Sunday, February 21, 2010

Path of selfishness

Selfishness is the basis of all immoral and corrupt practices that is prevalent in our society. Our worldly desires make us self centered and to fulfill them we focus on self interest and in the process we acquire selfishness. Main cause of selfishness is that we only think about our own interests and comforts. Selfishness starts getting into the background when we think about others , their problems and what we can do to mitigate them. Selfishness is the biggest impurity in us which does not permit us to look beyond our own self. Once we are rooted in selfishness we move away from truth and at the same time show very little respect for others and their opinions. Swami Vivekananda had once remarked that what is selfish is immoral and that which is unselfish is moral, People are selfish due to wrong understanding that if their desires are met they can be happy for ever. They fail to realize that the main end of life is not the pursuit of material happiness. It is in the pursuit of eternal happiness which has nothing to do with material happiness. It is obtained by looking inwards to realize our spiritual destiny. World is tempting and eye catching which gives instant joy to a worldly man who shall be ever busy in fulfilling his desire by activating selfishness. Mahabharta says that desires can never be satiated by gratification of desires. The more they are enjoyed the more they grow as fire by the pouring into it of butter.

Man Performs three types of actions which can be put under three heads- selfish actions, unselfish actions and self less actions. Selfish actions are those which are based on your needs and also on your greeds. These actions are performed to cater for selfish desires. Unselfish actions are those which may be based on selfish desires but there is some sort of unselfish goal like how can I contribute towards betterment of society. Then there are selfless actions which re not propelled by any desires but man considers his duty to work for the up lift of his surroundings or environment. For a selfless man every thing other than he himself in environment not only the trees, rivers or plants around him but also all living being around him. Selfless action are basically duty driven actions where man consider it as his duty to act for others and even goes out of the way to help others particularity those who are in need. Selfless work is the highest type of work and selfless people are assets to society. They are those who set example to the ordinary people. Selfless person does not expect any rewards for his actions.

The Gita defines Yoga as skill in action or efficiency in actions. Skillful actions are those where our personal interest in the work is not there and we put in our hundred percent in the task given to us. It is man's, Selfishness which results in inefficiency in work. There is corruption. There is poverty, there is crime, violence and backwardness in society, all these are caused by inefficiency in work. Efficient work is that where there is sincerity in work where there is commitment, where there is transparency and where there is rightful attitude behind the works we undertake during our day to day living.
Way out of selfishness : Selflessness in life, Selfishness in death, says Swami Vivakananda, When we act as per sense of duty we are not victim of play of our nature. To wake up to the world of spirit we have to fight selfishness. Man's aim of life is not eating for himself or working on his personal needs. Man lives in a community which can run only on exchange of commodities and service. Gita asks you to work in a spirit of Yagya or Yajna. It says all works bind excepts those which are done in a spirit of Yajna. This can be activated when you get yourself out of action by fixing your mind in higher ideal. Higher ideal unlocks your potential. Then your mind moves away from the idea of putting your mind on the results of action. Gita admonishes those who are selfish and says that those who cook for their own sake and do not share with other are thieves. It is very appropriately said that he will never go to heaven who is content to go alone. This brings us to a very noble idea that we should share with others which is the hall mark of Indian culture. We have to bring about a change in our attitude towards, Life. We have to change from the attitude of hoarding to the attitude of sharing. Share your knowledge with others and it would increase many fold.

Giving is important to root out selfishness. Give preference to giving rather than taking from others. Joy of giving is sixteen times more than the joy of taking from others. To root out selfishness one should involve oneself with charitable acts. Another way to get out of selfishness is to replace self interest by social interest. You should undertake social work with a sense of responsibility and with a conviction to change the society for its betterment. Make selfless service to other as the basic aim of your social work. The answer to the questions why should I serve others is very simple. Man benefits himself by doing good to others. When man establishes himself in benevolence, his selfish thoughts decline and he moves onto the path of enlightenment. He acquires wisdom which is higher than Intellectuality. A wise person is always selfless whereas an intellectual can be selfish. And finally when you inject duty idea into your life. You shall ever remain selfless because life is duty and at the same time life is beauty. One thing is common in all great people of the world. They were selfless workers. Selflessness come from cessation of desires. Desires means feeling of deficiency whereas desirelessness is feeling of completion. Desires are not to be suppressed but controlled with inner blossoming. You may draw enjoyment when associated with beautiful things but never develop attachment or craving for them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Particle Collision in Universe

The newborn universe was a fast learner: At barely a millionth of a second old, it already had an inkling of the difference between right and left. The conclusion comes from physicists working with a colossal atom smasher that, for the briefest moment, reproduces the soup of free-flying elementary particles thought to have filled the early universe. Within each infinitesimal dollop of the soup, interactions between particles are not mirror symmetric so that the soup develops a kind of left-right imbalance, the nuclear physicists report.

For physicists, symmetry helps frame their understanding of fundamental particles and the forces between them. A particle interaction or decay can be symmetric in several ways. For example, a process such as an electron bumping into a positron might look the same running backward instead of forward in time. Likewise, things might be symmetric if right were swapped for left in a kind of mirror reflection, a symmetry known as parity.

Nature sometimes bucks the aesthetic, however. For example, certain radioactive decay processes violate parity. The effect shows up in the so-called "weak" decay of, say, a nucleus of cobalt-60 into a nucleus of nickel-60, which happens when a neutron in the nucleus turns into a proton. In the process, an electron comes out always spinning to the left, whereas parity symmetry would predict that it should emerge spinning to the left or right with equal probabilities. That insight, which garnered a Nobel Prize in 1957, revolutionized particle physics.

Parity might also be violated, after a fashion, in so-called strong interactions, the forces that hold protons and neutrons together in the nucleus in the first place. Or so suggest data from the 4-kilometer-long Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. RHIC smashes gold ions together with such violence that the protons and neutrons in them melt into their constituent parts--particles called quarks and gluons--to make a mind-bogglingly hot mess known as a quark-gluon plasma. Within the plasma, parity symmetry goes askew, researchers reported here yesterday at the April meeting of the American Physical Society.

The "symmetry breaking" is subtle. Imagine, as is most likely the case, that two gold ions collide not precisely head on, but slightly off center. The resulting drop of quark-gluon plasma spins a bit like Earth on its axis. That internal churning creates a strong magnetic field. Within the plasma, positively charged quarks and antiquarks appear to flock to one pole and negatively charged quarks and antiquarks flee to the other, Brookhaven's Dmitri Kharzeev told the meeting. That separation of charges violates parity, which would predict equal numbers of positive and negative particles rushing in both directions, he said.

The team cautions that the parity violation is qualitatively different than in the weak interaction. In a weak decay, an electron always emerges spinning the same way. In the quark-gluon plasma, the positive particles sometimes go to the north pole, sometimes to the south. So the parity violation only shows up "locally," when events are analyzed one at a time. Tally up all the events, though, and positive particles don't have a preference for one direction or the other, so overall the strong interactions still preserves parity, as researchers observed.

While the observations are intriguing, the team can't rule out other, less sexy explanations for the observed charge separation, said Berndt Mueller, a theorist at DukeUniversity in Durham, North Carolina. If more refined analyses do turn up conclusive evidence of parity violation, it would be like mining for silver and finding gold, Mueller said. The differences between the quark-gluon plasma and the world we live in would be "even more exciting and even more dramatic than what has been generally expected."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Intel Talent Search Finalists

Suman Guha Mozumder
The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition in the United States. It encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and develop the skills necessary to solve the problems of tomorrow. Each year, 300 semifinalists are selected from a pool of approximately 1,700 applicants from across the nation to compete for $1.25 million in scholarships and awards.Here Suman Guha Mozumder speaks to the five finalists of Indian origin, and finds a common trait -- they are all rooted in tradition while aiming for the stars.

Math for world's sake
For Akhil Mathew of Madison, New Jersey, promoting the sciences and mathematics is a life ambition. "It seems doing that would be necessary to address many of the world's current problems," says the 18-year-old Intel Science Talent Search finalist, who entered a project in mathematics.Akhil was born in India to Thomas and Rama Madhavarao, but he has spent most of his life in New Jersey.According to Intel, Akhil combines algebraic geometry, representation theory and category theory in his work on Deligne categories of complex rank. Deligne created a large family of categories parametrised by complex numbers which interpolate classical categories, ones in which the complex number in question is a positive integer. In his project, Akhil showed that under certain finiteness assumptions important properties of these categories are determined by constructible sets. He then showed that these properties hold generically if they hold on a sufficiently large set of parameters.Akhil is a tutor in chemistry, math and French at Madison High School, where he is also active in the chess club. Since eighth grade, he has taken courses at Drew University, where he recently assisted in preparing a math textbook for publication.He is moderator of an online Johns Hopkins University math forum. "I play tennis casually and volunteer at the public library as a chess teacher for elementary school students," he adds.He says his former mentor and current teacher Sinan Gunturk of New York University taught him a great deal about analysis and got him seriously interested in mathematical research. Akhil hopes to continue his studies at Harvard or MIT. "I am very glad to have received the finalist award," he says, "and look forward to presenting my work in Washington, DC."

The mathematician philosopher
Arjun Ranganath Puranik turns philosophical when asked about his goal in life. "I think we are only truly happy when we help people somehow," says the 17-year-old from Palatine, Illinois. "Even helping one person has a positive impact on society at large."He submitted a mathematics project to the Intel Science Talent Search that classifies the representations of rational Cherednik algebras, which have applications in quantum physics.According to Intel, Arjun's research gives a deepened understanding of H3, the group of symmetries of the regular icosahedron. He studies an algebraic structure built from H3, called the rational Cherednik algebra. His classification of finite dimensional representations of this algebra provides useful linear algebra information about this complicated structure. His result contributes to the efforts to classify all rational Cherednik algebras.Arjun, who was born in Karnataka to engineer parents Ranganath and Parimala Puranik and who has been in the United States since he was in kindergarten, is first in his class of 747 at William Fremd High School where he is managing editor of the newspaper, lead member of the math team and captain of the scholastic and science bowl teams."My parents and my older brother have encouraged and mentored me to pursue my passion in math and science by example and by direction," he says. "My family has always been and is continuing to support me in all of my pursuits." Though his academic pursuits keep him busy, he loves to play tennis and has played at the varsity level the last two years."I also love to listen to music in general, and have been trained in playing classical piano and in Hindustani vocals," says Arjun. He hopes to get into either Stanford or MIT following the footsteps of his brother, who has just graduated fromStanford.

Helping hand, through science
I know this sounds like a bit of a cliche and definitely idealistic coming from a 17-year-old, but I want to make a difference," says Sunanda Sharma, Intel finalist from Shrewsbury High School, Massachusetts. "I've been very lucky with the resources and support that I have, and have a responsibility to help others who maybe aren't so fortunate," she says.Her Intel project mirrors that philosophy. Sunanda, who was born in New Delhi and immigrated to the United States when she was three, investigated the effect of an enriched environment on autism-relevant behaviour for her Intel project in behavioural and social sciences. Focusing on an autism candidate gene called PTEN, active in embryo formation and development, she studied juvenile and adult mice, using those with PTEN irregularities as autism models. She believes her findings show that environmental enrichment can be used to influence deficits in brain circuitry caused by genetic abnormality even when the gene is very early-acting. She is the co-author of a paper on the subject being prepared for publication.Sunanda, who "can't wait until March to go to DC," says, "I'm very excited and extremely grateful to Intel, my mentor and the lab in which I worked, and my school. Of course, I really appreciate my parents and brother for supporting me through the last several months and years."Science, as they say, is in her blood. Her father is a scientist."Definitely they [her parents] were a big influence and inspired me to pursue science since I was a kid," says Sunanda, daughter of Jitendra and Usha Sharma. "On a more personal note, one person who has possibly influenced and inspired me the most is my older brother Samvaran, who has taught me so much about science, research, and life in general," she adds.She is president of her school's speech and debate club, which is made up of about 70 students who compete in local and national tournaments each year. She also plays clarinet in the school band, and loves to play piano on her own. "I also am learning to compose and mix audio tracks," she adds proudly. Sunanda, who has won numerous honours in state and regional science fairs, hopes to attend MIT or Harvard.

Juggling Bharat Natyam and Andromeda
Namrata Anand's goal in life is simple -- to impact as many people as possible in the most positive way that she can. "I believe that if I go about life trying to improve the lives of those around me, I will not only help impact society at large but will live a fulfilling life myself," she says.And for the 17-year-old from Los Altos Hills, California, scientific research is a great way to reach and influence people across the globe."My parents [RK and Nita Anand] and my sister have always encouraged me to shoot for the stars," she says.She has done just that for her Intel Science Talent Search project in physics and space sciences. She used spectral analysis and nearly a decade's worth of data to expose key information about the chemical enrichment history of the Andromeda galaxy. She believes that chemical analysis projects like hers, focusing on patterns of metallicity, have the potential to identify locations in space with a high probability of extraterrestrial life. Her work will form a major section of a paper being prepared for publication in the Astrophysical Journal; she will be a co-author."I am incredibly honoured," she says about being an Intel Search finalist. "The research opportunity I was given over this past summer at University of California-Santa Cruz was a phenomenal one, and I can't imagine having brought myproject to this level without the help of my mentor, Dr Raja Thakurta, and my school's science department. I am thrilled at the thought of traveling to Washington, DC to hear all about the amazing projects 39 other students have completed."Namrata, born and raised in the Bay Area, says her family has had a great influence over her and that her love of writing, physics and the performing arts can all be traced back to some inspiring aunt, grandparent or a second cousin. She is part of her school's conservatory, which provides students with a forum to explore their passion for the arts and develop their creative abilities."I am also learning Bharata Natyam and Carnatic vocal music. My gurus are not just extremely talented but they are my role models in more ways than I can count," she says. She also loves to run, play basketball, and is a passionate football fan.Namrata, who plans to attend Harvard or Stanford, says her Hindu religion and Indian culture have influenced many aspects of her life in the most brilliant, positive ways."The past 17 years have been awesome," she says, "and I can't express how grateful I am for all the opportunities I have been given."

The green warrior
Raman Venkat Nelakanti, 17, is passionate about doing something to solve the global energy crisis; and he believes biology can help."Ten years down the line," the Intel Science Talent Search finalist says in conversation with India Abroad, "I want to be at the forefront of biological energy production, which is a recently developing science. The issue over producing
renewable energy is important to me because I want to keep the earth sustainable. I hope that my future research endeavors will contribute to that." Plano, Texas-born and Bay Area, California-raised Raman feels people are putting off the inevitable effects of global warming and energy shortages as something of the future.Raman investigated the green algae chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a potential source of hydrogen, a renewable biofuel, for his Intel plant sciences project. These algae require an oxygen-free environment for producing hydrogen. Depriving algae of sulfur causes them to consume oxygen in their environment, thereby maintaining a balance where they can produce hydrogen. At the same time, complete sulfur deprivation inhibits algae growth and introduces inefficiencies into the process."I found an optimal amount of sulfur and a process that could be used for algae to produce hydrogen gas and have normal growth," he explains. "I devised a method that improves the efficiency and sustainability of algal hydrogen production." When he got to know he was an Intel finalist, he felt "absolutely surprised, amazed and excited. I am really looking forward to going to DC and meeting with many great scientists and other finalists from across the nation."Raman says his parents Bhava and Tara Nelakanti have always been there to encourage him in his interests, be it science fairs, music or cricket. "I really love playing cricket and have been playing in the California Cricket Association since seventh grade. I still play in the adult league matches on the weekends," he says.He also learns Carnatic vocal music and enjoys gardening at home and at his Sunnyvale Community Garden. He volunteers for the community garden and a swim center called Abilities United, where he helps with aquatic therapy for children with disabilities."The Bay Area has been an amazing place to grow up," says Raman, who also attributes his success to the amazing teachers who helped him along the way. "Everyone at school is intelligent, friendly and supportive," he adds. "The community has really helped me grow as a scientist."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quantum Mechanics in photosynthesis

We were astonished to find clear evidence of long-lived quantum mechanical states involved in moving the energy. Our result suggests that the energy of absorbed light resides in two places at once.

It also raises some other potentially fascinating questions, such as, have these organisms developed quantum-mechanical strategies for light-harvesting to gain an evolutionary advantage? It suggests that algae knew about quantum mechanics nearly two billion years before humans."

Greg Scholes, University of Toronto professor of chemistry

A team of University of Toronto chemists have made a major contribution to the emerging field of quantum biology, observing quantum mechanics at work in photosynthesis in marine algae. "There's been a lot of excitement and speculation that nature may be using quantum mechanical practices," says chemistry professor Greg Scholes, lead author of a new study published this week in Nature. "Our latest experiments show that normally functioning biological systems have the capacity to use quantum mechanics in order to optimize a process as essential to their survival as photosynthesis."

Special proteins called light-harvesting complexes are used in photosynthesis to capture sunlight and funnel its energy to nature's solar cells – other proteins known as reaction centres. Scholes and his colleagues isolated light-harvesting complexes from two different species of marine algae and studied their function under natural temperature conditions using a sophisticated laser experiment known as two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy.

"We stimulated the proteins with femtosecond laser pulses to mimic the absorption of sunlight," explains Scholes. "This enabled us to monitor the subsequent processes, including the movement of energy between special molecules bound in the protein, against a stop-clock. We were astonished to find clear evidence of long-lived quantum mechanical states involved in moving the energy. Our result suggests that the energy of absorbed light resides in two places at once – a quantum superposition state, or coherence – and such a state lies at the heart of quantum mechanical theory."

"This and other recent discoveries have captured the attention of researchers for several reasons," says Scholes. "First, it means that quantum mechanical probability laws can prevail over the classical laws of kinetics in this complex biological system, even at normal temperatures. The energy can thereby flow efficiently by—counter intuitively—traversing several alternative paths through the antenna proteins simultaneously. It also raises some other potentially fascinating questions, such as, have these organisms developed quantum-mechanical strategies for light-harvesting to gain an evolutionary advantage? It suggests that algae knew about quantum mechanics nearly two billion years before humans."