is simiar to a free booter who is licensed by the ruling class to slash and burn rain forests or drill remote places and siphon off precious natural resources. The governments would not want to know the truth and pretend it is all for the nation’s economy. In nature there is no such big or little but each part is connected to something else. In such a complex sysem nations that let some perpetuate tyranny over the rest in their license to exploit what is for all shoud be considered as evil.

The concept of nations based on geographical borders is an illusion so is determining value of any in terms of size. People count.

benny

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