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2Physics Quote:
"About 200 femtoseconds after you started reading this line, the first step in actually seeing it took place. In the very first step of vision, the retinal chromophores in the rhodopsin proteins in your eyes were photo-excited and then driven through a conical intersection to form a trans isomer [1]. The conical intersection is the crucial part of the machinery that allows such ultrafast energy flow. Conical intersections (CIs) are the crossing points between two or more potential energy surfaces."
-- Adi Natan, Matthew R Ware, Vaibhav S. Prabhudesai, Uri Lev, Barry D. Bruner, Oded Heber, Philip H Bucksbaum
(Read Full Article: "Demonstration of Light Induced Conical Intersections in Diatomic Molecules" )

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Physics: from Electron to Universe

... and what about your cellphone or the large TV in your living room?

In 1897 .. when J. J. Thompson conclusively discovered electrons,
many might have wondered what could be the use of learning about
such small particles ... a few millions of which can be accomodated
on the tip of a needle.
[Electron's 'classical' radius is about 2.8 X 10^(-15) meter
which means you need to divide 2.8 meters by 1 million billion.
Why 'classical?' - Be patient. We'll explain that later]

But within a few decades the world got revolutionized mainly with
the use of electricity (which is nothing but flow of electrons in wires)
and the great discovery of semiconductors in which energy of electron
is controlled in such a way that the device can be assigned to do
various kinds of logical operation and used to make wonderful
things ... like radio, T.V, telephone .... computer .... microwave oven..
Our modern day life is so much dependent on electrons that we
almost forget that these is being put to work day and night like slaves
by our technology experts for helping us to communicate and do
important jobs and provide us comfort!

Electron is a true revolution in mankind's history.
Alas! We never celebrate it!


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