A regulator of the press

While Cameron is yet to accept the Leveson inquiry's recommendations, political pressure is going to force his hand no doubt. Which side of the debate do you come down on, though? I believe that a regulatory body must not exist - extraneous or no - to stem any practices by suppressing or appreciating the quantum…

The post-reporter era II

When a print-publication decides to go online, it will face a set of problems that is wholly unique and excluded from the set of problems it will have faced before. Keeping in mind that such an organization functions as a manager of reporters, and that those reporters will have already (hopefully) made the transition from…

Window for an advanced theory of particles closes further

A version of this article, as written by me, appeared in The Hindu on November 22, 2012. -- On November 12, at the first day of the Hadron Collider Physics Symposium at Kyoto, Japan, researchers presented a handful of results that constrained the number of hiding places for a new theory of physics long believed…

On meson decay-modes in studying CP violation

In particle physics, CPT symmetry is an attribute of the universe that is held as fundamentally true by quantum field theory (QFT). It states that the laws of physics should not be changed and the opposite of all allowed motions be allowed (T symmetry) if a particle is replaced with its antiparticle (C symmetry) and…

The travails of science communication

There's an interesting phenomenon in the world of science communication, at least so far as I've noticed. Every once in a while, there comes along a concept that is gaining in research traction worldwide but is quite tricky to explain in simple terms to the layman. Earlier this year, one such concept was the Higgs…

After less than 100 days, Curiosity renews interest in Martian methane

A version of this story, as written by me, appeared in The Hindu on November 15, 2012. -- In the last week of October, the Mars rover Curiosity announced that there was no methane on Mars. The rover’s conclusion is only a preliminary verdict, although it is already controversial because of the implications of the…

The cost of solutions

Hereby, a new metric: Solution cost (SC) SC = Cost of finding the solution to a particular problem - (Rate at which the applications of the solution become cheaper * t), t = No. of years across which SC is being tracked.  

A latent monadology: An extended revisitation of the mind-body problem

In an earlier post, I'd spoken about a certain class of mind-body interfacing problems (the way I'd identified it): evolution being a continuous process, can psychological changes effected in a certain class of people identified solely by cultural practices "spill over" as modifications of evolutionary goals? There were some interesting comments on the post, too.…

A muffling of the monsoons

New research conducted at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research suggests that global warming could cause frequent and severe failures of the Indian summer monsoon in the next two centuries. The study joins a growing body of work conducted by different research groups across the last five years that demonstrate a negative relationship between…

Eschatology

The meaning of the day of the blog is changing. While some argue that long-form journalism is in, I think it's about extreme-form journalism. By this, I only mean that long-forms and short-forms are increasingly doing better, while the in-betweens are having to constantly redefine themselves, nebulously poised as they are between one mode that…

Backfiring biofuels in the EU

A version of this article as written by me appeared in The Hindu on November 8, 2012. -- The European Union (EU) announced on October 17 that the amount of biofuels that will be required to make up the transportation energy mix by 2020 has been halved from 10 per cent to 5 per cent. The…