Piling On


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.


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,


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



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.


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.


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.


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.


Universe Needing to Inflate

Universe Needing to Inflate

In the evolution of the universe there conceivably occurred an instance of prodigious expansion, so rapid that the universe’s once infinitely dense miniscule glob swiftly stretched—light years across in a fraction of a second. The incident is commonly referred to as inflation. As enigmatic as it may sound, the scenario of expeditious growth does have healthy outlooks to support of the way we envisage the universe based on scientific judgments.

Inflation explains why the universe we find ourselves in is flat; it explains away why the observable universe is constitutionally same whichever side we look, or is largely isotropic. First proposed by Alan Guth, the stunt of inflation further goes on to explain the unification of the two grand principles, general relativity and quantum mechanics. That is, the inflation exposes a way to realize that a gravitational wave is just a mere transfiguration of quantum fluctuation. That is why the conclusive detection of gravitational wave by BICEP2 (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization 2) was a much celebrated event, especially for scientific community, because it was a firsthand glimpse into the universe undergone inflation. Although several reports following the initial discovery wavered between optimistic and skeptical standpoints on having identified gravitational waves—we very likely saw it; no we didn’t; we probably did; no probably not—over all the observations do seem to provide a rational evidence for the beat of gravitational waves from the dawning cosmos, supporting the occurrence of inflation.

Here is the entertaining part. Methodical measurements suggest that this abrupt unfurling of the cosmos was rapider that the speed of the light itself. Truly intriguing: because the speed of light is the maximum attainable speed as per the well-credited Einstein’s special relativity. As delightful as it is to relish, when comes to explaining such an oddity we are struck with the quandary of seeing the space-time to have momentarily broken the rule by which it itself flows. From special relativity we know that the time dilates to accommodate speed, but in an instance of a speed surpassing the light how do we see the time as a part of space, in the usual texture of space-time?

In justifying a speed faster than that of light, where time still permeates the texture, we probably have just one way of seeing the picture—An order where the space-time doesn’t flow but manifests as discrete units. This is not something entirely new I am referring to here. It is suggested in Einstein’s special relativity that the speed of light is constant for all observers, and this basically means that two objects approaching with different speeds would both be seen at once—not the one with the higher velocity first. Thus, when it comes to the light-speed the space-time arena manifests. For velocities within the light-speed the time shifts—the higher the speed the lower the ticking of the time. In a possible event of surpassing light-speed the flow halts, and the manifestation transpires. In all the scenarios though, the time is indeed valued to be inextricably blended with the space.

Besides figuring out the dilemma of how exactly the inflation came about, the idea of inflation itself is truly insightful, and as stated above it does iron out two of the deepest mysteries of the cosmic plane: one that the universe is flat on all sides we see. But the cosmic structure appearing flat doesn’t necessarily mean it is flat. The geometrical appearance is a matter of perception. Encountering an object is an advent of electromagnetic radiation from that object impinging the eye, which doesn’t impart much information on how the space itself is structured. We can surely assign closeness and farness to an object but cannot refer with certainty whether the space-time is flat or infinitely curved, or even permanently shapeless.


Second is the isotropy. The universe being isotropic is the strongest evidence in the support of inflation. In fact the conception of inflation was contrived by Alan Guth for the need to explain the mystery of cosmic isotropy.

The cosmic isotropy that is supported by inflation, on the other hand, signifies the continuum of a single overarching tapestry from the initiation, billions of years ago, to our vision.

The full-length reality entails that the cosmic plane and quantum décor, Newtonian mechanics, Einstein relativities and particle fields all harmonize to announce a single continuum. And the   inflation once again gives us a way to see the metamorphosis of the minute quantum fluctuation to a gigantic gravitational wave—where seeing the unification of quantum and cosmic planes becomes conceivable.

But in the above schematic there is a slight glitch, which is to justify the continuum of the palpating “multiverse” that we make out from purely quantum studies. To overcome this perplexity it is proposed that different regions of the universe experienced their own separate growth (or inflation)—what we glance at is just one of those regions.

Seeing the cosmic and quantum structures as one field involves the principles of Einstein’s relativities, quantum field and how we perceive the universe directly, but I will end this post here, and leave the matter for the coming ones.

I will be back shortly.


The Nature of Reality

Hello everyone,

            After a lot of withholding, ambivalence, and hope to be able to do without, here I am to start this blog on the refreshing topic (you guessed it right)—envisioning the ultimate landscape, not just philosophically, but in the window of science.

            Here I will be writing regularly on subjects that directly either point to the ultimate flow of space-time or help us understand “our” positioning in the vast (if it is) landscape of cosmos. Until the proper flow gears up, please take time to visit the website “magnifieduniverse” to get a general idea of this effort, and please feel free to drop me a comment or two.

            Initiating a blog is a daring act, especially for a person like me, who until now has only procrastinated to start one, not tested the waters, and importantly dazzled by the fully equipped, creative and fancy blogs, already flaring on the topics of our quest to understand the ultimate nature. Here I am talking mostly about the efforts made on scientific fronts (at least that’s what I am currently familiar with).

            The theme of this site is substantially different. For here we take sturdy inputs from all fields, be it classical physics, quantum mechanics, theoretical models, conceptual layouts, mathematical formulations, the role of our own perceptivities, or philosophical notions, as far as they provide a justly guidance in seeing a full order.

            For now, a few posts below will massage our imaginations.

Thanks and I look forward to our discussions.


The Whole of it in One Single Sweep

“Many researchers believe that physics will not be complete until it can explain not just the behavior of space and time, but where these entities come from”

             is a gripping thought at the start of an article on space-time appeared in the Nature magazine last year. I fully enjoyed the article, which indeed conveyed in fine detail the overall progress made in physics in our quest to envision the absolute nature. While brilliant theories (some of them I hope to discuss later on) address sharp ways to see the structure and flow of space-time, figuring out an origin would be an entirely different undertaking, and perhaps the most difficult one.

                In a broad sense, the current state of physics knowledge point to an infinitely curved space-time where matter was infinitely condensed (about a billionth the size of a subatomic particle)—referred to as “gravitational singularity”—to be a beginning point from which the universe expanded. The obvious question ensues. Where from this surpassingly dense material emerge? Whereas, overall, we have a crisp picture of how matter evolved through the physical forces into the enormously expanded universe we see today (the depiction included below), tracing it back our interpretive theories only culminate into this very “point.”


                    Can the information be interpreted in such a way that there aren’t major lacunae left behind, and we can see a rational picture?

Are We Able to Picture It?

               Equally potent in the physical models of the universe is the question of the emergence of consciousness—at what point and how? Surely the programming of how perceptivities emerge is a part of space-time evolution. We aren’t here independent of the universe. We have evolved from within the universal structure. The question of consciousness seems to be biological, but it isn’t just about the functionality of brain. It brings forth the most hidden of all curiosity: Who are we?

And whatever that is, it should be the element in not only the unfolding of the universe but also the prodigious expansion that we are observing in the universe today.


                One of the major obstacles that currently looms is of bringing all the forces into a single theoretical framework. Universe works as a single entity. And there is a fair deal of advancements seen, but mostly they come with clear pitfalls hovering in the plot.

                   How is it possible to construct an all encompassing scheme without accounting every element that reside in the universe—at least the ones we are certain about? And this includes dots of “perception” in the same whole-hog tapestry. May be it is OK to not include the unfurling of “consciousness,” but at least we should be able to pin down its definition first, so that we know where it positions in the all encompassing arena.

The Mathematical Truth

                Mathematics portraying reality isn’t a new insight. We have been sensing it ever since the preliminary structure of mathematics, and their formulations, appeared. Over time, as the language of mathematics evolved, the understanding that mathematics reflects the reality of universe immensely sharpened. From its practical utilities to its guidance in formulating the reality of space-time, the representations of mathematics seem to pitch the most accurate information about our universe, many of which we hadn’t have known if we hadn’t accustomed ourselves with the mathematical tone. That is why the prevailing notion: “Mathematics is a language that is discovered rather than invented.”

                The idea of mathematics depicting truth doesn’t point to the counts appearing in everyday life and universal organization, or numerology. It plainly says this: The way mathematics arranges is identical to the way universe structures. This holds true, whether we talk of simple arithmetical depictions or complex algebraic formulations—the ones by which we have learned some of the hidden meanings of the universe.

We can start out with messages at a very basic level:

The square and cube of a number imitate the 2-dimensionality and 3-dimensionality of the real world. The example of 3:


                Want to know how universe arranges itself in even higher dimensions—that current findings and theoretical models are pointing to—ask mathematics:


is one example.