‘Current Science’ -Science Journal

 

How will you feel when you lay your hands on a priceless treasure? This is a treasure which you were not aware even existed in this form and shape. Though you have been benefiting from it and is an integral part of your daily lives. Seems unbelievable right!

I happened to serependitiously stumble on one such treasure house recently.

One common gripe against Indian science is the lack of documentation and record-keeping. Proper documentation does help in spreading the interest in the subject even in an amateur follower of the subject. 

Indian students have learnt the routine drill about Indian scientists in their science textbooks — The Raman effect, Dr.Homi Bhabha, Meghnad Saha etc etc. Not much literature is commonly available on their thoughts on scientific subjects in their own words.

There is an interdisciplinary science journal published every fortnight,since 1932, by the Indian Academy of Sciences which has been serving as a medium for communication and discussion of important issues that concern science and scientific activities.

This journal consists of articles written by these eminent scientists in a relatively simple language which can be understood by the common man and it serves as a record-keeper of important events as they took place in the timeline of history.

The URL where this journal (including all archives) can be accessed is http://www.currentscience.ac.in.

The Presidential address of all the Indian Science Congresses from 1933 onwards can be accessed.

A couple of the topics which are covered in this journal are listed below just to give you a flavour of the topics covered:

1) Development of Pharmaceutical Industry in India ( Oct’32)

2) Future of Electrical Development in India ( Jun’35)

3) Notes on the Electric Railways in Bombay and Madras (Mar’33) ( The Bombay section was electrified in 1925 and the Madras section was electrified in 1931).

All these articles are written in conversational English without sacrificing the technical aspect of the subject.Another important aspect is that you read about the topics as they occurred ( e.g. read about atomic energy in the August’45 edition). This ensures the topicality of the event as they occurred without the burden of retrospective hindsight which an article on the same subject will have if written today.

This is one website which is recommended for amateur as well as serious enthusiasts of science and scientific communication.

Happy treasure-hunting!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pi Day

14th of March is celebrated as Pi Day by many countries including the USA. In India, since we use the ddmmyyyy format for writing the date and month, the 22nd of July is also celebrated as Pi day ( Pi = 22/7 = 3.14….).

Coincidentally the 14th of March is also the birth anniversary of Albert Einstein.

The celebration of specific days  dedicated to specific events or number in this instance, serve to remind us of the importance of the same in our lives.

Pi, is defined as the ratio of the circumference of the circle to the diameter of the circle.The commonly used numerical value,3.14, to denote Pi is only an approximate value and it is already twelve trillion digits long and more digits are still being added to it.

Calculating the value to this accuracy is also a tough task. The details of the hardware used to calculate the same is provided below:

60.2 TB of disk was needed to perform the calculation

9.20 TB of disk space was required to store the output

It took 94 days to perform this computation( details provided in the following link : http://www.numberworld.org/misc_runs/pi-12t/)

Calculating at school is definitely much easier than this gargantuan task!!