Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Song and dance

So what is all the song and dance about? Well, it is about a song and a dance. The song has already gone viral all over You Tube. Yes, absolutely right, it is Kolaveri; how could a Chennai blog not write about the Chennai song that the whole world is writing and blogging about? Just in case you are one of the few who haven't seen it or heard about it, here is the link. Enjoy the simple song of our Chennai "soup boys".

Now for the dance. Did you think flash mobs could only be done in Grand Central station? No, siree, here is Mumbai CST, no less, and Rang de Basanti at that. This video hasn't gone viral yet, at the time of writing, but looks all set to do so. In case you wonder if it was all rehearsed, it was, and filmed at CST with due permission from the police, but that doesn't take the fun away. We wonder if it will set a fashion. If it does, there might be a Kolaveri flash mob in Madras Central station. Now that would be a song and dance indeed!

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lest we forget

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

(Lawrence Binyon, "For the fallen").


This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New physics? Not once again!

Trackers of science news will have noted two new events in the physics world. The Opera experiment has carried out its time of flight experiment again with shorter bunches of neutrinos, spaced further apart, and reconfirms its results about the bunches reaching 60 nanoseconds before photons would have. This eliminates one of the objections to the earlier data, viz. the length of the bursts, although others still remain. The experimenters make a cautious statement, viz. `but it is not yet the final confirmation'. Critics retain their scepticism. Let's see if nonOperatics sing the same tune.

There's one more anomalous result under discussion this week.Decays of D mesons at the LHCb experiment in CERN have found evidence of CP (charge conjugation- parity) violation. The CP symmetry consists of replacing each charged particle by its antiparticle, and reversing all directions in space. Processes which obey the CP symmetry are identical under this symmetry, whereas those that do not, notably those mediated by weak interactions, do not give identical results. The D0 mesons decay into kaons and pions and so do their antiparticles. These rates of decay are expected to be identical under the standard model, but have turned out be not. For those who like the standard deviations, this is a 3.5 sigma result. Will it go away like all those we have encountered so far this year? Only time can tell. However, eventually, one of the "new physics" results will stand up to the test of reproducibility, and keep the next generation of physicists, busy, productive and happy.

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hush, ladies!

A sign from a temple.

No comment! For readers who don't read the Devanagari script, the sign says exactly the same thing as the title of this post. We don't know which temple this was from, but it could be anywhere! Incidentally, as many of the readers of this blog know, temples are not the only place where the ladies are told to keep quiet. That could be anywhere, too!

Thanks to Bala for the photograph.

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.