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10 exciting Science/Technology events of 2009 December 31, 2009

Posted by Anand Mallaya in technology.
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This is a list of  10 exciting events of 2009 related to Science/Technology.

1.Google Chrome OS announced (Tech)

Google announced its entry in to the Operating System world with its Chrome OS. A straight display of their ambition to challenge Microsoft and Apple. Google’s entry to cloud computing.

2.Large Hadron Collider revived (Science/Tech)

The biggest experiment in the history of human civilization revived after initial set backs. Conducting experiments setting record on fastest paricle acceleration

3. Launch of WolframAlpha (Tech)

An unconventional but still mysterious concept called computational knowledge engine dubbed WolframAlpha is a promise of technology and a new way to deal with the web of data.

4. Robot does science experiment(Tech)

A break through in Artificial Intelligence. A robot, called Adam, successfully conducted scientific experiment and discovered scientific knowledge for the first time. Another promise of technology. BBC news article

5. Indus valley script decoded(Science/Tech)

Using pattern recognition technologies, researchers were able to identify language like patterns in one of the earliest writing system of human civilization. Wired.com article

6. Chandrayan Mission (Science/Tech)

India successfully launched its prestigious indigenously developed moon mission.

7. Water found on Moon(Science/Tech)

Convincing evidence of presence of water on moon discovered by equipments mounted on the Chandtrayaan mission and again by LCROSS mission by NASA.

8. Evidence of Dark matter(Science)

Dark matter detected in scientific experiments. Gurdian news

9. Nuclear battery(Science/Tech)

Tiny nuclear batteries were demonstrated by scientists. BBC news article

10. Ice found on Mars(Science)

The Phoenix Mars Lander of NASA came up with evidence for water ice on Mars polar region. Space.com report

This list is my personal compilation. There may be more significant events that are not included. Please feel free to share your events.


Numbers of wonder part 1 February 15, 2009

Posted by Anand Mallaya in mathematics, technology.
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Wonder what numbers has to do in a tech blog? I will tell you.
In a series of posts we will explore a group of numbers that are fascinating and mysterious. Let us start with prime numbers.

Prime Numbers

A prime number is a number which has only two factors, 1 and the number itself. In other words it is divisible only by 1 and itself.
2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, 97….
Prime numbers are enigma not only for the school children but the top mathematicians and even the best computing machines of our time. I was fascinated by the beauty of the numbers many times. They are the building blocks or atoms of all other numbers. Any other number can be represented as a product of two or more prime numbers. The fact that they are still mysterious even in the time of super computers of teraflops of computing power, makes them more enigmatic and appealing for the world’s top brains.

Though the distribution may seem random, they forms special patterns when arranged in certain manners(image below).

(image courtesy http://www.franken.de)

If it is not fascinating then what is?. It looks as mysterious as theNazca Lines .

Nature has a special place for numbers in its creativity. You will see numbers like Golden ratio, Fibonasci numbers, pi, e, and Phi. Suddenly it comes to my mind that Prime numbers too have significance that we have not found yet(or may be I). Though the numbers are easy to understand, their identification and computation are done using complex algorithms that takes lot of computing power, especially when the number of digits are high. Thus some of those algorithms are used to benchmark computer chips.
In my point of view,  there are lot more to be revealed about the prime numbers. The largest prime number revealed to us can be seen as a benchmark for the level of technological advancement of human civilization itself.
Prime numbers are important in computing as well. Several public-key cryptography algorithms, such as RSA, are based on prime numbers .
They are so important that there are a number of distributed computing projects initiated in order to find large prime numbers that require large amount of computing power.
Some of the projects are:

Here are some links for more information
Prime numbers on Wikipedia
Patterns in Primes
Prime Numbers at MathWorld
Article from The Seed magazine
Some Results of Computational Research in Prime Numbers
End of Numbers of wonder part 1
more numbers to come

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