Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The condition of Science

Though Mathematics and Physics are the most enrich and deeply developed fields, they are not getting prime attention from academia for many years. I thought that the situation is prevailing only in India, but it seems it has become a global epidemic. A Babe in the Universe is a blog by beautiful researcher L. Riofrio, working in the field of Cosmology. I initially thought that like many women she will be jelling with "life-is-a-saga-of-poetic-events" kind of attitude, but luckily that is not the case. Her blog is sincere approach towards disseminating knowledge of Cosmology in particular, and Physics in general. In one of her articles, Big Trouble in Little Particles, she has precisely pointed out the sorry state of affair between State and Physics:-
The world of particle physics is getting small indeed. The UK budget is caught between Northern Rock and Southern Iraq. On December 11 the UK announced withdrawal from the International Linear Collider. One week later December 18 the US budget was finally released. It ends funding for ILC and US participation in the ITER fusion project. Fermilab is hit particularly hard, having already spent much of its budget for the year. Possibilities include laying off staff and shutting down the lab for a time. There could be very little raison d'etre for Fermilab after the Tevatron shuts down in 2009.
Once I was explaining Binomial Theorem (in a way to prove some theorem), to a 100+ M.Tech class, it became as if I am ploughing mountain. The approach towards subject matter has become too methodical, and the guys coming out of undergraduate/graduate classes can have funny knowledge. I do not think that our courses in schools or colleges are too bad, rather somehow we are lacking the culture to respect education. Riofrio, UK has Fermilab (even if it is getting less budget), India does not have any such name. Though, yes, we are playing one IT-IT game. I do write programs, but I do not know what is the core competence level (in intellectual terms) people of this game has.

3 comments:

  1. Perhaps India should get an IEC Fusion Program started. It would be well within your means at the experimental level.

    Here are some links and info that you might find useful:

    Bussard Fusion Reactor
    Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion

    It has been funded:

    Bussard Fusion Reactor Funded

    The above reactor can burn Deuterium which is very abundant and produces lots of neutrons or it can burn a mixture of Hydrogen and abundant Boron 11 which does not.

    The implication of it is that we will know in 6 to 9 months if the small reactors of that design are feasible.

    If they are we could have fusion plants generating electricity in 10 years or less depending on how much we want to spend to compress the time frame. A much better investment than CO2 sequestration.

    BTW Bussard is not the only thing going on in IEC. There are a few government programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIT, the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana among others.

    The Japanese and Australians also have programs.

    If you want to get deeper into the technology visit:

    IEC Fusion Technology blog

    Start with the sidebar which has links to tutorials and other stuff.

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  2. It was quite a sexist comment "life is a poetic saga", Dear. You cant generalise one particular race like that.Displays ur attitude towards life as a whole.

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  3. @Anon -- Women indeed lack rigor in their approaches towards many a things. But many women are recognizing this fact, and things are changing gradually. If some body criticizes you (based on his observation across ranges), he may still think about your betterment.

    ReplyDelete