POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 29, 2014 AT 23:08 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 29, 2014 04:08 IST

It seemed like a feelgood story from a Mumbai film.

Arun P. Vijayakumar, 27, a native of Manimala in Kottayam district of Kerala, had been making headlines since 2012.

This former student and Lecturer of College of Engineering, Poonjar under the Institute of Human Resources Development (IHRD) in Thiruvananthapuram, Malayalam media reported in August 2012, had been accepted by NASA, the American space organisation, as a research scientist.

He had also been admitted simultaneously for a doctoral thesis by the famous scientist Barbara Liskov, faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the stories went.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 29, 2014 AT 23:08 IST, Edited At: Oct 29, 2014 04:08 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 28, 2014 AT 23:02 IST ,  Edited At: Oct 28, 2014 23:02 IST

It was reported briefly earlier, but here's the video and the transcript made available by the Prime Minister's Office itself of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech after inaugurating the refurbished and partly newly built H N Reliance Foundation Mumbai on Saturday, October 25, 2014:

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Oct 28, 2014 AT 23:02 IST, Edited At: Oct 28, 2014 23:02 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Aug 06, 2014 AT 01:28 IST ,  Edited At: Aug 06, 2014 01:28 IST

Or how a camera could prove to be a recorder. Larry Hardesty reports for MIT News Office:

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FILED IN:  Science & Technology
POSTED BY Buzz ON Aug 06, 2014 AT 01:28 IST, Edited At: Aug 06, 2014 01:28 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 25, 2014 AT 23:58 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 25, 2014 23:58 IST

Sri Dinanath Batra, the convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, is not a stranger to these pages. Be it campaigning against A.K. Ramanujan’s seminal essay on the Ramayana or, more recently having shot into the limelight for ensuring the pulping of Wendy Doniger's book on Hinduism, or for sending off legal notices to various publishers to desist from publishing things that he considers not quite kosher.

It now turns out that while the Lok Sabha election campaigning was still in full swing, on March 4, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama released a set of nine books by Shri Batra to be introduced in Gujarat schools as part of the curriculum’s “supplementary literature”.

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POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 25, 2014 AT 23:58 IST, Edited At: Jul 25, 2014 23:58 IST
POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 04, 2012 AT 14:07 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 04, 2012 21:07 IST

Is the search for the long sought Higgs boson particle, the most elusive so far for the particle physicists, finally over?

“As a layman, I would now say, I think we have it,” said CERN director-general Rolf-Dieter Heuer. “It’s a historic milestone today. I think we can all be proud, all be happy.”

John Ellis,theoretical physicist, answers the question "What is the Higgs boson?" in preparation for the press conference following the seminar on LHC 2012 results on the Higgs boson search at CERN.

At a seminar held at CERN -- the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the world's leading laboratory for particle physics -- as a curtain raiser to the year’s major particle physics conference in Melbourne, the results of ATLAS and CMS experiments, based on data collected in 2011 and 2012, with the 2012 data still under analysis, were announced, reporting a boson that has Higgs-like properties at a mass of 125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) with a 5-sigma significance, meaning they are 99.999 percent confident of its existence:

“We observe in our data clear signs of a new particle, at the level of 5 sigma, in the mass region around 126 GeV. The outstanding performance of the LHC and ATLAS and the huge efforts of many people have brought us to this exciting stage,” said ATLAS experiment spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti, “but a little more time is needed to prepare these results for publication.”

"The results are preliminary but the 5 sigma signal at around 125 GeV we’re seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle. We know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found,” said CMS experiment spokesperson Joe Incandela. “The implications are very significant and it is precisely for this reason that we must be extremely diligent in all of our studies and cross-checks."

“It’s hard not to get excited by these results,” said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci. “ We stated last year that in 2012 we would either find a new Higgs-like particle or exclude the existence of the Standard Model Higgs. With all the necessary caution, it looks to me that we are at a branching point: the observation of this new particle indicates the path for the future towards a more detailed understanding of what we’re seeing in the data.”

The name Higgs Boson came from a British scientist Peter Higgs and Satyendra Nath Bose, who worked with Albert Einstein in the 1920s, and had studied at Presidency College, Calcutta. The work done by Bose and Albert Einstein, later added by Higgs, led to this pioneering day.

Paolo Giubellino, spokesperson of CERN said that "India is like a historic father of the project."  A large number of Indian scientists, representing the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics(SINP), Kolkata, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Harishchandra Research Institute, Allahabad and Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, were involved in the world's most ambitious experiment over the years. Read more about the Indian Angle here and here

The Higgs boson, or the 'God particle' as it has come to be called was once described in a 1993 research paper as the 'Goddamn particle'  by Nobel winning physicist Leon Lederman because it had proved so elusive and hard to isolate. That was changed by an editor to the “God” particle to make it more palatable, and the name has remained stuck.

Soundbytes from the interviews to Peter Higgs, Francois Englert, Carl Hagen and Gerald Guralnik, recorded at CERN on the announcement of the latest results from ATLAS and CMS on the Higgs boson searches.

They got sentimental when thinking of Higgs" - Physicists give their thoughts on the Higgs Boson: including Nobel Prize winners Gerhard 't Hooft, David Gross, George Charpak, Jerome Friedman, Murray Gell-Mann plus Vivek Sharma, Guido Tonelli and Gigi Rolandi (CMS), Eilam Gross and Joao Guimaraes da Costa (ATLAS) and theoretical physicists Guido Altarelli and John Ellis.

The CERN press-release went on to say:

The next step will be to determine the precise nature of the particle and its significance for our understanding of the universe. Are its properties as expected for the long-sought Higgs boson, the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics? Or is it something more exotic? The Standard Model describes the fundamental particles from which we, and every visible thing in the universe, are made, and the forces acting between them. All the matter that we can see, however, appears to be no more than about 4% of the total. A more exotic version of the Higgs particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96% of the universe that remains obscure.

“We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle’s properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe.”

Positive identification of the new particle’s characteristics will take considerable time and data. But whatever form the Higgs particle takes, our knowledge of the fundamental structure of matter is about to take a major step forward.

Some of the reactions on Twitter:


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POSTED BY Buzz ON Jul 04, 2012 AT 14:07 IST, Edited At: Jul 04, 2012 21:07 IST
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