Tag Archives: universe

Some fun and interesting facts about friction

As the basic definition goes, friction opposed relative sliding between two surfaces in contact. A common misconception is that friction opposes motion. Following are some fun facts about friction. I’ll also include the findings of my discovery in the field of friction.

  • Almost all the work you do in daily life relies on friction. Friction is an electromagnetic force. It’s basically the nuclei of one surface pulling the electrons on the other surface and vice versa effecting in the two surfaces holding each other. So, whenever you pull or hold something, you are able to do it because of friction.

  • Many people wonder how our universe would have been if friction was not there. Well, our universe wouldn’t have existed if friction had not been present. Yes, that is correct. As I said, friction is an electromagnetic force acting between atoms of two surfaces. That means, wherever there are atoms, there is electromagnetic force and thus, there is friction. So, it can be said that friction is an unavoidable outcome of the existence of atoms. Atoms form molecules which are held together by electromagnetic force or friction which help in forming matter. Microbes, animals, us, the earth, the other planets, the stars, none of them would exist without matter and therefore friction. All that the universe would have had is floating electrons and nuclei of elements.

  • Friction is the reason why we can move. When we walk, what is happening between our feet and the ground? Effectively, we are trying to slide the feet backwards and the friction pushes us forward. It is almost the same for cars and motorcycles or anything that moves on wheels. Yes, it is undisputed that sliding forward on a frictionless surface or while being levitated is most energy efficient but we are not able to do that yet on a daily basis.

  • Life exists because of friction. It is needless to say that without friction there won’t be any matter and life can’t even find a basis to start on. Let’s say there was accidentally a surface formed in this universe, containing only nuclei and electrons just moving in contact with each other due to a common momentum (momentum is the product of mass and velocity of a body). Still, there is no chance of formation of the type of life known to us on this surface without friction. The reason is life needs binding of atoms and then matter flowing over other matter which can only happen if friction is present. Otherwise, binding of atoms based only on perfect combination of arbitrary momenta is highly improbable.

  • Now, I’ll give some information about my discovery related to friction between sliding surfaces or in one word tribology. Me under the guidance of my professor Dr. S K Roychowdhury, a man I place in high regard discovered that X-rays are emitted when a surface slides on another surface. This work was further carried on by G. N. Krishna. The details can be found in: X-Ray Emission during Rubbing of Metals, Vol. 36, No. 3 (2014) 229-235, Tribology in Industry, Tribology in Industry

That is all I have to say on this subject till now.

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Who Am I 

I have asked this question 

Since I don’t remember when

It seems ages when I started wondering 

Who am I 

Time flies by

But I don’t feel a thing

Years have been reduced to

Mere rotations of Earth around the Sun

I feel ageless

I feel strong

I feel I can do 

anything I wish to

Am I losing my mind?

Or 

Have I finally understood 

How this universe works?

Fate is laughing at me

As I write these lines 

But fate has spoken only in irony

Irony extends itself when 

I read other men far better than

I can read myself

What is this curse?

Or

Is it a boon?

What is this gnawing feeling 

That urges me to move 

To achieve things that 

Mere mortals can’t 

I scream, I wail in despair 

But only I can hear those sounds 

People say time will tell everything 

But what happens when you stop feeling 

The flow of time

I don’t feel old

Neither do I feel young

I find darkness and light 

Coexisting inside me

Everyday feels like a beginning 

Yet when I look back 

I find ages have passed 

Why do I feel 

That I have to live

Even if everything else 

In this world has been destroyed 

Why do I feel 

I have to live 

Even if only

The emptiness remains 

The Universe and its beauty

Today, I won’t be talking about any social issue. Today, I would be talking on an issue that I feel connected to, the Universe.

I’ll be condescending for next few lines. Whatever I am going to say won’t be legible to most of the human population. The reason is they never tried to observe or feel. A person should know that a human life doesn’t hold much importance when compared to the events taking place in this universe. However, it does not mean a human can not contribute to this wonderful creation.

I have always been fascinated whenever I thought about the celestial bodies. They are huge and yet they move with great speed. The stars even though devastating at close range fuel life in planets. For instance our Sun, there would not have been any life on earth if the Sun was not so hot. Since, past few months I have been led to believe that our Universe is not the only one. There is no logical explanation otherwise. I mean, it is too strange if some universe came out of the blue and happens to house life in it. Quite a few physicists believe that there is an ocean of energy out of which Universes are formed like bubbles. The ones which are stable grow larger like our universe. The reason to believe this theory is why should our universe be the only one? There are so many planets, starts and galaxies in the universe then why should it be the only one? Most people won’t want to believe it because it would include an encounter with infinity. Infinity is a bit scary because it is unknown. I am not afraid of it because I have learnt to not fear the unknown. There is no rational reason to fear the unknown.

Now, the other universes may not be governed by the laws governing our Universe. For example, the universal law of gravitation follows inverse square law. The other universes may be governed by some other law. It maybe inverse cube law or simply inverse law. As far as I can perceive, our universe was the result of an experiment, a successful one. Maybe, there is some guy who conducted the experiment whom I consider as God. Maybe, he improvised on his work and created another universe which we don’t know about.

Frankly, I have absolutely no idea how another better universe would be like. Maybe, there will be less humans. I look at my universe and it is magical. Everything is in place. Anyone who has read high school physics would know there are four fundamental  forces in nature which are:

1. Gravitational Force: The weakest force that makes the planets go around a start or a star go around the centre of a galaxy. The effect of this force can be felt over almost infinitely large distances.

2. Electromagnetic Force: It is a much stronger force than gravity and is effective between two charged bodies. It’s range of effect is also almost infinite and follows inverse square relation like gravitational force. Most of the phenomena in our daily life are governed by this force.

3. Weak Nuclear Force: This force is also known weak interactions and is responsible for phenomena like beta decay in heavy nuclei. Its observable effect has a very short range, around 0.1 fermi. However, its behaviour is similar to electromagnetic interactions at larger distances.

4. Strong Nuclear Force: These are the strongest forces that can be observed in nature and are limited to 1 fermi which is almost the size of a nucleus. These forces are responsible for keeping the nucleons together in the nucleus. These forces are practically unobservable beyond a distance of 10 fermi.

Now, let me explain the beauty of their combination. They have a certain range and maintain a certain balance in the universe. What would have happened if their range changed by a little bit. What if the range of strong nuclear forces was equivalent to that of gravitation? Our universe as we know of it would not have existed. It would have been just a blob of matter. Similarly, if the gravitational force had a smaller range then our Universe would not even have a blob. Almost every heavenly body would have moved apart from one another.

Do you now see how delicately balanced our universe is? It is as if someone meticulously designed everything and put it in one place and thus the universe came into being. There is absolutely no option for error and the one doing this did it perfectly without any error. There is another possibility that our Universe is an improvement upon another universe. I don’t know what a perfect universe might be because I am not intelligent enough. However, I can not stop marvelling at the beauty of my Universe and would do anything to explore each and every corner of this masterpiece.