On the TED talk

Now a little on the TEDxSLU talk. Indeed, the descriptions of cosmology and quantum mechanics, and how we fit and continue there was the overarching theme, but covered in a light tone to meet the TED style. Enclosed is the first slide. Interestingly, from the responses I got from the smart audience, I felt that the purity and elegance of mathematics is seemingly a bigger catch in seeing the truest reality, than the relatively jumbled descriptions of physics. Can you believe it? I surely can!

Both are indeed crucial though.

TEDxSLU_Slide1Further on toward understanding how we fit and continue by the descriptions of cosmology and quantum mechanics, in relation to the title Physical Laws of the Mathematical Universe: Who Are we? I will try to dish out related ideas in small chunks at the facebook page that I have just created (the publisher recommended!). Please stop by, and let me know your thoughts.

https://www.facebook.com/Neeti-Sinha-1691560057767817/

See you soon,

Neeti.

 

Our Magnified Universe

 

 

 

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The awe inspiring topic of Our Magnified Universe- “Wondrous Universe: Our Truth in the Window of Science” was covered in TEDxSLU (of St. Louis University), along with other inspirational and delightful speeches and performances. We all steeped ourselves in enthusiasm and thrill as we navigated through the day bustling with activities, and ideas. A lot of credit goes to the organizers, mostly from St Louis University, for charting out such a well planned event. Take a peek at their initiative and the TEDxSLU event. Subjects as diverse as leadership, genetics, human relations, and pure scientific voices made up the fabric of the program. Interspersed were vibrating shows like salsa dance.

Coming to the subject of this blog, my talk overall gave a broad perspective of the book title Physical Laws of the Mathematical Universe: Who Are we? i. e., How can we come up with a scheme where all scientific descriptions, cosmic or quantum, make sense, and we see ourselves to be a part of the grand continuum. Following this initiation, was the introduction of the fascinating mathematics—how mathematics acts as a glue in seeing a truly real picture. I will try to post more on this event shortly.

See you soon,

Neeti.

Quantum Cosmic Uniformity

Quantum and cosmic aren’t two different landscapes of reality. Just two different ways to look at the very same (I expand this is detail in Physical Laws of the Mathematical Universe). The constant bubbly jitters of quantum arena permeate all-across physicality—including the immensity of colossal cosmos. What we see is subject to what we can see via our sensory receptors. But our scientific curiosity and expedition allow us to peer into an architecture that doesn’t just tell us how the full-length reality comes to be but also how it is uniform. Indeed, even a modest progress in our methodic understanding takes decades of concept building resting on experimental observations, empirical discernments, and painstaking ratiocinations.

Einstein’s relativity was a pivotal advent in truly seeing how all the components of the universe unify and continue. But even with such clear understanding, some specifics still blurred the image. The topmost perplexity—as most of us know—is seeing the consistency between cosmic and quantum fields. And this would be a truly herculean task, especially if one is banking on authentication every step of the way. But we have made progress. Though in small steps, significant nonetheless. From times when one half-heartedly settled with quantum mechanics and astrophysics being two mutually exclusive specific subjects, we are emerging to recognize the sameness between the two—on experimental footing. This is no small deed, because hatching an experiment itself isn’t as big of a deal as envisioning the full-length dynamics, which is where experiments, theories, and concepts merge. Take a peek.

See you all,

Neeti.

Just some catching up today

Many of us who relished Interstellar also eagerly took to browsing The Science of Interstellar, a pictorially exquisite book title extended by Kip Thorne, the same scientist who oversaw the science behind the alluring storyline of Interstellar. And there are considerable bits in the book to savor on, as to why certain elements played the way they did, like the crux of gravitational anomaly in the landscape of movie, the brilliant depiction of black hole, the alleged ghost of Cooper that his daughter saw when young, Cooper’s slingshot, the notion of they that appeared in the narration of wormhole and the past-present union of tesseract, the thing depicting higher dimensional field, i.e. the materialization of tesseract—the essential scientific chunks that the movie couldn’t have covered, many wondered nonetheless. In fact I too did, with the stance of they, which turns out to be the analogy of bulk field appearing in the modern theoretical descriptions that strive to unify gravity by the way of quantum mechanics (which has been a fairly uphill task)—the gravitational force seeping the bulk, and thus the bulk (they) playing role in the anomalies we encounter at the 3-dimensional level (in the movie). I will leave it at this here. Do read it if enthused.

Fortuitously, I see just the article we need to brush up on the union of quantum mechanics and gravity: A Brush with Gravity (!). You will also see that mesmerizing display of the Interstellar black hole.

To acquaint you further with the title Physical Laws of the Mathematical Universe: Who Are We? I am leaving with you its TOC:

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Contents

  • Introduction

  • Marginalia

  • Reflections of the Universe

  • Mathematical Reality of the Universe under the Canopy of Physical Principles

  • The Voice of Transcendental Numbers

  • The Esoteric Pi(π): The Appearance of Curve

  • Boundaries of the Unfettered Universe

  • Witnessing the Boundaryless Structure of the Space-Time Landscape

  • Are We Dreaming or Awake?

  • The Arrival of Higher Dimension

  • The Culmination of Multitudinous Universes by the Sovereignty of Duality

  • The Fractional Universe: The Blanket of the Subconscious

  • Perpetually Expediting Cosmos

  • Peppered Space-Time: The Dabs of Units

  • The Conception of God by the Twist of the Human

  • Brief Notes

  •                       Discontinuous Continua

  •                                     a.        Aesthetics or Mathematics

  •                                     b.        Chaos is a Misnomer

  •                                     c.        Science and the Rest

  •                                     d.        They are Not Two Things

  •                                     e.        Entity: Discrete or Abstract?

  •                                     f.         In Words

  • Acknowledgments

  • Glossary

  • Bibliography

  • Index

  • Credits

The allure of mathematical subtleties: Do we see the otherwise unfathomable reality?

This time it was a relatively long breach in our communication, and I have been contemplating on dropping a note or two for some time now. So here they are. A few updates for our reasoning and creative appetites.

-          Do read The Impenetrable Proof. An almost anecdotic article brings to light the alleged mathematical solution to one of the greatest unsolved problems of mathematics—the abc conjecture. The assumption relates to the game of prime numbers, and how their quirk plays out in the landscape of number field. Though the article mostly relates to the storyline of the mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki who claims to have solved the conjecture, and along the way he seemingly had to create a new outlook of the nature of mathematics itself. His newly created mathematical plot of inter-universal geometry is very enticing. High-ranking mathematicians have found themselves perplexed in following the proof for the truly different mathematical perspective that it adopts. It isn’t as rebellious as it sounds. The allure of seeing the truth (or imagery in this case, specifically) in the mesmerizing abstractness of advanced mathematics isn’t very new, and many of us before have plunged into these realms. Article nonetheless is worth to truly feel how the truth of mathematics is genuinely at work at subtler levels.

-          In relation to the fascinating prime numbers, a hypothesis that stands out is the yet unsolved legendary Riemann hypothesis:

“All non-trivial zeros of the zeta function have real part one-half”

A relatively bland on the surface, the playing of this articulation isn’t just riveting, it takes in intricately advanced features and gives forth exceedingly consequential messages. I have just written an article on it, in the context of mathematical reality of the universe. I should be able to post this article here shortly.

-          In connection to the above, and with all the current buzz on mathematical reality of the universe, and our true nature, my book Physical Laws of the Mathematical Universe: Who Are We? has just come out. We are still working on the e-book, but do stop by and join in to let me know your views, or drop me a question.

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See you all soon,

Neeti.

Piling On

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From the revelations of particle smashers of CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), the discoveries of radio detectors of ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array), the disclosers of outer spatial and extragalactic missions of COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer), Hubble, Fermi Gamma-ray, Chandra X-ray, Spitzer, Kepler, the forthcoming James Webb telescopes (list is almost endless), the evidence of gravitational waves by Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP), the detections of dark matter and energy to the readings of underground neutrino missions (one upcoming- Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) toward understanding the evolution of the universe, the amount of information waves at us in all sorts of gestures for us to pin down the meaning of it all—in one sweep.

The bona fide bits are flying in from other places equally effectively.

And I am not referring to, or including, the classical principles—such as Einstein’s relativities, Newtonian’s mechanics or pure thermodynamics—that are tested stringently and utilized intensively. Or alluding to the established systems such as calculus or polynomials that help us shape and employ those doctrines. I am referring to all these new inputs that although seem foundational, are turning out to be rather bewildering in our trek to fathom the nature of reality.

The universe prodigiously expands; the dark matter lurks; the dark energy overpowers gravity; the cosmic matter outplays antimatter; the black hole engulfs and dissipates; parallelism pounds; the particle world compounds; the mathematical models of reality amass evermore intricate complexities; the interplay of consciousness in the game of matter and forces takes a scientific stage. These are all real deals piled on us waiting to be pieced into a seeable picture.

We would pause, take a break, by cramming a book in a very different subject, or even more leisurely, indulging in a movie. Indeed, we have different tastes and choices. But for those of us inspired by the workings of reality, often these tangential sprints put us right back into the same captivating territory laden with puzzles and strewn with myriad codes. In recent times, the art of science fiction has grown rapidly: Interstellar, Inception, Knowing, and Contact are some flicks that caught attention. Many literary works on science fiction did equally effectively: I happen not to browse science fiction books too many, but the regular page-long coverage in Nature appears stimulating.

The reason we enjoy such fictions is because all of this at the end of the day makes us ask the very same questions the scientist in each of us does. In fact fiction flicks such as Interstellar and Contact incite in us those deeper questions we otherwise miss out.

Then there are other science topics not directly addressing the nature of physical universe: Medicine, psychiatry, neurosurgery, psychology, even biographical (mostly scientific, but some psychology and philosophy). They bring forth new perspectives. Some of them as a pure info are utterly ravishing—like Many Lives, Many Master by Brian Weiss, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, Brain Surgeon by Keith Black, When the Air Hits Your Brain by Frank Vertosick, The Blind Spot: Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty by William Byers, announcing their own bits. They are excellent reads if for pure knowledge and quality time, but segregated sets of pileups if employing them to conceive a theory of everything.

That reminds me of yet another movie Theory of Everything: smooth and entertaining, immediately after watching which, I grabbed the copy of Black Holes and Baby Universes by Stephen Hawking from the bookshelf and studied through. I had read this many years ago, but this time browsed with a fresh perspective. The messages are sharp and the assays delightful.

But in this context the theory of everything appears niche based, not all-inclusive. Piling continues nonetheless.

The segregation of scientific—or philosophical, for that matter—queries and exhaustive understanding is apparent wherever we go. The discrete details remain crisp and sharp, but when implied holistically the notion becomes vague, in science or otherwise.

The seemingly delusionary tussle between science and philosophy dissolves at the frontiers of a full-length scheme. Anyway, this is an entirely different story.

And in the heap of data that gapes at us, we have the pitches on consciousness, mind, philosophy of religion, whatnot. So keep track of all the pileups, at least till we get there.

See you soon.
Neeti.

 

Intelligent Robots

Many of us, especially the tech savvy, would fancy the article- Intelligent robots must uphold human rights, which attempts to bring to attention a foresight of furnishing sense of ethicality and brotherhood among robots, as we develop them into exceedingly intelligent systems. I was a little taken aback. Words like “machine consciousness,” “sentient machine,” “machine rights,” “robot conscience,” “new intelligent race” sound amazing but afar off reality.

An intelligent, or even thinking, robot is a genuine, realistic, scientific and developmental, scenario, stemming from painstaking mechanics, robust neural networks, and exceptional technological advancement. A sentient robot is an entirely different story, sentience of which cannot be pinned down to any of the material we are familiar with in designing robots, however intricate. In embarking to merge highly complex functional systems with living ones the most basic element comes to be the perception of the self, and not the capacity to choose one way among several others—that can be designed. The robotic ability to reason isn’t same as being living, in reason or out of it. So although channeling rationality, intelligence and orderliness is a conceivable plot, hemming emotions, motives and yearning is not just fictitious but a bewildering game for the lack of defined ingredients to conjure them up.

See you all soon,

Neeti.

Grothendieck’s Deep Visions

Alexander Grothendieck isn’t a household name in academic community, and at a general level hardly anyone would ever have heard of him. Among mathematicians he dwelt as persona of profound brilliance and finesse, colored with uncanny idiosyncratic taints. Not just efficient in clearing up of the most convoluted mathematical renderings, he held clear workings of the most abstractly mathematical landscapes—of algebraic geometry and topology—and advanced them to the level of fathomable depictions for us all.

As in many cases in the modern history, his deep mathematical insights seemingly came with a price. Apart from deep-seated crannies of complex mathematics, he, seemingly by choice, remained mostly disconnected from anything in the rest of the world, even the simpler branches of mathematics.

I read somewhere an anecdote about him on prime numbers, which he chose not to be worthy of attention. He apparently addressed, hopefully unwittingly,  number 57 to be a prime number, which it isn’t (it factorizes to 3 and 19, and is thus not a prime number). Since then in mathematics community 57 is referred as Grothendieck’s prime.

Here is something to relish about a life packed with intellect, variegation and trepidation.

Neeti Sinha

Magnifieduniverse.com

Interstellar

I had written this a short while ago. Thought it would be a good time to post it, for we all have a little more holiday-time flexibility to see a movie. So here it is.

Interstellar

Yes, the movie. After months of buzz blazed with mesmerizingly dazzling banners the much fancied, and anticipated by the physics and mathematics community and its writers, the blockbuster of Interstellar hit the theaters last Friday. I happened to be one of the patrons longingly waiting to sense through the full play at the first opportunity—for two prime reasons, and quite a few ancillary ones.

One, the intelligence of the subject—although the movie itself is a science-fiction, it unfolds by the descriptions and concepts of mathematical-physics that we currently employ to understand the continuum of space-time. I am not an admirer of all science fictions, but I would vote for this one without reservation. I can point to some of the bad examples of science fiction movies, but I do not want to upset directors and their followers! Anyhow, the second reason—actually is tied to the first one—being that the storyline fabric is composed with the consultancy of Kip Thorne, a notable theoretical physicists from California Institute of Technology, who has made wide inputs in both relativity and gravitational aspects of the grand universal design, accounting both the cosmic and quantum views.

Thus the architecture and workings of time dilation, black hole, singularity, higher dimension and parallel existences, and the theoretical wormhole—all playing out stunningly and enticingly on the IMAX silver screen—that stem from the unified understanding, are all incorporated into the flick with caution in what is palpably projectable.

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The ravishing appeal of a “wormhole” tucked around the Saturn rings can’t be overstated. So is the singularity of a black hole, and, on a technical side, the coordinative view of the spinning spacecraft (in the poster above). But all this scientific bits isn’t what makes the play wholesome. It is the fusion of human elements by the scaffolding of scientific knowledge that brings out an edifying texture. That the subliminal bearings aren’t independent of space-time; that intellective and emotional renderings may play decisively; that personal footings and worldly pursuits aren’t mutually exclusive… I shouldn’t keep on or else it will become a truly fictitious reverie. The point is that the scrupulous account of modern views slotted subjective traces too into the same knit.

Although in a movie with such an expanded perspective everyone is bound to have their own censors. One apparent one for me was the time and again reference of “they,” for an idea of a fifth-dimensional programming to be reflected in the three-dimensional plane. Though the notion fitted nicely into the script plot, it wavered loose ends either on scientific grounds or otherwise. Another was the fuzzy description of wormhole, and its contrived mechanism, especially because the wormhole played a sincere role in the flow of the story.

At a general level though there seemingly lurks a slight barrier if we are to follow the narrative fully and precisely. The movie is more appropriately cut out for those who are already familiar with the avant-garde developments of mathematical physics, their strengths and loopholes, and a little background of it all. The movie has a great deal of information seeped all over, and those without background may risk them for a pure fantasy. There are contextual meanings echoing throughout the plot. The flick is a popular account of our three dimensional world that tries to bespeak the higher verbalization of the quantum multiverse. So the lack of a prior knowledge of the basics may lead to a delusional land.

Thus those coming from a different background may like to browse through a popular science book on our current understanding of the space-time first.

Like around the end of the movie, an idea of “tesseract” abruptly crop up out of nowhere. Tesseract is a mathematical object, presenting a four dimensional version of a three dimensional cube. The object has played an indispensible role in our understanding of the higher dimensional plane, and the relativity that seeps through it all. But because of the lack of even a little referencing dialogue the value and beauty of the tesseract in that context can be missed by those who haven’t heard of tesseract, or its role in mathematical physics, beforehand.

A single mention of tesseract was enough though to enthrall math devotees.

I shouldn’t give out too many details in consideration of those who so far only meditated, and haven’t seen it yet.

Take a look. It is worth a three hours, and most of us won’t be disappointed. And let me know what fascinated you the most.

See you soon.

Have fun holidays.

Neeti.

In The Name of Science

In the Name of Science

I had been truly excited about the initiative I took up to comprehend and discuss the nature of an overarching reality, of which we are part, by the way of science. And although a credible number of individuals showed a true enthusiasm, I found myself somewhat dumbfounded on the prospect of seeing only a modest chunk of aficionados. I was imagining an abounding passion.

The renderings of science are often seen to be niche based. We are very familiar with reconciling mathematics and physics, although mostly for the dependency of formulating the physicality. Not them as interchangeable truths of an all-encompassing phenomenon, offering discrete ways to see a larger picture of reality. The situation is worse between other academic disciplines, such as physical sciences, biology, medicine, psychology, philosophy, even consciousness. As if they are all discrete independent truths, and not belong to an all-sweeping single phenomenon.

The niche based tightness often run between sub-disciplines of a subject too, where two interpretations from different sub-divisions are seen as independent pieces of information, and not as two aspects of the very same game. A good example to highlight this is the observed of quantum physics and cosmology. Worst still is the belief that the way we perceive the universe directly isn’t a part of the whole game, or that resides beyond the texture of science.

Having a niche appears to be more about marking boundaries rather than gathering their deft pitches toward seeing a bigger picture of an all-encompassing truth. Indeed, specialized scientific branches progress to benefit in health, better life and world order, but in not taking an overarching view, beyond specific boundaries, an along-the-way picture that emerges only from the voice of science as a whole, gets compromised.

Joining methodic alcoves toward grasping the truest tapestry just for the sake of science is slightly different, decisive nonetheless—also leisurely for many of us. So getting back to the original point- why aren’t we seeing a teeming pool of us hungry to sense the deepest order of the universe just as a pure knowledge. Here is what you will find interesting.

A survey shows that the subjects on which the top 100 most cited research papers are perched are biological techniques, bioinformatics, phylogenetics, statistics, density functional theory and crystallography. Not Albert Einstein’s relativity, or big bang, or quantum field, or mathematical symmetry and groups, all of which contributed immensely toward understanding the nature of universe, just as pure information on the fundamentals.

I felt very sympathetic to what the last paragraph of the survey article conveys. Here it is verbatim:

Still, there is one powerful lesson for researchers, notes Peter Moore, a chemist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. “If citations are what you want,” he says, “devising a method that makes it possible for people to do the experiments they want at all, or more easily, will get you a lot further than, say, discovering the secret of the universe.”      

Practical issues and way to a comfortable life, and ease at work are all great causes. The bare beauty and grandeur the universe would still lure many of us to assimilate and ponder the underlying trueness of the infinite and infinitesimal.

So I am not altogether surprised by a smaller crew on board, who cravingly seek the subtleties of the universe just for the heck of it.

Will be back soon.

Neeti.