Monday, April 17, 2006

Indian Scientist: Dr. Jayant Narlikar

Jayant Vishnu Narlikar

Biographical

Jayant Vishnu Narlikar was born in Kolhapur, in the state of Maharashtra, India on July 19, 1938. His father, Vishnu Vasudeva Narlikar was an eminent mathematician and general relativist. He was Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. His mother, Sumati Vishnu Narlikar (nee’ Krishna Shankar Huzurbazar) was a sanskrit scholar. Jayant grew up in an academic and scholarly environment at home with a liking for both mathematics and sanskrit. He went to the University Children’s School in the B.H.U. campus and invariably topped in all examinations including the matriculation one. He continued this tradition till the Bachelor of Science degree examination at B.H.U. in 1957.
After graduation he went to Cambridge University, U.K. for higher studies in mathematics. He joined the Fitzwilliam House, Cambridge in 1957 and obtained his Cambridge degrees B.A., in 1960, M.A., in 1964 and Ph.D. in 1963. While at Cambridge, he became Wrangler (in 1959) and achieved distinction at the Part III of the Mathematical Tripos along with the Tyson medal in astronomy in the following year. As a research student he was the W.A. Meak Research Scholar of the University of Cambridge and won the coveted Smith’s Prize in 1962. Later on he went on to win the prestigious Adams Prize at Cambridge in 1967. In 1976 he received the Sc.D. degree of Cambridge University.
In 1966, Jayant Narlikar married Mangala Sadashiv Rajwade who has a Ph.D. in mathematics from Mumbai University. They have three daughters, Geeta, Girija and Leelavati.


Academic Career

Narlikar did his Ph.D. under the inspiring guidance of Fred Hoyle. In 1963, he went to King’s College, Cambridge as Berry Ramsey Fellow (1963-69), later to become a Senior Research Fellow (1969-72). He was also the founder staff member of the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy which was established in Cambridge in 1966 by Fred Hoyle. He held this position till his return to India in 1972 to take up Professorship at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. At the TIFR he was in charge of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group, which he developed into a strong centre for astrophysics. He became Senior Professor in 1983, and upon leaving the TIFR in 1989, he held the position of an Honorary Professor there for three years.
In 1988 the University Grants Commission set up the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) at Pune. At the invitation of the U.G.C. Chairman, Professor Yash Pal, Narlikar became the Founder-Director of IUCAA in 1988, first in an honorary capacity and then as a full-time Director since 1989. Through his efforts, aided by many colleagues he has been able to bring to IUCAA international stature as a research centre as well as a place for pedagogical activities.


Research Contributions

Narlikar has made important contributions to theoretical physics, astrophysics and cosmology. He is considered a leading expert and defender of the steady state cosmology against the more popular big bang cosmology. His work on conformal gravity theory with Fred Hoyle demonstrated how a synthesis could be achieved between Einstein’s general theory of relativity and Mach’s principle.
Honours and Awards
Jayant Narlikar has been honoured by several awards for his research, including the S.S. Bhatnagar award for physical sciences (1978), the F.I.E. Foundation’s Rashtrabhushan award (1981), the B.M. Birla award (1993), etc. He is Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences of India, the Cambridge Philosophical Society and the Third World Academy of Sciences. He has honorary doctorates from the Burdwan University and the Banaras Hindu University. He was decorated Padmabhushan by the President of India in 1965.


Science Popularization

Apart from his research work, Jayant Narlikar has established a name in the field of science popularization. He has used the print and electronic media for this purpose, with English, Hindi and Marathi as languages for communication. For his contributions to science popularization efforts he has received the Indira Gandhi Award of the Indian National Science Academy (1990) and the Kalinga Award of UNESCO (1996).

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Life..

Life: What is Life?

‘Life’, how easily we can pronounce the word… ‘Life’, but is it possible to define the word ‘life’? Then we can try at least to define this word, but before going for this we have to rely on certain conceptions and even some imaginations also.

Life is nothing but energy, we know; this world is full of energy, which is called as cosmic energy. We see the matter in this world, but there is life behind it. One who knows this cosmic energy can see the equality everywhere, he can see the past and future because this energy was there in the past and it will be there in future also.
This world is full of forms, but the energy behind it is the same. We can ask few questions to our modern science like; what is our life? And what is meant by our total life? We are known only by the bodies?.. Then body is not at all permanent. We have taken this body only for the time being, but after leaving the body, where is our existence?.. Our existence in the form of enery is always constant, we just display our energy in the form of different bodies or rather we can say that in the form of different forms.

As we all know, the law of conservation of energy which states that, “ Energy can neither be created nor be destroyed but it can be converted in one form to another so total amount of the energy in the universe always remains constant”. Therefore we can say that, ‘Life is a continuous process. Today one is the specific form and tomorrow he will be in another form and there are different forms, but energy is same. ‘There is not a single item in the forms where we can see the absence of cosmic energy. We can’t see it but we can experience it. It is everywhere and therefore only we ignore it and because of this we say, ‘the unity in diversity’. Understanding of this concept should be the purpose of education.

THE SCIENTIFIC PRIDE OF INDIA - ‘MAHARSHI KANAD’

The great man who enlightened the scientific boundaries of life at ‘quantum level’, he was the first nuclear scientist of India perhaps the world’s first.

The modern nuclear epoch was started in 1929; Einstein, Neils Bohr, Enrico ferny, Villard and Oppenheimer led the world to the dawn of the nuclear epoch.

In spite of the great work of the modern world’s nuclear scientists, why should we call ‘Maharshi Kanad’, the pioneer of ‘Quantum Mechanics’?

The work span of ‘Maharshi Kanad’ is dated back to the second century. He was born in the ‘Prabhas’ region (old name). ‘Aacharya Soma Sharma’ was his guru.

He has briefly described his concepts of electron in his Darshan- Grantha… ‘Vaisheshik Darshan’. Many critics have written their opinions (Bhashya) about this –Darshan.

This is an abstract of the great man’s work…. We can say it as postulates of Kanad’s theory or Kanad’s thesis: -

  1. Elements are formed due to the specific arrangement of electrons; he first introduced this concept.
  2. The fundamental material of element is the basic reason behind the activity and characteristic properties of ‘Karma’ (sequence of events without time limit).
  3. All the substances originated from earth are made up of micro and indivisible particles called electrons.
  4. The electrons are in stable or non-vibratory motion and the reason behind their initial vibratory motion is unknown.
  5. Atomic energy is created due to the chain of reaction of these electrons and this creates such vibrations in the element and creates destruction.
  6. Electrons can be used to measure time. Electron is the smallest unit to measure time.

So we can conclude that use of electrons to measure time was defined before 1700 years in India
In terms of the ‘second’ i.e. unit of time, One electron is equal to 37967.75th part of second. i.e. 1 electron =1/37967.75 second. Specialty of Kanad is his research work was not limited only up to the element.

According to him, all the substances, which are originated from the Earth, are made up of the smallest and indivisible electrons.

Though electrons in all the substances are smallest, they are not indivisible. Accordingly, electrons in some substances are divisible and such divisible electrons are used in destruction.

Kanad said that, Human mind is also made up of fusion of electrons; this can give rise to brief research work.

Kanad defined ‘life’ as an organized form of atoms and molecules and ‘death’ as an unorganized form of those atoms and molecules.

Aditya Bapat.
M.Sc Clinical Research(Part-I)
Email: -
aditya8584@gmail.com

B.Sc. Biotechnology.
(An article for magazine –Vibrations.)
December-2003.

References-
‘Vaisheshik Darshan’
By Maharshi Kanad.

‘Kanad maharshi’
By Mr. Shrikant Wartak.

‘Cell &Molecular Biology’
By E.M.F. DeRobertis.

‘Geetarahasya’
By Lokmanya Tilak.