THE MEANING OF SCIENCE.....AND WHY IT S**** IN INDIA...A MUST READ FOR ASPIRING ENGINEERS.
This article is aimed at all the rats running in the greatest rat race in history currently taking place in our "great" country India. I'm talking about the rat race of engineering and technology and associated businesses. I happen to have wasted 3 years in this system, getting nothing in return, and ofcourse not IIT, perhaps an EML, but definitely not a main merit list rank. I aspire to be a THEORETICAL PHYSICIST. The last two words are amazingly 'latin n french' to many people. I'll talk about THEORETICAL PHYSICS in detail a little later on in this article.
Ok, so most of you reading this probably want to be "engineers". But i seriously doubt that any substantial number of you do really understand what that word means. Engineering is usually comprhended by most people to be a career option paying you good sums of money. Some see some kind of "sophistication" attached to it. Many see it as a very "exciting" field beaming with all kinds of great stuff (these are the stupidiest of all...), and a few see something that's very "intellectual" about it.
So though you might say that you love engineering and want to be an engineer and really want to be one for the sake of it, yet most of you probably are attracted towards the "intellect + money + sophisticsation" thing 'sub-consciously'.
Let me tell you that engineering includes none of the above factors i wrote about apart from perhaps money, though money would be a good enough reason for many to chose the field.
I won't generalize the above totally. There are people who really "want to be an engineer for the sake of engineering". Many of these do have an inbuilt aptitude for designig and innovation (which are nothing but synonyms for engineering), but "many do not". They think they do, but actually they do not. And it is this particular lot of people that I'd like to target through this article.
THE HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND APPLIED SCIENCE(ENGINEERING)
The absolute lack of understanding of the above heading is one main cause of the rat race.
So what is the difference between the two? You might have many times read and heard of the phrase "SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING". This phrase gives an impression to a novice, of science and engineering being more or less the same thing. Nothing can be further from truth.
Yes there is a connection between the two. Infact a very intimate connection. You could call science the "mother" and applied science the "baby", which are joined intimately by an "umbilical cord". But just because the mother and baby are interconnected so intimately doesn't necessarily make them one and the same thing. Despite the intimate connection, they are two "different individuals".
Engineering is just a branch of applied science. To understand it we must first understand what science stands for.
THE MEANING OF SCIENCE
Though there are one sentence definitions for the word science, i'm not going to give those. The best way to understand it, from a novice's point of view would be to consider the following very interesting facts.
1.) I'll ask you a very simple question.
"Can something (it could be any object, you, me or any other thing lying around you) , be present at an infinite number of different places "at the same time"? for eg. can you be present at home, and at school, and at tutions, and in the club, and infinite different places,all "at the same time", i.e. simultaneously??
it's a very simple yes or no question. And ofcourse you must have figured out by now that the answer must be a "yes" because otherwise I wouldn't have asked it.
And you are right. The answer is indeed a resounding "YES"!!!! This is what those four lines written under the heading of HEISENBERG"S UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, in your textboks mean...!!!
So everything is present everywhere at the same time LITERALLY..!!!! And some fraction of your body is present right now 4 million light years away in the andromeda galaxy..!!! And vice versa. and not just the adromeda...but literally everywhere in the universe..!!! though your body is present in more amounts in a particular place than the other, and that's why a major fraction of your body is present right where you see it to be. The fraction of your body present elsewhere is very very small and can't be detected that easily.
But the interestig part is not the fractions. The interesting part is that you CAN be present at infinitely different places at the same time literally. The quantity in which you are present elsewhere is a secodary issue.
This is an area of theoretical physics called "QUANTUM PHYSICS" or "QUANTUM THEORY" or more popularly called "QUATUM MECHANICS" which shook the world when it was concieved in the 1920's and continues to shake the world till date..!!!
Infact now we have almost all spiritual religions trying to understand and learn quantum physics because they can see different shades of spiritualism in it.
And if you doubt any of the above, just look at your computer monitor or your cellphone screen or any other electronic gadget lying besides you. If that is working fine, then so are the laws of quantum physics!!!
Since almost all electronic equipments employ the quantum theory.
Many people consider building such electronic devices very interesting. These are primarily the electrical engieers. yes it might be interesting, but it's really about degrees of interestingess.
What is more interesting to you, applications of quatum theory or the fact that you can be present at infinite different places simultaneously i.e. the theory itself???
If your answer is the latter option, then you prefer science over applied science...!!!
2.) EINSTEIN'S THEORY OF SPECIAL RELATIVITY
Do you think time travel is impossible?? If you do, you are uneducated in matters of science, since time travel was made possible in the year 1905, by ALBERT EINSTEIN, in his theory of special relativity!!
Yes that's true..!!! There is no law of physics preventing time travel. Infact physics gives a thumbs up to it..!!!
But making a time machine for humans is not viable technologically or economically.
But time machines do exist for subatomic particles. Subatomic particles like electrons and protons are made to travel into the future every other day in physics labs all across the world..!!! (and definitely not in an engineering college lab.....one more reason to abandon engineering..!!!)
The twin paradox:
suppose you had a twin sibling, in that, both of you are exactly the same age, let's say 18 years(though there would always be a gap of a few seconds even with twins..if you understand what i mean!!!!). Now suppose we arrange a spaceship for your twin sibling to go on an interstellar trip in outer space. The spaceship can travel at speeds comparable to the speed of light , which is nearly 3 lakh kilometres "per second" (that's whopping!!!!). So your twin enters the spacecraft...and you hug him/her...wish good luck...say bye bye and see you soon...and blah and blah...and blah...blah....blah..blah....!!!
After all the blah...blah...your twin takes off flying off into the outer space at a speed comparable to that of light.
Now your twin had told you that he/she would come back in lets say, 1 week.
You keep waiting but there's no sign of him/her after 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks....a month...2 months. By this time you start thinking that your twin might have blown himself up in outer space and is dead.
times passes and now you are almost 80 years old. And then suprisingly, one day you see your twin's spacecraft. when your twin steps out, you are blown away..!!
Your twin is not an 80 year old man as you would have expected...but instead he/she happens to be 18 years only....almost the age at which he/she left.
Your twin would be equally astonished to see you as an 80 year old man. The explanation for this confusing situation is this:
Time runs more slowly, the faster you move..!!!(this sentence is slightly vague...it requires a few more technical conditions along with that....but they dont make much of a difference in a qualitative first time coprehension) So when your twin was flying at an amzingly high speed, "time" slowed down for him/her..!!! It actually did..!!! So your brother actually kept his promise of returning back in a week because "for him/her, only a week had passed whereas 62 years passed by here on planet earth, where you waited for him and grew up to be an 80 year old man..!!!"
So effectively, your twin brother/sister traveled into the future...... !!!!!!
This is a basic consequence of einstein's theory and is called "time dilation".
Now one main thing that matters in this theory is your relative speed. The effects of this theory, like the above twin paradox, are observable to human senses only if the relative speeds are higher than 85-90% the speed of light...
But that does not mean that time dilation doesn't take place for low relative speeds. Infact it will tkae place for any speed that is bigger than 0.
So even when you are travelling in a car, "time is running slower for you than it is for a guy standing on the road..!!!" And this is not soem kind of illusion....You actually travel into the future ...your heart actually beats lesser number of times than that of the guy standing still on the road...!!!!
But since a car's speed is very small as compared to the speed of light, the effects are pretty small for human senses to notice. So if your car travels at something like 60 km/hr, you will travel into the future by something like 10^(-20) or 10^(-30) seconds only..(here the symbol ^ is used for 'raised to the power of'). Now we can hardly notice a difference of even 1 second, and thus theres no chace we'll detect a difference of ten raised to - 30 seconds..!! and that is why in everyday life we don't notice any time dilation...but that doesn't mean it isn't happening...!!!
the important part here is not the amount by which you can travel into the future.....but the fact that "you CAN travel into the future!!!!!!".... the time difference can always be made larger by increasing your speed...!!
There's also another very interesting consequence of special relativity..called length contraction....
The heading itself says it all....so when you are travelling a car ....not only are you travelling into the future...but also "shrinking" along with your entire car...with respect to a guy on the ground...!!!
But again you don't observe this...because length contraction also depends upon your relative speed just like time dilation does...and so the amount by which you will shrink at the speed of a car will be unoticeable to human senses.....
So the next time you travel in your car, or bike, or even simply walk at some speed on the road.....enjoy travelling into the future and getting shrunk..!!!!
Unbelievable???? BELIEVE IT!!!
P.S. these effects are not illusions of any kind.....you "actually travel into the future " and you "actually get shrunk" !!!!.
SUGGESTED READING: there are millions and millions of resources...but I'll start at the one that might be immediately accesible to you...Last chapter of H.C. verma's book part -2.
3.) THE SCALE OF THE VISIBLE UNIVERSE
Many people do not even know about their own home....i.e. the universe.....For many people the universe simply means "the solar system + a bunch of stars"..... to some it means a place pretty big....but how big??? most of such people have no clue about that.
Our sun is just one star out of approx. 400 billion stars.. all of which are observable in the night sky...though you wont spot more than a few in a city because of pollution and city lights....
Try to imagine the number 400 BILLION. I know that it is big. But you should realize the "bigness" of it....
anyway moving on, these 400 billion stars( including our sun) form a "big group" of stars. Such big groups of stars are technically called "galaxies". In our case, this big group of 400 billion stars including our sun, is called the "Milky Way Galaxy" (because it looks kinda milky at night). Our sun is just a small star out of this group of 400 billion stars. All these 400 billion stars revolve around a common centre...much in the same way planets go around the sun. the shape of our galaxy is kindoff spiral. We can estimate it to be circular. Our sun is just one star out of 400 billion stars lying at almost the end of this disc of stars called the milky way galaxy and the sun, just like all the other 400 billion stars, goes around the center of the milky way. So we are essentially "inside" the milky way.
Now it doesn't end here..!!! it so happens that our galaxy, which is nothing but just a group of 400 billion stars, is just ONE out of BILLIONS OF OTHER SUCH GROUPS..!!!!!
And each of these groups (technically called galaxies) are made up of 100's of billions of stars!!!!
All the stars that you can see at night, even with the best telescopes, are just these 400 billion stars belonging to just our group of stars, i.e. the milky way. We cannot individually see the stars of other galaxies, atleast not with earthbound telescopes. What you can see is an entire galaxy, but not idividual stars making them up. Individual galaxies appear as small circular or eleiptical discs in the sky.
All of the above, is just 4% of what we presently think is the universe..!!!!
26% of the universe is made up of dark matter and 70 % is made up of dark energy..!!!
a must see youtube video:
4.) STRING THEORY - EXTRA DIMENSIONS, PARALLEL UNIVERSES
So you always thought that you lived in 4 dimensions...i.e. 3 of space and one of time??
A cutting edge theory of physics which was developed in late 60's and continues as a hot subject till date called string theory, predicts the existence of 7 extra dimensions..that human senses are not capable of detecting..!!!
It also predicts existence of "parallel universes"...!!! that means our universe is just one out of perhaps infinitely many..each of these universes having different possibilities of reality!!!!
And so perhaps there is a universe out there where dinosaurs are still alive because in that universe no asteroid struck the earth to kill them..!!!! and in some other hitler is still alive...!!! and in yet another...perhaps you were never born..!!!!
Though String theory currently doesn't have an absolutely unquestionable evidence ....but it is highly succesful in explaining most loose ends of physics.....and is thus widely regarded to be true....
Must watch videos on youtube:
(you can click on part 2, part 3, part 4...of this video on right panel)
(there are many others, just type "parallel universes" in youtube search box for more)
5.) THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER (LHC)
Perhaps you might have atleast heard of it. It is the biggest and the costliest experiment of science in all of human history.
It is a particle accelerator which is 27 kilometers in circumference..!!! it is buried 100 metres inside the ground ...under the french and swiss border. It cost something like 11 billion US $ to build.
It is aiming to search for the HIGG'S PARTICLE also called "THE GOD PARTICLE". Along with that , it will try to provide some experimental verification for string theory and many other scientific theories.
The organisation which has built it is CERN, which is the european organisation for nuclear research.
You must visit the following website of LHC:
youtube videos on the LHC:
5.) CONSCIOUSNESS AND QUANTUM PHYSICS CONNECTED!!
Atoms making up a certain chemical in your chemistry lab cannot realize that they are atoms.....for eg. a test tube of HCl doesn't know that is a test tube of HCl!!! but you do..!!! a table cannot realise that it is a table but you can.
These things cannot realise that they are nothing more than atoms...joined together by electromagnetic bonds....but you can!!
you can realise that you are atoms from head to toe..!!! And since it's our brain that does the thinking part, the brain can understand that it is nothing but atoms.
So basically the atoms making up the brain can realise that they are atoms...!!!!
ATOMS CAN THINK!!!!
This is called consciousness. Quantum physics has led to amazing discoveries about it. for eg. an experiment was coducted with computers which generated 0's and 1's randomly. after a long time, it was found out that o's and 1's both occured in almost equal amounts that is 50-50. Then a bunch of people were connected to these computers and they were told to "wish for a particular no. to show up on the computer" . They wished for 1. And after this the results that were found out were astonishing. The no. of 1's generated went up substantially than before!!!!somehow the consciousness of the people affected the random computer results...!!!!
more on this in this youtube video:
6.) THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
the curret aim of all of fundamental science , which is nothing but theoretical physics is to find a theory which describes our universe completely. Such theories are being hunted for and according to many physicists , we are nearing our ultimate search for it. String theory happens to be the strongest contender for it as of now. More on it can be googled or read in the book titled
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING by Stephen Hawking which i've also mentioned in the booklist later on.
the above paragraphs are just a tiny glimpse into the excitement called "PURE SCIENCE"..!!!! and specifically physics!!!
Mathematics too can be regarded as just a sub category of theoretical physics...at least in principle....
And it is Theoretical physics + mathematics that makes up "PURE FUNDAMENTAL SCIENCE"...almost all great people that you might have heard of, from newton to enstein...and maxwell to schrondinger and dirac...mostly all happened to be theoretical physicists...(some mathematicians too) and not mechanical engineers or electrical engineers..!!!
Engineering happens to be just a sub branch of "APPLIED SCIENCE" which is nothing but applications of science.
Many have the wrong impression that science is simply a bunch of stupid equations leading nowhere....and engineering is something very interesting that actually creates exciting things....
again nothing can be further from truth.
It really depends on what you think is "exciting". Is creating a few new micro chips or cellphones (which all run simply on maxwell's four equations given more than a century back) more exciting than finding out parallel universes and extra dimensions.??..!!!!!
If you think making cool cellphones wins the war of "cellphones VS. (parallel universes +extra dimensions) ", then you are most probably out of your head and might need a medical treatment...!!!!
And if you are in your mind...and go with the latter option...then you are on a completely wrong path..if you are an aspiring engineer....
because engineers dont discover parallel uiverses....."pure scientists" do......a B.Tech. will not even get you near what you will study in a standard physics course....
Lets take another example to make the point even clearer.
A mechanical engineer may boast of "creating new and exciting stuff" but no matter what he creates in his entire career....that creation of his will be based fundamentally on 3 equations of newton + 3 or 4 equations of thermodynamics.
So effectively, all that the engineer is doing, is simply toying around with principles of science and just creating different combinations of these equations and principles.
Most engineering students realize all of it when they are way into their courses in the 3rd or 4th year....and that's when they run for GRE preparations to apply abroad for physics courses......But then it's too late. Pure science and especially theoretical physics is a highly specific and a glamorous field. It has its own rigours which can't be possibly dealt with at such a late stage.
So it's about making the wise decision now.
A key thing that holds back people from pursuing their passions, especially in an economically developing country like ours is the income factor.
You might become an engineer do an MBA and get a nice paying job. And you will love it initially. But there is common principle that works for all human life. and that is "LIFE ALWAYS REMAINS AS NORMAL NO MATTER WHAT". A sudden change in your life can give you joy, but only "TEMPORARILY". After working in your highly paying firm for a few days, you will realize that you are not the only one making that much of money.....you will see millions of people around you making ten times more....living in ten times bigger houses.....and driving around better girls than you possibly ever can!!!!!.....and even if you become the richest in the world....initially you'll love it......but after some time.....everythig will become normal to you.....infact you'll start hating excessive publicity , fame....even if you happen to have a narcissist personality...!!! you will hate the constant intervention in your life and the fact that there are billions of people around the world keeping track of each every second of your life....!!!
Most of such people later on realize this and then they leave it all and run for their inbuilt passions.....somebody tries to learn music.....and make it big in music...because perhaps they never proritized it earlier in their life and instead were busy trying to get rich....some others would turn to sports.......and many would turn to arts and various other fields.....
do you seriously think that you have been born so that you can spend this entire life, sitting in some office of some MNC trying make as much money as you can???? everyday getting up and just thinking of making more money and more money and even more money?????
Life is most probably a one time game....cats perhaps have nine lives....but i dont think humans do...!!!!
You have got one life....one time to experience this amzing place called the "universe"...do you want to spend it away simply by becoming an engineer and just desiging electronic chips???or buildings...or cars????
do you think that building cars and electronic chips is the most interesting thing in the world???
If you call this interesting, then what would you call the few points i wrote above about science in general...?????
WHY THE RAT RACE IS TAKING PLACE MAINLY IN OUR COUNTRY
A one word answer to the above would be "SOCIO-ECONOMICS".
We(our country) have essentially lived like a bunch of poor and hugry people for the past one millenium due to excessive invasions.
After getting freedom in 1947, we got hold over our economy. The economy didn't do any wonders until lately...to be precise the early 90's. That's when our economic policy was changed and we went on to be a highly flexible a globally integrated economy. This is when all private sector businesses in the country , wether big or small, started flourishing. That continues to this day in the form of excessive jobs in sectors of IT and Business and management in general.
Due to so many economically good career options availible, many people tend to get carried away. They compromise their entire life just for the sake of a little more money.
Many of you would be included in this list. Life is not so much about gathering dollar or rupee notes but more about "LIVING IT"...if you understand what i mean.
I feel pretty bad when i see so much of bulls*** hapennig all around.....people talking about placements......jobs.....pay packages....and what institute offers which placements......it seems as if such people do not really understand how much more there is to this world and the entire universe in general that some godamn "INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY" and pay packages...!!!!
We are today living in a world of increasing opportunities. You will definitely make it big, financially and otherwise, in something that you have a natural temperament for...!!
CAREER doesn't mean deciding on the highest paying job.....rather it means how do you want yourself to be living your life 10 years down the line.....20...30 years down the line???? do you want to be entrapped in a MNC office for 8 hours a day everyday....being hardly left with anytime to do anything else.....(a complete deprivation of freedom of your life) ....or do you want to be a free bird....exploring life and the world....and livig your life your way....and not having your life dictated by some boss of the company ....
No amount of money can compensate freedom. you will perhaps realise this when you will get caged i some godamn office for most part of the day....not getting to do what you wish.....that's when you'll realise the meaning of freedom........and that's when ...i would hopefully be sitting on some beach ....with a pen and a paper....working out the secrets of the heavens and perhaps parallel universes....!!!!!!
The opportunities in our country in almost all the fields apart from engineerig and medical are scarce. This is the reason why people never really get to know of so many other things in the world....and are left to only become a doctor or an engineer...
Not studying pure academics after class 12th is not such a "bad idea" if you want to follow something else in the world.....it could be dancing...it could be art...could be music....could be opening up a restaurant ....could be becoming a cook.....becoming a mountaineer.....it could be just about anything at all....!!!!!
For eg. Not everybody in the US is trying to get into MIT or CalTech. Only a certain few try to do that....those who really wanna do that.....and that is because they have vast amounts of opportunities in almost everything in the world......
And that's why strig theory was developed in western uiversities and not i indian....that's why michael phelps nails it down in the olympics and ot idians....and that's why Richard Feynman was an american and not an indian......
All that indians are presently good at is....becoming stupid personality less...aimless geeks...!!!!
Opportunities are not goig to grow unless their is education amongst the masses and most importantly unless there is a demand for it....
naturally, if every damn guy in the country aspires to be an engineer....only stupid engineering colleges offering B.Tech. + MBA will crop up....!!!
CREATE THE DEMAND......AND DOT FOLLOW OTHERS LIKE MINDLESS SHEEPS....!!! and the first contribution that you could make is forwrding this article!!!
This article was mainly about PURE SCIENCE but i seemingly wandered off into other important and related issues.
people interested in pure science must read the following books. These are an absolute must for a novice. These books have made thousands of people discover their love for pure science and become scientists....you could be the next...!!!
most of these are written at a layman level....so that all you require is the knowledge of english language.
1.) PARALLEL WORLDS, by MICHIO KAKU
2.) HYPERSPACE , by MICHIO KAKU
3.) THE THEORY OF EVERYTHIG, by STEPHEN HAWKING
4.) A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME, by, STEPHEN HAWKING
5.) THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE, by, BRIAN GREENE
6.) FEYNMAN'S LECTURES ON PHYSICS (3 VOLUMES) , by, RICHARD P. FEYNMAN
7.) PHYSICS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, by , MICHIO KAKU
all of these books can be purchased at
which is an indian online bookstore and will deliver all these books right at your doorstep.
Any one wanting to pursue theoretical physics, instead of engineering, must take up a proper physics course right from the beginning.
Followig institutes offer a B.Sc. + M.Sc. itegrated degree in physics:
The IIT's ofcourse:
IISER(Indian Institute of Scientific Educatio ad Research)
It has 5 campuses currently. Google it.
BITS - PILANI (all campuses)
PAYSCALE IN THEORETICAL PHYSICS
The payscale in india would obviously be very low as it is the case here with any other field apart from engieering or medical.
But opportuities abroad are plentiful in comparison. The averasge payscale is somethig around 60,000 US $ per annum.
In indian currency, it would be somethig around 2 lakh rupees a month!!!
But if you are residing abroad, then the cost of living mught go up ...so to account for that, we might reduce this slightly so that the effective income according to indian standards would be something in between 1 to 1.5 lakh rupees per month.
So i might as well earn as much as most of you by studying extra dimensions and parallel universes...!!!!
also this is the starting salary....it can double up in a period of ten years if you get a professorship. It might be even higher if you can manage to pass out from top schools like MIT, CalTech, Princeton, Harvard.
Feel free to contact me at