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Mayank Vahia

  • ESA's Rosetta Mission: A decade long quest for the keys to the universe

    Recently a space mission called Rosetta, sent by the European Space Agency(ESA) more than ten years ago, has created a lot of excitement amongst scientists. It is extraordinary for its technological audacity and its brilliant performance as well as its promise of some truly magnificent data about...

    Saturday, 29 November 2014 - 11:25am
  • If humans were to disappear from Earth, how long will nature take to wipe out all evidence?

    Someone has speculated that if all human beings were to be buried together, we would need a coffin roughly one kilometre in each dimension. This one cubic kilometre of humans has had a long and enduring impact on the Earth, whose atmosphere alone has a volume of 182 billion cubic kilometre (and 7,...

    Sunday, 9 November 2014 - 5:15pm
  • Did the river Saraswati, mentioned in the Vedas, really exist?

    Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge in Hindu mythology. The river Saraswati also has a unique place in Vedic literature. However, in modern India, there is no such vast river called Saraswati (the rivers Sindhu/Indus and Ganga are both accounted for). So, the question remains, did a river as...

    Friday, 3 October 2014 - 4:23pm
  • How scientists, undergraduates can best benefit from government's 12-hour contact programme

    So the Government of India, in its eternal wisdom, has come up with the brilliant idea of sending scientists to schools and colleges at the undergraduate level for 12 contact hours a year. With equal emphasis it has declared that no extra remuneration would be paid for this activity, as if that...

    Saturday, 20 September 2014 - 3:46pm
  • Teacher's Day: Is formal education really necessary?

    These days it is fashionable to crack jokes like: if you graduate from IIT you become a Kejriwal while if you sell tea on train stations, you can become a Prime Minister. There are even articles in newspapers criticising the UPA government for many of their ministers being highly educated (often...

    Friday, 5 September 2014 - 7:45pm
  • Evolution of people and culture

    All people are the same but all cultures are different. So why this dichotomy?  All human beings are driven by the same genetic programme that is designed for 3 purposes – to eat, not be eaten and to reproduce. In fact humans are so alike each other that biologically we form a single breed. 

    Sunday, 24 August 2014 - 3:41pm
  • A fascinating glimpse into the tree of life

    How does a tree grow? There is of course a detailed biological explanation of how this happens. But let us look at it from another perspective.

    Sunday, 10 August 2014 - 5:08pm
  • Why technological temper is crucial to mankind's survival

    We live in a society… dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology  – Carl Sagan Any science, sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from Magic – Arthur C Clarke Technology is no longer direct or easy to decipher. Indeed, if a...

    Sunday, 27 July 2014 - 5:44pm
  • How do you study science?

    During my various discussions with children and students, I am often asked how to study science. After discussions with several colleagues, friends and teachers I have been able to list out some of the basic requirements to become a good student of science.

    Sunday, 22 June 2014 - 3:57pm
  • Finding the God particle: Understanding Higgs Boson

    Recently the discovery of Higgs Boson made a great splash on the world media and everyone seemed very excited about something that is so remote from our daily life, that the rest of us were left incredulous about it.

    Sunday, 1 June 2014 - 4:47pm