Category Archives for Articles & Posts

Induction, Logic, Science, and Belief (in Bengali)

The received view of science is that it is impersonal, logical and objective. In fact, the conceptual world that science builds up for us, has its roots in extra-logical factors in our inferential process involving tacit cognition and inductive inference. The received view … More..

07. March 2017 by Avijit Lahiri
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Sample chapters from BASIC PHYSICS: Principles and Concepts (Avijit Lahiri)

Here are two sample chapters from my upcoming book ‘Basic Physics: Principles and Concepts’. The full book is in the process of revision and will be published soon. It was earlier published under a different title (‘Basic Physics: A Comprehensive Survey’). More..

11. January 2017 by Avijit Lahiri
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Quantum Theory: Under the Limelight, and Away from it (in Bengali)

This article focuses on episodes in the history of physics relating to the possible role of hidden variables in quantum theory – episodes involving John von Neumann, Grete Hermann, David Bohm, and John S. Bell. The glare of limelight sometimes obscures developments unfolding away from it that later turn out to be significant…… More..

23. October 2016 by Avijit Lahiri
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Logic in Mathematics and the Sciences

Logic is supposed to provide a secure foundation to mathematics.In mathematics, ‘everything is logical and certain’ – such, at least, is the common perception of what mathematics is. In fact, things are not so simple, and logical perfection (or ‘completeness’) … More..

14. August 2016 by Avijit Lahiri
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Read my Bengali article on Alan Turing

This is the centenary year of that towering intellect, a great mathematician and logician of all times, who was made to meet an unfortunate end. More..

13. August 2016 by Avijit Lahiri
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Read my bengali article on the problem of interpretation of quantum theory

The world-view acquired from the macroscopic world we live in may not be competent enough to properly pose, let alone resolve, the problems of interpretation of quantum theory; nevertheless, some kind of an understanding and interpretation of the exotic rules … More..

13. August 2016 by Avijit Lahiri
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The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics

‘The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences’ – this is the title of a widely cited paper[1] by the Nobel winning Hungarian Physicist Eugene P. Wigner, where he famously expresses his sense of puzzled wonder….. Read More (PDF)

18. February 2015 by Avijit Lahiri
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‘Shut up and calculate!’

‘Shut up and calculate!’ – this phrase has acquired wide currency in and outside the quantum community, and is supposed to express the attitude of the typical working quantum physicist confronting people outside the community. More..

13. May 2014 by Avijit Lahiri
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L. D. Landau: the freak genius and the ‘scientist slave’

Lev Davidovich Landau (1908-1968) was one among the great adventurer physicists of the twentieth century – one of those few who can be said to have left an indelible mark on the course of…..Read More(PDF)

20. February 2014 by Avijit Lahiri
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Peter Higgs and Thomas Kuhn (in Bengali)

Bengali PDF on Peter Higgs and Thomas Kuhn More..

12. October 2013 by Avijit Lahiri
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Physics in fun: a layman’s diary IV

• On perceiving a state of anxiety and tension among the passengers, why did the captain of the ship order it to be sunk in the high seas? ▪ Since the ship was in motion while remaining on the sea … More..

12. August 2013 by Avijit Lahiri
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Grete Hermann and von Neumann: the lady and the colossus

Grete Hermann (1901-1984) was a many-faceted woman of great versatility, talent, and character. She is known for her criticism (1935) of John von Neumann’s widely acclaimed ‘no-hidden-variable’ proof (1932) that played a crucial role in establishing the credentials of quantum … More..

09. June 2013 by Avijit Lahiri
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More on Kolmogorov: the Luzin affair

Kolmogorov, the great mathematician, is reputed to have had broad cultural interests and, at the same time, had a complex mind and personality. Perceived as being genial, broad-minded, and highly spirited, he seemed to possess unfathomed passions and prejudices as … More..

16. May 2013 by Avijit Lahiri
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Kolmogorov: the mathematician and the educator of children

A. N. Kolmogorov (1903-87) was one of the great mathematicians of all times. Among other epoch making contributions, he pioneered the modern approach to probability theory and stochastic processes, made a great contribution to the formulation of intuitionistic logic, gave … More..

03. April 2013 by Avijit Lahiri
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Physics in fun: a layman’s diary III

• Why was the proposal of office reform made by the executive overruled by his boss when they were descending in a lift? ▪ Because the executive’s arguments lost weight. • Why did the electrical wires snap as the chairman … More..

20. March 2013 by Avijit Lahiri
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Victor Veselago and the unfolding revolution in optics

In the year 1968, the Russian physicist Victor Veselago wrote a visionary paper that eventually came to hold the key to revolutionize the field of optics and, in a sense, of electromagnetic theory itself. In a few pages of amazingly … More..

07. February 2013 by Avijit Lahiri
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Physics in fun: a layman’s diary II

• Why is life on the moon likely to be a hilarious affair? ▪ Because the moon lacks in gravity. • Why is it that the people in our villages get so little of electricity? ▪ Because they belong to … More..

05. September 2012 by Avijit Lahiri
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Physics in fun: a layman’s diary I

• Why did the forward-thinking director of the premier technology institute order the removal of the large portrait of George Simon Ohm, and its replacement with a life-size negative made from the original? ▪ Because he wanted to register recognition … More..

30. July 2012 by Avijit Lahiri
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Paying attention to a question of interest.

The formula for EMI (equated monthly instalment) relating to a home loan or a car loan is something that claims our attention these days. Suppose you take on loan an amount P0 (the principal) for a period of N months … More..

29. July 2012 by Avijit Lahiri
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Photoelectricity and Quantum Optics: putting the records straight

Albert Einstein, the great pioneer of modern physics, was awarded the Nobel prize for his explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905. While recently writing a book on basic concepts in physics, I was struck by the fact that almost … More..

08. July 2012 by Avijit Lahiri
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