Friday, December 30, 2011

DON 2- Bloopered

Thanks to my friend Amith Gubbi, I stumbled upon this. I hope you will literally ROFL.

1. Malaysian jails have american orange jump suits and an international drug lord roams around ordering acid and other chemicals.He also gets the job as a Janitor(wow).

2. Malaysian jail authorities have a deep understanding of hindi(including prison guards).Now they are learning bhojpuri in case the movie "Malegaon ki donwa 2" releases starring Shatrughan "shotgun" Sinha

3.If Lara Dutta says "Mere is khoobsoorat chehre ke alawa mujhmein aur bhi khoob baatein hain" she means an item number and bringing Kunal Kapoor to Don towards the climax.

4. Only a mask separates Hrithik Roshan and Shahrukh Khan(Extra thumb,free of cost).

5. The only way you can blackmail and kidnap the Vice president of the DZB is by attending a charity fundraiser posing as a superstar(with an extra thumb of course).

6. Anyone begging outside some train station in Berlin can accurately describe the facial features of any passerby(He is being hired by the CBI).Interview is being conducted by Rajnikant. 

7. The receptionist at DZB will let anyone with an Interpol ID go up to their vice president.

8. You only need to put up a plastic paper with the required finger print on a scanner, the voice recognition can be done by Don's wristwatch.

9. Don's watch can also detonate bombs placed on walls and inside bags(TAG-HEUER is going to auction this watch at National Market).

10. Anyone can be recruited into Interpol, and that includes Roma and even DON temporarily(Kunal Kapoor is also a mastermind, instead he is never caught as he is busy romancing his german wife)

11. If Roma is nicknamed "Junglee Billi" then Don has to be some brand ka Kutta(upto u guys)

12. Billi will go with Don even if that requires asking a colleague from Interpol to stay back.

13. If Don gets injured Roma is the first one to tend. (In DON 3, an elaborate song sequence will be included)

14. If Roma doesnt shoot Don then Jabbar will shoot Roma.(WTH!!)

15. When DON tells Roma that he is a changed man, she immidiately believes him and a gooey background music follows indicating her feelings(Surprise surprise, no bullets are fired.Jabbar and Vardhan are waiting for some action I guess).

15. You always cut the red wire when diffusing a bomb(wtf!!!)

"Don Ke Screenplay aur direction main mistakes pakadna aasaan hi nahiin...bahut mumkin hain"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bad Times Ahead!!!!

           As I write this piece, I am very deeply pained. It is as if I am writing an obituary for a shining star, one that contributed to building Brand Bengaluru. Deep in RED, it was always, is the Fly Kingfisher(formerly Kingfisher Airlines). This luxury brand of flamboyant,extravagant domestic flyer's dream-liner, KF is now mired in a financial turbulence. KF owes its lender banks and fuel companies(HP in particular) an amount of 7000cr. INR.Whoop that's a very big amount. Hence are the concerns. And they are growing and so are the voices of the critics.
           So what went wrong. Didn't Dr. Vijay Mallya see the obvious downfall earlier. Lets take five and analyze the KF model first. When it was launched, like all other UB brands, KF was touted as a premier luxury airline. But at around the same time, there was a person who was quite literally the competition demolish-er. Venture capitalist and farmer Capt. G R Gopinath, who started the Deccan charter services, started Air Deccan and was a pioneer for low cost flying in India. KF ,however, had a good opening because Air India was quite literally the white elephant that it is today and Jet was still reeling from the after-effects of the Sahara Airlines buyout and in effect,the luxury flyer was disappointed with Air Deccan. Banks, seeing the initial success, pumped in more cash into the airlines and it was a win-win situation. In subsequent years, KF purchased Air Deccan, renamed it as Kingfisher Red, the low cost sibling of KF. It also meanwhile went international, ushered in a fleet of Airbus A380s and was the the first Indian airline to be given a 5-star rating by Skytrak. All was almost like a fairytale.
            But every script has its fair share of villains. In this case it was Crude Oil. The rising prices of crude oil, at almost $150 per barrel was a burden to even the common man. This also resulted in a sharp rise in Aviation Turbine Fuel. ATF prices are the main parameter in determining the total tax paid when a person travels by air. Along with this there was the problem of no powerful regulating authority apart from the DGCA. Also there was the inherent UB problem of overindulging in everything they do.
            The beans however were spilled during the Q4 financial results for fy11; Q4 results for FY11.
When ,realistically ,the airline sector was undergoing a crisis, KF registered an unusual profit. The nail in the coffin ,however ,was driven by Hindustan Petroleum ,which refused to supply fuel at a few airports across north India for non-payment of dues. There were even unconfirmed results of Taj-Sats refusing to supply food to KF at Bengaluru also.But KF went overboard still and launched 3 new international routes(new routes) until the bubble finally burst. From 19th october onwards, KF flights started to be grounded and even BP and IOCL refused to extend credit line to Mallya's flagging airline.

                     Views and expressions started to come in thick and fast in online as well as business circles. On  a lighter note, some tweeple suggested Mallya to relieve Deepika Padukone as the airline's brand ambassador.Everyone had a say, including our Prime Minister ,who even suggested a bail-out package for the enterprise ,when Mallya finally approached the government on 11th November for a bail-out. Clearly its wings were clipped and the opulence and the aura of airlines being a safe business venture was shattered. On 11th November 2011, KF had suffered an estimate loss of Rs. 1027cr and a mounting debt of Rs. 7507.08cr. KF stocks plummeted by 19% to an all time low.
                      The way ahead for KF is a difficult one. But the only viable solution around the horizon ,if KF were to survive, is the influx of Foreign Direct Investment. Stakeholders in the airlines, especially the lending banks will have to bear the brunt of their mistake for the time being and since a premier GOI bank is involved in this, the direct impact will be on the exchequer. As talks are still on and as days pass by ,I sincerely fear and pray that this does not go the way of Pan-Am, TWA or Alitalia. Hope Mr.Mallya finds a way to get out of this muddle. Till then, definitely, Bad Times Ahead!!!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Typical Mumbaikar

This one's ,with due credit to Aritra Saha, an ode to the place where I grew up , माझह मुंबई. Here it is;
1. You say "town" and expect everyone to know that this means south of Churchgate.

2 You speak in a dialect of Hindi called 'Bambaiya Hindi', which only Mumbaikars can understand.

3. Your door has more than three locks.

4. Rs 500 worth of groceries fit in one paper bag.

5. Train timings (9.27, 10.49 etc) are really important events of life.

6. You spend more time each month traveling than you spend at home.

7. You call an 8' x 10' clustered room a Hall.

8. You're paying Rs 10,000 for a 1 room flat, the size of walk-in closet and you think it's a "steal".

9. You have the following sets of friend: school friends, college friends, neighborhood friends, office friends and yes, train friends, a species unique only in Bombay.

10. Cabbies and bus conductors think you are from Mars if you call the roads by their Indian name, they are more familiar with Warden Road, Peddar Road, Altamount Road.

11. Stock market quotes are the only other thing besides cricket which you follow passionately.

12. The first thing that you read in the Times of India is the "Bombay Times" supplement.

13. You take fashion seriously. You're suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you.

14. Hookers, beggars and the homeless are invisible.

15. You compare Bombay to New York's Manhattan instead of any other cities of India.

16. The most frequently used part of your car is the horn.

17. You insist on calling CST as VT, and Sahar and Santacruz airports instead of Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

18. You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.

19. Your idea of personal space is no one actually standing on your toes.

20. Being truly alone makes you nervous.

21. You love wading through knee deep mucky water in the monsoons, and actually call it ''romantic".

22. Only in Bombay, you would get Chinese Dosa and Jain Chicken.

23. You always argue with Delhites that Mumbai is way better than Delhi

24. You still refer to the city as Bombay not Mumbai.

25. When you love bragging about the filmstars and cricketers you've seen

26. When most of your freinds have underworld connections

27. Every three months you look at your street and say "Why're the digging the road again?"

28. "Change" is "Chillar", "Ditching" is a "Kalti" and "Trouble" is "Jhol".

29. "Gheun Tak" is your life ideology.

30. You have been shoo'd away from Marine Drive at 3am by the cops because of an "Unlawful gathering of persons"

31. You actually pay for your rickshaws by the meter.

32. You actually think 30Rs for a Sada Dosa is pretty reasonable.

33. when you spent 6 hours of your day in school and another 3 hours in tuitions.

34. if you ever went to fashion street, got a pair of cheap jeans and had them tagged as a name brand.

35. if you played cricket matches against another building for 5 rupee bets.

36. if you lost tons of MRF rubber balls.

37. When u call cops; 'kaka' and they let u go if u show of your marathi speaking skills .

38. Amitabh Bachchan's house is a landmark.

39. You have been to Matheran or Mahabaleshwar during the summer vacations.

40. You see men (not gay apparently) holding hands and walking in the street.

41. The note to coin changing machine at Churchgate station is idolized.

42. During cricket season all the roads are blocked because people in the streets are looking at television screens in display windows.

43. Automatic vending machines have a sales person sitting next to it just to help you.

44. There are more movie tickets being sold in black than at the ticket office.

45. It takes longer to get off from your house to the station than from one end of Mumbai to another by train.

46. Every cab and rickshaw driver makes small talk with you,

47. You see a herd of people walking at four in the morning to Siddhi Vinayak temple.

48. 'Bun Maska' and 'Vada pav' is the staple diet of most collegians.

49. HORN OK PLEASE is written on every truck, tempo and heavy motor vehicle.

50. You cant drive for more than 10 mins without abusing someone.

Friday, January 21, 2011

How Proficient Are Indians In English?

Hello everyone. I hope all of you are looking forward to a great weekend. It will be interesting to see who all will catch Dhobi Ghat over the weekend or settle for the confines and luxuries of their home. Honestly, I had no plans of updating here till R-Day(26 Jan). But late last evening, something my dad saw on the road made it mandatory to hit the keys and spark of this debate; "How proficient are Indians in English?"

The announcement on a digital signboard on Victoria Road ( which I assume will spark this debate) said "AOVID ANIL KUMBLE CIRCLE TO MISSION ROAD DUE TO BWSSB WORK". In Bengaluru. Goodness Gracious!!!

The obvious error which our so called HI-TECH workers at the BBMP are oblivious to is that they do not know how to spell AVOID (AOVID here). A certain R K Narayan would have definitely had a heart attack (pun intended).The good folk of the town, who are in favor of making Kannada language compulsory from the primary schooling level ( well a novel concept and which might be essential) and those against it well, lets just say were ears and eyes shut to this brazen and unacceptable misuse of a language. Well it should serve as a wake up call.

Bengaluru (henceforth I urge everybody to shun the use of Bangalore) has been a harbinger of the new technological revolution of the last decade and is comparable to Silicon City,CA ; Shanghai and many more of the likes. Hence it also has been a place where medium of communication has primarily been English. But really has anyone stopped for a while and thought as to how proficient one is in this language? We just head to the drawing board when we want to write TOEFL to achieve our (U)States dreams or when we have to achieve bragging rights in front of someone else. A deeper research unearths that students in their undergraduate courses, use messaging
language in the exams.

Also, interesting to note is the number of bureaucrats, ministers and members of the democratic machinery use English. We have had many a misinterpretations and misconceptions due to some silly mistakes. It is always good to brush up our language skills. It is interesting to note the advocacy of certain people that, in inculcating the very nuances of this language, we are following the Westerners. Frankly, its no harm to have the best of both worlds, isn't it.  

I would, however, like to continue more about this topic only after hearing from all you people, as I feel the common opinion must be honored. I will also write about this in the future. This would be my cue for an update on R-Day.

English is a funny language; that explains why we park our car on the driveway and drive our car on the parkway.
Well lets see whether its funny or serious?

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Look Royal Challengers Bangalore

Hey everyone. Hope you have had a great new year. Well the second weekend was surely an eventful one in my life as this time around, I explored a place where it snows even during afternoon. And no its not the Himalayas but closer home, about 10 km from Bandipur. I will write about it on a later date. But back at one of Bengaluru's retreat I envy most, the ITC Royal Gardenia, the Player's Auction for the fourth season of the Indian Premier League took place. This was where two days of action, drama and pure team building tactics were brought to the fore by certain svelte beauties and a host of corporate brains. Being a native of Bengaluru there are no prizes for guessing that I fully support Royal Challengers Bangalore (Honestly I feel they should change the name to Royal Challengers Bengaluru). Here's their new look team. They have sure pulled some rabbits out of the hat;

Virat Kohli(Retention, Ind)
Daniel Vettori(Likely Captain, NZ)
Zaheer Khan(Ind)
Mohammed Kaif(Ind)
Saurabh Tiwary(Ind)
AB De Villiers(SA)
Abhimanyu Mithun(Ind)
Tillakaratne Dilshan(SL)
Dirk Nannes(Aus)
Cheteshwar Pujara(Ind)
Charl Langeveldt(SA)
Johan Van der Wath(SA)
Luke Pommersbach(Aus)
Nuwan Pradeep(SL)
Rilee Rossouw(SA)
Jonathan Vandiar(SA)

The uncapped Indian players are yet to be finalized at this point of time yet there are a few players whom I wish to see in RCB colours ; C M Gautam, Deepak Chahar, Murtuza Vahoora, Manish Pandey, S Arvind, Gaurav Dhiman, Amit Verma, C Ganapathy, Shadab Jakati, Aditya Sagar to name a few. Yet the core of the team will be the 16 players mentioned before.

One look at the team and we can identify that the RCB think tank are going in for a younger looking side which can give them sprint starts and provide death bowling supremacy. The fact that mentor Anil Kumble fiercely bid for and eventually claimed Daniel Vettori indicates to the fact that Jumbo sees in him a potential captain. The loss of Dale Steyn and Ross Taylor for sure will hurt their prospects even for that matter that of Jacques Kallis and Kevin Pietersen. Jonathan Vandiar could be a stable opener who can hold up one end while Dilshan and Co. can deliver the fireworks. Zak can be the bowling spearhead with the spin attack and the second seamers being called only as a rearguard measure. Fielding will definitely bolstered by Mohammed Kaif, Saurabh Tiwary and the likes.

On a grim note though, I certainly have a hunch that this could be another test team in the making. Firstly, we should keep in mind that only four foreign players can be inducted into the playing 11. This means that the crux of the playing 11 will be the Indians and honestly, we cannot expect the Indians to put their best efforts at the big stage. Also certain buys in the auction aren't quite justified. Cheteshwar Pujara, who is in the lineage of Rahul Dravid (We will miss the wall), is not a proven T20 performer (His KKR record speaks for itself). So are Aussie discard Pommrsbach and unheralded Pradeep. Also it will be interesting to see if Dilshan's indifferent form continues as he is expected to give a fiery start at the top of the innings.   

With a prayer on our lips and hope in our hearts let us hope that this time around, a repeat of the first season doesn't occur and look forward to an explosive IPL 4. But before, let us pray that there are no controversies, slapgates and scandals this time around for any of the 10 teams. Wishing each of the new reds godspeed and good luck.

Game for More, anyone? 

Friday, December 31, 2010


Hey there.Hope you ushered in 2011 in a grand manner. While the world was ushering 2011, I was constantly being pushed to the edge of my seat, not by a Francis Ford Coppola flick but by a branch of science called Quantum Physics. With due credit to Oracle Think Quest here's a beginners guide to this new age science ;

What is Quantum Physics?

Quantum physics is a branch of science that deals with discrete, indivisible units of energy called quanta as described by the Quantum Theory. There are five main ideas represented in Quantum Theory:
  1. Energy is not continuous, but comes in small but discrete units. 
  2. The elementary particles behave both like particles and like waves. 
  3. The movement of these particles is inherently random. 
  4. It is physically impossible to know both the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time. The more precisely one is known, the less precise the measurement of the other is.
  5. The atomic world is nothing like the world we live in. 
While at a glance this may seem like just another strange theory, it contains many clues as to the fundamental nature of the universe and is more important then even relativity in the grand scheme of things (if any one thing at that level could be said to be more important then anything else). Furthermore, it describes the nature of the universe as being much different then the world we see. As Niels Bohr said, "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."
Particle/Wave Duality
Particle/wave duality is perhaps the easiest way to get aquatinted with quantum theory because it shows, in a few simple experiments, how different the atomic world is from our world.
First let's set up a generic situation to avoid repetition. In the center of the experiment is a wall with two slits in it. To the right we have a detector. What exactly the detector is varies from experiment to experiment, but it's purpose stays the same: detect how many of whatever we are sending through the experiment reaches each point. To the left of the wall we have the originating point of whatever it is we are going to send through the experiment. That's the experiment: send something through two slits and see what happens. For simplicity, assume that nothing bounces off of the walls in funny patterns to mess up the experiment.

First try the experiment with bullets. Place a gun at the originating point and use a sandbar as the detector. First try covering one slit and see what happens. You get more bullets near the center of the slit and less as you get further away. When you cover the other slit, you see the same thing with respect to the other slit. Now open both slits. You get the sum of the result of opening each slit.  The most bullets are found in the middle of the two slits with less being found the further you get from the center.

Well, that was fun. Let's try it on something more interesting: water waves. Place a wave generator at the originating point and detect using a wave detector that measures the height of the waves that pass. Try it with one slit closed. You see a result just like that of the bullets. With the other slit closed the result is the same. Now try it with both slits open. Instead of getting the sum of the results of each slit being open, you see a wavy pattern ; in the center there is a wave greater then the sum of what appeared there each time only one slit was open. Next to that large wave was a wave much smaller then what appeared there during either of the two single slit runs. Then the pattern repeats; large wave, though not nearly as large as the center one, then small wave. This makes sense; in some places the waves reinforced each other creating a larger wave, in other places they canceled out. In the center there was the most overlap, and therefore the largest wave. In mathematical terms, instead of the resulting intensity being the sum of the squares of the heights of the waves, it is the square of the sum.

While the result was different from the bullets, there is still nothing unusual about it; everyone has seen this effect when the waves from two stones that are dropped into a lake in different places overlap. The difference between this experiment and the previous one is easily explained by saying that while the bullets each went through only one slit, the waves each went through both slits and were thus able to interfere with themselves.
Now try the experiment with electrons. Recall that electrons are negatively charged particles that make up the outer layers of the atom. Certainly they could only go through one slit at a time, so their pattern should look like that of the bullets, right? Let's find out. (NOTE: to actually perform this exact experiment would take detectors more advanced then any on earth at this time. However, the experiments have been done with neutron beams  and the results were the same as those presented here. A slightly different experiment was done to show that electrons would behave the same way . For reasons of familiarity, we speak of electrons here instead of neutrons.) Place an electron gun at the originating point and an electron detector in the detector place. First try opening only one slit, then just the other. The results are just like those of the bullets and the waves. Now open both slits. The result is just like the waves!

There must be some explanation. After all, an electron couldn't go through both slits. Instead of a continuous stream of electrons, let's turn the electron gun down so that at any one time only one electron is in the experiment. Now the electrons won't be able to cause trouble since there is no one else to interfere with. The result should now look like the bullets. But it doesn't!  It would seem that the electrons do go through both slits.
This is indeed a strange occurrence; we should watch them ourselves to make sure that this is indeed what is happening. So, we put a light behind the wall so that we can see a flash from the slit that the electron went through, or a flash from both slits if it went through both. Try the experiment again. As each electron passes through, there is a flash in only one of the two slits. So they do only go through one slit! But something else has happened too: the result now looks like the result of the bullets experiment!! 

Obviously the light is causing problems. Perhaps if we turned down the intensity of the light, we would be able to see them without disturbing them. When we try this, we notice first that the flashes we see are the same size. Also, some electrons now get by without being detected.  This is because light is not continuous but made up of particles called photons. Turning down the intensity only lowers the number of photons given out by the light source. The particles that flash in one slit or the other behave like the bullets, while those that go undetected behave like waves.Well, we are not about to be outsmarted by an electron, so instead of lowering the intensity of the light, why don't we lower the frequency. The lower the frequency the less the electron will be disturbed, so we can finally see what is actually going on. Lower the frequency slightly and try the experiment again. We see the bullet curve . After lowering it for a while, we finally see a curve that looks somewhat like that of the waves! There is one problem, though. Lowering the frequency of light is the same as increasing it's wavelength , and by the time the frequency of the light is low enough to detect the wave pattern the wavelength is longer then the distance between the slits so we can no longer see which slit the electron went through .
So have the electrons outsmarted us? Perhaps, but they have also taught us one of the most fundamental lessons in quantum physics - an observation is only valid in the context of the experiment in which it was performed . If you want to say that something behaves a certain way or even exists, you must give the context of this behavior or existence since in another context it may behave differently or not exist at all. We can't just say that an electron is a particle, since we have already seen proof that this is not always the case. We can only say that when we observe the electron in the two slit experiment it behaves like a particle. To see how it would behave under different conditions, we must perform a different experiment.

The Copenhagen Interpretation
So sometimes a particle acts like a particle and other times it acts like a wave. So which is it? According to Niels Bohr, who worked in Copenhagen when he presented what is now known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, the particle is what you measure it to be. When it looks like a particle, it is a particle. When it looks like a wave, it is a wave. Furthermore, it is meaningless to ascribe any properties or even existence to anything that has not been measured. Bohr is basically saying that nothing is real unless it is observed.
While there are many other interpretations of quantum physics, all based on the Copenhagen interpretation, the Copenhagen interpretation is by far the most widely used because it provides a "generic" interpretation that does not try to say any more then can be proven. Even so, the Copenhagen interpretation does have a flaw that we will discuss later. Still, since after 70 years no one has been able to come up with an interpretation that works better then the Copenhagen interpretation, that is the one we will use. We will discuss one of the alternatives later.
The Wave Function
In 1926, just weeks after several other physicists had published equations describing quantum physics in terms of matrices, Erwin Schrödinger created quantum equations based on wave mathematics , a mathematical system that corresponds to the world we know much more then the matrices. After the initial shock, first Schrödinger himself then others proved that the equations were mathematically equivalent . Bohr then invited Schrödinger to Copenhagen where they found that Schrödinger's waves were in fact nothing like real waves. For one thing, each particle that was being described as a wave required three dimensions . Even worse, from Schrödinger's point of view, particles still jumped from one quantum state to another; even expressed in terms of waves space was still not continuous. Upon discovering this, Schrödinger remarked to Bohr that "Had I known that we were not going to get rid of this damned quantum jumping, I never would have involved myself in this business." Unfortunately, even today people try to imagine the atomic world as being a bunch of classical waves. As Schrödinger found out, this could not be further from the truth. The atomic world is nothing like our world, no matter how much we try to pretend it is. In many ways, the success of Schrödinger's equations has prevented people from thinking more deeply about the true nature of the atomic world .
The Collapse of the Wave Function
So why bring up the wave function at all if it hampers full appreciation of the atomic world? For one thing, the equations are much more familiar to physicists, so Schrödinger's equations are used much more often then the others. Also, it turns out that Bohr liked the idea and used it in his Copenhagen interpretation. Remember our experiment with electrons? Each possible route that the electron could take, called a ghost, could be described by a wave function . As we shall see later, the "damned quantum jumping" insures that there are only a finite, though large, number of possible routes. When no one is watching, the electron take every possible route and therefore interferes with itself. However, when the electron is observed, it is forced to choose one path. Bohr called this the "collapse of the wave function". The probability that a certain path will be chosen when the wave function collapses is, essentially, the square of the path's wave function .Bohr reasoned that nature likes to keep it possibilities open, and therefore follows every possible path. Only when observed is nature forced to choose only one path, so only then is just one path taken .

The Uncertainty Principle
Wait a minute… probability??? If we are going to destroy the wave pattern by observing the experiment, then we should at least be able to determine exactly where the electron goes. Newton figured that much out back in the early eighteenth century; just observe the position and momentum of the electron as it leaves the electron gun and we can determine exactly where it goes.Well, fine. But how exactly are we to determine the position and the momentum of the electron? If we disturb the electrons just in seeing if they are there or not, how are we possibly going to determine both their position and momentum? Still, a clever enough person, say Albert Einstein, should be able to come up with something, right?Unfortunately not. Einstein did actually spend a good deal of his life trying to do just that and failed . Furthermore, it turns out that if it were possible to determine both the position and the momentum at the same time, Quantum Physics would collapse . Because of the latter, Werner Heisenberg proposed in 1925 that it is in fact physically impossible to do so. As he stated it in what now is called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, if you determine an object's position with uncertainty x, there must be an uncertainty in momentum, p, such that xp > h/4pi, where h is Planck's constant  (which we will discuss shortly). In other words, you can determine either the position or the momentum of an object as accurately as you like, but the act of doing so makes your measurement of the other property that much less. Human beings may someday build a device capable of transporting objects across the galaxy, but no one will ever be able to measure both the momentum and the position of an object at the same time. This applies not only to electrons but also to objects such as tennis balls and toasters, though for these objects the amount of uncertainty is so small compared to there size that it can safely be ignored under most circumstances.
The EPR Experiment
"God does not play dice" was Albert Einstein's reply to the Uncertainty Principle. Thus being his belief, he spent a good deal of his life after 1925 trying to determine both the position and the momentum of a particle. In 1935, Einstein and two other physicists, Podolski and Rosen, presented what is now known as the EPR paper in which they suggested a way to do just that. The idea is this: set up an interaction such that two particles are go off in opposite directions and do not interact with anything else. Wait until they are far apart, then measure the momentum of one and the position of the other. Because of conservation of momentum, you can determine the momentum of the particle not measured, so when you measure it's position you know both it's momentum and position . The only way quantum physics could be true is if the particles could communicate faster then the speed of light, which Einstein reasoned would be impossible because of his Theory of Relativity.In 1982, Alain Aspect, a French physicist, carried out the EPR experiment . He found that even if information needed to be communicated faster then light to prevent it, it was not possible to determine both the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time . This does not mean that it is possible to send a message faster then light, since viewing either one of the two particles gives no information about the other. It is only when both are seen that we find that quantum physics has agreed with the experiment. So does this mean relativity is wrong? No, it just means that the particles do not communicate by any means we know about. All we know is that every particle knows what every other particle it has ever interacted with is doing.
The Quantum and Planck's Constant
So what is that h that was so important in the Uncertainty Principle? Well, technically speaking, it's 6.63 X 10-34 joule-seconds . It's call Planck's constant after Max Planck who, in 1900, introduced it in the equation E=hv where E is the energy of each quantum of radiation and v is it's frequency. What this says is that energy is not continuous as everyone had assumed but only comes in certain finite sizes based on Planck's constant.
At first physicists thought that this was just a neat mathematical trick Planck used to explain experimental results that did not agree with classical physics. Then, in 1904, Einstein used this idea to explain certain properties of light--he said that light was in fact a particle with energy E=hv . After that the idea that energy isn't continuous was taken as a fact of nature - and with amazing results. There was now a reason why electrons were only found in certain energy levels around the nucleus of an atom . Ironically, Einstein gave quantum theory the push it needed to become the valid theory it is today, though he would spend the rest of his lift trying to prove that it was not a true description of nature.Also, by combining Planck's constant, the constant of gravity, and the speed of light, it is possible to create a quantum of length (about 10-35 meter) and a quantum of time (about 10-43 sec), called, respectively, Planck's length and Planck's time . While saying that energy is not continuous might not be too startling to the average person, since what we commonly think of as energy is not all that well defined anyway, it is startling to say that there are quantities of space and time that cannot be broken up into smaller pieces. Yet it is exactly this that gives nature a finite number of routes to take when an electron interferes with itself.
Although it may seem like the idea that energy is quantized is a minor part of quantum physics when compared with ghost electrons and the uncertainty principle, it really is a fundamental statement about nature that caused everything else we've talked about to be discovered. And it is always true. In the strange world of the atom, anything that can be taken for granted is a major step towards an "atomic world view".
Schrödinger's Cat
Remember a while ago I said there was a problem with the Copenhagen interpretation? Well, you now know enough of what quantum physics is to be able to discuss what it isn't, and by far the biggest thing it isn't is complete. Sure, the math seems to be complete, but the theory includes absolutely nothing that would tie the math to any physical reality we could imagine. Furthermore, quantum physics leaves us with a rather large open question: what is reality? The Copenhagen interpretation attempts to solve this problem by saying that reality is what is measured. However, the measuring device itself is then not real until it is measured. The problem, which is known as the measurement problem, is when does the cycle stop?
Remember that when we last left Schrödinger he was muttering about the "damned quantum jumping." He never did get used to quantum physics, but, unlike Einstein, he was able to come up with a very real demonstration of just how incomplete the physical view of our world given by quantum physics really is. Imagine a box in which there is a radioactive source, a Geiger counter (or anything that records the presence of radioactive particles), a bottle of cyanide, and a cat. The detector is turned on for just long enough that there is a fifty-fifty chance that the radioactive material will decay. If the material does decay, the Geiger counter detects the particle and crushes the bottle of cyanide, killing the cat. If the material does not decay, the cat lives. To us outside the box, the time of detection is when the box is open. At that point, the wave function collapses and the cat either dies or lives. However, until the box is opened, the cat is both dead and alive .On one hand, the cat itself could be considered the detector; it's presence is enough to collapse the wave function . But in that case, would the presence of a rat be enough? Or an ameba? Where is the line drawn? On the other hand, what if you replace the cat with a human (named "Wigner's friend" after Eugene Wigner, the physicist who developed many derivations of the Schrödinger's cat experiment). The human is certainly able to collapse the wave function, yet to us outside the box the measurement is not taken until the box is opened . If we try to develop some sort of "quantum relativity" where each individual has his own view of the world, then what is to prevent the world from getting "out of sync" between observers?
While there are many different interpretations that solve the problem of Schrödinger’s Cat, one of which we will discuss shortly, none of them are satisfactory enough to have convinced a majority of physicists that the consequences of these interpretation s are better then the half dead cat. Furthermore, while these interpretations do prevent a half dead cat, they do not solve the underlying measurement problem. Until a better intrepretation surfaces, we are left with the Copenhagen interpretation and it's half dead cat. We can certainly understand how Schrödinger feels when he says, "I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it." Yet the problem doesn't go away; it is just left for the great thinkers of tomorrow.
The Infinity Problem
There is one last problem that we will discuss before moving on to the alternative interpretation. Unlike the others, this problem lies primarily in the mathematics of a certain part of quantum physics called quantum electrodynamics, or QED. This branch of quantum physics explains the electromagnetic interaction in quantum terms. The problem is, when you add the interaction particles and try to solve Schrödinger's wave equation, you get an electron with infinite mass, infinite energy, and infinite charge. There is no way to get rid of the infinities using valid mathematics, so, the theorists simply divide infinity by infinity and get whatever result the guys in the lab say the mass, energy, and charge should be. Even fudging the math, the other results of QED are so powerful that most physicists ignore the infinities and use the theory anyway . As Paul Dirac, who was one of the physicists who published quantum equations before Schrödinger, said, "Sensible mathematics involves neglecting a quantity when it turns out to be small - not neglecting it just because it is infinitely great and you do not want it!".
Many Worlds
One other interpretation, presented first by Hugh Everett III in 1957, is the many worlds or branching universe interpretation. In this theory, whenever a measurement takes place, the entire universe divides as many times as there are possible outcomes of the measurement. All universes are identical except for the outcome of that measurement . Unlike the science fiction view of "parallel universes", it is not possible for any of these worlds to interact with each other .
While this creates an unthinkable number of different worlds, it does solve the problem of Schrödinger's cat. Instead of one cat, we now have two; one is dead, the other alive. However, it has still not solved the measurement problem ! If the universe split every time there was more then one possibility, then we would not see the interference pattern in the electron experiment. So when does it split? No alternative interpretation has yet answered this question in a satisfactory way. And so the search continues…

Hugh Everett's many worlds interpretation has been used as the basis for Michael Crichton's edge of seat thriller "Timeline". I had the privilege to be shocked and surprised by this novel. So I thought I should share this experience. But had to first brief you a bit about Quantum Physics in general terms. So this article was the best ready reckoner available.

Hence, wishing you a thought provoking experience which will set the tone for this year. 

Happy New Year

Well, an opportune moment if you have created your blog at the stroke of 1-1-11(well not exactly).
 But it does give you a sense of moving a step forward. Before i move on to post anything else, here are my 11 resolutions for 2011:

1. Reduce my weight further.
2. Read more novels.
3. Frequently update this blog.
4. Learn Cooking( This is in contrary to 1)
5. Hike up a mountain.
6. Learn to ride a Royal Enfield properly.
7. Think properly about my future.
8. Follow 1 properly.
9. Make sure 4 is accomplished.
10. Attend college properly( This should be of top priority).
11. One for keepsakes' though.

So cya all in 2011. Hope you enjoy reading my blogs.
Bye & happy new year.