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Mainly Cosmology and Gravitation, some quantum theory

Relativity is more math than physics | Posted on by Anuj Varma

Relativity applies to all branches of physics. However, it is more of a geometrical framework – on which the laws of physics can be described. Calling relativity physics would be like calling Euclidean Geometry physics.
Accelerating frames and Special Relativity
Special relativity … Continue reading

Some challenging Riddles | Posted on by Anuj Varma

Here are some challenging riddles that I put forth to two different sets of students. One was a group of 4th graders (8-9 year olds) – and the other was a group of 14-16 year olds.
I am something no one … Continue reading

A small bag is lying on the floor.  The room is big – with high ceilings. Yet, no one can jump over the bag. Why?
I posed this to several grown-ups. No one got it. Next, I posed it to my … Continue reading

Principles versus Laws | Posted on by Anuj Varma

People tend to use ‘laws’ interchangeably with ‘principles’. In reality, there is an important difference between the two – as described in this short post.
A law encompasses a specific area – e.g. mechanics is fully described by Newton’s ‘laws’ – … Continue reading

Consider the 24 presidents (and their corresponding 24 terms in office) in the 19th century. A student was asked to match the president to his term. Not knowing the answers, the student resorted to guessing. He had two possible strategies … Continue reading

Day 1 – Pre-Assessment

Areas of interest, individualized personal objectives
Five hardest questions in different areas of calculus
Informal class discussion

Day 2 – Graphing

General equation of a line, Physical meaning of slope and y-intercept
Parallel and Perpendicular lines
Applications of lines and slopes (water usage, … Continue reading

On the Ether | Posted on by Anuj Varma

One of the things I never fully grasped in college was the ‘Michelson Morley’ experiment. I understood what it was for (proving the constancy of the speed of light) – and understood that it proved that very well – but … Continue reading

A probability problem – will these two friends ever meet? | Posted on by Anuj Varma

Two friends decide to meet at a definite place between 9 AM and 10 AM. The first to arrive waits for his friend for 15 minutes and then leaves. If each of them arrives at an arbitrary moment between 9 … Continue reading

Asimov on Science Fiction | Posted on by Anuj Varma

This is an excerpt from the introduction to the collection of stories (Nebula Award Stories) below (edited by Isaac Asimov). Asimov remains one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written everything from textbooks, science fiction, literary critiques … Continue reading

Probably the most startling revelation of Quantum Theory was the postulate that all particles have a waviness to them. Initially, when this was proposed for photons, physicist were more open to accepting it – since light was already clearly a … Continue reading