Jayant V. Narlikar

Jayanti V. Narlikar

Jayanti V. Narlikar

Jayant V. Narlikar

Those little chaps called quasars

The phrase “gravitational collapse” might suggest some kind of disease. Indeed, my article on this topic in a popular science journal elicited several reprint requests from medical practitioners. This phrase was established in astronomy in 1963, when astronomers began to discover a family of strange, new kind of objects that were subsequently named “quasars”.

Mobile maniacs

The invention of cellphone or mobile phone has been a boon in many ways, such as the ability to contact a person anywhere in the world, locating friends lost in a crowd or getting help in case of a vehicle breakdown. But indiscriminate use of this instrument has its disadvantages, too. Consider the following scenario.

New Synthetic Oil to reduce Aryhritis pain

Scientists claim to have developed a new synthetic joint lubricant aimed at providing long lasting relief to millions of arthritis patients.

Nurturing excellence

In the year 2009 AD, the University of Cambridge celebrated its birthday. What was so special about it? Well, it happened to be the 800th birthday of that venerable institution. How many organisations can today claim a lifespan that long and that too with an exceptionally bright academic and scholastic record of achievements? But the beginning of this institution was by no means in benign circumstances.

The prodigy & the alchemist

In this day and age, when new universities, real or deemed, are sprouting all over the country, the following story is worth recalling. This story dates back to the early 1930s.

Know the universe, one star at a time

Science is an enterprise that has grown and flourished as a result of man’s continuing efforts to unravel nature’s secrets. The diverse natural events observed by naked eyes or through sophisticated instruments in the laboratory pose a challenge to human intellect through questions like “why”, “what” and “how”.

Tripped by triplicates

In the early Seventies, when the photocopying facility available in India was rather primitive, the room for this centralised facility in a scientific institute carried a poster showing a baby on the potty, with the comment: “No job is complete until all the paperwork is done.”

The podium worthies

A distin-guished scientific institution wanted to celebrate its golden jubilee year with great gusto and media exposure. So it invited the President of India. The President very graciously accepted and the date of the public function was fixed in accordance with his convenience.

Superstitions of the space age

Pierre-Simon Laplace, a distinguished French mathematician of the 19th century, made very valuable contributions to the subject of Newtonian dynamics and gravitation.

Small controversy, stellar credit

As in any field, science too has its share of controversies. One may at first wonder why this should be so since science and scientists pride themselves on rational thinking and factual evidence. The reason is that incomplete evidence can lead to ambiguity and hence divergence of interpretations while rational thinking based on a wrong theory will, obviously, be misleading.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.