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A trip to a Black Hole

I N S I D E T HI S IS S UE

In the last issue, you read about the birth of stars. In this issue, MAP Editor Parul Chakrobarty brings you the details of their deaths and their journey to becoming black holes. The other day, my friends and I were discussing black holes when I realized that it is one topic that fascinates everyone. Being a physics student, it is an extremely intriguing thing for me to study about. There are innumerable questions that come to the mind when one hears the words ‘black hole’. Some people get fascinated by them, some are scared and some don’t understand it at all because no one puts it in simple words for them. Want to know more?? Read on!! (Continued on page 2)

Are we really alone? By Vandana Sahdev

You must all be too busy dealing with your family, friends and careers leading a superhectic life. But have you ever stopped and pondered over the larger scheme of things, the things beyond your day- to-day lives and get very much there? What do you think? Are we alone or is there life or intelligence beyond earth too? Yes, it’s Possible! In fact, why not? Universe is vast and endless. Our planet is just one of the eight planets revolving around the sun, which itself is one of billion such stars in the Milky Way, our galaxy, again one of billion such galaxies. There is no limit to imagination. There might be full fledged civilizations as shown in many sci-fi movies, comics and TV programs or vast colonies of microorganisms which until now were being assumed as cosmic groups. Life might not be limited to earth or earth-like planets or hidden oceans of water. The possibility of life exists at all the places where life can find food and shape it, and where conditions that nurture life are present. Around every sun, a region neither too cold nor too hot is present, known as “goldy locks “. In Solar System, earth and mars lie within this region. (This fact reflects our chances of one day reach-

Cell Phones and the Youth

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Of Dreams and Nightmares

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The threat of Cyber war

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Global Warming and its Solution

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The Power of Prayer

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Hindi Poem

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The Truth about Constellations

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A Day at the IUAC

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Alumni Interview

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Letters to the Editor

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Cartoons

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Crossword & Solution

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The Edit Page

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The eight storied Pelletron Accelerator

(Continued on page 2)

A Day at the IUAC IUAC, or the Inter University Accelerator Centre, organized a workshop to celebrate the National Science day, on the 28th of February 2011. The event is commemorated in honour of Sir C.V. Raman for his legacy and discovery of the Raman Effect on February 28, 1928, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930. Participating colleges were our very own Maitreyi College, Gargi College, Sri Venkateshwara College and Kalindi College. Sadhana Pandey ma’am accompanied us. The workshop opened with welcoming and opening remarks from Mr. A Roy, Director, IUAC. The director’s remarks focused on the importance of the Raman Effect. He said, “All it (Continued on page 6)


G R AV IT Y IS A LAW . L AW BR E AKE RS W I LL BE BRO U GHT D OWN !

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A trip to a Black Hole-continued (Continued from page 1) Black Holes

What is a black hole? A black hole is technically what remains when a massive star dies. A star is a huge, amazing fusion reactor and because it is so massive, there is an intense gravitational field that is always trying to collapse the star. As the star dies, the nuclear reactions stop because the fuel gets burned up. At the same time, the star’s gravity pulls material inward and compresses the core. As the core compresses, it heats up and eventually creates a supernova explosion in which the material and radiation blasts out into space. What remains is the highly compressed, and extremely massive, core. The core’s gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape. This object is now a black hole and literally disappears from view. The core sinks through the fabric of space-time, creating a hole in space-time — this is why the object is called a black hole.

How big is a black hole? Any amount of mass at all can be made to form a black hole if you compress it to a high enough density. As it is suspected that most of the black holes that are actually out there, were produced in the deaths of massive stars, those black holes are expected to weigh about as much as a massive star. A typical mass for such a black hole would be

about 10 times the mass of the Sun, or about 10^{31} kilograms. Astronomers also suspect that many galaxies harbor extremely massive black holes at their centers. These are thought to weigh about a million times as much as the Sun, or 10^ {36} kilograms. As far as size goes, black hole with a mass equal to that of the Sun would have a radius of 3 kilometers. So a typical 10-solarmass black hole would have a radius of 30 kilometers, and a million-solarmass black hole at the center of a galaxy would have a radius of 3 million kilometers!!

center, and eventually they will rip you apart. (Scary eh?!)

What happens when you fall into a black hole?

The main effect is that it would get very dark and very cold around here. The Earth and the other planets would not get sucked into the black hole; they would keep on orbiting in exactly the same paths they follow right now. Why? Because the horizon of this black hole would be very small and as we observed above, as long as you stay well outside the horizon, a black hole's gravity is no stronger than that of any other object of the same mass. Falling into a black hole would be the last thing you’d ever do, but for scientists, black holes are just the beginning of our exploration of space, time, and everything in between. Source: www.cosmology.berkeley.edu

So if you do fall into the black hole (yeah right!) riding in your fancy spaceship at first, you won’t feel any gravitational forces at all. Since you’re in free fall, every part of your body and your spaceship is being pulled in the same way, and so you feel weightless. As you get closer and closer to the center of the hole, though, you start to feel “tidal” gravitational forces. Imagine that your feet are closer to the center than your head. The gravitational pull gets stronger as you get closer to the center of the hole, so your feet feel a stronger pull than your head does. As a result you feel “stretched.” These tidal forces get more and more intense as you get closer to the

What if the Sun became a black hole? Well, first, let me assure you that the Sun has no intention of doing any such thing (Yay!!). Only stars that weigh considerably more than the Sun end their lives as black holes. The Sun is going to stay roughly the way it is for another five billion years or so. Then it will go through a brief phase as a red giant star, during which time it will expand to engulf the planets Mercury and Venus, and make life quite uncomfortable on Earth. After that, the Sun will end its life by becoming a boring white dwarf star.

What if the Sun DID become a black hole for some reason?

Are we really alone?-continued (Continued from page 1) Are we really alone?

ing to Mars!) According to Stephen Hawking, because of evolution, the extra terrestrial life would have the same basic features as humans though they might look different. To survive, they would need nutrition which they would ingest through some

part, like mouth in humans. If they walk on solid surfaces, they would have feet too. If light is available to them, they would have eyes for sensation of vision. It’s possible that life might be adapted to completely different means of survival from ours. Instead of surviving on water, they might survive on other chemicals and in

temperatures extreme to humans. And, instead of around 221/2 kg of carbon, their bodies might be made of silicon. As for the case of gaseous planets like Jupiter and Saturn, life might be made up of gas. On such planets, they’ll obtain energy from lightening. If such a life can exist, then life at any other place won’t be a surprise!


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R E ALIT Y IS ME RE LY AN I LLU SION , A LBE IT A VE RY PE RSIS T E NT ONE . – E INST E IN

Cell phones & the younger generation By Priyanka Jha

I feel really grateful writing for The MAP again-- it’s because of the love and support that you all have showered upon us. Thank you so much!! Now I’m going to talk about the modern world's "multipurpose toy" that everyone wants to have and enjoy. Any guesses?? Yes!! I am talking about the hottest gadget that's the basic lifeline of present day youth.... CELL PHONE! People use cell phones for a variety of reasons; some to pass on information, the love birds to talk for hours at a stretch, marketing agents to contact customers, bosses to give instructions, mothers to monitor where their children are… Then there’s our house maid who informs us whether she would come to work or not, and has

given us her mobile number in case of emergencies. We use cell phones to order pizzas, medicines, groceries, what not? Everything comes to us at a punch of buttons. We listen to music and radio, and take beautiful photographs of our loved ones. The most exciting feature of this "magic box" is that we can even surf internet, send mails, net banking and find the location with GPS, get cricket score, breaking news, stock quotes etc. It can even act as a torch when there is a power failure... (WOW!!) Text messaging is a lot like rock and roll music. Young folk love it, and their parents find it irritating. It is at this stage, primarily an aspect of youth

opment, since such distant, electronic communication cuts off any possibility of learning to read and appreciate social cues, such as body language, facial expression and tone of voice. Those who are addicted to cell phones are being seriously injured with frightening frequency. Of course, it is not the cell phone by itself that is dangerous, but the circumstances under which people choose to avail themselves of this technology. Even though it has many advantages and some disadvantages too, it has become an indispensible part of every one's daily life. It has really made our lives easier. I hope you guys remember that I initially named it as a "multipurpose toy", I

wasn’t wrong...Was I?

culture, and what with its odd abbreviations, used apparently to avoid exhausting the thumb muscles, it can seem impenetrable. For example, “I see you” condenses to “i c u” for seasoned text messagers. In terms of social interaction, it has been suggested that texting, like instant messaging (or IM’ing) and email, retards social devel-

Of Dreams and Nightmares

By Divya Mehrotra

Dreams are of two types. One describes what we desire to do or the ‘day’ dream, and the other that we get while sleeping or the ‘night’ dream. In both forms, dreams can be worrisome; both frequently causing us sleepless nights. The former is something we have to work towards to realize, and the latter can keep us tossing and turning entire nights. Dreams or nightmares? Signals or mere coincidences? ‘Night’ dreams can leave us waking up either with a smile or with a sweaty brow, posing new questions for us to deal with

during the day. More than 80% of the dreams that we are able to recall every morning are scary nightmares. And I can say this from personal experience. From failing in exams to losing friends, from getting assaulted by loved ones to being in fatal accidents; I’ve seen it all. For those who crib about not remembering anything once they wake up, trust me, there is no one luckier than you. There isn’t anything better than going through the day without the added questions and worries in your head. So what are these dreams? Just some electrical signals gone wrong in our

head, or divine signals warning us? Or our actual future shown in small scenes, giving us a déjà vu feeling every now and then? Actually it’s neither. It’s just too many questions we tend to mix up. Dreams are complicated, something that no one, even scientists or psychiatrists have been able to answer conclusively. Then why do we go about speculating things, leading to fear and anxiety? Why do we spend days and weeks worrying and trying to connect the dots, only to get no results? We go to sleep thinking that we are (Continued on page 4)


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I CAN CA LCU LAT E T HE MOT ION O F HE AVE N LY BO D IE S , BUT NOT T HE MADNE S S O F PE OP LE . - N E WT ON (Continued from page 3)

going to rest our brains, but what we don’t realise is that our brains work the most when we sleep – for digestion, relaxing our muscles, carrying out blood circulations, clearing our thoughts and many more things. It is only our physical body that gets rest. So by thinking of these dreams we only tire our brains more, and make ourselves get worse dreams. The best thing to do is to go over what we see, in case we remember it; see if there is anything we should learn from it; and then forget it and get on with our life with a smile. We should stop reading too much into these dreams. So relax, forget the nightmare and only remember: it’s just something we saw while we were asleep, and not the dream we want to achieve.

Devastating Cyber Wars By Varsha Sharma

WikiLeaks' revelations have created a stir around the world. Daily disclosures of WikiLeaks are disappointing USA and many European countries. In July 2010, WikiLeaks released around 77,000 secret military documents regarding war in Afghanistan. WikiLeaks has received praises as well as criticism. On one hand, it developed a huge fan following for its blunt transparency, but on the other hand, several governments have criticized the breach of national security and international democracy due to WikiLeaks’ spree of cyber crimes. USA has declared WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, a greater terrorist than Osama bin Laden. Many other nations, affected by WikiLeaks, gave orders to arrest Assange. In August 2010, Sweden issued a warrant against Assange in a rape case. The

authenticity of the case is still under question, but this triggered a cyber war by the WikiLeaks admirers. Assange's fans protested by attacking PayPal, an internet payment company, and also warned that MasterCard could be next. The group has previously attacked websites like Visa, Amazon and MasterCard but had never tried to disrupt its payment systems. The attackers brought down the official Swedish government website to avenge the accusation against Julian Assange. As a result of these attacks, within a day, the warrant was withdrawn. The overall loss mounted to millions. A loss that gave only a slight preview of the threat posed by cyber war . This technological “advancement” can be very destructive, threatening the sovereignty of a nation. The cyber war triggered by WikiLeaks is only an example of the coming danger and this will be more devastating than atom bombs. We face the threat of wars fought by machines rather than humans in the coming generations.

Global Warming: the solutions begin at home By Garima Kakkar

Unexpected threats to the health of global system keep emerging, out of which global warming is a serious condition that affects our planet, and subsequently, us. This danger includes mental health; violence, trauma and anxiety are all projected to increase. It is important to be aware of the human causes of global warming in order to prevent additional global warming from occurring. Proposed responses to climate change include mitigation to reduce emissions, adaptation to the effect of global warming, and geoengineering to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or block incoming sunlight. Sources: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/ full/195/6/536 and http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

By Himanshi Malhotra

1. Using a traditional wind up alarm

clock rather than an electronic clock, we can stop the release of 18 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. 2. Taking the bus or train instead of car for as little as 8 kms everyday-620 kg of CO2 can be prevented from being released into atmosphere annually. 3. Reducing the time while using the microwave by an hour a day can stop the release of 474 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. 4. Saving ten litres of water per minute, water saving shower head will also slash carbon emission resulting from a 3 minute hot shower by half. 5. Reducing the usage of our geyser by just one hour a day, we can stop the release of 1205 kg of carbon dioxide

into the atmosphere per year. 6. Replacing a regular 60 watt bulb with a more energy efficient CFL will reduce our CO2 emission by one fourth. 7. Using clothes line to dry our clothes instead of using a dryer 840 kg of CO2 can be prevented from being released into atmosphere. 8. Heating bread rolls in a toaster versus an oven for 5 minutes, will prevent 62 kg of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere . 9. Going without air conditioner for two hours a day, we can stop the release of 2190 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere per year 10. Maintaining a tight seal on our refrigerator door 317 kg of CO2 can be prevented from being released.

The earth is the only place in the universe where we can survive. Its continuing survival is in our hands.


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W HAT WE OBSE RVE I S NOT N AT URE IT SE LF , BUT N AT UR E E XPOSE D T O OUR MET HOD O F Q UE ST ION IN G . - W E RNE R H E ISE NBE R G

The Truth about Constellations By Monisha Maheshwari

There are 12 Zodiacal Constellations and the Sun remains in each for one month. Or is it? The previous edition had an article by 13th Zodiac Sign: Hoax or Reality which talked about the constellation Ophiuchus. I want to share a piece of knowledge that this new constellation Ophiuchus which is very well a reality and it does exist in our universe. Traditionally, it is believed that the sun remains in one constellation each month and throughout the year it moves through all the twelve zodiacal signs. First of all, it is wrong to say that sun move in the zodiacal belt. The Sun is stationary and does not move. Secondly, all the constellations of the zodiac do not cover an equal area in the sky. The constellation of Cancer is less than half in

width than that of Virgo. Apart from this, in each zodiac period, the sun does not cross the respective constellation for the same width or time. For example, the Sun spends 46 days in Virgo while it remains for only 11 days in Scorpio. Apart from this, the Sun passes through the constellation of Ophiuchus in 18 days during the month of Scorpio. For this reason, the British Astronomical Society has incorporated Ophiuchus as the 13th zodiacal constellations.

The Power of Prayer By Himanshi Malhotra

Human being is the finest creation of god. As we enter into the world, we find ourselves caught in the chains of worldly desires, material possessions, etc. In order to meet our wants and desires, we run here and there for their completion, rather than concentrating on our actual motive of coming to this school called Earth. If our desires and imaginations turn into reality we become happy, otherwise sadness prevails. Our entire lives we run after things, get hurt and blame God and question Him for our sufferings. But how many of us do really

know about God?? Who is He?? What are his traits?? Many of us don’t know the exact answers and might even not know about them for all their lives. According to my experiences in life, I have only one answer to all these questions and that is… "Know me and

experience bliss." Bliss is permanent happiness which cannot be experienced unless we have the knowledge about the impermanent nature of everything existing on this Earth. God ca-

res for us because we are his children. He has the power to turn every stumbling block into a stepping stone. We should thank God for everything because it is He, who through different mediums saves us from all the trials and tribulations thus giving us the energy to move forward with more dedication and enthusiasm. God's promise for men is "Ask and it shall be given to unto you, seek and you should find and knock and the door shall be opened unto you." So my dear friends, in order to maintain a good relationship with God, we should show all our love and gratitude towards the ultimate truth by praying

and remembering him. "Look at the birds in the sky, for neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns, yet our heavenly father feeds them. Are not we of more value than they are?? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin, yet our merciful God clothes the grass of the field which is today and may not remain tomorrow. Are not we of more value than they are?”

So trust in God and through prayers he will strengthen you as he strengthens me in everything I do.

E V E R Y A TO M I N YO UR BO D Y C AM E F RO M A S TA R TH AT EXP LO DE D . A N D , TH E A TO M S IN YO UR LEF T H AN D P RO BA BLY C A M E F RO M A D IF F E R EN T S T A R TH AN YO U R RI GH T H A N D . I T RE AL LY IS TH E M O ST P O E T IC TH I N G I KNO W A BO UT P H YS I C S : Y O U A R E A LL S T AR D US T . Y O U CO UL D N ’ T B E H E R E IF ST A R S H A D N ’ T E XP LO DED , BE C A US E TH E E LEM EN TS - TH E CA R BO N , N IT RO GE N , O X Y GE N , I R O N , AL L TH E T H I N G S TH A T M A TTE R F O R EVO L UT IO N A N D F O R LIF E - WE RE N ’ T C RE A TE D AT TH E BE G I NNI N G O F T IM E . T H EY W E RE C R EA TE D I N TH E N UC LE A R F U R NA C ES O F S T AR S , A N D TH E O NL Y W AY F O R TH EM TO GE T I NTO Y O UR BO D Y I S IF TH O SE ST A R S WE RE K I N D E NO U GH TO E XP LO DE . S O , F O R GE T J E S U S . T H E ST A R S D IE D SO T H A T YO U CO UL D B E H E R E TO DA Y . —L A WR E NCE M. K R A USS


A MPE RE W AS T HE N E WT ON O F E LE CT RIC IT Y . - J AME S C . M AXWE LL

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A Day at the IUAC-continued wear out but yeah, you get my point right?) takes to succeed in physics is passion Next, Mr. S Ojha gave a presentation for the subject along with dedication on ‘Pelletron Accelerator Facilities at and hard work.” He also suggested the IUAC’. He was a very cheerful and students to read ‘Raman & his effect’ funny man who made the lecture authored by G. Venkataraman. very interesting. The topics covered The first presentation was given by by him were: Why do we need to Mr. N. Madhavan. He elaborated on accelerate ions? How do accelera‘Probing nuclei using IUAC facilities’. tors work? How does a Pelletron Some central questions were: Why accelerator work? We all were glued study nuclei and their to the presentation till properties? Applications the end, unlike the other of radioactive materials? lectures. “You will not What is the origin of eveget lunch if you don’t rything? What mankind listen to me carefully and and other objects are ultiunderstand everything”, mately made of? “Seeing is said Mr. Ojha. Yes! This believing” is a commonly was another reason for used idiom. Mr. Madhavan our attentiveness! said that the idiom is not ‘12.45- 13.45 à Lunch’ necessarily true in physics said the schedule given X– Ray Generator giving examples of mirage, to us. We all had been illusions etc. The idiom may be re- eagerly waiting for this time. We placed by “Inferring from careful ex- were asked to go to the canteen. As periments is believing”. we came out of the seminar block, Then he discussed the various experi- we could see a huge garden. And our mental facilities available at IUAC: love for getting clicked, posing and Gamma Detector Array (GDA), Heavy taking pictures made us do a small Ion Reaction Analyzer (HIRA), General photo session. “Beta, go and have Purpose Scattering Chamber (GPSC), lunch first. You can do this later on”, Hybrid Recoil Mass Analyzer (HYRA), said some sir. The power lunch National Array of Neutron Detectors menu consisted of fried rice, dal, (NAND) and Indian National Gamma shahi paneer (hungry already?!), Array (INGA). Finally, he answered puri, roti, raita, mixed vegetables, some questions asked by the work- salad etc. And gulab jamun in desshop participants. sert!! After lunch, we went towards The presentation was followed by a the garden and clicked pictures. refreshing tea break. Tea, coffee, bis- There was an assortment of beauticuits and piles of sugar cubes. ful flowers. We sat there for a while Tea/Coffee gave us the much needed and rested. energy boost. (Ya!! Lecture for more We were asked to assemble in the than an hour wears you out. Ok! Not seminar block again. There we were (Continued from page 1)

RBS Lab

given the certificates and Rs 100 as conveyance allowance (yay!). Next we had the lab tour. We were taken to see the beam lines, ion source, control room, etc, which had gigantic machines, detectors, accelerators with a ‘Danger! Do not touch.’ signboard on each of them. They were huge!! The pelletron accelerator is so big that it covers 8 floors. The entire machine is computer controlled and is operated from the control room by dedicated operators. We were taken to the seventh floor also. We were more excited to see the view from there instead of seeing the instruments. Next on the tour was RBS- Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometer. Mr. Ojha again, explained the nitty gritty details of the spectroscope. We were all so tired by then that we somehow walked (like zombies!) up to the seminar block. There was a tea session which again lifted our spirits. The teachers at the IUAC were good people. They arranged for a bus till the nearest bus stop. So from there we were off to our respective places. It was an incredible experience!! NOTE: IUAC is organizing a summer programme for B.Sc Physics students in May this year. 10-15 students are selected from all over the country for the workshop. You get to work with the scientists and do interesting projects. Interested students may contact Mr. A. Mandal, IUAC. Email-id: mandal@iuac.ernet.in Website: http://www.iuac.ernet.in

By Parul Chakraborty


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I T DOE SN ' T MAT T E R HO W BE AUT I FU L Y OUR T HE OR Y IS , I T DOE SN ' T MAT T E R HOW SM ART YOU ARE . I F IT DOE SN ' T AGRE E W IT H E XPE RIME NT , IT ' S WRO N G . - R ICHAR D P . F E YNMAN

Iti Sonker was a chirpy, slightly temperamental student who graduated from Maitreyi College in 2009. She made us all proud, and in her own words ‘surprised’ herself, by getting selected at IIT. Today, she’s in her final semester of M.Sc. Physics at IIT Delhi. It was quite hard to get her to give us an interview, given her busy schedule what with tests practically every week. The MAP: Why did you choose to study Physics? Iti: At school I liked physics. I wanted to be a pilot, but I couldn’t clear that exam. So I enrolled at Maitreyi College. I didn’t really study much there. *smiles* At the end of the three years at Maitreyi, I didn’t really feel like being a pilot anymore; I was not interested in MBA, and I didn't want to sit at home and do nothing. So I decided to prepare for MSc entrance exams. I had no idea there was an MSc in IIT. I’m not sure, but I think one of my super seniors got through; I had her friend's number. I asked around, found a coaching institute...I prepared for one year. Took the exam, got in. The MAP: You also left eating non-veg food for a year… Iti: Oh!! You remember. *blushes* The MAP: It’s our job to remember. So, what has your experience at IIT been like? Iti: Studying at IIT is hard work; you really have to put in your best effort. Many students are thrown out right after the first semester...They may throw you out even in the 3rd semester if you don’t fulfill their requirements. The marking is relative so scoring good marks is not enough. You must score more than the others. But after going through this whole experience, you feel satisfied with yourself. The students come from different parts

Iti— the IIT-ian of the country...you get to know a lot about other people. Plus they’ve studied a lot. However, my best memories have been formed outside of the classroom.

Alumni Corner The MAP: What are your plans after finishing this course? Iti: I’m not sure. I have many plans… There are many options after MSc physics. Lots of people do a PhD. Some prefer to teach alongside research. Plus physics is applied everywhere; in all machinery, so physicists are required everywhere. Companies like Hindustan lever, etc regularly come on campus to recruit. The MAP: What is your most memorable experience at Maitreyi? Iti: All memories of Maitreyi are precious. I remember in 1st year we were all so scared of this one teacher. Once we decided to bunk her class. We sitting on stairs near the lab--that open corridor that we have. We were sitting and chatting...me, Chandni and Shobhita...and she passed by and glared at us. We almost died. In 2nd year, none of us wanted to study during this one class, so first we hid all the chalks.

When the teacher went out to get some chalks, we scribbled random stuff on the board and hid the duster. She again went out to get a duster. It was really funny. In 3rd year, we decided to study harder and attend all classes. That was the year we scored the minimum. *laughs* I always lied about my marks. And once, I hid under the table to avoid being questioned by a teacher. The MAP: How do you like campus life? How different is it from staying at home? Iti: All memorable experiences are related to campus life. There are allnight study rooms, coffee shop. You can hang out with friends any time. Night outs are common. Staying in a hostel is very different from staying at home. You really learn how not to waste time. The MAP: Would you like to share some tips on how to crack JAM? Iti: I’ll say I just got lucky. I’m no genius and I never worked that hard. (The MAP: Awww, no, you weren’t that bad J )I would recommend preparing well for the subjective portion. Sometimes they ask theorems which are easy to prove. Objective type questions can be riskier. Practice as many MCQ’s as you can. I found topics like mechanics tough, while thermodynamics, optics, quantum mechanics were easy. I got lucky: the paper I attempted had a lot of thermodynamics questions—a topic I was well-versed in. The MAP: Finally, is there a message you want to convey to your juniors and teachers? Iti: No. The MAP: Ok, then. Thank you for your time. Iti: No problem. You pay the bill. Interviewed by Nidhi Srivastava

Studying in France— Dipti Dahiya Dipti Dahiya (Batch of 2009) is currently doing a Masters in Technology (M.Tech) in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from University of Delhi. It is a combined degree from JOSEPH FOURIER UNIVERSITY, GRENOBLE, FRANCE. Her specialization is

Nanophysics. After completion of the course at Grenoble, Dipti will be back in Delhi for her final year. It’ll be a 6 months course in the university and then an internship. This internship can be pursued from anywhere – India or abroad.

For joining this course one needs to qualify IIT JAM. There are some seats reserved for university toppers. There is an interview after the short list of candidates after the test. The best place to pursue this course (Continued on page 8)


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A SE MIN AR ON T IME T RAVE L WI LL BE HE LD T WO WE E KS AGO . (Continued from page 7)

is in San Francisco and the second is Grenoble. Dipti thinks French people are nice people but they don’t like speaking in English too much. She seems to be truly making the most of her stay abroad. “In college we were taught

according to the exam patterns. We were spoon fed with all the notes and questions to help us score well in exams. The pattern of studies changes drastically as we go for higher studies, especially if pursued in any other country as the system is very different from the Indian education

system.” she says. All the best for your fut u r e Dipti!

Quantum Mechanics baffles scientists and students alike --By Nidhi Srivastava

Sahil Saini was introduced to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity in the fourth semester of post graduation in Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. Like many scientists before him, featuring prominently among them Albert Einstein, he could not reconcile with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. “Classical mechanics had taught me that nature was exact. But quantum mechanics claimed there was a fundamental uncertainty in the nature of nature.” His guide at the Institute suggested two lines of research that would make the theory clearer to him; one was theoretical and the other experimental. “I chose to delve into the philosophical side of the theory, starting with the EPR, or the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen,

Paradox” says Saini. What followed was months of rigorous study of quantum mechanics books. He started with James Bell’s

Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. “Things went above my head initially”, he rues, “Neils Bohr once said that if you aren’t confused by quantum mechanics, you haven’t really understood it.” Was his research fruitful? “A few of my questions have been answered, but there’s still a lot to learn” Indeed, quantum mechanics is a field which still baffles the greatest of scientists. An experiment conducted in 2008 between two villages in Switzerland attempted to determine the speed of entanglement. In the strange world of quantum mechan-

ics, the EPR paradox that had been brought up to question its validity, is not really a paradox any longer—it improved our understanding of quantum mechanics and has been incorporated as a postulate. Quantum entanglement, indentified by EPR paradox, is now being used in developing new technologies like superfast quantum computers, and in improving data encryption. “Quantum Mechanics is still not perfect. Everything should happen for a reason and we still don’t have all the reasons,” says this young scientist who hopes to pursue his doctoral degree solving some of these mysteries.

Letters to the Editor Do write to us and let us know your views on The MAP!!! And remember that this is a place for you to express your creativity, your thoughts, your imagination So send in your articles, poems, riddles, photographs, and well, anything and everything that can be published on paper! It doesn't have to be related to Physics as long as you're a student in our department and if you're not, then it has to! Dear Editor, I would like to present my views on your monthly issue of the physics newsletter The MAP. Jearl Walker has rightly said that physics is “Fun with a big challenge”. Physics is the most interesting subject in the world because it is about how the world works. Physics has transformed the world for only chemists, electricians and mathematicians but also the world of bio-medical and paramedical sciences. For instance, a humble device such a capacitor, which is seen in every physics laboratory, is being used as heart pacer in patients whose AV nodes are malfunctioning. Physics is the most practical and applied science in the world. We can reason from the basic physics concepts to validate conclusions about the real world and this understanding of real world is where the fun is. Physics has taught me that the possibilities are endless. In fact, one of the tenants of Quantum Mechanics is that all things that could happen do happen in the universe. So there is a one hundred percent chance that events do occur, despite having low probabilities associated with them. I would like to end this letter by citing the famous words said by the physicist of all time Albert Einstein - “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old questions from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.” The need of today’s society is to create an environment where students reach their full potential and experience the exhilaration of academic success that will last them a lifetime. And The MAP is a step towards it. Thanking You, Monisha Maheshwari


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T HE MOST INCO MPRE HE N S IBLE T HIN G ABO UT T HE UNIVE RSE IS T HAT IT I S COMPRE HE NS IBLE .

Letters to the Editor—continued

Crossword #2

Dear Editor, The nature around us is colourful and diverse. It contains phenomena of various varieties. The winds, the sand, the water, the planets, the rainbows, the functioning of the human body, the energy radiating from sun, and the list is endless of objects and events taking place around us. Physics is study of nature and its laws. All these different events in nature take place according to some basic laws and revealing these laws of nature from the observed events is Physics. For example, the orbiting of moon around earth, falling of an apple from a tree and the tides in a sea on a full moon night can all be explained if we know Newton's law of gravitation and Newton's law of motion. The events in nature are like the moves of the great game of chess. We are allowed to watch the events of nature and guess the basic rules according to which events taking place. We may come across new events which do not follow the rules guessed earlier and we may have to declare the old rules inapplicable or wrong and discover new rules. Since physics is study of nature, so it is real. No one frames the rules of physics. One only discovers the rules that are operating in nature. Aryabhatta, Newton, Einstein and Feynman are great physicists because from the observations available at that time, they could guess and frame the basic law which explained these observations in a convincing manner. But if some day the rules discovered by great scientists are not able to explain a newly discovered phenomenon, no one will hesitate to change these rules.

Hints ACROSS: 1 The deep sea crab that eats trees. 4 Got its name from Turkish word 'Yoğurur' which means long life.

6 Called as ruminants because they have more than one Yours truly, stomach. Varsha Sharma 7 Unnamed Hydrogen powered sky planes unveiled by Boeing.

Solution to the Albert Einstein crossword

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An animal that cab live forever.

11 First oxygen free animals. 13 World's largest robot. 14 Flower of a banana plant. DOWN: 1 Mascot for 2011 world cup. 2 World's highest energy particle accelerator. 3 Google's sister launched in China. 5 First woman to reach 14 Himalayan peaks. 8 First novel written on a type-writer. 9 Country's first robot assisted urological surgery was conducted here. 10 The original name for Google. 12 A safe and easy way to pay and get paid online. By Ankita Unniyal

Q: What did the thermometer say to the graduated cylinder? A: You may have graduated but I have many degrees!

Q: Why is electricity so dangerous? A: Because it doesn’t conduct itself!


Mail to us at: maiteryi.themap@gmail.com

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The MAP The Physics newsletter of Maitreyi College!

maitreyi[dot]themap[at]gmail[dot]com

Now read The MAP online at: http://issuu.com/themap Find The MAP fan page on facebook!

The MAP—the journey so far

Editing The MAP has been an extremely rewarding experience. The response we got for what had been meant as a Pilot issue was overwhelming. The teachers were extremely supportive, friends were appreciative and the juniors rushed in their articles for the first issue! Through facebook, our seniors read the zeroth issue and expressed delight! The Chief Editors: ‘Congratulations! Well done!’ written to us by Principal ma’am was probably the most treasured praise of all. Words are not enough to express our gratitude to all of you! But it was still a long way to go to the first proper issue of The MAP. What you have in your hands right now is over a month’s hard work. From the four-paged zeroth issue, we had planned to go up to six pages, which increased to eight pages as articles just kept coming in, and then finally settled at this ten-paged issue. We even decided to include a Hindi section to ensure that everyone gets to express their creativity in whatever medium they prefer. Typists: Each article here has been through the tedious journey of being written, rewritten, shortened, lengthened, typed, edited, re-edited and finally, put into print. We have strived to ensure that every fact is true, every spelling is correct and every comma is in its right place. If yet any error has escaped our notice, please accept our sincerest apologies. A very special thanks to Mata, Kiki & It is easy to write. Even a first grader can put together words to form fully coherent senTeddy for their invaluable feedback, tences. But it is hard to get others to read what you write. The biggest support we’ve got sound advice and incredible patience. so far has been from YOU who has read and appreciated our work. Thank you! And we hope you will continue reading and writing to us!

Editorial Board Nidhi Srivastava Divya Mehrotra Parul Chakraborty Priyanka Jha Garima Kakkar Varsha Sharma

Editorial board positions are now open! All you have to do is send an email to maitreyi.themap@gmail.com and you could be selected!!!

A Photo Challenge In our universe, there are few ideas more fundamental than the Laws of Motion. These laws were identified by Sir Isaac Newton and gave the fundamentals to classical mechanics. When trying to understand a physical process, we often understand it by looking at the forces acting and working out the equations of motion. This is true of the motion of the planets to the flow of electrons in an electric or magnetic field. From the spinning dancers to the falling leaves, we apply these laws to every moving body around us, big or small. We want to see how you see these laws in action in your daily life. Capture a law and send it to us on m a i treyi.themap@gmail.com and get a chance to get your photograph published in the next edition of The MAP!

So get your lenses in action and get clicking!

An Initiative by the Third Year Physics Honours Students


Issue 1, The MAP