Tue, 28th Jan '03, 9:10 pm::

Thus ends another fine winter day :) Had Physics in the morning and then Computers. I found my buddy Mihir's also in my computer class, so it's gonna be great studying with him. Shhhhh don't tell this to anyone, but I am sooooo jealous of Mihir. Not because he's 6 foot tall, looks like a Bollywood male-model, or because he's a preceptor (= free living on campus) and a TA (= teaches CS 112 course), but simply because he has a GPA of perfect 4.0 after 95 credits! I've about 81 credits and have a GPA of 3.963 :( Urghh! I'm sooo jealous (and shallow!) Hehe...

Anyways, after computer class, I hopped along to my work and nothing great happened there. But after work, I decided to go to this special seminar on Nuclear Physics and before you jump to conclusions, nuclear physicists don't make 'weapons of mass-destruction.' Nuclear Physics simply deals with the study of small lil particles like atoms, protons, electrons, mesons, muons, photons, gluons, bosons, positrons, and a hell lot of other 'ons. Of course there's also neutrinos, positrinos, higginos, and a lot of 'nos too :) Part of the reason why I attended the lecture was well, the pamphlet for the seminar: "Don't go to those Greek Frats & Sororities like Alpha Delta Gamma Phi Kappa Zeta! Come to the Physics seminar and actualy learn what these particles do. Free Pizza + Soda." Yeah, so first, the pamphlet was kinda catchy, and second, FREE FOOD! Hehehehe. I had 3 slices :) yummmmm and lots of coke. Hehe.

The lecture was indeed very interesting. Lately, I've been reading a lot of theoritical Physics material (stuff on space/time/dimensions/universe) and the Prof. answered a lot of my questions. It was interesting to see how much he personally believed in Supersymmetry theory and despised the String theory. Also he talked in quite depth about the future projects at CERN, like LHC and CMS. Ah real interesting stuff if well, you like all this stuff. My interest in all this, is of course, still from the computerization point-of-view.

Here's why I am interested in particle Physics - it needs The Grid to succeed. What's the grid? Well you know how the Internet has connected millions of computers to exchange information; now just imagine if instead of download html files and images, you could literally download processor time and speed - that is, if you could use the whole Internet (consisting of millions and millions of computers), as if it was your own personal mega-super computer! That is what the grid is intended to do: make a giant supercomputer by using the raw processing power of smaller, cheaper computers, in such a way that anyone (ok not EVERYONE, but the scientists) can tap into the sheer speed and perform trillions of calculations per second. Ok so why does CERN need the Grid? Simply because every time there is a particle-collision inside the particle accelerators at CERN (that could be anywhere from 1 to 40 million times a second), gigabytes & gigabytes of data is generated, and it needs to be stored, processed, and analyzed before the physicists can make any new scientific theories. Physics, from the good old days of Archimedes running naked in the streets in Greece for discovering bouyancy and Newton observing falling apples, has progressed to a highly industrial science, where each experiment can literally take months and months of preparations and cost billions of dollars. However, research as such is crucial, not just because we're humans and humans love to explore, but more so, to understand how the Universe works from the largest scales (galaxies, stars, planets) to the tiniest scale (atoms, elementary particles, quarks). And with this understanding, we will someday be able to find a cure for every form of cancer, make tiny (of molecular size) robots that can go inside the arteries and unclog clots in the heart, and may be device means to fly off into the space at the speed of light. Ah who knows!

Ok I sounded a bit too much like a Physicist there! Hehe. Well what can I say... I love science :) Esp. the ending where computers come in, solve all the problems, fight with the villians, and take home the princess :) Oh wait... wrong 'blog! Haha...

Anyways, it's late and I got an early class (in my dictionary, 10 am is EARLY). G'nite!

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