# Thanking the Prince of Mathematics: Carl Friedrich Gauss

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This post first appeared on Function Space.

Carl Gauss a prodigy mathematician born to a poor, working class parents in Brauschweig, Germany surprised his elementary school teacher by adding all the integers from 1 to 100 simply by observing that the sum of 50 pairs of numbers is 101. The story goes that he had figured that 100 numbers could be determined by the equation n(a+b)(1/2)=50(a+b) where n=100, a = the first digit in the sequence and b = the last digit in the sequence.

His mathematical talent befuddled his teachers and mentors such that he grew up to become an influential mathematician of his century.
Gauss’s wide range of discoveries, from his fundamental theorem of algebra to his ground breaking work in number theory has shaped the field to the present day.

The true genius of his work, experts think is how he ultimately took these theories and applied them to in many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, electrostatics, astronomy and optics.

He once wrote, “All the measurements in the world are not worth one theorem by which the science of eternal truth is genuinely advanced.” It was at the same time he took up the job of geodesic survey mapping irregularly shaped curved surfaces across the country. Although, he failed to produce an accurate map of Hannover, he succeeded in creating a number of important advances in mathematics of curved surfaces, development of curvilinear coordinates and established ideas on non Euclidean geometry.

To which Einstein later wrote, “If Gauss had not created his geometry of surfaces, which served Riemann as a basis, it is scarcely conceivable that anyone else would have discovered it. The importance of Gauss for the development of modern physical theory and especially for the mathematical fundamentals of the theory of relativity is overwhelming indeed.”

Gauss’s list of discoveries extends to modular arithmetic, prime numbers, number theory, squares, quadratic reciprocity etc. But it was more astonishing that he worked on these discoveries independently without any collaborators or co workers!

This Thanksgiving lets be grateful to the man who overcame all the difficulties while pursuing mathematics and continued to discover more and more fundamentals that shaped the field to what it is today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

# It’s Einstein’s world that we live in.

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This post first appeared on Function Space.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, meaning it’s time to start thinking about things and people you are grateful to. It’s time to sit and celebrate the day of gratitude with Turkey on the table, Tofurkey for vegetarians!

If you are still wondering whom to thank this Thanksgiving Day, here is a food for your thought that will certainly imbibe you with gratitude towards this great man who started it all.

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists in a century dominated by science. The man who made the milestones of the era – bomb, quantum physics, big bang etc.

Without realizing we encounter Albert Einstein in different fields of everyday life. For example, our cars navigate through traffic using GPS, we make purchases in supermarket through a scanner and we use digital cameras to capture memories. Einstein did not make these discoveries, nor did he write any papers stating the practical applications of his theories. But his abstract thoughts on time, light and space time led us to the innovations that seem to be normal today.

Most of us know Einstein either associated with the atom bomb or with his famous equation E=mc^2. But did you know that in 1905, he was the first person to prove the physical existence of atoms. And the mass of atoms contains enormous energy. This theory was indeed an indirect basis of the atomic revolution.

His theories had direct influence on inventions like television, digital camera etc. Thanks to his Special Theory of Relativity that we are able to broadcast sharp images and capture memories today. Electrons inside the television are accelerated and according to the theory of relativity, the mass is increased measurably. If this phenomenon of increasing mass was not taken into consideration electrons would have never exhibited divergence in millimeter range, resulting into blur images.

While all technologies that employ laser beams are based on Einstein’s theories, he was the first to recognize the principle of monochrome and the concept of bundled laser light. All the devices that work on the Global Positioning System or Satellite assisted positioning system are inspired from Einstein’s ideas.

Pieces of equipment which can relay their position with an accuracy of less than 30 meters divergence take into account the effects of relativity on time measurement by atomic clocks when these circle the earth at great speed in satellites.

Even 50 years after his death, his invention and theories have huge influence on our technologies. Where physicists have now begun dreaming of quantum computers, Einstein revolutionized it in 1935 when he discovered that particles can be in different states at the same time. This is the same observation that paved a way for an altogether new area of development called as quantum computers that certainly has revolutionized the 21st century!

He was the embodiment of pure intellect, the bumbling professor with the German accent, a comic cliched shaggy-hairstyle. Let us thank him for the unfathomably profound genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.

Thank you Einstein!

# Congratulations ISRO. You have made India proud yet again.

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Space programs have always excited and intrigued mankind. The urge of finding life beyond earth has urged a tremendous sense of wonder among countries of the world.

And among these countries, a country that is still considered developing, has been moving ahead in her scientific space voyage rapidly and steadily. Soon it is about to embark the magnanimous leap to the red planet. In less than 48 hours, India will add another feather to its cap with Mangalyaan reaching mars.

Billion hearts are beating harder than the thrust of LAM engine which will place MOM (India’s Mars Orbiter Mission) into the Martian orbit. Now, the pulse of the nation can be gauged by the tremendous support ISRO is getting on almost all social media sites.

Like other space programs gave us velcro, pocket calculators, they also inspired the youth to take interest in science/technology and promote international cooperation among nations. The Indian Mars mission seems like something that lifts our spirits literally high.

Congratulations ISRO. You have made India proud yet again.

It is an inspiring journey of a developing nation to catch up with a huge chunk of aeronautical  achievements on a bullock cart ridden MOM. (Mars Orbiter Mission)

What began in 1962 in a fishing hamlet near Tiruvananthapuram by two Indian visionaries was actually  to vivify INDIA’s space dream. Some of its operations were operated in a cowshed and some in a  Bishop’s office. There have been instances that the scientists have scouted the satellites to and fro the launching site on bicycles, bullock carts and trucks.

This was just a humble beginning but over the years, India achieved the capability of building its own launch vehicles, remote sensing, communication, defense and navigation satellites, launch interplanetary and lunar missions design and develop the closely guarded and cutting-edge cryogenic engine. Its first achievement was the launch of the Aryabhatta satellite using a Russian rocket.

ISRO was also responsible for the first large scale launch of remote sensing satellites for television broadcasts.

India now has the largest fleet of remote sensing satellites in the world.

With two Mars probes, one Indian and one American approaching mars with a difference of 48 hours, the fever of Mars odyssey has gripped the world; every news channel be it local newspaper or an online platform while trending Mars articles almost reached a research class. Credit goes to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) for their hard work and resourceful efforts in making their nation first Asian country to enter the Martian atmosphere in its first attempt!

Here is an infographic on all the proud moments that ISRO gave India!

This Post first appeared on Function Space.

# Being Woman. Her side of Marriage!

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Even though majority girls start thinking about marriage, prince charming and other pink things associated with it at the age of five, marriage is not easy! It is more than a letter you write to your future husband.

Even though the wedding card says your name, it is more than you. It is more than one day.

This is a story of a woman who was luck to marry her prince charming and also the one who just couldn’t gather enough courage to marry her man of dreams. Here is the ultimate truth that every woman, lives every day.

“Maaa..” shreaked the house when Radha yelled at the top of her voice, Ma must have skipped a heart beat hearing her daughter shout aloud. This was not the first time she had heard this.

Right from a lizard to a serial rapist all thoughts crossed her mind in fraction of a second. She rushed to here as if she was practicing for the Olympic run. The words ‘towel please’ made here angry and relieved at the same time. She handed it and walked away swearing about what would she do at her husband’s place in this situation!

Madly in love with the concept of marriage, Radha answered, “He will happily hand me the towel!”  Little did she know, about HIM. She had painted him in her colors and she was all ready to fall in love. And she did. He was here change and he was her only constant in any change!

Radha was well versed with what is a marriage. She had been planning this day for practically majority of her life. And her happiness grew in leaps and bounds as the day approached from 8 months to 6 months to 3 months. She was excited to travel together, eat together and go to bed together.

But as the date came close she had a new definition of marriage. The one which involved making someone the epicenter of your world, the one which is made her listen to instructions carefully, the one which her mother described in one word, ‘sacrifice.’

Not the sacrifice that sucks your own happiness but the one which adds to it. How can making the pizza for him be tiresome for me if it puts a smile on his face and belly? How can helping his mom be a responsibility if she is who he cares about? How is spending a penny more for his sisters birthday making me poor, if I am gaining a new best friend?

“What is it that I am sacrificing Ma? Am I doing marriage correct?” “Radha, you are sacrificing your childhood. Do you remember, the vanilla pudding I used to make just the way you liked it. And do you remember, it was the same day when your dad use to come back from an official tour?” Radha in anxious tone, “yeah Ma”, well you are now me; Ma said, “Marriage is  not just making everyone happy. Marriage is not responsibility or a burden, it is being your mother. And how difficult is it to be someone whom you know so well?”

# Nikola Tesla Was Right All Along

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This post first appeared on Function Space.

There are many who don’t know who Nikola Tesla was. He was less famous than Newton. He was less popular than Einstein and he was arguably less famous than his arch rival Thomas Edison. But his work powers the device on which you are reading this.

He set a milestone in the electrical industry by inventing the AC (alternating current) induction motor. And to put it in his own words, he has always been a man ahead of time. He could have become the richest person on the planet and the first person with a \$1 billion net worth. Had he not ripped up that contract, today those same AC motor royalties would generate billions of dollars every year for Tesla’s relatives. Tesla’s 300 different patents brought him fame and incredible fortune in his lifetime.

He would have died as a rich man! While digging up this great man’s achievements, we got our hands on Tesla’s predictions about the 21st century world and decided to offer our tribute to this creative inventor by regaling the stories about what was and is in store for the future. It is with good reason that one should show interest in the vision of legendary inventor for it has shown abundant resurgence in the past two decades. There is no doubt that the man was a genius.

He was able to take so many ideas swirling around and turn them into instrumental inventions: both real and imagined. Tesla believed himself to be a futurist and thanks to his wondrous imagination that we get to live this digitally smart life. In the infographic below we’ve looked at some of his remarkably prescient predictions over the past few years.

These days’ the work that scientists and inventors do, make possible things that are unimaginable, allegedly impossible and light years away from reality. But Nikola Tesla may be credited for a large degree of credulity as to his future claims that seem unachievable only for a short period of time! Coming back to Tesla and his predictions, the eminent electrical engineer once said, “I am confident that the inhabitants of Mars are trying to signal to this earth.” Because he was conducting experiments with the help of wireless telegraphy on one of the highest peaks of Rockies and discovered strange disturbances on Mars’s surface! Besides this he has a few more predictions that are yet to happen and they include, mind pictures, wireless transmission of energy, solar sails as a means of propulsion for spacecraft, invisibility, robotic nannies and many more. Thanks to all publication centers and people who knew him, that were lucky enough to get into this brilliant inventors mind and way of thinking whom is believed by many to have created the modern 20th and 21st century. Wish this scientist who is still alive through his vision a very happy 158th birthday!

# Feliz Cumpleaños Lionel Messi, The King of Football

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## The football star defies science’s limits and makes us believe in a beneficent God.

If you have seen Messi play, there is no need for an introduction. He is playing football since five and he experts in drawing non footballers to football fans easily! Watching the talent of what this diminutive Leo does with the ball while defenders block him, wrestle him and come in his way in their futile tactics makes us believe that there is a beneficent God who runs on the Earth’s surface every 15 years in the form of Pele, George Best, Maradona, Zidane and now Messi.

While adoring this little man as God let’s take a look at his science backed game strategy that does magic on field.

It has been scientifically proven that lefties have inverted brain hemisphere functions, this makes them more creative, more dynamic and more unpredictable. Messi is lefty. He controls the ball with left foot which implies that he has a genetic advantage over other players!
And physics can explain some of the awe-inspiring free kicks by this brilliant player! See this amazing just 3 minutes video that exemplifies the conservation of momentum, impulse and almost all Newton’s laws. Perhaps one of the most interesting physics phenomena in soccer after Robert Carlos’s free kick explains the curve behind long distance free kicks.

The physics in these free kicks is called the Magnus effect named after the physicist who explored the phenomenon! In a free kick, when a ball is spinning through air in a direction opposite to the applied force, the ‘Magnus force’ will push it in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the movement.

In the video below, you can see some great visuals that aid in understanding the Magnus effect. But really, this is just an excuse to show you Leo Messi’s amazing free kicks:

In addition to the Magnus effect, there’s plenty of other physics phenomena related to soccer. And since the World Cup fever is still getting hotter, take a look at this overview of the physics behind this soccer. We have included plenty of helpful diagrams and explanations of modern research in this subset of science.

And, today is Lionel Messi’s 27th birthday. He is just 27!

According to his club and country’s stats, since he made the leap to the first team, he’s secured three Champions Leagues, six Ligas, two Copas del Rey, 2 European Super Cups, five Spanish Super Cups, and two FIFA Club World Cups. In addition to the team titles, the Argentinian has secured an enviable collection of individual titles: four FIFA Ballons d’Or, three Golden Boots and one FIFA World Player, among many others.
How many more reasons do you need?

This post was first published on Function Space.

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# Retro Delight: Science & Technology

Fasten your seat belts everyone! Time for a science field trip to The Magical days of the older decades!

The clunky technology of the ’20s to 90s paved the way for innovations in today’s classrooms. It was an era where there was prestige involved in walking up to the board and write on the chalkboard. However, growing up in that time seems like an adventure to all those who are addicted to fancy gadgets and tools developed from this technology.

Children today would scratch their heads at a floppy disk. And who would know what to do without Google?

To celebrate technology of the past, that laid the foundation of new gadgets, advancing technologies and fancier tools, we have compiled a list of science tools used back in the day even before the existence of the internet!

So buckle up for the blast from the past, because it’s time to ford the river down memory lane.

1. The Computer that Got us on the Moon

‘Apollo guidance Computer’  had a 16-bit word length, with 15 data bits and one parity bit. The iPhone is so advanced compared to the computer used in Apollo’s guidance system that it’s hard to believe they both came from the same planet.

2. Beginning of Networking

The beginning of networking was laid with ‘news wire services’ in the 1920s, they used multiplex devices that satisfied the definition of a modem, the first commercial modem, specifically for converting digital computer data to analog signals for transmission across its long distance network.

Its top transmission speed was able to transmit punched cards at 25 bits/second, slower than half of what we use today!

3. X-rays that changed the course of diagnosis

The emergence of CT scan would not have been possible if not for the discovery of X-rays by Roentgen in 1895.

4. The magic of microscopes

light microscope developed in 1800s with an aperture of 1.4 has accordingly a maximal useful magnification of 1400 fold. This revealed the cellular structure of almost all living organisms of the plant as well as animal kingdom

5. The Electronic Calculator

The electronic calculators of the mid-1960s were large and heavy desktop machines due to their use of hundreds of transistors on several circuit boards with a large power consumption that required an AC power supply with only square root function.

And today, even for simple addition- subtraction we need calculators. For geeks like us, scientific calculators are always kept handy.

Besides being grateful for the discovery of the first internet game ‘space-war’ have you imagined where will science and technology be in a decade from now? Edward Teller has rightly said, “The science of today is technology of tomorrow.”

As you bow your head in gratitude towards science, secretly hoping that you get to contribute to these discoveries, here’s a nod to the most breathtaking — advances in science on our platform! (http://functionspace.org/)

Love science, share science!

This post, first appeared on Function Space