Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Physics in IRL

Originally a facebook status update of mine.


My first try at applying classroom physics to a practical situation.

I was sitting on my desk(at home), taking a break from calculating the time that a ball thrown by some guy takes to reach maximum height and the range that it would cover horizontally. I looked outside the window at the drizzle. I spotted water drops falling from a pipe on the terrace onto the ground. "Lo behold!" I thought, "Let's calculate the height of my house." Using the pen as a bookmark, I closed the book. Pushed it aside with the textbook and gathered my watch, a pen and a book in which I planned to jot down the readings. I remembered doing a similar problem at college.

Taking my stop-watch, I measured the time difference between two successive rain drops falling onto the ground. After a few observations, I found it to be 0.6 seconds. I kept my watch aside and tried to insert the formula's into one of the kinematic equations. I got the answer something along the lines of 3m. It didn't feel right. I wondered as to what went wrong or why I was getting inconsistent values. I assumed it was some observation error so I took the measurements again. As I said, I wanted to do it a bit differently to see if I'd get the same answer. This time, I looked up and calculated the time that one drop took to reach the ground from the pipe. I measured it and the reading said "1.00" and I was like, "This cannot be happening. I got a 0.6 previously. Why am I getting such a big difference?" I measured again and this time, I got a "1.03s" and the next time, I got a "1.05s". While I didn't understand the discrepancy then, later, I realized that in the first case, in trying to reduce my work by measuring something simpler, I had instead measured something else. Instead of measuring the time that a drop takes to fall to the ground from the pipe, I had accidentally measured the time interval between two drops in being released by the pipe."

Now that I got my values, I substituted them and found out that the height of my house was 4.93m and I was like "That cannot be true. This building looks so tall, how can it be just 5m." but the scientific Adarsh inside me said "Physic's can't be wrong." I replied "But if I take wrong values, it can be misleading." S.A. replied "Did you?" I managed a "uh....I don't think so. No." Then the answer's simple, "your house is 4.93 m tall or 16.17 feet tall approx."

## Come to think of it, I could have managed to make this calculation more efficient by taking the average time that drops take to fall onto the ground from the pipe. I had instead calculated it drop by drop and then taken the average.

Anyway, that was actually fun.

......Another idea just hit me...Be right back..Oh wait, it's night already?


I soon got a comment telling me that the drop would attain terminal velocity and that I'd need to modify my equation a bit to get to the right answer. Well, maybe I'll get back to this one day once I get an idea of what terminal velocity is.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Why are parallel universes uncountable?

Before you start reading what’s below, I hope you have a basic understanding of what a parallel universe is. If not, I’m afraid it won’t make much sense to you….

To count the number of parallel universes out there is just like infinity. You cannot simply fathom it. It is bigger than anything that you can imagine. You might still be skeptical and ask me for a better explanation. Well, okay, I’ll give it to you. I’ll be writing about myself but, just extrapolate those into 7 billion people and you’ll get a number unimaginably large. Enough with the hype, let’s get started.

            In a parallel universe (IAPU), I would have started writing this an hour ago when the idea struck me first. In yet another parallel universe, I would have been too lazy to write this. IYAPU, I would have started writing this but quarter way through, I’d have been displeased by my efforts and scratch the entire thing. IYAPU, I would get halfway through before doing that. IYAPU, I would write the complete post and then not post it. That same parallel universe branches into 2 or more. I would have posted it in the night. In another, I would have posted it 2 days later. In another, I would have posted it 3 days later…And so on. In another, I would have stumbled onto this post 10 years later and then post it. Now, even each of those parallel universes can further branch up. After I post it in the night, I’ll go for a walk in a parallel universe. IYAPU, I wouldn’t go for a walk but stay in my house. IYAPU, an asteroid would hit a plain piece of ground 10 miles away disrupting my internet communication. IYAPU, the asteroid would hit my house. In another parallel universe, while writing the previous two sentences, I would have realized that the correct term to use is ‘meteorite’ but leave it like that. IYAPU, I would have corrected it. IYAPU, I would survive the asteroid (I mean, meteorite) crash. In a parallel universe, my room would be sound proof and I wouldn’t hear my dog barking. IYAPU, the IPL final would have been today. IYAPU, I would have been the youngest player playing in the history of IPL. IYAPU, I would have been born in any of the other 180 countries. That’s 180 parallel universes right there. In each of those parallel universes, any of the above, if true would be unique. That’d be like 180*x. But hey, can we not think of infinite things that could have happened in this universe but didn’t? For example, (1) In this universe, I wrote 1 in those brackets. In some other universe, I’d have written 2, in some other 3, in some other, 4. And so on. You have infinite parallel universes right there. So, even if I had lived the same exact life until the moment I had written that previous statement, my life could still have branched into an infinite number of parallel universes. No matter how insignificant, it’s a change and hence it’s a parallel universe.

Now, take a second and think about it.

Even if I had lived the same life until that very moment, something as small as a number in a bracket would be enough to cause an infinite parallel universes to be born. But then there’s no hard and fast rule that I would live the same exact life until I was sixteen. Maybe, if I had to make a decision between 2 things when I was ten, something as simple as whether I should go to school that day or not. We’d have twice the number of infinite universes. Since in one, I’d go to school but still write those infinite numbers in brackets but in another, I would not go to school but still write those  infinite numbers in a bracket. 

Now think of how many decisions we make each day. No, not even decision, every action counts. You looked into the mirror in the morning today? In a parallel universe, you’d be too lazy to look into it. IYAPU, you would be too busy to look into it. IYAPU, you would not have a mirror to look into. I could go on.
If something as insignificant as looking into a mirror can cause around a 100 different scenarios. Think of how many typing a key into your keyboard can have. Your 3rd finger on your left hand clicked on the letter ‘C’ at 6:45 pm. Well, in a parallel universe, you’d have hit the letter D. In another Q, in another W. And so on.
That’s like infinity times infinity.

Now think, I was just talking about myself today. What about the remaining 6,234,121,123 people on this planet? And who said only humans should be counted? Why not animals also? Did you know that the weight of all ants on earth exceeds a trillion kg? Each ant weighs less than a 10th of a kilo. So, that means there are atleast1,000,000,000,000 number of ants on this Earth. Each action of any single ant in those hundred trillion is enough to cause an infinite parallel universes to be formed.

That, that, is what I meant when I said counting the number of parallel universes is not possible.

Keep thinking.

(PS : On a side note, infinity times infinity times……(infinite times) *infinity is still infinity. )

If you're interested, here's a link -> Lecture 3|The Big Questions|Nicholas DiBella

IAPU, I would’ve started writing this post an hour ago when I got the idea.
IAPU, I would have had an IQ touching 100
IAPU, I would not have started blogging
IAPU, the fan rotating above me would unhinge and fall, slicing my head and killing me.
IAPU, my laptop’s battery would not be so crappy
IAPU, my desk would have just my laptop and not be as cluttered as it is now
IAPU, I wouldn’t have been such a book-worm.
IAPU, I would be out there enjoying the evening instead of sitting in my room and writing this.
IAPU, I would have gotten into MUWCI.
IAPU, I would have been a musician.
IAPU, I would not have a laptop.
IAPU, you wouldn’t be reading this.
IAPU, I’d be typing this from some rural village in India.

…IAPU, I wouldn’t be so… (add anything here)

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I’ve been spending a lot of time on Reddit for the past few days.

For those of you who do not know what Reddit is – It is basically a site where users post links about what’s new on the web. That was what it started of atleast. Today, you find redditors sharing their inspirational, funny or plain random stories on it.
Sharing links sounds boring, you might say. That’s exactly what I first thought as well. After spending some time on it, I found out that it was much much more than just links.

Making an account on reddit takes just about 5 seconds. All you have to do is enter your username and password. That’s it, no e-mail (unless you want to give it), no name, no nothing. So, I suggest you make an account there and check it out.

Google used to be homepage sometime ago. Until I shifted to firefox where I was greeted with a empty tab. I found that visually displeasing so, I again made google my homepage. After some time, I got bored with it. It was only on some days that I was greeted by a google doodle. On all the other days, all I got was Google’s original logo with an empty search bar. I wanted to liven up my homepage. So, I set as my homepage. I thought that maybe it’ll help me read scientific/interesting stuff. But after a month, I found out that I hardly even used it. I would just close it after some time after just reading the title. I tried changing it to StumbleUpon, blogger, AoPS etc. but to no avail. The same thing just repeated itself and I hardly even glanced at them. Well, now that I’ve found reddit, I made it my homepage and voila. Suddenly, there’s so much information everywhere. Reddit as my homepage is one idea that actually clicked.

Reddit is very informative, it’s members are on the higher side of the 100 on the IQ scale and none of my friends are on it. :P

Reddit also has this system in which you earn karma for submitting good links (which get upvotes) or if your comments get upvotes. Currently, my link and comment karma is pathetic but, I’m just finding my bearings. It’s an art form, you know.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve wanted to say for this post.

Until next time,


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Delta's ISEET Reasoning class

Here's a incomplete list of things that I've learned over the past 12 days as a result of going to an ISEET reasoning class. I'll update it later....

-          0.99999….. = 1 ->  I’ve seen the proof of this so many times but I always thought it was just some math joke. Turns out it isn’t and that 0.999… is indeed equal to 1.

-          Zeno’s Dichotomy paradox -> This paradox says that in order to cover a distance of ‘x’, you first have to cover a distance of x/2. But in order to cover a distance of x/2, you need to cover a distance of x/4 but hey, in order to cover a distance of x/4, you need to cover a distance of x/8 and that just goes on and on and on. So that means, there is a infinite number of distances that you need to cover before you can cover that distance but hey, that isn’t true in reality is it?   I was planning on proving Zeno wrong with a series of questions but I never really got down to putting it on paper and I’m not sure if I even remember them now. Anyway, the teacher told us the answer to that paradox the next day. Look it up on Wikipedia.

-          Truth tables -> When we were being taught this topic, I was like “What the hell is he talking about?” It didn’t make much sense at that moment but I think it makes a teenie meenie bit more sense now.

-          I’m a big fan of automating my work using a computer. So, while I was working out some of the reasoning problems which included paragraphs and we had to choose the option that most likely resembled the paragraph, I realized that computers couldn’t reason. I mean, while reading the paragraph, our mind can infer something but the computer just works on some specific protocols and hence cannot reason if something new appears in its way. It was at that moment that humans earned some respect from me. (Of course, artificial intelligence might be able to do that but it hasn’t really been optimized yet. The day it happens, I’ll edit this post okay?)

-          Set theory isn’t as bad as I thought it to be. It might get monotonous and boring sometimes but at the end of the day, it makes you think.

-          I also learned a bit about Limits and sequences.

-          Functions. *Yawn* Functions have always bothered me. Mainly because I’m not that big a fan of co-ordinate geometry and cannot be bothered to remember all the equations of straight lines and all. It wasn’t any different this time around. I tried my best to try to understand what the teacher was talking about and all I got was flickers of understanding. I really need to step my game on this one.

Even speaking of functions makes me feel sleepy. *Yawn*

I’ll continue this post sometime later.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 3, 2012


RIP Project D.I.S

So much for the hype :P

Oh yeah, by the way, I cleared the cut-off in 3 of those examinations (Though I doubt Krishna Murthy had any cut-off because it seemed like they selected everybody they could.). But I've decided to go ahead with Delta only because it seemed a lot better from the remaining from my perspective.

There's some other stuff that I'll be doing but I'll postpone that to a later date.

Until next time.