Asimov on Science & Spirituality.

Read it in an article today. He appeared on the David Frost Show and delivered his irreverent wit in full brilliance when badgered with the G-question. The account goes like this:

[Frost] said, with neither warning nor preamble, “Dr. Asimov, do you believe in God?”

“That rather took my breath away. It was a dreadful way of putting a person on the spot. To answer honestly, “No,” with millions of people watching, could arouse a great deal of controversy I didn’t feel much need of. Yet I couldn’t lie, either. I played for time, in order to find a way out.

He said, “Dr. Asimov, do you believe in God?”

And I said, “Whose?”

He said, a little impatiently, “Come, come, Dr. Asimov, you know very well whose. Do you believe in the Western God, the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition?”

Still playing for time, I said, “I haven’t given it much thought.”

Frost said, “I can’t believe that, Dr. Asimov.” He then nailed me to the wall by saying, “Surely a man of your diverse intellectual interests and wide-ranging curiosity must have tried to find God?”

(Eureka! I had it! The very nails had given me my opening!) I said, smiling pleasantly, “God is much more intelligent than I am — let him try to find me.

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(TAR)get that – world’s longest running experiment touches milestone!

PITCH DROP EXPERIMENT
Duration – 80+ Years
Aim – To demonstrate that a tar-like substance has tendency to flow, but slowly.
Location – University of Queensland

Yes! On 23rd April, 2014 a milestone has been reportedly reached in the famous Pitch Drop experiment. The 9th drop fell after a gap of 13 years. It is the first time that the falling of drop has been recorded.

pitchThe late John Mainstone with the pitch drop experiment.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/pitch-err-this-worlds-longestrunning-experiment-finally-drops-20140423-373s6.html

Further reading :

1.Pitch drop experiment http://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FPitch_drop_experiment&ei=83tZU7iBMcnArAeK5oHgDA&usg=AFQjCNF6OJSe7V8HgmbDqF5on0QVoPeyyA&bvm=bv.65397613,d.bmk

2. http://smp.uq.edu.au/content/pitch-drop-experiment

Quantisation of Literature.

Imagine the strange strange world of atomic particles being illustrated using the character of classic literature. Today, I came across this book, Alice in Quantumland: A Charming Illustrated Allegory of Quantum Physics,written by a CERN scientist Robert Gilmore and published in the year 1999.

aliceThe book explains the subtle world of quantum particles through the looking glass of Alice. For a person like me who holds interest in literature and physics equally, the subject of this book holds my interest to a great extent. I feel that this book can help a person in grasping the concepts of quantum physics easily because the very way of explaining the otherwise recondite subject attracts one’s attention. It’s like paradigm shifting: seeing the same thing from a different perspective.

The journey starts with Alice falling into a rabbit hole while watching TV. The rabbit hole takes her to Quantumland, where she has experiences varying from the ones in the classical world.

I feel that such books tend to bring physics closer to the masses and so their reading should be recommended by the masses. 🙂

Hail Carl Sagan!

carlsaganWe live in a vast and awesome universe in which, daily, suns are made and worlds destroyed, where humanity clings to an obscure clod of rock. The significance of our lives and our fragile realm derives from our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning.

The wise words of American astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan every single time get me into thinking ‘WHY ONLY WE?’

Yes. In this immense universe with overwhelming chances that a life form such as ours or different from ours might be flourishing somewhere around the corner, how can I be at peace with my constant curiosity! A civilization might be trying to extend its hands towards us in the same as we have been doing all along. We hear of UFO sightings, strange encounters, et cetera et cetera. They are most of the time linked to some conspiracy theories. There is so much waiting to be known.

But but but…what if, one day, the chances of existence of another life turn into an undeniable reality!! What if, in the coming decades, we get to meet our universal brothers and take universal consciousness to another dimensions! Its all so scary. But its worth it.

Curiosity is worth every penny…