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Friday Features

Bengaluru | May 1, 2020
Fundamental and Derived Laws in Multiscale Systems

This article is a tribute to Phillip Anderson, who passed away on March 29, 2020.  Besides his pioneering works in condensed-matter physics, he also wrote extensively on the theme of reductionism and multiscale physics.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Apr 24, 2020
Single-scale and multiscale diffusion

Modern science reveals that matter is made of atoms and molecules. Molecules in liquids and gases move randomly; there is an average distance between two nearest molecules. This distance is used to model the properties of the gas. However, there are certain problems, like  turbulence, that cannot be solved using just the distance, which is a single scale. We need to consider all scales from large to small. Such systems are called multiscale systems. 

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Apr 17, 2020
Image credit : NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via (CC BY 2.0)

To understand an extensive, complex physical system, thinkers break it up into smaller components and try to understand the properties of the most minor microscopic components. This method helps us understand many complicated things around us, and has helped us solve a lot of real-world problems. But it does not help us understand certain phenomena, such as turbulence in fluids. A different way of thinking, a method that considers the physical system as a whole is needed in such cases. This method is called the multiscale analysis.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Apr 3, 2020
Statistics and the non-scientist: The need for communicating uncertainty

In an earlier episode of The Joy of Science Shambhavi Chidambaram spoke to Professor Shravan Vasishth about, among other things, the joy of psycholinguistics. In this interview, Professor Vasishth talks in detail about teaching statistics and the need to understand uncertainty both to students and the general public. He is the author of “Shravan Vasishth’s Slog”, a blog about statistics. This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness and has been run past Prof Vasishth for accuracy before publication.

General, Science, Deep-dive, Friday Features, Joy of Science
Bengaluru | Mar 27, 2020
The urgency for social distancing in India: Lessons to learn from Past and Present

What is the importance of Social Distancing in these times of global crisis?

General, Science, Health, Society, Policy, Deep-dive, Friday Features, Op-ed
Bengaluru | Mar 20, 2020
The Joy Of Science: The Journey of a Psycholinguist

In this episode of The Joy of Science, Shambhavi Chidambaram speaks to Professor Shravan Vasishth, an Indian-origin professor of psycholinguistics at the University of Potsdam in Germany. In addition to his research, Prof Vasishth is an author of two interesting blogs—“Shravan Vasishth’s Slog”, where he talks about statistics, and “Things People Say”, a moving personal blog about his experiences of dealing with kidney failure and hemodialysis, and navigating the German health care system. 

General, Science, Society, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Feb 28, 2020
Nurturing a support system for India’s women scientists

Today is National Science Day—a day to celebrate the spirit of science and scientific temper across the county. It is a day to commemorate Sir C V Raman’s discovery of the Raman effect. This year, the theme of National Science Day is ‘Women in Science’, celebrating the contributions of women scientists to the field of science in India.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Society, Policy, Deep-dive, Friday Features, Featured
Bengaluru | Nov 15, 2019
The ubiquity of Hyperbolic Geometry

We all know that the geometric object of minimal surface area amongst all shapes with a fixed volume is the round ball, whose boundary is spherical. Water blobs try to minimise surface area and curl into spherical droplets. The physical problem of surface-area minimisation is thus quite well understood. What about the opposite problem of surface-area maximisation? Does the problem even make sense? Indeed it does. Trees try to maximise surface area to get the most of sunlight through their leaves.

General, Science, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Nov 8, 2019
Studying fruit flies: A sneak peek into their lives in the lab

Disgusting, annoying or beneficial? What would you call these pestering fruit flies that don’t miss an opportunity to sit on your favourite cut fruit or visit your kitchen a few times? Whatever you call them, did you know we owe a great deal of our knowledge on evolution to these pesky flies? Ever wondered what’s the lifestyle of Drosophila melanogaster, as they are scientifically called, within the four walls of a laboratory where they are experimented upon? Here is a sneak peek.

General, Science, Ecology, Friday Features, Joy of Science
Bengaluru | Nov 8, 2019

Imagine just switching on your lights and downloading a movie in a second. The world demands high-speed internet connectivity at a lower price. This increasing clamour for speed and bandwidth is opening up new avenues, and one such evolving domain is LiFi - a wireless technology that makes use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to transmit data. Light waves are 10,000 times denser than WiFi signals, so there is vast untapped potential here.

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive, Friday Features
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