Planning to start a blog (more like an online diary) abt my experience@iucaa in my scrapbook... stay tuned.. The vacation students' programme will have lectures and project starting from tomorrow... Will try to fit in some piece everyday :).

IUCAA complex.. a model notes taken by me during lectures old banyan in front of IUCAA CC dining room by night IUCAA library journals archive Isaac.. waiting for the apple.. perhaps my workstation.. when it is less messy Bhaskara3 lecture hall IUCAA central lawns way to Akashganga housing complex

Profs @ IUCAA:
Prof. Ajit K. Kembhavi (AKK) Prof. R. Srianand (RS or Anandji, my mentor.. ie guide..) Tarun Souradeep (TS) Swara (SR) Emeritus Prof. Jayant V. Naralikar (JVN)

Friday, 20 June 2008: countless hours at IUCAA CC have paid off with some discernable results...

Am very busy with project...fitting of GMRT data is done. Next assignment is Voigt profile fitting of some spectral lines in ultraviaolet (UV). Should be finishing the work in a day or two.

fitting of GMRT data

The hard work and countless hours at IUCAA CC have paid off with some discernable results pertaining to Intergalactic Medium (IGM):
TS = 220 oK
Column density of hydrogen atoms ~ 1020cm-2

Its been a week since the lecture series got over. Many of my friends have already gone back. I am presently staying in IUCAA guest house, changed my mind because that way I will save a lot of travelling time. My project presentation is scheduled on next Wednesday (25 June). Nothing very special in the 20 days since my last blog.. saw Sarkar Raj, 11pm show at E-square on the first day of release (Fri, 6 June), and went to Pizza Hut, Aundh with iitkgp friends for dinner some days back.

Saturday, 31 May 2008: Another late entry in my diary...

Week3 @ IUCAA (May 25, Sun - May 31, Sat) is over and I still dont think of lectures (Mon - Fri) as irksome... very surprising indeed! It is a different matter though, that sitting in the lecture hall from 9:30 am to 1pm with only one break (from 10:30 - 11) is a lot uncomfortable. I guess most of you will understand the situation I am in when @ 1pm - madly hungry - I begin cursing people who can still think of questions and listen so patiently to the professor's reply after that. Really frustrating :x!!. Cant even leave the lecture hall alone.. looks pretty odd. 1pm - 2pm is the usual lunch time @ IUCAA.. thank goodness.. my most awaited 1 hour :P. It has become a habit with me to bunk afternoon classes / hands-on sessions for sleep :). This is my 2nd most awaited thing: sleep!

Its been about 15 days since the stupid guest house manager @ IUCAA has taken away my fabulous room 210 of Nalanda Guest House & alloted me a double occupancy room (#206). I am still not ready to stay with some guy who is in front of his laptop almost all day reading science news, research pages on the internet, doing calculations and stuff, .. all work and no play... perhaps I should remind him that we are in the middle of summer break! That is why I am staying at my grandma's place (about 2km from IUCAA) for 15 days now.

I go to my granny's place in the evening, after my afternoon nap in room 207, Nalanda. Two of my very good friends stay in room 207 - Mukul (just completed his third year of Bachelor of Science in Physics from Fergusson College, Pune) and Neel (IITB sophie, Engineering Physics). 7:30pm is generally time to go to gym, which is very close to my granny's house. I return almost entirely exhausted at 9. My project-related work, dinner, shower, watching TV.. are all randomly distributed from 9pm - 12am. Usually I sleep at 12... sweet sleep!

Then there's the same thing everyday morning: Get up at 8am, do pranayam, brush teeth, not take a bath (come on .. dont expect me to bathe twice a day! I take a shower in the evening), have breakfast - my favorite - cheese sandwiches and milk, then rush to IUCAA at 9am.

Lectures@Bhaskara3 in Week3: Prof. Ramprakash used to come in @ 9:30am in Bhaskara3 lecture hall, lament for a while about students being late for the lecture, and then start his talk. He gave a very impressive introduction to 'Detectors and Instrumentation' during the week in which he covered topics like: telescope parameters, angular resolution, diffraction pattern, speed of telescope, need for different kinds of detectors, noise, CCDs...

After the 10:30 - 11am tea break, the short, stout and very knowledgeable Prof. Ajit Kembhavi used to walk into the lecture hall as if craving to write something on the blackboard and point his laser-pointer onto the presentation screen. In the past five days he briefly discussed Stellar Evolution - starting with stellar spectra, HR diagram, Sun as a MS (Main Sequence) star, then going on to time scales, equations of stellar structure and evolution, stellar nucleosynthesis, and order of magnitude (back of the envelope) calculations.

We have had 1 lecture by Vijay Mohanji (surface photometry and applications of photometry such as studying motion of stars, brightness variation in stars, determination of stellar parameters...), 2 lectures by Anandji (spectroscopic techniques and interpretation of size and shape of absorption and emission lines), and 2 lectures by Swara (on galaxy structure, classification of galaxies, their spectra and luminosity relations) in these five days from 12pm - 1pm.

Right now.. I have to debug my gaussian fitting C program.. my first project assignment, so I should end the blog here.

24 May 2008, Saturday, 11:30pm

This blog is a much overdue addition to my online diary as I am writing after seven days. It is the end of the second week of my vacation programme @ IUCAA... end of an exciting second week... and busy.. as in busy sleeping:)..

Let me begin with news from IUCAA... My project guide, Dr. Srianand,.. it seems.. has become famous around the globe.. he made it into newspapers in Spain, France, Italy, India... Well, this is thanks to his recent achievement: Anandji and co-investigators made precise temperature measurement of very distant (therefore primitive) universe, which confirms with the big bang theory. See the European Southern Observatory (ESO) press release: http://www.eso.org/public/outreach/press-rel/pr-2008/pr-13-08.html

Lectures @ Bhaskara3 hall, IUCAA have been really interesting for me this week... surprisingly!! It was the same lecture schedule everyday in week#2:

Starting with Prof. Dhurandhar, who captured the audience's attention from 9:30 - 10:30 in the morning with his talk on General Relativity (GR)... the way he made it look all so amazingly simple... with funny-sounding giggles every now and then :). On Monday and Tuesday (Day8 and Day9 at IUCAA) he took up applications of Special Relativity and need for GR, introduced GR with Principle of Equivalence, curved space-time (Local Inertial Frame.. etc), dynamical variables in GR (metric, Riemann tensor..). His derivations of complicated-looking relations seemed so straightforward!

Next lecture in the timetable was 11am-12pm: Prof. Ranjeev Misra.. delivering his talk on Radiative and Accretion Processes. The man speaks, well, taking his own time, .. with no hurry whatsoever... going through the steps again and again (that's good, in a way). I managed not to get verrry bored though. On Monday Prof. Misra began with defining flux, luminosity, emissivity,... mentioning sources of radiation important in astrophysics - like radiative transition, bremsstrahlung, cyclotron & synchrotron radiation... then he went on to deriving expressions for Poynting vector, emissivity, starting point being the electric field of an accelerated electric charge.. as in J. D. Jackson (apparently, even these people refer to Jackson). On Tuesday he derived an expression for emissivity due to bremsstrahlung.. & spectrum due to pure bremsstrahlung. I remember some of his "big words" during the talk: "..wonderful approximations", and ".. genius of physicist".. :D

The third lecture slot (12 - 1pm) was reserved for Dr. Shyam Tandon. On IUCAA website he is listed as 'Distinguished Professor'... and you should have attended one of his lectures to see why :). Prof. Tandon presented some slides on why we have space-based telescopes and what observations do we carry out from space. He has a very funny style of delivering his lecture... many-a-times speaking as though murmuring to himself.. and his frequent suppressed laughter on silly things. The person is really funny.. I had to suppress my own laughter occasionally. Anyway, during his lectures I paid more attention to how he spoke rather than what he spoke of... and I couldn’t help having a big smile throughout this 1 hour :).

After the 1pm-2pm lunch break we had a Pushpa Khare (PK, from Utkal University) lecture on 'Physics of Absorption and Emission lines'. Anandji had told me to strictly attend her talk since it will be useful when I work on my project - something related to the 21cm (hydrogen, spin flip) line. On Monday, Day8 Prof. Khare shared the basics of radiation (spectrum, to be specific) from astrophysical objects, absorption and emission. Day9 (Tuesday), she derived and considered special cases of the Radiation Transfer Equation.

Wednesday (Day10 @ IUCAA) morning I got up at 9am (had stayed at granny's place). Felt very sleepy still.. so went back to sleep.. missed morning lectures :|zzz.. finally got up at 12pm, had lunch and went for PK's lecture, her concluding lecture. She gave a talk on Absorption lines, reasons for line broadening (viz. Natural.. remember the uncertainty relation??, Collisional, Doppler and Turbulent) and line profile derivation. I found all her lectures quite interesting.

Missed all lectures on Thursday and Friday (Day11 and Day12) as I had to go to Mumbai for passport related thing... its been 8 months since I've applied... some stupid police verification issue which I had to settle. Now that I have written all this.. I feel that the lectures were interesting only because I haven't had too much of them… Honestly though, Prof. Dhurandhar's lectures were so impressive that, I feel, I have really missed something in these three days!

But then again, there are better things.. like being home for a while.. my home.. Hostel 4, IIT Bombay.. :). On Wednesday (Day10, 21 May 2008) I left for Mumbai at 6pm in a shared taxi and I reached IITB @ 9:30pm.. wonderful speed.. good driver. I did something really different this week at IITB... something I like very much... no.. not 3 hours of gym. Thanks to Kishore :) (yes.. I know you will be reading this) we had exhilarating two hours of dance practice in H12.. I have missed those ever since the end of dance classes @ SAC, IITB. As I was explaining during the pre-dance warm-up: The pre-dance warm-up is really very important - it frees up ur body for dance and also saves you from body ache in the long run. Furthermore, some of the dance steps come almost naturally after warm up. ..that was on Friday.

About today.. Had planned to get up at 6am and catch 6:30 bus, but I got up at 6:45am and took an 8 'O' clock bus from Thane.. Rs. 120 ticket. zzzzz.. dozing off every now and then in the bus... I reached IUCAA @ 11am... had to do some reading about the 21cm line. Came to granny's place (it's about a kilometer from IUCAA) in the evening, then gym as usual, followed by dinner. Have spent almost three hours writing this blog now. Long day ahead.. have to give an informal talk to my guide (Anandji) about all the things I have read.. :) and as I write this blog.. I am reminded that I am only halfway through the things he has asked me to read:|. Will have to stay awake till late (actually, early morning) and finish with the remaining part.

17 May 2008, Saturday, 11:30pm

Good 2 be at IITB... feels like i m @ home :). Got up really late today morning, around 11am or something. Started off with brushing (on the h4 playground :) and pranayam. Had lunch @ 12:30.

Slept again :|..zzz.. upto 3:30. Played cric for some time. From 5 to 11:30pm: tp on comp.... took only a small break for dinner at 8:30pm... had to go to hostel 3 for summer mess. Will be playing TT before sleeping.

Last two days (Day4 and Day5 at IUCAA) were ok..
Thursday we had first lecture which was deliverd by Vijay Mohanji (long awaited by me..). He presented some slides on Observational Astronomy. The second lecture was taken by Prof. Bhattacharya as usual.. from 11 to 12pm. Today was his concluding lecture. I bunked the third lecture for sleep :). Day5 (Friday) morning was pretty much the same, except that second lecture was off, so I could go to the police station for work regarding my passport.

Friday (yesterday) evening was much more eventful...

Slept at 2pm in my room (room 210, Nalanda) after having lunch. I got a call from Nalanda Guest House receptionist at 4pm saying that I have 2 shift immediately to room 206 as they have to accomodate a couple urgently... after some time of arguement with her I had to give in. I dont want 2 stay in a shared room @ IUCAA... that's strange.. after all I have had a roommate at IITB for an year.. but that's a different matter... so I refused to shift to room 206 (already occupied by one student).. and I took my luggage home (Sakal Nagar).

Left for Mumbai by taxi at 6:30pm from Parihar Chowk. I was sitting on the back window seat with a guy beside me, and a young lady on the other window seat. The two of them were talking about their work life.. they seemed 2 know each other... their conversation was about pointless stuff (couldn't help overhearing :), I bet u would have a different point of view) .. anyway.. i would never waste time in such talk... I am different in that sense. I dont like talking much anyway. Guess I am a believer of "Actions speak louder than words". I started a conversation with the guy beside me. He had a larger than usual mobile phone.. Blackberry style but his was NOKIA. Started off with that.. our conversation continued until he received a call. Guessed that he was from eastern part of India.. heard him say "theek achhe".. something I have heard quite often from my friends from West Bengal. Well, so much about conversations... the two of them got down at Sion. The taxi had its last stop at Andheri, where I had 2 get down and catch a ric to IITB.

Had dinner at H4 canteen.. two bournvita shakes and one veg burger.. (if u think I am a bournvita maniac.. well.. all I want 2 say is: taste the bourvita shake in our canteen). Played TT doubles after that.. that is my usual night activity at hostel four during vacations.. from 11pm to 1am... I have started playing TT really well... u should see me play sometime :). Went off to sleep at 1:30am.

14 May 2008
Day2 & 3

...after 3 long days I finally got time 2 go to the gymnasium... near my granny's house... 7 to 7:45 - gym.. had breakfast @ granny's place... came back 2 iucaa...

I dont find the shower as alien any more.. hav been bathing since the last two days.. good for me :).. cold shower is really necessary in this (unforgiving) summer..

I had breakfast a second time :).. jam n bread @ iucaa canteen.. so got 10 min late fr the 9:30 Jayant Naralikar lecture..

Prof. Naralikar has been talking abt cosmology fr two days now... started off yesterday with cosm defn (large scale structure of universe...etc) then going on to GTR (curvature..etc), cosm principle, scale factor, cosm redshift, world lines of galaxies... 2day he introduced matter dominated and radiation dominated universe, elaborating on rad dominated universe.. temperature of universe.. their relation with scale factor and time elapsed since big bang... Well.. cosmology doesn't seem very boring after J. V. Naralikar's lectures (as it earlier did).. but it still doesnt seem interesting.. especially after seeing those eery eqns (scale factor..etc) written on the board during cosmology lectures.. and even less alluring after people start talking of light cones :(..

Cosmology was good when Tarun Sauradeep gave his first lecture (Monday) but after that his lectures got pretty boring with me because he just couldnt stop talking of light cones... I didn't zzzz (doze off) in his lectures only because sleep wouldn't come.. I remember.. today he was talking about CMB, last scattering surface, anisotropy, CMB power spectrum...etc... and at least one of his ppt slides had words like hypersurface, dark energy and figure that seemed to be a light cone.. anyway, that's abt the third lecture (12 - 1pm)...and... my dislike for cosmology..

The fluids lecture (Prof. Bhattacharya) was more interesting today than yesterday's... he had touched up on the derivation of some stellar structure eqns yesterday.... n today he was speaking of spherically sym, supersonic & subsonic streamlined flows in relation to stellar wind, stellar accretion,... also the De Laval nozzle (possibly responsible for jets from galaxies).

Lunch: standard time - 1 to 2pm.. slept till 3:30pm after lunch 2day... ws to meet Dr. Srianand (Anandji as I call him - my third yr BSc project guide who does research related 2 quasar absorption lines..) under whose guidance I will b doing my summer proj.. had missed appointment with him yesterday as I had slept off fr 4 hours in the afternoon.. in my comfortable room.. beloved sleep :)...

A&A is all abt unfolding the mysteries of the universe... and I don' mind providing a helping hand... Anandji briefed me abt my 1st proj assignment after handing over a reaserch paper 2 me.. something abt (hydrogen) 21cm absorption line frm quasar spectrum.. will write abt some project details later...

Went fr shopping in the city in the evening.... later had dinner @ granny's place... came back 2 IUCAA..... 11pm - 2:30am: orkut + filling diary + reading abt 21cm thing @ iucaa CC...

Day1: 12 May 2008

Found it really tough 2 get up @ 8:30 in morn.. Had 2 rush through brushing in the morning sun (one of my fav daily activities :).. thank goodness i've got a room with balcony facing east) and pranayam.. haven't bathed in 2 days.. i m really concerned.. Rushed 2 iucaa canteen.. just in time fr breakfast.. scheduled time 8 - 9.. i reached at 8:59.. typical of me.. actually i m trying hard to change my habit of not being on time :)..

Another bad habit... grooming hair fr a really long time.. from 9:15 - 9:30 (a whole 15 minutes!)... Lectures were in Bhaskara3 lecture room... quite enjoyed the first hour with Prof Naralikar speaking abt origin of astroph and applns such as stellar struct and evoln, Saha ionzn eqn.. i actually did not get bored... at least during the first lecture... my my.. imagine attending lectures during vacations too.. As usual.. i ws uneasy after the first lecture.. really dont like sitting for a long time.. especially for lectures :).. Second lecture gave basics of fluid motion - continuity, euler eqn, entropy, eqn of state.. Tarun Souradeep spoke abt cosmological scales.. and thus making a transition to Big Bang model and CMB... further he spoke of space curvature, light cones and cosm redshift.

VSP and summer school students had lunch together @ dining room next to canteen.. carrot kheer was v good.. but i'd prefer IITB hostel food to lunch here (dinner was much better though).. lunch time: 1:30 - 2pm.. Intro 2 things @ comp centre (CC) was from 2:30 - 3, skipped the intro 2 library session... slept off..zzz till 6pm.. A surge of thought.. and I felt like I seriously need 2 start brushing up my basic phy.. so started planning abt studying frm HC Verma & Sears/Zemansky.

Dinner@8:30.. got acquainted with some IUCAA PhD students: Mudit & Abhishek during dinner.. 9:30pm - 12:30am: in CC fiddling on the internet.. Plan 2 sleep at 1am.. same lecture order tomorrow... man.. attending summer lectures is going 2 be difficult... looking forward 2 lectures by my guides sometime later this month: Dr. Srianand and Dr. V. Mohan..

Made some friends 2day... Rohit & Ravi (frm JNU, Delhi), ?? (i m feeling bad abt forgetting his name) from Ahmedabad, Mukul (my junior frm FC, Pune).

Day0: 11 May 2008

Left IITB at 5.. went 2 Andheri to catch a Neeta bus to Pune.. Neeta travels be damned... firstly i got a 5:30 scheduled bus at 6.. an then the driver takes his own time.. 5 hours from Bombay 2 Pune.... reached at 10:45.. Went straight 2 Nalanda Guest House, IUCAA.. checked into a fabulous room... left baggage. Had dinner at granny's place.. then came back to iucaa... 1am - 3:30am: orkut..

Really excited abt tomorrow's lectures... we'll be started off with JV Naralikar at 9:30am taking a lecture on Intro to Astroph & Cosm... followed by Prof Bhattacharya who will b talking abt Fluids n Plasma at 11am... from 12 to 1 Tarun Souradeep is to deliver a lecture on CMB...

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