DAE-HEP 2018 – Preons, Fermions and All That

The 23th DAE-BRNS High Energy Physics Symposium was held at IIT Madras from Dec 10 – Dec 14. It was an interesting event. I met lots of very smart people. My abstract based on my paper had been selected for a talk in the “Formal Theory” parallel session on Dec 11. Interestingly the talk preceding… Continue reading DAE-HEP 2018 – Preons, Fermions and All That


Zotero vs Mendeley

There are two nice reference management apps out there with desktop and web versions: Mendeley and Zotero. Zotero is apparently the original open source version from which the developers of Mendeley decided to develop a more commercial version, which was eventually taken over by Elsevier. Mendeley is the more polished, functional and useful software. So… Continue reading Zotero vs Mendeley


Shoucheng Zhang, 1963-2018

In Memoriam I never had the good fortune of meeting or personally knowing Shoucheng Zhang. Nevertheless he has had a profound influence on my academic career. As the world learned sometime last week, Zhang passed away suddenly on December 1 “after fighting a battle with depression” 1. He was one of the world’s greatest theoretical… Continue reading Shoucheng Zhang, 1963-2018

Blogging · General · Research

Social Relevance of Quantum Gravity

Other 1 than all the other very good theoretical reasons for wanting a theory of quantum gravity, there are some very good practical reasons for wanting such a theory. Ultimately the fate of scientists, theorists and experimentalists alike, rests in the hands of the general public and its elected or appointed political representatives. Why, after… Continue reading Social Relevance of Quantum Gravity


The Planck Scale May Be Closer Than It Appears

Objects in the rearview mirror may be closer than they seem. This statutory warning is familiar to anyone who has ever ridden in a passenger vehicle. Its intent is to warn the driver and the passengers to beĀ careful while backing up in case the car collides with something which is closer than it actually seemsĀ in… Continue reading The Planck Scale May Be Closer Than It Appears


Euler’s Homogenous Function Theorem

Homogenous Functions A homogenous function of order $n$ satisfies: $$ f(\lambda x_1, \lambda x_2, \ldots, \lambda x_m) =\lambda^n f(x_1, x_2, \ldots, x_m) $$ For e.g. $$ f(x,y) = \sqrt{x} y^2 $$ is homogenous of order $n = 3/2$ . However: $$ f(x,y) = \sqrt x y^2 + x^2 y^2 $$ is not a homogenous function… Continue reading Euler’s Homogenous Function Theorem


Euler’s Theorem and the Smarr Relation

The area of a charged rotating (Kerr) black hole is given by \begin{equation} \label{eqn:kerr-area-relation} A = 4\pi \left[ 2 M^2 + 2 (M^4 – L^2 – M^2 Q^2)^{1/2} – Q^2 \right] \end{equation} This relation can be inverted to express the mass $M$ as a function of charge $Q$, area $A$ and angular momentum $L$: \begin{equation}… Continue reading Euler’s Theorem and the Smarr Relation


Plugins for Migrating WordPress Installations

For anybody who manages a wordpress installation, a question that inevitably arises at some point or another is how to migrate their site from one hosting provider to another. Ideally, any such migration tool should have the following capabilities: Allow backup files of a reasonable size say 512 MB or 1 GB for free Allow… Continue reading Plugins for Migrating WordPress Installations


How to kill a great platform

There are few things in life more disappointing than watching a beautifully crafted, socially responsible, disruptive technology platform self-destruct from the inside out. With the launch of the so-called “web-extensions” versions of Mozilla Firefox – which now extends to the once reliable ESR (Extended Support Releases) branch – Mozilla has destroyed much of the appeal… Continue reading How to kill a great platform