A Pseudo-humongous-transition

All of my posts till now have been formal and full of facts. But i’m gonna make this one more reader-friendly. 

If anybody asks me what I was doing half an hour before my 18th birthday, they would have openly cursed me for my reply. Washing clothes. Yeah, me being the obsessive-things-have-to-be-done-as-planned one in my family, I have grown up in such a way that it is unable for me to even sleep without establishing all the things that I’ve planned for.the day. So anyhow, being an NITT-ian, washing machine becomes a luxury here. Hence, as i was washing a butt-load of evil-smelling clothes, the first call arrived form my Best friend at around 11:40. Slowly as time flew, other calls started coming at around 11:55. I couldn’t speak literally for more than 20 seconds with a person, even with my brother, since I was barraged with calls. People, i.e my school friends, who i haven’t spoken to in months also called to wish, for which I was utterly grateful. 

Next came the cake-cutting, which right now has become a tradition in our hostel. Almost all of my class and non-class friends were assembled, and began the chorus as I entered my candle-light lit room. The chocolate cake was rich in its flavor, but unfortunately I cannot describe much about it since I had the least amount of pieces, being the birthday girl. More amount of cake was smeared on my face than my mouth. After a hell lot of selfie’s, laughter and GPL(If you haven’t heard of it, imagine a human being held at hands and legs and kicked from under). Later we all went to the night canteen inside our hostel to have soft drinks. I’ve always wanted to try to open a fizzling coke bottle, and finally I got the chance on my b’day. It was fun, mainly because it splashed on everyone else except me. 

Later as I came back to room and turned on my laptop, there was the job of replying to every post on facebook. Usually I just copy and paste it everywhere, but this time I replied separately and properly to every post. Later talked with some more friends and fell asleep at 4.

Woken up by my roommate, I had to hurriedly take a bath and get ready for class at 10 30. Thankfully, we had only two classes today, hence as it got over at 12 10. Myself, a friend of mine whose b’day was the day before mine, and 16 other classmates went to Trichy to a 3 star hotel, Breeze.It was a combined treat hence my pocket wasn’t burnt so bad. The food was sumptuous and delicious. While returning, we again clicked tons of pictures. I was exhausted after reaching my room. I was greeted with a courier from my school best friend. He had sent a dress, cooling glass, chocolate and album with all of my pics and a letter. By the time I finished reading the letter, my eyes were clouded with tears. I was so grateful hence I called right away to thank him. Later again I got ready to go meet a best friend. My school best friend who was in a nearby college also came to meet. Had a wonderful time with both of them, loved their gifts, and returned back happily and contented. More posts to reply to, pictures to upload and calls to return. Finally the end of the day arrived, with me talking with my best friend one more time and I still remember the last minute of the day. I was laughing happily as the clock struck 12 and date changed to 31-07-2014.

People always say turning 18 is something huge. I feel the same as yesterday, the day before that and the day before that. It is not a change that happens overnight. You learn how to be more mature and sensible from your past 18 year experience and not in one day. And that’s what I learnt on my birthday.

 

 

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The Big Bang Theory (Not the serial)

You know why I love Astronomy and Physics? Astronomy keeps reminding us how insignificant we all are, how insignificant our problems are and how there are things going on which is much greater than us and out of our control, for we are but a tiny speck in the infinite Cosmos.

And Physics takes an effort to explain everything that is happening around us, all the natural phenomena, among which the creation of the universe is one of the most sought after discovery which is stlll in progress.

If you’re an avid lover too, you must definitely check out this blog, maintained by Phil Plait, famously known as the BadAstronomer. You can get up-to-date information served to you in a colloquial manner. Also here is another page to check out, updated with latest information regarding science, astronomy and technology.

 

Nowadays when you say ‘Big bang theory’ you get responses such as ‘Oh I love Sheldon’, ‘Howard is so funny’, ‘Leonerd looks like a nerd’. A theory which explains the origin of our entire species from nothing has been thoroughly overshadowed by a sitcom. Oh, But definitely an enjoyable one.

The Bible explains how we came into existence with a simple answer : God created us. The first line literally starts with ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’. That’s an easy way out don’t you think? Fortunately we have had some pretty mind-blowing thinkers such as Edwin Hubble, Carl Sagan, Steohen Hawking, Albert Einstein, etc who decided to take the rough path and find out the actual truth instead of building up a facade of lies.

 

The ancient Greeks recognized that it was difficult to imagine what an infinite universe might look like. But they also wondered that if the universe were finite, and you stuck out your hand at the edge, where would your hand go? The Greeks’ two problems with the universe represented a paradox – the universe had to be either finite or infinite, and both alternatives presented problems.

 

Gravity being an adamant puller, anybody would expect the universe to keep shrinking, But Edwin Hubble, an astronomer at Caltech, in 1929 proved that wrong  by his critical discovery that the universe is in fact expanding and not contracting. He observed a Cepheid variable star(one that could determine distances of galaxies) over a period of months and finally came to the conclusion. For more information, look here. Meanwhile, other physicists and mathematicians working on Einstein’s theory of gravity discovered the equations had some solutions that described an expanding universe. In these solutions, the light coming from distant objects would be redshifted as it traveled through the expanding universe. The red shift would increase with increasing distance to the object.

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Also another notion was that, since the universe must have been insanely hot in the beginning, it would have emitted radiation, whose remnants should still be present since the universe is assumed to be isotropic and homogeneous. And this in fact turned out to be true when Scientists discovered it in the 1940’s, and named it the CMB(Cosmic microwave background).

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Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. This theory is a strenuous effort taken not to explain how we originated(a common misinterpretation), but to explain how we developed from a tiny, dense state. It is difficult and daunting to imagine a time 13.7 billion years ago, When we were nothing but.. Well nothing. Our entire universe existed as a singularity. What is a ‘Singularity‘? We don’t quite know for sure. Singularities are zones which defy our current understanding of physics. They are thought to exist at the core of “black holes”.

 

As you all are aware of, the treacherous ‘Black Holes’ are areas of intense gravitational pressure. The pressure is thought to be so intense that finite matter is actually squished into infinite density (a mathematical concept which truly boggles your mind). These infinite density zones are known as Singularities. Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense, something – a singularity.

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A common misconception is that the Big bang is an explosion. Fortunately, it’s not. It’s an expansion that has spanned over billions of years.

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What was the universe like at the beginning of the big bang? According to the theory, it was extremely dense and extremely hot. There was so much energy in the universe during those first few moments that matter as we know it couldn’t form. But it kept expanding relentlessly and that helped it to cool down and matter started to take shape while radiation began losing energy. In a few seconds the universe went from being nothing(a singularity actually) to something that stretched across space.

 

The four fundamental forces that we know of now were formed at that instant. A better word would be ‘segregated’, as they were all unified initially under the Grand Unified Theory. Because of certain unmistakable limitations of laws of science, we can’t take a random guess at the first second of the creation. But we’re close. Scientists are able to go as far as t=1×10^(-43), where ‘t’ represents the time after the creation. The study of these phenomena’s are known as quantum cosmology, as these vehemently defy the laws of classical physics.

 

At t = 1 x 10-43 seconds, the universe was incredibly small, dense and hot. This homogenous area of the universe spanned a region of only 1 x 10-33 centimeters (3.9 x 10-34 inches). Today, that same stretch of space spans billions of light years. As the universe expanded, it cooled. At around t = 1 x 10-35 seconds, matter and energy decoupled. Cosmologists call this baryogenesis — baryonic matter is the kind of matter we can observe. In contrast, we can’t observe dark matter, but we know it exists by the way it affects energy and other matter. A period of particle cosmology followed the quantum age. This period starts at t = 1 x 10-11 seconds. This is a phase that scientists can recreate in lab conditions with particle accelerators.

Next came the period of standard cosmology, which begins .01 second after the beginning of the big bang. From this moment on, scientists feel they have a pretty good handle on how the universe evolved. The universe continued to expand and cool, and the subatomic particles formed during baryogenesis began to bond together. They formed neutrons and protons. By the time a full second had passed, these particles could form the nuclei of light elements like hydrogen (in the form of its isotope, deuterium), helium and lithium. This process is known as nucleosynthesis. But the universe was still too dense and hot for electrons to join these nuclei and form stable atoms.

So that’s a pretty nifty one second! But then comes the next 13 billion years.

After 100 seconds, the universe’s temperature cooled to 1 billion degrees Kelvin (1 billion degrees Celsius, 1.8 billion degrees Fahrenheit). By mass, the distribution of elements was approximately 75 percent hydrogen nuclei and 24 percent helium nuclei.

For the next 100 million years or so, the universe continued to expand and cool. Small gravitational fluctuations caused particles of matter to cluster together. Gravity caused gases in the universe to collapse into tight pockets. As gases contract, they become more dense and hot. Some 100 to 200 million years after the initial creation of the universe, stars formed from these pockets of gas.

Stars began to cluster together to form galaxies. Eventually, some stars went supernova. As the stars exploded, they ejected matter across the universe. This matter included all the heavier elements we find in nature (everything up to uranium). That’s where the famous quote by Carl Sagan originated “We all are made up of star-stuff”.

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Coming to today, the temperature of the universe is 2.725 degrees Kelvin, which is only a couple of degrees above absolute zero. The homogeneous section of the universe we can theorize about reaches 1 x 10^29 centimeters across, which is a humongous number which is beyond anyone’s imagination.

 

And still our universe keeps expanding. But there are three models which were formed – The Open, Closed and Flat. For the last eighty years, astronomers have been making increasingly accurate measurements of two important cosmological parameters: Ho – the rate at which the universe expands – and – the average density of matter in the universe. Knowledge of both of these parameters will tell which of the three models- Flat, Open or Closed, describes the universe we live in, and thus the ultimate fate of our universe.

Although the theory efficiently answers many questions, it also raises as many. And although we feel like we’ve discovered a lot, there are still questions hovering about whose answers we’re unable to find. What happened before singularity? Where did it come from? What will be the fate of our universe? Are there multiple universes? Will a collision between universes occur?

Yet that is the beautiful difference between Science and Religion. Religion claims something and let’s it hanging in the air without any support. But Science puts forth its theory and carries the burden of the evidence. Even if the theories pan out to be wrong, it comes up with a new one and the process goes on evolving.

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To me, Science is the best religion!

 

 

A feast-to-remember

Nobody likes to be in an unknown unfamiliar place which is blaring with noise and vigorous crowd milling around, constantly bumping into someone and getting cursed, unfamiliar faces all around and having no idea where you are. But what if you were one among the herd?

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What if you had the chance to spend 4 days with your best buddies milling around a 770 acre ostentatiously decorated campus, with events going on every direction you turn, workshops that you’ve always craved for taking place right in front of your eyes, pro shows that pump up your blood stream and tone up your energy llevel, choreo nite which carves out the dancer in you, and of course the stretch of miscellany food stalls which adds color to your barely alive taste buds, would you go for it?

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If you’re thinking yes, then ‘Festember‘ is the place to be!

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It is not just the activities that shape up Festember into a once-in-a-lifetime unmissable fest. The secondary reason is the surrounding aura of laughter, PJ’s, excitement and thousands of people from the nook and corner of India coalescing together just for three days to witness these activities which makes it all the more unforgettable.

 

To a dwell a little deeper into the plethora of activities, Proshows are one of the most anticipated ones. At the dawn of dusk, the crowd hitherto lazily whiling away their time in the food stalls, suddenly evacuate the place which might even trick you into thinking it to be a mass drill of some sort. But i bet you would do the same if you knew legends such as Punya Srinivas, Kadri Gopalnath, Guitar Prasanna, Benny Dayal, etc to state a few are giving one of their awe-inspiring performances. Festember has witnessed a wide range of artists excelling in diverse fields and the 4 days are categorized into Rock night, Classical and Popular night to give you a glimpse of it all. This year being the Golden Jubilee one, wait for some truly spectacular luminaries.

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While Proshows are most anticipated, Workshops form the soul of Festember. Simply because they quench the thirst of hundreds of souls who crave to do something beyond their reach, let it be a Pottery workshop or a Party dance workshop. Workshops ensure that the students while thoroughly enjoying it, also get the chance to pursue their inner hidden passion, which might not always be the mainstream and monotonous path of engineering, medical or commerce. Be different.

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The backbone of Festember are its Events. With over 50+ events sprawled out in front of you, you will be stuck in a state of dilemma as to which event to pick. The events range from the most eagerly awaited Choreo Nite, to the billingual Tarangini, to Cinematics, to Dramatics, and of course the event which serves a feast to everyone’s eyes- The fashion show. There will be a schedule put up in a huge banner with all the events and timings. From there it’s Sophie’s Choice for you!

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Festember is not only known to increase your talent by its Workshops, It is also a platform for you to flaunt your skills. With the innumerable Competitions stacked up, you will find at least one in which you can show your handy work. And with the lits taking place in English, Hindi and Tamil Festember achieves the task of keeping everyone busy. If that isn’t enough to keep you entertained, the Informals sure as hell will do the task. What was the last time you had the chance to be on a Virtual ‘Minute to Win it’ show? Or the last time you played street football just for the sake of it, or galli cricket? All you have to do is let yourself be taken away by the charm of it.

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And what makes Festember stand out is the fact that all of this is organized by our very own college students, who work tirelessly for an entire year just so that those 4 days pan out well. And it doesn’t stop there either. Festember while being a cultural fest is not just about the glory, a separate team renowned as ‘Festember Social Responsibility’ undertake the job of taking care of the community with its first it’s first ever drive ‘greEndeavour’ in 2012 turning out to be an enthralling success.

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And last but the best, the Gold Dustbin initiative proved to be immensely useful by achieving both the task of getting rid of your old stuff economically and raising money from waste. This is just to let you skim through the book of what this year’s Festember, like every other year, is gonna be. So many things have been squeezed into mere 4 days that it’s a formidable task to choose what you want to. But it’s a task that you’ll love doing.

 

And with the theme changing every year, this year’s theme ‘Hawaii’ is one which when someone hears, mentally paints a picture of vacations, relaxation and enjoyment. And that’s exactly what you should expect because that’s exactly how this year’s fest-to-remember will be. Don’t miss it cause later you’ll be like..

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