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Srinivasa Ramanujan…..

Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) was an Indian mathematician who made great and original contributions to many mathematical fields, including complex analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. He was “discovered” by G. H. Hardy and J. E. Littlewood, two world-class mathematicians at Cambridge, and enjoyed an extremely fruitful period of collaboration with them from 1914 to 1919. Unfortunately, his mathematical career was curtailed by health problems; he returned to India and died when he was only 32 years old.

Hardy, who was a great mathematician in his own right, recognized Ramanujan’s genius from a series of letters that Ramanujan sent to mathematicians at Cambridge in 1913. Like much of his writing, the letters contained a dizzying array of unique and difficult results, stated without much explanation or proof. The contrast between Hardy, who was above all concerned with mathematical rigor and purity, and Ramanujan, whose writing was difficult to read and peppered with mistakes but bespoke an almost supernatural insight, produced a rich partnership.

Since his death, Ramanujan’s writings (many contained in his famous notebooks) have been studied extensively. Some of his conjectures and assertions have led to the creation of new fields of study. Some of his formulas are believed to be true but as yet unproven.

There are many existing biographies of Ramanujan. The Man Who Knew Infinity, by Robert Kanigel, is an accessible and well-researched historical account of his life.

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Tansen…….

Tansen (c. 1493/1500 – 1586), also referred to as Tan Sen or Ramtanu, was a prominent figure of Hindustani classical music. Born in a Hindu family, he learned and perfected his art in the northwest region of modern Madhya Pradesh. He began his career and spent most of his adult life in the court and patronage of the Hindu king of Rewa, Raja Ramchandra Singh (r.1555–1592), where Tansen’s musical abilities and studies gained widespread fame. This reputation brought him to the attention of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, who sent messengers to Raja Ramchandra Singh, requesting Tansen to join the musicians at the Mughal court. Tansen did not want to go, but Raja Ramchandra Singh encouraged him to gain a wider audience, and sent him along with gifts to Akbar. In 1562, about the age of 60, the Vaishnava musician Tansen joined the Akbar court, and his performances became a subject of many court historians.

Numerous legends have been written about Tansen, mixing facts and fiction, and the historicity of these stories is doubtful.Akbar considered him as one of the Navaratnas (nine jewels), and gave him the title Mian, an honorific, meaning learned man.

Tansen was a composer, musician and vocalist, to whom many compositions have been attributed in northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. He was also an instrumentalist who popularized and improved musical instruments. He is among the most influential personalities in North Indian tradition of Indian classical music, called Hindustani. His 16th century studies in music and compositions inspired many, and he is considered by numerous North Indian gharana (regional music schools) as their lineage founder.

Tansen is remembered for his epic Dhrupad compositions, creating several new ragas, as well as for writing two classic books on music Sri Ganesh Stotra and Sangita Sara.

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Sketch (5)…..

By Ankit lamba
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History of Vaccines…….

Edward Jenner, born in mid-18th century England, would eventually become one of the most famous scientists in medical history and the so-named “Father of Immunology.” After observing that cowpox infection seemed to protect humans against smallpox, Jenner inoculated an eight-year-old boy with cowpox matter from a blister on the hand of an English milkmaid. He then repeatedly attempted to “challenge” the cowpox inoculation by exposing the boy to smallpox material—but the boy never fell ill. Jenner had demonstrated smallpox immunization.

Jenner’s method of vaccination against smallpox grew in popularity and eventually replaced variolation, which had been the standard before his demonstration. In the latter part of the 20th century, about 150 years after Jenner’s death in 1823, smallpox would be making its last gasps. It would eventually be eradicated after a massive surveillance and vaccination program—thanks largely to the initial efforts of the Father of Immunology.

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Nikola Tesla and Tesla Tower…..

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The tower went 187 feet up into the sky. The base was framed with wood, but the giant ball on top, 68 feet in diameter, was made of steel. In the ground below, there were said to be tunnels and an “iron root system” that went deep into earth. Nikola Tesla, the inventor and engineer who helped electrify America, believed the tower was the start of a system that could deliver electricity, without wires, to the whole world.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Tesla had become famous for his work on AC power. But he had other big ideas. At his laboratory in Colorado, he had conducted experiments with wireless transmission, trying to send electricity through the ground. His notes on this work are hard to draw conclusions from. But it seems that in at least one instance he had some success. At the very least, he came back east convinced that he could make this idea a reality, on a much larger scale.

After shopping his idea around to the some of the richest men in the world, Tesla secured backing—a solid $150,000—from J.P. Morgan. The investor was most interested in the idea of wireless communication: Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, had recently been demonstrating his system for wireless telegraphy, sending messages from ships back to land. But Tesla had bigger ideas.Wardenclyffe wireless station shown in 1904, and a portrait of Tesla, c. 1900. 

Construction began in 1901 in Long Island on what would become known as Wardenclyffe Tower. Tesla imagined that it would be the beginning of a network of towers, 30 at least, around the world. He believed that these towers would allow him to send electricity through the atmosphere, which anyone with the correct equipment could tap into. Electric power would be ubiquitous. He would make “the whole of this globe…quiver.”

This idea was never going to work: The scientific theories that underlay Tesla’s dream would later be pulled apart. Electricity can be transmitted through the air, but the amount of power needed to send any substantial amount makes this an extremely impractical system. But even to try it, Tesla needed more money, which Morgan was unwilling to provide. There were reports of sparks flying from the tower once or twice, but for the most part it remained a hulking metal orb of mysterious purpose.

After financing dried up, Tesla mortgaged the property and eventually, as his financial troubles grew deeper, he lost it altogether. In 1917, the new owner, trying to recoup some value, had the tower dynamited down and converted into scrap metal. After the first blast, the tower listed to the side and remained tilting towards the ground, a failed experiment, until the workers pulled it down.

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Einstein’s scientific legacy……….

Einstein’s legacy in physics is significant. Here are some of the key scientific principles that he pioneered:

Theory of special relativity: Einstein showed that physical laws are identical for all observers, as long as they are not under acceleration. However, the speed of light in a vacuum is always the same, no matter at what speed the observer is travelling. This work led to his realisation that space and time are linked into what we now call space-time. So, an event seen by one observer may also be seen at a different time by another observer. 

Theory of general relativity: This was a reformulation of the law of gravity. In the 1600s, Newton formulated three laws of motion, among them outlining how gravity works between two bodies. The force between them depends on how massive each object is, and how far apart the objects are. Einstein determined that when thinking about space-time, a massive object causes a distortion in space-time (like putting a heavy ball on a trampoline). Gravity is exerted when other objects fall into the “well” created by the distortion in space-time, like a marble rolling towards the large ball. General relativity passed a recent major test in 2019 in an experiment involving a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Photoelectric effect: Einstein’s work in 1905 proposed that light should be thought of as a stream of particles (photons) instead of just a single wave, as was commonly thought at the time. His work helped decipher curious results scientists were previously unable to explain. 

Unified field theory: Einstein spent much of his later years trying to merge the fields of electromagnetism and gravity. He was unsuccessful, but may have been ahead of his time. Other physicists are still working on this problem.