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Editorial

Life is world of Physics

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By EMN Updated: Oct 10, 2013 10:59 pm
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[dropcap]A[/dropcap] couple of days ago, two physicists two have been announced as the recipients for the Nobel Prize in Physics. This subject started from very humble beginnings. Sir Isaac Newton had to create the two systems of calculus, namely, integral and differential calculus. And that was how mathematics was benefited. Not onlyt that but science to wit, so also Physics.
Even a layman does understand that physics has so many variations but based from the same theme—like for instance, Naga folk dances. The basics are the same. The legend of Newton’s discovery of the forces of gravity may have been apocryphal but it has some roots.Notwithstanding that, some time ago, a reputed magazine in England passed out a questionnaire as to who was the great scientist—Newton or Einstein. Thousands gave their opinions, students as well as scientists. Newton won by a mere margin of only 1.5% of the votes and that too because the scientists voted in a conventional manner.
Not only gravity but Newton also was an observer of the heavens and he personally shaved glasses to make perfect magnifying glasses. His books although written in Latin are still masterpieces today.
On the other side of the coin, Albert Einstein, postulated the view (not theory) that there was an aberration in the movement of the planet Mercury. Accordingly, he postulated that whenever sun light reaches the gravity area of this planet, it even blends, meaning it curves by force of the planet’s gravitational pull.
From this he postulated accurately in his first General theory of Relativity. Scientists traveled to Guinea and even the West and when they compared the photographs taken it was found to be true that light also bends. Of course some years later he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1905 and which he so richly deserved.
What must be kept in mind always is that Physics and Mathematics arte like husband and wife. Without mathematics there can no physics—all because of the infernal hazard of calculations.
Today, physics has improved and expanded to such an extent thanks top both Newton and Einstein. They have made possible, by their pioneering works the voyage to the moon and possibly beyond the stars.
It is a fact of life that once a pioneering work is established, follow-ups will follow. Today physics has gone beyond the earlier theories. We now have particle physics, nano physics and so on and perhaps some more theories will follow.
Particle physics is a branch of physics which studies the nature of particles that are the constituents of what is usually referred to as matter and radiation. In current understanding, particles are excitations of quantum fields and interact following their dynamics.
Although the word “particle” can be used in reference to many objects (e.g. a proton, a gas particle, or even household dust), the term “particle physics” usually refers to the study of the fundamental objects of the universe – fields that must be defined in order to explain the observed particles, and that cannot be defined by a combination of other fundamental fields.
The current set of fundamental fields and their dynamics are summarized in a theory called the Standard Model, therefore particle physics is largely the study of the Standard Model’s particle content and its possible extensions. The particle content of the Standard Model of Physics Modern particle physics research is focused on subatomic particles, including atomic constituents such as electrons, protons, and neutrons (protons and neutrons are composite particles called baryons, made of quarks), produced by radioactive and scattering processes, such as photons, neutrinos, and muons, as well as a wide range of exotic particles.
To be specific, the term particle is a misnomer from classical physics because the dynamics of particle physics are governed by quantum mechanics. As such, they exhibit wave-particle duality, displaying particle-like behavior under certain experimental conditions and wave-like behavior in others.
In more technical terms, they are described by quantum state vectors in a Hilbert space, which is also treated in quantum field theory. Following the convention of particle physicists, elementary particles refer to objects such as electrons and photons as it is well known that those types of particles display wave-like properties as well.
All particles, and their interactions observed to date, can be described almost entirely by a quantum field theory called the Standard Model.[1] The Standard Model has 61 elementary particles. Those elementary particles can combine to form composite particles, accounting for the hundreds of other species of particles that have been discovered since the 1960s.
The Standard Model has been found to agree with almost all the experimental tests conducted to date. However, most particle physicists believe that it is an incomplete description of nature, and that a more fundamental theory awaits discovery (See Theory of Everything). In recent years, measurements of neutrino mass have provided the first experimental deviations from the Standard Model.
The idea that all matter is composed of elementary particles dates to at least the 6th century BC. The philosophical doctrine of atomism and the nature of elementary particles were studied by ancient Greek philosophers such as Leucippus, Democritus, and Epicurus; ancient Indian philosophers such as Kanada, Dignāga, and Dharmakirti; Muslim scientists such as Ibn al-Haytham, Ibn Sina, and Mohammad al-Ghazali; and in early modern Europe by physicists such as Pierre Gassendi, Robert Boyle, and Isaac Newton. The particle theory of light was also proposed by Ibn al-Haytham, Ibn Sina, Gassendi, and Newton.
In the 19th century, John Dalton, through his work on stoichiometry, concluded that each element of nature was composed of a single, unique type of particle. Dalton and his contemporaries believed those were the fundamental particles of nature and thus named them atoms, after the Greek word atomos, meaning “indivisible”. The early 20th-century explorations of nuclear physics and quantum physics culminated in proofs of nuclear fission in 1939 by Lise Meitner (based on experiments by Otto Hahn), and nuclear fusion by Hans Bethe in that same year.
Those discoveries gave rise to an active industry of generating one atom from another, even rendering possible (although it will probably never be profitable) the transmutation of lead into gold; and, those same discoveries also led to the development of nuclear weapons.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, a bewildering variety of particles were found in scattering experiments. It was referred to as the “particle zoo”. That term was deprecated after the formulation of the Standard Model during the 1970s in which the large number of particles was explained as combinations of a (relatively) small number of fundamental particles.
Theories will increase because knowledge has no limits—it is as vast as the universe. Let us just be glad for whatever little knowledge we have at our disposal. No matter however, the great scientists let us still salute Newton and Einstein. Plus Johann Newman who made possible the binary system of what we use today in all mobile phones and TV and all electronic communications.

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By EMN Updated: Oct 10, 2013 10:59:32 pm