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Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Muhammad Shaheer Niazi 17 managed to produce an electric honeycomb: physicists have known the phenomenon of electric honeycomb for decades. It occurs when a layer of oil is placed in an electric field between a pointy electrode and a flat one – and the instability caused by the build up of ions applies pressure to the surface of the oil – creating a beautiful pattern that looks like a honeycomb, or a stained glass window.

The high school student from Pakistan’s city of Lahore managed to photograph the movement of ions that forms the honeycomb besides recording the heat found on the surface of oil. No one has done this before. According to Niazi, “Electric honeycomb perfectly demonstrates how everything in this universe is seeking equilibrium. Its hexagonal shape is the most stable structure.”

In this case, he says, two electrodes are used; a pointy needle on top of a flat surface with a thin layer of oil on it. High voltage from the needle makes ions bombard the surface of oil, on their way to meet the ground electrode.

“It is just like lightning striking the surface of earth,” he says. But oil is a non-conductor. The ions start accumulating on the surface of oil. As the pressure increases, they create a depression and manage to meet the ground electrode.

In the process the surface of oil loses its shape, something it does not want. So within no time, honeycomb-like hexagonal structures appear on the surface of oil.

“The amount of energy that goes in equals the energy that comes out and thus the flow of electricity is efficient. This way equilibrium is restored,”

What is the order? Nature has laws and these are established so each entity has a role and several interactions simultaneously taking place between atmosphere ocean and land create a system, carbon or oxygen cycle for example. Such equilibrium however is temporary. Exchange of energy from one medium to other similarly points out to something else.  Conservation of energy owes to the nature of energy that cannot be destroyed  or created. Thus when we speak of Order and nature serving it by so many laws we need understand there is a moral imperative implied. So many wars each waged to redress some perceived injustice  is how we explain the rationale of war. Even so the Order restoring justice in calling every individual to account is quite natural.(Ack: 

benny

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My two books Now You Know: Man and Nature and Mind and Matter are available.

Now You Know: man and nature https://www.createspace.com/7449242

Now You Know: mind and matter https://www.createspace.com/7559795

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How did man bring out underlying abstract of nature of matter to propound a theory of anything? Man we say is capable of abstract thinking. When one gives a form to God it is that he is clothing it with a form natural for him. The form belies an idea. Whereas doubt is formless, a state of mind from which he cannot retrieve any idea tangible. Only way his doubt can stand therefore is in relation to others. How can he doubt nature provides for him while everything proves otherwise? Can he doubt peace if he in his mind feels no conflict? So doubt can only be dealt effectively in his mind with Mind that works with chaos and order to his universe.

Brain is the thinking apparatus and mind is something else. Psychologists use human behaviour as a clue to the workings of the mind. Although we cannot observe the mind directly, everything we do, think, feel and say is determined by the functioning of the mind.

If we see those who did far greater things than their circumstances warrant, we need to consider mind of man has a range no science can define. Here we shall look at one who made a great stir in China.

Hung Hsui-Chuan (1814 – 1864) As a child he was precocious (he was able to recite the Four Classics after five or six years) but with no means to advance himself. But at the age of 22 in 1836, he realized his further progress to enter the government service was blocked. Success in examinations required a bribe to the examiners. Thwarted in his ambition he fell ill. In a delirious state he saw visions that he was taken to the ‘Thirty-Third Heaven and the Venerable-in-Years gave him a mission to destroy the demon worshippers on the earth. When Hung had recovered from his fever he was altogether a new man. A chance encounter in Canton with Christian missionaries from London Missionary Society, gave him new direction. While reading the book of Genesis his earlier vision took on new significance. The Venerable–in Years of his dream had become the Creator of heaven and the earth. His curious theology was a mixture calculated to win over most supporters.

As luck would have it the Opium War (1839-1842) broke out around this time and it showed the hated Manchu regime was almost on its last legs. Manchus were Manchurian Tartars, foreigners while south of the Yangtse there were many who yearned for bringing back the defunct Ming rule.

Tien Wang began the revolt in concert with the Triads who were for bringing back the Ming regime. Tien Wang’s aim was more of a theocratic rule himself as a brother of Jesus Christ. (In his concept of Trinity god, the Father, Christ the son, and himself was the other brother.) The man who would ultimately bring him down Tseng Kuo-fan had no Tartar blood as the Manchu masters. He was not a supporter of the Manchu regime. But he was believer in Confucianism and had no use for Christian Taipings. Tien Wang’s mind relied on otherworld source while his nemesis relied on more down to earth aspects of his mind. Who shall determine who is right?

Tien Wang’s God was Venerable-in-Years. Mother Teresa’s God embodied Love which however made sense to all those who were sustained in their last years neglected and forgotten. The important point is to determine how great your mind is. Mind that can never ascend beyond dollars and cents adds to its shallowness hypocrisy when he speaks of God. As we see around us man who claims he is rational but destroys the natural habitats of other species with impunity cannot be speaking for species he destroys. His mind focuses only on now. On the other hand late Mother Teresa whose life-mission among the slums and squalor of Kolkotta was empowered by her mind and we can see range of her mind. She delineated the concept God as Love in ways useful to man.

What can Science do when operative range of mind cannot be separated?

 

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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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