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God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicistStephen Hawking argues in a new book.

In "The Grand Design," co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.
"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," Hawking writes.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."
Hawking, 68, who won global recognition with his 1988 book "A Brief History of Time," an account of the origins of the universe, is renowned for his work on black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity.

Since 1974, the scientist has worked on marrying the two cornerstones of modern physics -- Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, which concerns gravity and large-scale phenomena, and quantum theory, which covers subatomic particles.

His latest comments suggest he has broken away from previous views he has expressed on religion. Previously, he wrote that the laws of physics meant it was simply not necessary to believe that God had intervened in the Big Bang.
He wrote in A Brief History ... "If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason -- for then we should know the mind of God."
In his latest book, he said the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun helped deconstruct the view of the father of physics Isaac Newton that the universe could not have arisen out of chaos but was created by God.

Category: SCIENTIST BIOGRAPHY | Views: 1440 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-01-02 | Comments (2)

Alexander Graham Bell first invented the telephone at the age of 29, in 1877. The following year, the Bell Telephone Company was established, during which time he married Mabel Hubbard and setting off on a honeymoon across Europe for an entire year.

Alexander Graham Bell's fame is attached to the success of the telephone, but in fact bell embarked upon several other projects. He remained an ambitious and creative man throughout his life, during which he would continue to learn, create and challenge himself to improve the modern world. Bell engaged in many different scientific studies including kites, airplanes, tetrahedral structures, sheep-breeding, desalinization, water distillation, hydrofoils and artificial respiration, as documented in his various journals and logbooks.

The Invention of the telephone empowered Bell, in terms of financial security, which allowed him to devote himself to developing his other ideas and interests. In 1881, Bell won France's Volta prize of $10,000 which he used to et up the Volta Laboratory in Washington, D.C. This is where Bell teamed up with Chichester Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter, to produce a marketable version of the Phonograph, first thought up by Thomas Edison. A secondary laboratory was set up in 1885, at Beinn Bhreagh, near Baddeck, where he brought together an intelligent young team to follow new ideas and concepts.

The photophone was the first invention created by Bell after the telephone, which allowed sound to be transmitted via a beam of light. Charles Sumner Tainter and Bell himself developed the photophone using sensitive selenium crystal and a mirror which vibrated in reply to sound. The first successfully transmitted photophone message was sent in 1881 over a distance of 200 yards. Bell hailed the photophone as "the greatest invention I have ever made; greater than the telephone." This invention is the fundamental principle which modern day lasers and fiber optics rely on, although many other principles had to be recognised before these were brought into effect.

Alexander Graham Bell's interest in heredity, led him to explore, first of all the deaf followed by sheep born with genetic abnormalities. He conducted various sheep-breeding experiments in which he strived to increase the number of twin and triplet births. Bell also created an electromagnetic device to detect a bullet. following President Garfield being shot by an assassin and having the bullet lodged inside him. He continued to work on this and thus invented the telephone probe, which would make a telephone receiver click when it connected with metal.

Bell's son, Edward, died due to respiratory problems which inspired Bell to invent a metal vacuum jacket which assists breathing. He also invented an audiometer which detected small hearing problems, conduced various experiments relating to energy recycling and substitute fuels, and attempts of separating salt from seawater.

The bulk of Bell's time was then spent exclusively on flight, as Bell enjoyed a challenge. The 1890's saw Bell develop a keen interest in propellers and kites, which led him to create a new kite design, based on a tetrahedron. In 1907, Bell established the Aerial Experiment Association with Glenn Curtiss, William "Casey" Baldwin, Thomas Selfridge and J.A.D. McCurdy, four young engineers with a passion for creating airborne transport. It took the group 2 years to create four powered aircraft, the Silver Dart being the stand-out project which made it's first flight in Canada on February 23rd, 1909.

Bell ended his career by concentrating on hydrofoils, looking to improve their performance, and in 1919, himself and Casey Baldwin built a hydrofoil which set a water-speed record which would not be beat for 44 years.

Shortly before Bell died, he told a reporter, "There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing how's and why's about things."
Category: SCIENTIST BIOGRAPHY | Views: 1128 | Added by: kc | Date: 2011-01-02 | Comments (0)


"Use a 10-Kilowatt Brain"
A research student of Physics was conducting an experiment using a one-kilowatt power X-ray tube. On hearing that a scientist in England was experimenting on the same problem with a five-kilowatt X-ray tube, he grew dejected. When his Professor got to know of this, he walked up to the student and with supreme confidence and a smile, said: "There is a very simple solution: use a 10-kilowatt brain on the problem.”

Professor Chandrashekhar Venkata Raman was speaking from experience. He had won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930, with simple equipment barely worth Rs 300. He was also the first scientist from Asia to win the Nobel Prize. Yet his intellectual odyssey to the Nobel Prize started on his return journey to India from England by sea. The year was 1921. The Universities of the British Empire met in London, and Professor C V Raman went on his first visit abroad as the representative of Calcutta University. On his return journey, as he enjoyed the magnificent beauty of the vast Mediterranean Sea around him, he wondered: Is the sea blue due to the reflection of the blue sky? Yet even when big waves rolled over the surface, the blue remained. Lost in his caravan of thoughts as the ship glided through the expanse of water, an idea flashed in him. Perhaps water molecules are scattering the sun’s light, causing the blue color. The idea seized him like a powerful emotion. Barely a month after his return he sent a research paper to the Royal Society of London. Within a year, he published a detailed article on the molecular scattering of light.

Newton had earlier showed in his famous prism experiment that light is made of an infinity of colors. Using a prism, Newton dispersed light into a spectrum of colors. But Raman’s research was focussed on what happens when one such light beam of ‘monochromatic’ or one color, passes through a transparent substance, like water for instance. Naturally, the beam scatters in random directions, but one tiny part of the scattered light changes its frequency from that of the initial color. On February 28, 1928, he finally observed two low-intensity spectral lines that confirmed his theory. The phenomenon he observed is called the Raman Effect.

Raman’s Effect on Alcohol

Within the first twelve years of its discovery, about 1,800 research papers were published and about 2,500 chemical compounds were studied by researchers and scientists around the world. These included, pure water, vapors, gases, crystals, quartz, ice, and even alcohol. Indeed, at a banquet in France in 1948 honouring Raman, Prof. Cabannes, a famous French physicist, proposed the toast and everyone present held a glass of sparkling wine in their hands. Raman, however picked up a sparkling glass of water and said, "Sir, I know what my effect on alcohol is, but I certainly don’t want to try the effect of alcohol on me". So saying, he drank the glass of water to the toast.

As Prof. Raman continued his passionate research into various branches of science, the accolades, awards, and recognition for his genius poured on him throughout his life. Raman’s research centered around sound and light. Born on 7th November, 1888 in a town on the banks of the river Cauvery, called Tiruchirapalli, C V Raman was born to a school teacher who was a scholar in Physics and Maths. The little boy grew up surrounded by music, science, and sanskrit. Little is known of his interest in sound. Raman collected many musical instruments. He published two papers on the amazing sound qualities of ancient Indian instruments like the mridang, tabla, tanpura, and the veena. Using fine grains of sand sprinkled on them he watched the sand patterns as he tapped the instruments. Raman made fascinating insights. The intuitive understanding of our forefathers into the nature of sound and acoustics stunned Raman. Later, Raman also studied the impact of ultrasonic sound waves on light in a liquid. This is known as the Raman-Nath theory. His fascination with the science of light and colors took him to extremes. Once he bought sarees of different colors. He collected a range of crystals, diamonds, rocks, sand that had melted due to lightning, rubies, sapphires, and also grew flowers at his home. He worked all his life till the age of 83, until his death on 21st November, 1970. Beyond his Nobel Prize, the sum total of his life is best expressed in his own words: "I regard as the greatest feature of the world Nature herself. She is the supreme artist; she creates forms of beauty, loveliness and color, unsurpassable and this has been so from the beginning of time. She is the inspiration of not only of artists, painters, sculptors and engineers, but also of men of science." 
Category: SCIENTIST BIOGRAPHY | Views: 1328 | Added by: kc | Date: 2010-12-27 | Comments (2)

Born - 15 October
1931 Achievements - This eminent scientist and engineer has also served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. APJ Abdul Kalam is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country. He firmly believes that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations. 

Apart from being a notable scientist and engineer, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. He is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the country and is also often also referred to as the Missile Man of India. People loved and respected Dr APJ Abdul Kalam so much during his tenure as President that was popularly called the People's President. Read more about the biography of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam here.

APJ Abdul Kalam was born on 15 October 1931 at the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and received honorary doctorates from about 30 universities globally. In the year 1981, the Government of India presented him the nation's highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan and then again, the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and the Bharat Ratna in 1997. Before Kalam, there have been only two presidents - Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Zakir Hussain - to have received the Bharat Ratna before bring appointed to the highest office in India.

Read on about the life history of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who's also the first scientist and bachelor to occupy the seat of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. His perspectives on important topics have been enunciated by him in the book 'India 2020'. It highlights the action plans that will help develop the country into a knowledge superpower by the time 2020. One thing for which he received ample kudos is his unambiguous statement that India needs to play a more assertive role in international relations.

And Dr APJ Abdul Kalam regards his work on India's nuclear weapons program as a way to assert India's place as a future superpower. Even during his tenure as President, APJ Kalam took avid interest in the spheres of India's science and technology. He has even put forward a project plan for establishing bio-implants. He is also an ardent advocate of open source software over proprietary solutions to churn out more profits in the field of information technology in India.
Category: SCIENTIST BIOGRAPHY | Views: 1185 | Added by: kc | Date: 2010-12-27 | Comments (0)