If you are in one of the S&T fields and don’t know what “paperity” means, then guess it’s time you checked out the Web site: [^].

Came to know of it only today. Was doing some Web search on QM, and landed here [^]. Then, out of curiosity, also checked out an outgoing link [^] from that page, and thus, got the idea behind the site. … Hmmm… Need to explore it a bit more, but no time right now, so, may be, some time later!

Bye for now.

A Song I Like:

(Hindi) “saawan barse, tarse dil…”
Music: Aadesh Shrivastava, Anand Milind
Singers: Hariharan, Sadhana Sargam
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri

[TBD. May be tomorrow. Done right tonight (21:40 IST, 11 July 2017). Also corrected the spelling of “paperity” in the title and in the text.]


Yo—5: Giving thanks to the Fourier transform

Every year, at the time of thanksgiving, the CalTech physicist (and author of popular science books) Sean Carroll picks up a technique, principle, or theory of physics (or mathematics), for giving his thanks. Following this tradition (of some 8 years, I gather), Carroll has, for this year, picked up the Fourier transform as the recipient of his thanks. [^]

That way, it’s quite a good choice, if you ask me. …

…Though, of course, as soon as I began reading Carroll’s post, a certain thing to immediately cross my mind was what someone had said concerning Fourier’s theory.

Fourier’s is the most widely used theory in the entire history of physics, he had said, as well as the most abused one . … The words may not be exact, but that was the sense of what had been said. Someone respectable had said it, though I can’t any longer recall exactly who. (Perhaps, an engineer, not a physicist.)

The Fourier theory has fascinated me for long; I have published not just a paper on it but also quite a few blog posts.

To cut a long story short, I would pick out (i) the Lagrangian program (including what is known as the Lagrangian mechanics as well as the calculus of variations, the stationarity/minimum/maximum/action etc. principles, the Hamiltonian mechanics, etc.) and (ii) the Fourier theory, as the two basic “pillars” over which every modern quantum-mechanical riddle rests.

Yes, including wave-particle duality, quantum entanglement, EPR, Bell’s inequalities,  whatnot….

As I have been pointing out, the biggest good point that both these theories have in common is that they allow us to at all perform at least some kind of a mathematical calculation of the analytical kind—even if, often times, only in a physically approximate sense—in situations where none would otherwise be possible.

The bad point goes with the good point.

The biggest bad point common to both of them is that they both take some physics that actually occurs only locally (say the classical Newtonian mechanics) and smear it onto a supposedly equivalent “world”—an imaginary non-entity serving as a substitute for the actually existing physical world. And, this non-entity, in both theories (Lagrangian and Fourier’s) is global in nature.

The substitution of the global mathematics in place of the local physics is the sin common to the abuse of both the theories.

Think of the brachistochrone problem, for instance [^]. The original Newtonian approach of working with the local forces using \vec{F} = d\vec{p}/dt (including their reactions), is in principle applicable also in this situation. The trouble is, both the gravitational potential field and the constraints are continuous in nature, not discrete. As the bead descends on the curve, it undergoes an infinity of collisions, and so, as far as performing calculations go, the vector approach can’t be put to use in a direct manner here: you can’t possibly calculate an infinity of forces, or reactions to them, or use them to incrementally calculate the changes in velocities that these come to enforce. Thus, it is the complexity of the constraints (or the “boundary conditions”)—though not the inapplicability of the basic governing physical laws—that make Newton’s original approach impracticable in situations like the brachistochrone. The Lagrangian approach allows us to approach the same problem in a mathematically far simpler manner. [Newton himself was one of the very first to solve this problem using this alternative approach which, later on, to be formalized by Lagrange. (Look up the “lion’s paws” story.)]

Something similar happens also with the Fourier analysis. Even if a phenomenon is decidedly local, like diffusion of the physically distinct material particles (or parcels) from one place to another, the Fourier theory takes these distinct (spatially definite) particles, and then replaces them by positing a global non-entity that is spread everywhere in the universe, but with some peak coinciding with where the actual particles physically are. The so-smeared non-entity is the place-holder [!] for the spatially delimited particles, in Fourier’s theory. The globally spread-out entity is not just an abstraction, but, really speaking, also an approximation—a mathematical approximation. And as far as the inaccuracies in the calculations go, it turns out, this approximation does work out very well in practice. (The reason is not mystical. It is simply that the diffusing particles (atoms/molecules) are so small and so numerous in the physically existing universe.) But if you therefore commit the error of substituting this approximate mathematical abstraction in place of the exact physical reality, you directly end up having the riddles of QM.

If you are interested in pursuing this matter further, you should see my conference paper, first. (Drop me a line if you haven’t already downloaded it when it was available off my Web site, or can’t locate it any other way.) … Though I have also written quite a few posts on the topic, they don’t make for the best material—they are far too informally written (meaning: written completely on the fly and without any previously thought out structure at all). They also too lengthy, and often dwell on technical aspects that are too detailed.

And, that way, they don’t have much mathematical depth, anyway.

But since I seem to be the only person in the entire world who has ever thought along these lines (and one who continues to care), you may want to have a look at myQ detailed musings, too: [^] [^] [^][^].

(… And, no, as far as this issue goes, by no means am I done. I would continue exploring this topic further in my research, also in the future. Though, let me wind it all up for now… This was supposed to be a short and sweet post—a “Yo” post!)

* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *

A Song I Like:

(Marathi) “ekaTyaane ekaTe gardeet chaalaave”
Singer: Avadhoot Gupte
Lyrics: Mangesh Padgaonkar
Music: Shreedhar Phadake

[May be I should post a translation of this song some time later. … Also, of that another Marathi song which I have run just a few posts ago, viz., “man pisaaT majhe…” As to that song (“man pisaaT”) I know for a fact that a lot of Marathi-“knowing” people have never bothered to carefully go through the actual words, they have never tried to put them in some kind of a context, and thus, paying only a fragmentary attention here and there, they have come to associate something of a too abstract and weird (or “artsy”) kind of a sense to it. Their appreciation of that song rests mostly on the musical tune and the singer’s rendition, but their sense of the lyrics seems to be quite off the mark. The actual song isn’t of a meaningless “artsy” kind, and I hope to bring out what I think is the original sense of that song, too. And, as far as the present song goes, there isn’t just an  innovative sort of tune and a wonderful rendering by the singer. There also is a very beautiful piece of poetry lying underneath. … It’s a young new song (it came out only in 2010), but with an obvious touch of class to it. The original CD is just Rs. 100. … Enjoy…. More, later]



Errors in Physics-Related Public Presentations + Ethics of Researchers from/at Elite American Universities (Like MIT/Stanford) and the Indians’ Typical F***ed Up Response to It

QM-Related Errors, Part I:

Actually, this part was highlighted right the last time. In my previous blog post, I had asked you to check out a post by Dr. Sean Carroll (PhD: Harvard, Current Employers: CalTech), here [^]. As noted by him, the whole controversy began with a presentation by Dr. Brian Cox (PhD: Victoria University of Manchester (now Uni. of Manchester), Current Employers: University of Manchester and CERN (the same folks who rejected my paper without assigning any reason [^])).

IMO, the best among the huge responses this small controversy generated (made via any avenues: posts, comments, videos, twitter, etc.) was this one [^], made by Dr. Jonathan Butterworth (PhD: Oxford, Current Employer: University College, London).

As I said in my previous post, I had no desire to comment at any of their blogs. … But that still leaves open an issue: Does that mean that I could have provided the right answer? (IMO, the right answer is the one given by Prof. Butterworth.)

My answer to that question is: no. But let me explain.

Of course, I knew about issues and ideas like: quantum state in general vs. energy eigenstate, the universe as a single wavefunction, propagation of the characteristics at c as advocated by the relativity theory, etc.

However, I must still say that my knowledge is still not sufficiently “gelled” or crystallized so well together that I could have come up with the right answer, right on the fly.

I could easily sense the quantum state vs the energy state issue right on the first reading. However, Carroll (and others) had raised so many other, related issues that I kindaa got sidetracked in thinking how I might answer those so many other issues using my approach.

Now, as you know, my approach is still under development, and one reason why my knowledge of QM is not yet crystallized so well is because I find myself keeping on doing this to-and-fro between my approach and the mainstream QM: the physics of what my approach leads to (and what they all miss, so easily!) Hence, I couldn’t have got that answer so easily.

There also is another reason. Carroll himself, as well as the folks replying there (and at other blog posts/threads) really made it more complicated than was necessary—and I am sure that was a very honest thing on (many among) their part (Carroll certainly included among the honest ones). …You see, the mainstream QM doesn’t—in fact, cannot—provide you with a neat physical picture. This deficiency of the mainstream QM leads to a significant handicap. Notice the number of years of QM the debaters have had, and then, notice also the kind of this small, almost a QM 101 issue they still are left grappling with. So, what happens is, any time any basic issue of QM is opened for discussion, there is too much of digression. Which, in a way, feeds into my reformulation thoughts, and, so, I too get digressed.

QM-Related Errors, Part II, + Ethics Etc.:

Anyway, here is another presentation that I came across just yesterday. First, “a” word about the presenter.

The presentation is by Dr. Ramesh Raskar (XII MS Board Rank: 1st, BE E&TC (not Metallurgy) from COEP, PhD in CS (not Metallurgy, Materials Science/Engg, or Mechanical) from Uni. North Carolina Chapel Hill; Current Employers: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA (not jobless); also check out the awards he has been bestowed with, at his MIT page here: [^]). “A” word is over. Many more will now follow. That is to say, before going to the presentation proper, let me make something public, here.

As you know, I have been on the lookout for any possibility of any experimental validation of my new approach in QM. I have contacted people from all leading universities in the world. Most of them did not bother to reply back—not even a regret email—with barely one or two honorable exceptions (notably, that of Prof. Lyman Page of Princeton).

When I came to know of Prof. Raskar’s research in the high-speed cameras and all, I thought that the experimental generated by this research might provide for at least some indirect data towards having my theory validated. So, I wrote to him an email. (There also was another background to it. While working in the SF Bay Area in late 1990s, I had commented on a Web page on COEP alumni that Raskar maintained. I am not sure if I had mentioned this connection. I certainly had mentioned the commonality of COEP, also education from Nasik, to him.)

As expected, the email went unanswered. A few months later, I again wrote an email. This time, it was to take objection to a line that one of his MS students had written in his MS thesis. Essentially, I wanted to point out that I already had a publication on QM modeling of light and diffraction/interference, and that my precedence should be acknowledged. There also was this matter about a paper that Raskar had co-authored with a guy from West-coast (I no longer recall his name, but will look up and supply the details in a next blog post).

No reply from Raskar.

Yet another reminder.

No reply.

Then I thought of the situation in exactly those terms in which most any COEP alumnus would have. The difference was, I expressed my thoughts in an email, explicitly using exactly those words (i.e. expletives), and even sent that email to him.

At this stage, I knew I should either not get any reply at all, or, it will be a very direct (if not friendly) kind of an interaction. Raskar wrote one line asking me for my phone so he could call me. I gave him that, adding also something to the effect that now that the possibility of having at least some communication is there, I would approach things differently.

Then, I pointed out that MS thesis thing to him. —namely, that my research had precedence, and that his student had written that one line wrongly. (This MS student of Raskar’s is a JPBTI (JEE Pass BTech IITian). Naturally, it was known that the bastard wouldn’t reply someone like me—esp. now that he had gone to MIT, and I had a PhD from COEP, University of Pune.)

Raskar didn’t address the issue directly. This much is what I now gather vaguely. It’s been more than a year, and I will have to look up my emails—perhaps made from SoftTech’s account, and thus no longer accessible to me. But doing that is not really necessary. I know for sure that if Raskar were to address the issue directly, honestly, without the airs of being at MIT, he would have written it in a different way—and this difference would have been tremendous enough that I surely would have remembered it very distinctly.

So, there. The story doesn’t end here, though.

There is a JPBTI by name Dr. Naveen Kabra (BTech in CS (not Metallurgy) at IIT Bombay (not COEP), PhD in CS (neither Mechanical nor Metallurgy) from University of Wisconsin at Madison (not COEP, University of Pune); only today I got to know that, like me and Raskar, he too attended schooling in Nasik [^]). I had got to know him via a Hindi songs site he used to maintain (or perhaps still does). I had sent him an email enquiring about an old Hindi film song. I took a chance, but had a feeling that since he was a JPBTI in CS, he wouldn’t write back. Dr. Kabra turned out to have been true to his JPBTI color—he didn’t reply back.

Story forward. This guy Kabra now runs an online forum called PuneTech. I don’t visit them often, but by luck (or whatever), one day I happened to notice at PuneTech that Raskar would be delivering a lecture in IISER/NCL.

I immediately took this opportunity by writing Raskar an email that I would be attending the event. (I didn’t want to throw him off-guard. His being a COEP junior is just one of the two main reasons. (The other is: my knowledge of his relative but certain incompetence in that area in which our interests seem to overlap.))

I did attend the event. And, as covered in the emails, went up to talk to him after the lecture. (The lecture itself was not on an area of my interest; it was on that NETRA technology developed by him—the thing to do with using mobile phone camera as a low-cost medical instrument for checking eye conditions.) I made sure that he recognized me as the guy who had used expletives; then duly offered a formal apology though, in the heart of my hearts, I knew—and still know—that any apology was neither necessary nor sufficient to get him to change his ways.

As expected, he seemed deliberately following on continuing to harbor that feeling of having been unjustly offended, despite my, definitely formal, apology.

“I receive so many emails a day” was the sort of explanation he had, for not replying my initial emails. I pointed out a few examples of the opposite kind; the examples included, a Physics Nobel nominee (Thomson Reuter Hall etc.), an von Neumann awardee (who has publicly noted that he gets more than a 100 emails a day (leaving aside spams) and tries to reply all of them), etc.

Then, he said it, with dripping sarcasm clearly evident on his contorted face, “Yes, Ajit, you are ahead of us! You are a genius!” My spontaneous reaction, clearly, was unexpected by him. I told him that I didn’t care about being described a genius, and that, yes, I, indeed, have been ahead of them.

Then, I challenged him point-blank: “Could you make that statement publicly, tomorrow—that, in QM, in your opinion, I am ahead of you?” At that time, he started muttering things like: “It’s not my field,” and began looking around at the organizers, who, by now, were already getting into the hero’s side-kick-rescuing-the-hero mode. (These people included a certain woman. I recently saw her profile at a matrimonials site. Looking at her profile, this entire incidence also came back to my mind, apart from the QM mistake Dr. Raskar has committed, and then, I decided to blog about it.)

Ok. To cut the long story short. In the ensuing brief discussion (ultimately cut short by the sidekicks—and the whole thing hadn’t even lasted some 3–4 minutes), Raskar did not ever say that not citing my research was an oversight. No. He knew the line he was going to adopt.

Raskar managed to keep his face straight while, in answer, asking me to get in touch with his co-authors (one of them being a PhD from Stanford, Current Employer: University of California, Santa Cruz). I told Raskar that I had already written emails to them, but they were not responding. Since Raskar was a co-author, and since we were already physically standing face to face, why couldn’t he at least begin to address the issue, as would be expected by ethics in science? Or was the fact of my using those expletives, out of exasperation, now only to be very smartly used as a cover?

I would have liked to leave you to think about things like that—the things of snobbishness and of ethics—at this stage. However, I happened to have promised you something else. So, here we go:

Check out Raskar’s video here [^]. Though not necessary, also check out the material here [^]. Raskar reveals a very definitely mistaken understanding of the physics in his presentation here. The task for you is to identify it.

And, coming back to the Raskar episode. To be fair to him, even as the hero’s sidekicks were almost on the edge of shoving me out, he did manage to say that he (“we”) could consider giving email replies, that he (“we”) could help, that he (“we”) could even consider collaboration, but nothing can come out if that kind of a language was being used. I include this bit while saying: “to be fair to him.” The reason is, he could at least utter words such as “we could consider collaboration.” Though, he made sure that I wouldn’t go for it.

As I said above, if I can get access to those emails, I will surely write another post mentioning the priority matter, that Stanford PhD bastard coauthor of Raskar’s, and, as you now know, the definitely not-a-bastard Raskar. (Not only these words, but even the emphasis in italics is mine).

I wonder how come those Nobel laureates at MIT let their professional (i.e. paid) colleagues (i.e. guys and gals employed by MIT) get away betraying such a poor understanding of physics.

But then, what the hell do those (Nobel-laureate) certainly-not-bastards care—they got their Nobels, right? Right, Frank Wilczek? What do you care if some Indian guy claims to have resolved the wave particle duality and sends his thesis to you. Right?

And, what do American fuckers care? … Well, on second thoughts, they actually do!! American Fuckers!!!

One final comment, now to Rama Bijapurkar (re. her recent column in that unnecessary Sunday supplement that Indian Express sends out): I do maintain what I said in my comment at Abi’s blog, viz., that Dr. Scott Aaronson does not show sufficient clarity. However, the sense in which you seem to value clarity—and the sense in which I do—seems to a bit at odds. And, I am confident that I am right. So, get the matter clarified on your own, or, if that’s not possible, from someone competent—is that clear? Anyone else from that BJP+Israeli lobby maintaining the same/similar position: ditto.

Last point: I remain jobless. Keep that in mind.

[May be I will streamline this whole thing a bit, esp. the II part, esp. related to the precedence/priority-related matters regarding Raskar’s MS student, his Stanford-PhD-coauthor, and my QM research. I hope to find those email copies stored somewhere or so, though I can’t be very sure—some of them were sent using SoftTech’s office email address, and those emails would have been deleted by now.]


An Important Comment I Just Made at iMechanica—And, (Much) More!

0. The title says it all!

Go, check out this comment I just made at iMechanica: [^].

1. Now, on to the “more” part of the title. Noted below are a few more things about my research.

2. My Researches on QM:

2.1 Since the publication of my QM-related results, I have moved on considerably further. As mentioned earlier on this blog, I have since then realized that my approach—the way I thought about it, as in contrast to what I (happened to have) published—always could handle the vector field equations of electromagnetism, including those for light. That is, including the angular momentum part of the EM fields. (Paddy, Suku, are you listening?) … However, I decided against publishing something in more detail to cover this aspect. A good decision, now it seems in retrospect.

(Yes, Jayant, you may now try your best to prod me towards publishing, including emphasizing how unpublished research is non-existent research. Just try it! Any which way you wish. … Precisely just the way I don’t give a damn to wannabe physicists turning JPBTIs turning entrepreneurs, I also don’t give a damn to the Statism-entrenching advices coming off the Statism-entrenching scientists, esp so if they also are the State-revered ones. So, just try it!! Also others, like, say, Sunil!!!)

2.2 I had also resolved the entanglement issue, and have chosen not to publish about it. As I stated earlier here [^], Louisa Guilder reports that Bell’s inequality paper has garnered the highest number of citations in physics literature so far, an astounding 2,500. The paper # 2,501 (or greater, as of today) must have concluded that the entanglement issue cannot be resolved—possibly out of the position/conviction that there was nothing to be resolved.

So, basically, I have resolved what an enormous number of misguided (and, possibly outright stupid) people could cite but not resolve.

Aside: Of the hundreds of papers on this topic I have come across, I know of Dr. Joy Christian’s position to be most reasonable—and in my knowledge, only his. Now, there are some minor differences between what he says and what I have always known and never published. But these differences are, in a sense, minor. The important part—and aren’t we concerned only with the important things here?—is that I knew about it, and have deliberately chosen not to publish about it. (If holding this position makes it possible to tick me off via certain lists such those maintained by a John Baez or a Scott Aaronson, I couldn’t care less about it—and both (and all) of them, I suppose, should know/could get to know, how (I care so less about those lists).)

BTW, as a matter of progression in time, I had thought that the issue would have to be first resolved in the context of photons, not of electrons. I am not very sure about it, though. In any case, that was the sequence in which I did it. First, photons; then, electrons.

Go, try your best to prod me towards publishing something on it! Just try it!! … BTW, my resolution had happened years before I had publicly offered an Indian PhD physicist on a “LinkedIn” group that I could explain my results if she (or anyone else) could meet me in person at Pune. This public offer of mine has just ended, right now!…. So, go ahead! Just try it!!!

3. My Researches on Other Topics

3.1 I have had some definite ideas for research on other topics from computational science and engineering and allied fields (including a numerics). I have kept these aside for the time being, because many of these are well-suited for guiding PhDs. Which brings me to the last couple of points for today (or at least, as of now, in the first version of this post).

3.2 As to student projects, I have decided not to accept anyone unless he is remarkably bright, and hard-working. (For those who seek to do truly independent PhD research, I cannot make myself available as a guide, as of now. Also see the point 3.3 below.) Roughly speaking, this means that rough level as would be understood by one or more of the following: GRE (V+Q) scores of at least 1350; GATE score of 95+P; throughout distinction class (or in at least 5 semesters out of 8) in BE of University of Pune (or equivalent).

3.3 The University of Pune has a stupid requirement for becoming a PhD guide: you (i.e. a fresh PhD graduate) must wait for at least 3 years after his own (successful) defense before he can become a PhD guide himself. The three years, in my case, end on September 20, 2012. (They—the Indian government(s)—probably arranged the date to numerically coincide with the date on which I first entered USA: 2nd September, 1990. Yes, the same government that whispered the UK government to give Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law all security clearance at UK airports, on par with the President and Prime Minister of India.)

Recently, someone reminded me a further requirement that I had forgotten. You also need to have two publications in those three years, before you can become a guide. Since I have mentioned the Gandhi’s and the defence-date here, I am sure that they would now interpret the sufficiently vague rules to imply that those two must be journal articles—peer-reviewed conference proceedings won’t do.

I, therefore, have decided to try to publish two journal articles in the near future of a few months. (Hey Elsevier, take notice!)

At least one, and probably both of these two articles would be on CFD.

Those of you who know me, would know that once I get going, I get going. I don’t disappoint (these of) you, not this time around at least: I have already installed Ubuntu 11.10 (natty) inside Oracle’s VirtualBox running on top of Windows (32 bit XP and 64-bit 7), and have already installed OpenFOAM v. 2.0.1 in that Ubuntu (32-bit, as of now). I also have installed other software. I have shortlisted the niche problems I could work on. I have contacted a couple of IIT Bombay professors, not for collaboration, but merely for sounding out. I knew that being employed by the IIT Bombay, there would be no collaboration, though a collaboration could have been perfectly OK by me. I also knew that once I wrote an email to them, it would get trapped (as all my emails are), and then, even the sounding things out over a 30 minute session would soon become impossible. And, that the impossibility would never be communicated explicitly via any means, esp. via an email. This  supposition of mine has indeed come to pass. (Congratulate me for being a good judge of the IIT Bombay, of the Indian government(s)—all of them, today’s and those of the past under the BJP regime as well, of Indians, and of humanity in general.) I knew all that, right in advance, and had prepared myself mentally for it. And, thought of plans B and C as well. I am executing on these.

And, no, I couldn’t care a hoot for how many freaking citations those two journal papers generate. As far as I am concerned, these two papers would allow me to fulfill the stupid requirements whereby I can become a PhD guide. And whereby, a slim chance does exist that I might get some good guy (gals included) for PhD supervision. (Chances are, it could be someone I already knew as a friend—numerically speaking, most of my friends are without PhDs.)

So, there. For the next few months, that’s the sort of research I am going to do—in my spare time, of course. Hey Elsevier, take notice (once again!!). As to others: If you consider yourself my friend, help me publish it in an easy and timely manner, ASAP.

That’s all for today. For this first version, anyway. As always, I might come back and correct or add a few things. …. Might as well add a few political comments right here.

4. A Few Comments on Politics and All:

Just noting down a few comments on politics (i.e. that politics which is “larger” than the one in S&T fields) in passing (and I will take liberties to pass comments on people without alerting them):

To ObjectivistMantra and Others:

Tavleen Singh’s article on the slap to Mr. Pawar was the best. However, it fell short on the count of completeness. On this count of completeness, she does far, far better (actually excellent) with her next article in the Indian Express’ Fifth Column. Why I say she fell short. In an entrenched mixed economy such as ours (i.e. India’s as in the past and as of today, and of USA’s in near future), the whole system has already become so statist, so mangling of individual rights, that it is impossible to systematically assign blame on any one systemic part of it. In my twenties and early thirty’s (i.e. 15–25 years ago), having known this, I used to argue that it would be impossible for the Indian army (i.e. defence services in general) or the Indian courts to be singled out as being clean. Time proved me right. Indeed, it’s at least since my X standard (i.e. for ~35 years now) that I have argued that you can’t blame politicians—indeed that far too many politicians, from the village through the national level enjoyed much more of esteem in my opinion than what salaried class (say, my “Brahmin” friends) would allow them. Sometime while I was in SF Bay Area, I further realized that the trend to say: “It’s all polltishuns; common people and businessmen are clean” had originated not in India, but in the middle-east and Pakistan etc., and that our Punjabi’s, Gujarathi’s etc. settled in the USA and UK (e.g. Kanwal Rehi, Vinod Khosla and their friends there and here) had been simply rubbing the characterization (actually applicable in the middle-east and Pakistan etc.), expectedly witlessly, on to India’s scene. Since Shobha Dey makes many frequent visits to Dubai, she was expected to have picked it up, too. And, she has shown over the years  that she has. Her latest column springs from that faulty position as regards India. Tavleen Singh is better. (That’s one basic reason why a link to her columns features in the my blogroll here.) Singh did stop short of stretching on that line. However, she did get overwhelmed by the dominant presence of that erroneous idea in our present culture. That’s why, she couldn’t think of a single example on the following lines: Taking a symmetrical case, should I be allowed to put a slap on the face of a Kanwal Rekhi or a Vinod Khosla, for not giving me a job in SF Bay Area in late 2000/early 2001, so that my green-card processing could have been completed? Should I be permitted—morally, even if not legally—to land a (Marathi) “saNsaNit thappaD” (nearest English: a resounding slap) on the face of a Ratan Tata, not just for never giving a job in his company (in Ratan’s case, Tatas) but even allowing my harassment (e.g. as stated on a LinkedIn thread re. VSNL/Tata Indicom Broadband)? Would it be morally justifiable? Why, Ms Tavleen, speak of the emotions of common man but refuse to discuss the issue on more clearly and more on specifically moral terms? So, you see, even if Ms. Singh is far better—and here I thankfully recall all her wonderful articles in the recent past, esp. the courage she has shown in taking on the urban twittering “middle” classes in the “Gandhian” Anna Hazaare “movement”—it is obvious that she overlooked something. Mind you, it’s just plain omission (and as far as I am concerned, it seems to be a very honest one). But still, an error is an error. On omission is an omission. Since I enjoy and admire her columns as much as you do, I hope that she addresses the moral aspects of the emotional issues rather than emotions. In any case, what she wrote was otherwise far better, far superior to what I could have written. This is exactly like Swapan Dasgupta’s recent article. Except for that one error, the rest of the article is excellent! But, hey, you don’t design or manufacture 99 components of an engine well, and leave 1 component out of either good design process or actual testing. As to Ms. Dey, I think I am going to stop reading her now. Some time ago, she was wondering when certain people had kissed last, in the context of—and who else: Indian “poltishun”s. (In case someone finds it intriguing, realize that she is a daughter of an Indian central bureucrat, and as far as I can make it out, has had no explicit rational philosophy to guide her writings, though she is a lady of enormous culture and composure in her own right too. Oh well, even explicit rational ideas do make a difference—think what a whole rational philosophy can do!)

I think I will stop here, and add possibly add other points via other blog posts. For the time being, as far as politics goes, I am enjoying (“loving it”) watching the BJP more than anyone else in the opposition/government, as far as the issue of retail FDI goes.  However, I am not going to support Walmart for the simple reasons that (i) their country has unreasonably failed me in the PhD and unreasonably denied me green-card/citizenship, (ii) they are too big to need my support anyway, and (iii) supporting a big company against government—Microsoft, in the DoJ case—was one among many things that got me a heart condition, I know. (How do I know? Well, it’s the same guy who has known how to resolve the QM wave-particle duality in the context of light, and about angular momentum in EM, and then, a resolution of the riddles of quantum entanglement, as well as many other unpublished, even un-discussed topics.)

One final point, again going back towards research. For the past several years I could not fathom the reason why people might be so unenthusiastic about my approach—I mean, honest people (apart from all the dirty things and “political” issues I have mentioned/indicated above.) Well, it was while reading Sean Carroll’s blog at Discovery magazine that I happened to realize one important (technical) reason why this might be (or must be) so! Hmmm…. Nice to know. It’s always great to know. Though, I am not going to divulge here what that thing was—or how it not only doesn’t contradict my approach but rather helps me be even more confident about my approach (if I ever needed such help, in this context!) And, as you know, I am not going to discuss it or publish about it either. Try to get me to do otherwise. … Just try!
Ok. Enough is enough. As usual, to be edited/streamlined later—perhaps!

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A Song I Like:
[RIP, Dev Anand!]
(Hindi) “gaataa rahe, meraa dil…”
Music: S. D. Burman (perhaps with R.D. looking after the orchestra (??) if not also the tune. (I have read somewhere that he was involved in “Aaraadhanaa,” but have no such idea when it comes to “Guide”)
Singers: Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar
Lyrics: Shailendra


How to supply a visualization for the displacement gradient tensor

[This post was initially posted at iMechanica. After posting it, I realized there was some inconsistency with it, and I noted so at the thread at iMechanica. What I am posting below is a slightly modified version.]

It all began with a paper that I proposed for an upcoming conference in India. The extended abstract got accepted, of course, but my work is still in progress, and today I am quite sure that I cannot meet the deadline. So, I am going to withdraw it, and then submit a longer version of it to a journal, later.

Anyway, here is a gist of the idea behind the paper. I am building a very small pedagogical software called “toyDNS.” DNS stands for Displacement, straiN, and streSs, and the order of the letters in the acronymn emphasizes what I (now) believe is the correct hierarchical order for the three concepts. Anyway, let’s keep the hierarchical order aside and look into what the software does—which I guess could be more interesting.

The sofware is very very small and simple. It begins by showing the user a regular 2D grid (i.e. squares). The user distorts the grid using the mouse, which is somewhat similar to the action of an image-warping software. The software, then, immediately (i.e. in real time, without using menus etc.) computes and shows the following fields in the adjacent windows: (i) the displacement vector field, (ii) the displacement gradient tensor field, (iii) the rotation field, (iv) the strain field, (v) and the stress field. The software assumes plane-stress, linear elasticity, and uses static configuration data for material properties like nu and E. The software also shows the boundary tractions (forces) that would be required to maintain the displacement field that the user has specified.

Basically, the idea is that the beginning undergraduate student encountering the mechanics of materials for the first time, gets to see the importance of the rotation field (which is usually not emphasized in textbooks or courses), and thereby is able to directly appreciate the reason why an arbitrary displacement field uniquely determines the corresponding strain and stress fields but why the converse is not true—why an arbitrary stress/strain field cannot uniquely determine a corresponding displacement field. To illustrate this point (call it the compatibility issue if you wish) is the whole rationale behind this toy software.

Now, when it comes to visualizing the fields, I can always use arrows for showing the vector fields of displacements and forces. For strains and stresses, I can use Lame’s ellipse (this being a 2D space). In fact, since the strain and stress fields are symmetric, in 2D, they each have only 3 components, which means that the symmetric tensor object taken as a whole can directly map onto an RGB (or HLS) color-space, and so, I can also show a single, full-color field plot for the strain (or stress) field.

Ok. So far, so good.

The problem is with the displacement gradient tensor (DG for short here). Since the displacement field is arbitrary, there is no symmetry to the DG tensor. Hence, even in 2D, there are 4 independent components to it—i.e. one component too many than what can be accomodated in the three-component color-space. So, a direct depiction of the tensor object taken as a whole is not possible, and something else has to be done. So, I thought of the following idea.

First, the notation. Assume that the DG tensor is being described thus:

DG11 DG12
DG21 DG22


du/dx du/dy
dv/dx dv/dy

where DGij are the components of the DG tensor, u and v are the x- and y-components of the displacement field, and the d’s represent the partial differentation. (Also imagine as if the square brackets of the matrix notation are placed around the components listing above.)

Consider that DGij can be taken to represent a component of a vector that refers to the i-th face and j-th direction. Understanding this scheme is easier to do for the stress tensor. For the stress tensor, Sij is the component of the traction vector acting across the i-the face and pointing in the j-th direction. For instance, in fig. 2.3 here: , T^{e_1} is the vector acting across the face normal to the 1-axis.

Even if the DG tensor is not symmetric, the basic idea would still apply, wouldn’t it?

Thus, each row in the DG tensor represents a vector: the first row is a vector acting on the face normal to the x-axis, and the second is another vector (which, for DG, is completely indpendent of the first) acting on the face normal to the y-axis. For 2D, substitute “line” in place of “face.”

If I now show these two vectors, they would completely describe the DG tensor. This representation would be somewhat similar to the “cross-bars” visualization commonly used in engineering software for the stress tensor, wherein the tensor field is shown using periodically arranged cross-bars—very convenient if the grid is regular and uniform and has square elements.

Notice a salient difference, however. Since the DG tensor is asymmetric, the two vectors will not in general lie at right-angles to each other. The latter is the case only with the symmetric tensors such as the strain and stress tensors. [Correction added while posting this entry at this blog here: Here, for the strain and stress vectors, I have already assumed that the two vectors are aligned along the principal axes. Notice that for the DG tensor, my description assumes that the reference faces or lines are aligned with the global xy reference frame that is attached to the domain. This introduces the inconsistency that I later noted at the iMechanica blog.]

My question is this: Do you see any issues with this kind of visualization for the DG tensor? Is there any loss of generality by following this scheme of visualization? I mean, I read some literature on visualization of asymmetric tensors, and noticed that they sometimes worry about the eigenvalues being complex, not real. I think that complex eigenvalues would not be a consideration for the above kind of depiction of the DG tensor—the rotation part will be separately shown in a separate window anyway. But, still, I wanted to have the generality aspect cross-checked. Hence this post. Am I missing something? assuming too much? What are the other things, if any, that I need to consider? Also: Would you be “intuitively” comfortable with this scheme? Can you think of or suggest any alternatives?

Comments are welcome.

Addenda (while now posting this entry at this blog here, on Oct. 28, 2010):

At iMechanica, Biswajit Banerjee provided a very helpful link to notes on Mohr’s circle by Prof. Rebecca Brannon (Uni. Utah). Then I also found a few papers by her. Dr. Phillips Wallstedt also provided a helpful pointer. I still have to go through all this material, esp. the paper suggested by Wallstedt. Anyhow, let me reiterate my point: Lame’s ellipse is a superior visualization as compared to Mohr’s circle. Brannon’s notes are truly helpful in that they directly show how to use Mohr’s circle for asymmetric tensors as well. Much of the material regarding asymmetric tensors in her notes was not at all known to me, and I am really grateful to her for having posted it online (and to Biswajit for pointing it out to me). Yet, I am going to try and see what(ever) that can be done along the cross-bars and/or Lame’s ellipse side. One solution now obvious to me (after Brannon’s notes—which I have merely browsed not read through) is what she has already shown in her notes: show the eigenvectors in reference to the non-rectangular stress element—even if she adds an “arghh” to the idea :). I think it is not at all a bad idea. Indeed, the more I think about it, the better I like it. At least, it will be consistent with the cross-bars visualization for the symmetric tensors.  … And, oh, BTW, it reminds me of a point that I have wanted to make for a long time, viz., the possibly misleading nature of the stress element they usually always use in showing stress tensor definition. … Next post!

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A Song I Like:

[Initially I thought of skipping this section just for this post, but then changed my mind. … This song is dedicated to the fond memory of a certain relative of ours who passed away yesterday, at a ripe age of 85+. It was my sister’s mother-in-law—but she never let us feel that “in-law” part of it. She was an almost completely unlettered lady who lived all her life in a village, herself working in farms. She was a lifelong “warkari,” and more: a soul of a very rare kind of simplicity and beauty.]

(Marathi) “saavaLyaa viThhalaa, tujhyaa daari aale”
Singer: Suman Kalyanpur
Music: Dashrath Pujari
Lyrics: R. N. Pawar



Playing the Second Fiddle to “Accomplishments Based on Short Term Reputations”

0. This post puts together a series of tweets I wrote last week or so. This post was meant to be uncharacteristically short because I am once again down with cough (together with 1/4th if not 1/2 of Pune). Those anti-histamines tend to make you both hazy and lazy. But then, as I began typing, it exceeded 3000 words! You are warned.

1. The whole thing began with charges of plagiarism by Prof. Ashok Kumar, a faculty with the department of biological sciences and bioengineering, at IIT Kanpur. Look up the ‘net for more information. The charges seem serious because Elsevier also issued a retraction notice, for lifting materal from, of all sources, Wikipaedia!! According to the “Nanopolitan” blog maintained by Prof. Abinandanan of IISc Bangalore, this was the first time that an IIT faculty was being implicated for plagiarism charges.

The blogosphere immediately went abuzz with expressions of shock, disgust, anger, “WTF” etc. Understandably so.

What I failed to understand was the reason why was the community would get so agitated. … Don’t get me wrong. My reasons to failing to understand them have nothing to do with supporting plagiarism but instead wanting to put the issue in context.

Plagiarism is detestable, I thought, but having observed the research and academic community’s reactions (or rather, the absence of such a thing as any reaction at all) over other similar issues for more than past two decades, I began to wonder why this obsession with plagiarism itself.

I mean, when it comes to the lack of integrity, in particular, the scientific integrity, there are umpteen other ways absolutely to go wrong too. And, to my dismay, I have found that many of those who are most (or most influentially) vocal against plagiarism, or their very near colleagues have been caught, by none other than me, say with their pants down. (I can cite at least two Padma awardees in this list.)

And then, what really bugged me down was Prof. Abinandanan’s not-so-recent and still continuing tirade against Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, FRS, one of persons of (recent) Indian science that I happen to admire most.

In Abi’s case, there seemed to be something going beyond mere personal grouches. After all, I recall that in the year 2003 I had applied to his department for a PhD admission, with two conditions: I will supply my own research topic, and I will not disclose all the information in publications, in view of any possible internatioal patents.

His department (Abi was with them back then too, and so feel free to take the absence of his comments to this post as merely affirmation of the remaining parts of this sentence) was at best most mildly lukewarm to the first idea (namely that I will work on my project idea) and at best mildly antogonistic to the second (with “If patents and all is what you want to do, doing PhD here will be impossible” being an average reply).

Notice also that by that time (2003), in India, not only IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur, but also the University of Pune had already put in place an Intellectual Property Rights policy. The UoP part is in part surprising because the rest of the IITs—and Abi’s IISc—had not done so. It is not so surprising when you realize that Dr. Mashelkar was actively promoting IPRs both within CSIR and outside of it, and with NCL PhDs being attached with UoP, had considerable influence at UoP.

Juxtapose these two sets of facts, and you begin to get a sense of what I am driving at: namely, that there seems to be more than a mere personal grouch when Abi, or any other IISc, JNU, Calicut/Kochi etc. professor (or, for the sake of completeness, say a minion of Jairam Ramesh BTech IIT Bombay’s), begins to attack people like Mashelkar.

A bit personal about why I add Ramesh here. When I was being “followed up” in Indu Jain’s Times of India during those shining BJP years, two names, I noticed, stood out in actively participating in those follow-ups. One: Dr. Vasant Gowariker (I guess an uncle of Ashutosh Gowariker’s). Two: an “intelligent” and “good-looking” politician (by his own admission) and an (I am sure permanently) aspiring eco-terrorist, Jairam Ramesh. Contrast: One prominent personality who did not fall to their low standards despite himself writing frequently for Times of India in those days (but who also didn’t help me in any real sense, beyond library help) was: Prof. Jayant Narlikar.

Let me put it bluntly. The matter begins to smell of a dead rat (or rotten fish, if you are a Bengali), when a person, or group, or network of them is consistently vocal against plagiarism, but equally consistently shy of commenting on any other violations of scientific integrity—no matter how blatant—and then also manages to summon the muscle power to rant against people of the character and stature of Mashelkar’s.

Yet, I don’t think the rants against Mashelkar are worth taking a serious note of. Furthermore, I would rather let Dr. Mashelkar speak for himself—if he thinks there is a need to do so. Here, on my blog I would rather focus on the sufferings and setbacks that I myself have had to face and endure (and have to continue doing so) because of an academic-research-scientific establishment of low scientific integrity. Most notably, including IIT Bombay and IISc Bangalore.

3. Plagiarism is one way to lost integrity. But, is it the only one? Can you think of any other?

While writing tweets, rather on the fly, I could think of the following. Please see if you can add to these:

  • Denying admission to a PhD program if a candidate, otherwise fully qualified and shortlisted and all, says that he has already formulated the main research topic for his PhD, and, for various contextual reasons, would be interested in pursuing only that topic. (He is willing to name specific topics for at least three anticipated research papers, but the committee discussion is either steered or, worse, “evolves” in such a way that he cannot get to that part at all, but instead is laughed at.)
  • Studied ignorance of even dramatic claims (such as first in 200 years). Need I comment more?
  • Declining to examine a PhD thesis even if there are 5+ peer-reviewed internatioal conference papers as a support material.
  • Declining to examine a PhD thesis even if the candidate claims that it involves only such mathematics as can be understood by an undergraduate of engineering, on the grounds that “I don’t understand it,” and “it is not my specialization,” or, this gem: “I will have to learn new things before I undestand it, for which, I have no time.” (More than one person said it, and not all had been graduated by the University of California at Berkeley.)
  • Refusal to reply emails
    • concerning the singularity at the envelope of a vortex ring, sent to a guy who has an American PhD in CFD, is a faculty at an IIT, and yaps a lot on the ‘net (including against Ayn Rand)
    • concerning voxel-based processing, sent to an Indian gal, who has an American PhD in graphics, is a faculty in an American university
    • concerning quantum mechanical wave particle duality (sent to many)
  • Improper rejection of paper: Did the CERN people really reject my paper for considerations of a perceived lack of merit? What do you think? Or was it because I explicitly cited Ayn Rand, taking the care to cite a least controversialpiece—to the effect that we should not reject alternative hypotheses or theories without due consideration. Can anything get more mainstream in science? And, if not, quoting Professor T. A. Abinandanan, let me ask: “WTF were you folks thinking?” (Disclosure: Prof. Abinandanan is not related to me by way of affiliation, employer, discipline—or philosophic convictions.)
  • Not answering queries posted at collegial blogging fora such as iMechanica. Studied silence, in short.
  • Grabbing prizes (up to Rs. 50 lakhs, no less) for work on “quantum gravity” but declaring, physically sitting across the table and to the face of an official PhD student, that one does not know the quantum wave-particle duality—not even sufficiently to the extent that a simple two-part paper claiming to resolve it, already published, can be read and commented upon. What more proof do you want the corruption of the scientificspirit (i.e. the lack of moral integrity for doing science and occupying positions in institutions funded by the tax-payer’s money) is rampant. (In Indian media, they often use the term “rampant” in such a way that without consulting a dictionary, one might conclude that it means “wide-spread.” The actual meaning is: standing upright—but on the hind-legs. The term applies to animals, as they assume an attacking posture. That’s what rampant means. Not afraid of assuming a towering posture so as to win a fight, but in the context of animals other than Man. (Yes, Indian media, go ahead, take your revenge—use this word from now onwards for certain politicians like Mr. Sharad Pawar.) )
  • Raising non-relevant issues: For example. You talk of potential flow as the simplified case, relevant only as the first step towards the Helmholtzian fields (the linear second-order PDEs). The person (a researcher, not an industrial engineer) goes: So, have use used fluent for modeling multi-phase flows? Don’t laugh. It would be a matter of incompetence if done honestly. It is a matter of shamelssly dropping integrity because it can be, and is routinely done deliberately. Here is another example of the same kind: You arrange to tell an Emeritus Professor of Physics that after 1.5 years, finally, two people have agreed to examine the PhD thesis, but the topic is such that if the third examiner is a physicist, it would be great. The guy (with a US PhD and IIT teaching experience—with one of his female students heading a group at IISc) goes: “The problem seems to be well defined. He might have done some work. (Huh!) But, since I am not a computational physicist, I cannot examine this.” What kind of integrity-keeping is that, Professor Sharad Patil—especially if you know that the guy has been made to run from the post to the pillar even after paper publications and for 1.5 years after thesis submission? What kind of integrity-keeping is that, Huzurpaga-trained Professor Rohini Godbole? (This nullifies the media significance of quoting Sharad Pawar above. Recently, the local dailies like the daily Sakal—which, unlike at least three other Marathi newspapers including Lokmat, didn’t publish the news of my PhD, what with a Dalit-Bramhim combo editing the show—had published pix showing Mr. Pawar attending a function at Huzurpaga, and similar ones for IIT Bombay etc. But yes, keep aside the media significance, but one would still want to raise that question, pertaining specifically to the virtue of integrity. )
  • Asking to study irrelevant matters. Not always a fool-proof indicator of lack of integrity (and, for that matter, nothing is!). But consider this. You say you have a new theory that has testable new consequences. The guy goes: “Better learn XYZ theory first.” Examples: A loathesome guy (I mean a Professor) from IISc recently asked me to first study Feynman’s theory. He, thus, evaded the responsibility of judging the merits of my approach. And, notice, I wasn’t even saying: “My theory correctly reproduces every result as predicted by the standard theory.” I most emphatically was not saying: “I have reformulated the entirety of QM.” In that hypothetical case, the IISc professor might, hypothetically perhaps, have been justified. After all, there are loonies too. But, still, I say, that IISc professor might only be hypothetically justified. The reason? I am a mainstream and official PhD, with proper mainstream publication avenues, with proper mainstream earlier academic credentials (including the very public interaction with other mainstream academics and researchers on the ‘net). And, regardless, I was not saying I have reformulated the entirety of QM. What made this IISc professor go so arrogant? (If you think that he is the sort who thinks that none should talk about QM without 10 years of university education and post-doc experience, consider this: this guy does not mind being a “guide” to his school-going child who wins a prize abroad for an innovative paper on QM that employs the Dirac bra-ket notation. Tell me, can this child be such a genius? Or, given the prevaling mores and ethos in Indian science, it is more likely that the parent wrote the paper and the kid played around with the toy and was told enough things (and even understood enough things) that an infinitesimal but nonzero chance does exist for the kid to claim co-authorship? Any comments on that IIT Bombay Gold Medalist IISc Professor Apoorva Patel? And, oh, don’t feel that you have no company. Paddy’s daughter, Padma, happened to win a similar (or the same) prize while still only in her BSc program, and it was a pure coincidence that her paper had a treatment of electrodynamics in a vein remarkably similar to her father’s (and also that one hasn’t heard too many advances being made by her since winning the Award). Again, let me emphasize who I am (or, regardless of my admittedly poor writing style) against. It isn’t the kids (even though I name them). It is: their parents. I have seen enough incompetents walk away with enough trophies that a couple of prizes here don’t make a difference to me. (For that matter, I myself had won many trophies while in school—at least 2/3 every year, if not 4/5—and distinctly remember not even just wanting not to display them, such a thing showing a certain gross-ness, but even offering consoling words to them that it didn’t matter we lived in such a middle-of-middle homes that there couldn’t even be a decent place to keep a show-case in which could be displayed those trophies. Yes, I was that … and what’s the word I want here? … phlegmatic? abstract? Whatever, I was that unconcerned about winning even while in school. I have not changed in this respect a lot since then. So, certainly, my point isn’t these kids. It is: their Professor parents (and Profesor “uncles,” “aunties,” etc.)  If a person comes to you with a new thoery which he says can lead to a new prediction, are you going to ask him to go back and hit library, even while “guiding” one’s own school-going kid in this way? I ask you: The two things taken together, is this, or is this not, a violation of scientific integrity? Yes or No?
  • Releaseing enticing advertisements for post-doc positions (or industy employment), only to not even acknowledgment the receipt of the application. Of course I do mean the IIT Bombay alumnus and UC Davis Professor Sukumar. But he emphatically is not alone. The situation is so pathetic that, as far as iMechanica is concerned, I cannot be sure of any job advertisements coming anywhere from USA or Europe except for those from a very very few groups, notably, that of John Dolbow, a few from Technion—but none from Oxford, Cambridge, or much of the rest of Europe. (I also include here my observations of the “evolution” of paper submission at arXiv, over the past 5+ years.) Games playing is at an all time high. And, I, personally, have maintained enough integrity to say that their integrity is at an all time low.

I could go on. But it already has exceeded 2,500 words.

Therefore, I have no stamina left for what, I hoped in the beginning, would be the last 1/4 or 1/3 part of this post. Namely, the standards employed for awarding tenure at MIT, and the Indian scientist’s intense desire (as judged from their actions at the time of PhD admissions) to determinedly play only a Second Fiddle to the likes of the MIT.

I may come back and try to finish this part sometime later. No guaruntees, because one of my conference papers has been accepted and I have to finish writing software for it as well as the paper itself, by this month-end. As such, I will have no time to blog for the rest of the month. At least, I should avoid doing so unless the software and the paper is complete. I will try to avoid the temptation, but, sure, leave me alone for a while. (I have observed that I begin to get psychic tensions, if not attacks, if there is a longer gap between blog-posts and even tweets. These California/American pscychics—and possibly their “friends” and co-forces elsewhere) aren’t going to stop. But, yes, there is almost a computer-game like precision to what they do. There is a psychic tension if (i) I don’t post, or (ii) other people (preferably those from USA) don’t write back me emails, (iii) other people don’t release posts or articles even if 2-3 degrees (out of the famous six degrees of separation) favoring one of my recent positions, and (iv) any or all of the above. Given the precision, I feel sure that the US government’s psi-forces must be responsible for so attacking me. If not that, then, Christianity. Such a precision—and regularity across a span of a decade-plus of time— would be possible only to those bustards and bitches who are protected by a fifty-year discolure deadline, or the hierachy-upon-hierarchy and country-after-county network believing in psi-forces. (The communists among the bustards and bitches are networked—but outside of their ruling governments, they don’t believe in the existence of the psi-forces. And, going by my experience—the timing and all—the matter concerns the mystics of the soul. Might as well add. I did suspect (and still do look out for the possibility of) the BJP being in this. But, frankly, once they were out of the power at the center, I don’t think I have received any attacks from them. (Unlike what many people imagine, the attacks are not random. They have a sharp purpose of wanting to influence opinions, policy, etc. That is the reason why one can make out who could possibly be behind the attacks at any given moment—via a process which, I think, could be said to the method of systematic elimination.))

So, leave me alone. (Or, make up by writing me emails/comments, more uniformly distributed, over the next two weeks.) I have a paper to finish, and, not just a paper, but also a piece of software—all by myself, without having a couple of IISc/IIT Bombay graduate students, and far more importantly, their library facilities, at my disposal. The MIT tenure policy is an interesting matter (LOL!—at them), but it can wait.

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A Song I Like
(Hindi) “gayaa andheraa, hua ujaalaa, chamka chamka subah kaa taaraa…”
Singers: Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar
Music: C. Ramachandra
Lyrics: Noor Lucknowi

[Corrected the song credits; thanks gaddeswarup. However, this post still is to be updated, edited and streamlined after a week or so, in any case, not in the very immediate future.]


My Current Study and Research Plans. Also, Seeking a Little Research Funding…

0. This again is a post that grew out of my reply [^] to a comment by Arjen Dijksman [^].

So, here is my study + research plan (as of today):

1. Finish reading Whittaker’s “A History of Theories of Aether and Electricity.” Write brief notes (for myself).

After subsequent comment by Arjen, I am also adding Maxwell’s “Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism” as well as his “Matter and Motion.”

2. Finish reading Griffith’s Electrodynamics. No emphasis on solving problems.

3. Then, implement a toy FDTD (simplest problems, but in 3D, just for better understanding—I understand everything better once I make a running program out of it).

4. Possibly at this time, write a paper showing the relation between my approach and EM wave propagation. Use it to simulate light, now also with angular momentum (i.e. a cone in 3D after diffraction).

It would be great if folks at Princeton/Harvard or other places can generate detailed photon detection events data, for empirical comparisons.

In this context, I may mention that I have located the suppliers of the required experimental apparatus, and find that a certain basic version of the apparatus is within a few lakhs of Rupees.

I wonder if I write an email to Vinod Khosla, asking him to gift me this equipment (with a written understanding that as soon as I finish my experimentation, the equipment goes to an IIT or engineering college of his choice for permanent ownership), whether he will honor the request or not.

Mind you, the current photon theory is a product of several Nobel laureates, none of who could resolve those aspects of the quantum wave-particle duality paradox that I have (in my mind, all the aspects). As stated earlier in a separate post, my approach leads to empirically verifiable predictions concerning the transient dynamics of photon propagation. These are new predictions. The proposed experiments will be crucial in determining which theory is right—the existing mainstream theory is right or mine.

Thus, this is definitely a very important and fundamental study, something that someone like Mr. Khosla cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be ashamed of sponsoring. So, there really is something solid here for Mr. Khosla to think about. The total funds required are less than $10,000 or so—not much going by the size of funds he can invest.

Also, if you can suggest anyone else (apart from Mr. Khosla, that is), please drop me a line. Thanks in advance.

(Please, don’t suggest me Bill Gates. Or the Perimeter Institute. Or the Kavli Institute. Etc. This is not about platform-, nation- wars. This is a simple thought. Mr. Khosla is of Indian origin. He has made it big. He funds projects in India. I have been in the Silicon Valley for a few years. I have no comparable connections, or rather, possibilities of connection, with any of the others. It’s as simple as that. So, please keep your suggestions realistic. Thanks.)

5. Soon after finishing reading Griffith (ED), also finish reading a good special relativity text. I do plan to finish Resnick, and also French & Taylor. But these may be too elementary.

If you have any suggestions, drop a line.

I have a definite theoretical idea in mind for the same physics as covered by special relativity. May be write an article detailing it. (Always possible: A simulation to go with it).

6. Finish taking notes of QM books up to the level of (in apparently increasing order of “difficulty”) Scherrer, Liboff, Griffith, and then, Shankar.

I think it might make sense to first finish just one book and then look up others. I am still not sure which one it has to be. I am inclined towards Liboff, but find also Scherrer tempting for the purpose.

I will not be solving all (or even a majority of) problems at this time, though.

7. Immediately after: Write an initial paper detailing theory + simulation for electron diffraction/interference. Provide contrasts to existing theory.

It would be wonderful if detailed empirical data of Tonomura’s experiment can be had for comparison.

I am not going to press Mr. Khosla for funding this part, though. But for the photons experiment, I think, the request would be both reasonable and within Mr. Khosla’s charitable activities budget. [You don’t know me. I would have gone ahead and bought the equipment on my own, except for the fact that I still have debts arising from my 6–7 years of unemployment + the expense for my heart bypass surgery (borne purely through personal loans).]

8. I initially thought that with my day-job commitments and schedule, I could cover up to point 5 here, at most point 6, by this year-end. But Arjen thinks that it is overambitious. On second thoughts, I agree with him.

Anyway, that’s what my plan looks like, as of today. … Someone has said: “plans are nothing; planning is everything.”

* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *

A Song I Like
(Marathi/Konkani) “ago pori, sambal dariyaalaa toophaan aaayalay bhaari…”
Singers: Pushpaa Pagdhare and Rafi Mohammad
Music: Shrikant Thakare
Lyrics: Vandana Vitankar


A Bit of Tracing Back Regarding My New Approach

Here, let me trace a bit of the development concerning my work with photons.

There are two reasons why I used only the scalar wave equation during my PhD research.

The first reason is that, initially, i.e. when the PhD began, I simply didn’t know any better!

Indeed, it was a bit of discovery for me as I figured out, while right in the middle of feverishly simulating and writing for my two QM papers in 2005, that there ought to be gyroscopic aspects to the photon. I mean, I simply saw this thing come out of the new approach that I was playing with (i.e. developing its details). Since no elementary text on QM (also optics and modern physics) mentioned anything like this (at least not the books I consulted), I decided to defer writing about it. And, then, there also was this space limitation (8 pages) for the ISTAM papers anyway—indeed, I was concerned more with having to cut down on the matter than growing it. But yes, this thing only confirms that I really didn’t know any better!

At that time, I tried  to give a mechanical model for it (in my mind, i.e. in unpublished research). Then I realized that if I began using the mechanical terms right at this early stage, people might think that I was still in the Newtonian mechanical realm and that I had not grasped the quintessential quantum nature. So, I kept it aside.

The second reason is that I was in a pressure of sorts to keep my research limited to engineering sciences, particularly, to the specialty that is mechanical engineering.

There was no pressure from my PhD guide. However, whenever I spoke about my research with engineering researchers, I could sense them saying (mostly indirectly) that this matter could eventually prove troublesome to me at the time of writing of thesis and its defense. In India, people are especially concerned with maintaining divisions (religion, caste, language, urban-vs-rural, political parties, … branches of science, engineering…). So, there was a real danger of (once again) losing the PhD degree.

So, I deferred much development related to QM to a time until after the defense.

The trouble was that the defense took 2 years, and when it finally did occur, I already was new in my day-job that had nothing to do with QM, and had some commitments there. … It’s only now that I am able to revisit QM, including my own ideas of QM.

BTW, let me also confirm that advice to start writing papers as early as possible in your research. It does help.

You see, the first time I had this idea of geometrically sampling the Huygens’ wavelets was in 1992 (perhaps even in late 1991). I was working in Prof B.R. Patterson’s group in UAB, and he was all a stereology man. The Americans all share one thing. Every American thinks that whatever it is that he is doing, that is the greatest thing in the world. (Strictly personal: I remember thinking what the hell is all this building building thing, while reading The Fountainhead.) So, it was natural for Pat (I never called him by that name in person, though) to encourage thinking in terms of geometric probability. While Pat was all about applying it to the diffusion-related phenomena and in materials, I thought of extending it to the wave phenomena and to light. However, I was in trouble back then, and soon, was failed in the qualifiers. So, I decided not to tell the idea itself to anyone.I told my room-mate Parag Bhargava (now Full Professor at IIT Bombay) that I had a great idea. But not what precisely it was.

The first time I divulged this idea to anyone was in late 1995/early 1996, to my two (really) disinterested engineer friends. At that time, while explaining the matter to them (without giving them any hint that it can resolve the QM wave-particle duality—and I knew they were of the types who couldn’t have got this implication, and so I was safe), I had mistakenly told them that the Feynman himself had clubbed the potential, diffusion and wave equations together, with a Laplacian on the one hand and the differentials of time on the other.  I continued to carry this mistaken belief for many years, right from early 1990s, for a total period of about a decade!

The first time that I developed full confidence that the randomly sampled Huygens process does actually resolve the quantum wave-particle duality was in late 1999, possibly in November 1999. Before this time (i.e. from UAB times onwards) I was not so sure. I mean, I knew that I had a clue, but I used to think that it would take much more of a further abstract development on top of it. I couldn’t have been sure about the “completeness” aspect of it—the point that this is all there is to the solution (as far as photons go). That is the confidence I got first time only in late 1999.

I had come across, for the first time in my life, Feynman’s tiny QED book for the layman in Barnes and Noble’s in Redwood City, CA, in July 1999. After flipping through a few pages, I bought it. (It’s really strange that I had entirely missed the existence of this book during my UAB days.) But I didn’t immediately begin reading it.

I picked it up for reading once I was in Santa Rosa, CA, in the winter of 1999. The moment that I read through the first one or two chapters, I knew that my suspicion, carried right from my UAB days, and divulged to my friends in Pune in 1995/6, was true. I don’t recall the date any more, but do remember that the “aha” moment had come within the three-four days before the day when I wrote a very special—rather, weird—comment to the Ayn Rand Institute, consisting entirely of this: “tee dee dee dee dee dee …” (Yes, the implicit reference was to Beatles’ “With love from me to you.”) I wanted to communicate my joy to someone—without telling what it was about…  At that time, I was being very heavily “followed up,” with on an average two psychic attacks per day, even as the Brahmin girls at the matrimonial sites (and my “Objectivist” enemies) enjoyed their days. Of course, some days did go without any. … Those were really the worst days of my life… I would think twice before wishing them on my enemies (including the Americans).

If there were no psychic attacks then, I could have begun writing a paper immediately. If so, I would have caught both my advances as well as the problems with my ideas early on.

One reason I didn’t write down anything was because I was not sure if someone wouldn’t break-in in my apartment in my absence, and steal data/ideas—I was alone in my apartment in Santa Rosa, and everyone knows how easy it is to hack computers. (For example, there is a hack right now concerning my Web site. If you type “” into a Web browser, today, it takes you to a different page than to my Web site. No, I am not going to fight this issue. As far as I am concerned, it is between Tata Indicom, their contractors, and the hackers.)

But coming back to the main point here, even in 2002 and 3, while talking to IIT Bombay and other professors (when I was on the lookout for a PhD admission), I was still attributing the clubbing together of the three equations to Feynman. It was only in 2003 September that I realized that the idea of clubbing together the three equations was nowhere to be found in Feynman’s Lectures. It was something that I had done on my own.

And more. It was not until in September 2005, when I began writing the ISTAM “Resolution” papers that I had grasped some of the issues related to the change of phase of a photon and the gyroscopic aspects. It was in part for the reason mentioned above (namely, that I was trying to give a mechanical model for these aspects of the photon) that I decided to postpone discussing phases in those two papers. [Within six months, then, I was diagnosed with the cardiac trouble; the surgery and the recovery followed; and I somehow jotted down something towards phase calculations in my paperson unrelated topics—I think the phases of photons are discussed perhaps in the snowman paper.]

Had I begun writing my QM paper earlier (as against merely thinking about ideas only in the mind), it would have exposed not only my weak points but also the strong ones.

… That reminds me. Even today, even with just photons (and not electrons), I still have one more thread left to pursue and exhaust (at least critique). [Reminder to self: WRITE it down as soon as getting home!]

Also, one final point. Don’t let yourself think that I have finalized everything regarding my new approach. It’s very much a work in progress. Don’t confuse this post with the sort of reminiscences that retired physicists/Nobel laureates write. At the same time, don’t let yourself think that I have stated nothing permanent in my papers thus far. I have. For instance, the idea that IAD doesn’t exist, that the photon (or more generally, quantum) propagation is a local process, that a quantum description for monochromatic radiation (i.e. one without using group waves) can and should be the starting point, that there is a difference of transients in the dynamics of my approach and others, etc. … Think about it. It’s already quite a handful.

* * * * *   * * * * *   * * * * *

A Song I Like
[Guess this is the first time I mention an English song here.]
(English) “If there’s anything that you want…”
Singers, Lyrics, Music: Beatles


Physics—What I Am Doing with It, These Days…

0. “Preface”

If you read enough number of text-books, you pretty soon come to know that well 90+% of them are an outgrowth of the class-notes for some or the other course. … Earlier, I used to wonder how come the authors manage to expand a, say, 200 page handwritten notebook to 600 or 800 pages of printed matter. There has to be some art to it, I used to think, a very special art. … But no, I no longer am overawed by those prefaces any longer. The reason is, I began blogging in the meanwhile—and so, I now well know how the written matter keeps on expanding!

This post, too, is an outgrowth of a reply to a comment at this blog, the one here [^]. The person asked me about the delayed choice experiment, that’s the context. … That set me writing more about what I am doing with physics, these days. So, here we go.

1. A Bit about My Position concerning IAD and Entanglement:

The first thing to say here is that I in principle don’t believe in the physical reality of instantaneous action-at-a-distance (IAD), period—whether in the classical context or quantum (or even in philosophy of physics).

As a consequence, I also don’t believe in quantum entanglement. [I know it’s a dramatic thing to say, but I am just trying to put it across as simply as possible.]

As of today, I feel confident that I would be able to explain the empirical observations concerning entanglement, on a (possibly new) theoretical basis that rejects IAD in principle.

I am sure that I can already do so for photons. But the real fun is with electrons. Since I have not yet completely finalized or firmed-up how my approach might be extended to handle electrons, and since there already have been many dismissals of my already published ideas concerning photons simply because those papers didn’t at all address electrons, I, in the process, have learnt that it is better to keep one’s mouth shut up—if the current crop of “physicists” is who one is addressing. It works better that way—the poor fellows aren’t used to listening to an engineer-by-training tell them something about the basics of their own discipline. That’s why, I am not talking—publicly or privately—about rejecting entanglement, not even in the context of only photons. This new policy of mine does not mean that I have no definitive kind of ideas concerning these matters in the context of electrons.

2. What I Have Yet to Learn/Master, and Why My Progress Is Slow:

The thing is, I have to first learn the standard/mainstream treatment up to a certain level, say to come at par with a typical beginning graduate student of physics proper, before I begin to air my views concerning these matters. I am serious about my studies, and indeed I am progressing fairly well. But let’s face the reality concerning this matter.

The reality is that these days, in order to survive, I have to do a day-job. I work 5.5 days a week in a day-job that involves VC++ (going from v.6 to v.10), FEM, Solid Mechanics of Plates and Shells, Fortran, and whatnot. That leaves me with very little time to continue learning my physics and QM. So, the progress has been very slow. But, still, I do try to make as much time as possible. So, the progress also is definite even if it is slow.

Once I come up to the level of being comfortably able to read through or converse about, say, Goldstein/Taylor (Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics), at least Griffith if not Jackson (electrodynamics), a similar author on the Relativity side, and then also Griffith/Shankar (QM), then, I think I will begin writing down my future research articles.

3. The Kinds of Hindrances Faced by Me While Doing Physics

Believe me, the existence of a bad epistemology in physics is not the only hindrance. The existence of a bad community atmosphere also is. Thus, there also is that moral component to it. And, more. Since both front-line and fundamental physics is, today, de facto completely controlled by governments, there also is that specificially political angle to everything one wishes to do.

4. Other Hindrances:

I have spoken about these matters—the hindrances. There are “follow-ups,” there are those emails going without any replies, there  even is that absence of a mere acknowledgment for a post-doc application that I once made (even when the position was with with an Indian-born arrogant currently working in the USA—an IIT Bombay alumnus). Then, there are the nationality issues. Religion issues. Caste issues.

Regarding caste. If you don’t believe this, consider this evidence from another context. Since 1998, I might have contacted more than 300 matrimonial profiles (may be 400, or 500 even). I might have been rejected by less than 50 girls. The rest of them simply refuse to have anything to do with me—not even simply clicking on a button to reject me. And, most of these girls themselves are either Brahmin or CKP or Saraswat, and wish to marry only the aforementioned three types (with about 5% of them saying that a Gujarati, or a South Indian Brahmin also is acceptable). In short, when these Brahmin etc. see a guy who happened to have been born into the 96 Kuli caste, these bitches believe that the guy is not even worth rejection. (Peikoff doesn’t argue for having the notion of the arbitrary, without reason!)

As to the OBC and, esp., the lower classes ones. If they are well-educated and so on, they are in that fast lane to get a Brahmin guy for themselves. They too have learnt the tricks of the Brahmin trade. They too refuse to even reject me.

(I can supply names to support all types of cases.)

If it happens this routinely in the matrimonials sphere, what makes you think it cannot happen in the sphere of work and research?

[Speaking of the recent times (i.e. past one month or so), the received taunts have referred to Vishwamitra, “finally”, etc. … Ask me for more details, and, depending on my judgment of your credibility, I will make sure to supply these. Both the BJP and the Indira Congress, the Republican and the Democrat, etc. types partitions of assholes, are welcome to ask.]

5. Still Other Matters—Directly Related to Physics

Apart from it all, let’s face two truths fair and square: (i) Physics, esp. the fundamental physics, is hard to learn. (ii) Engineering training provides only a partial coverage of the pre-requisites.

I think the first point is obvious, and so, I will not try to explain it here. But the second point does require some explanation.

Consider what all prerequisites would be required to build a new theory/approach for quantum mechanics of electrons (something like QED—not QCD, quantum gravity, etc.) At the barest minimum, here is a list, put together right on the fly and not in any particular order:

  1. Lagrangian and Hamiltonian Mechanics, Variational Principles
  2. Classical Electrodynamics
  3. The History of Quantum Physics. Despite the explosion of information and all, this is very, very hard to get. You see, every bustard is trying to impose his late-2oth/early-21st century spin on what actually happened in the early decades of the 20th century—and, in the process, evading or suppressing some or the other crucial angle. Every bustard, including Nobel Laureates and MIT Professors, are on this train. One of the least offensive—but fairly representative–offences of this sort is the following bit from Resnick’s book on QM. In the detailed explanation as to how Planck came to quantize the cavity radiation, Resnick gives an integral expression for the total EM energy which makes reference to probability density. Now, wait a minute. Did Planck himself offer the probability argument in 1900? Oh yeah? Then what did Max Born do in the mid-20s? Similarly, the authors who love wave mechanics put Heisenberg’s formulation at 1927—not six months before Shrodinger’s wave mechanics. They, thus, wipe out a crucial insight that hierarchically, it is possible to formulate QM without making appeal to wave mechanics. Something similar, from the matrix mechanics side: they do remember to forget to tell that the equivalence between the wave mechanics and the matrix mechanics was basically shown only by Shrodinger, not by Heisenberg. And then, every modern bustard thinks that he has a license to mangle not only history but also proper order(s) of development, and therefore goes ahead to 1927+ times in using Dirac’s bra and ket notation. And, not a single bustard points out a single weakness in that mathematician’s Rationalistic reformulation of QM—of course, I am talking of von Neumann. … In short, history and hierarchy is incredibly difficult to get—precisely because of the profusion of the available material.
  4. Electrodynamic Relativity. … Another soup made by idiots. … You don’t believe me? When was the last time you read/heard a physicist tell you this simple matter (which I took years to grasp and which I did on my own): There are three broad divisions of development in physics. The first is Newtonian mechanics, which is the mechanics of uncharged (and nonmagnetic) bodies (and with Galilean relativity). The second is Maxwellian mechanics—the mechanics of the electrically charged bodies (i.e. an extension to and a modification of the first mechanics, as brought about by this additional attribute of the electrical charge that the bodies under study now possess). The third is not yet well formulated (and, in my opinion, looking at the physicists’ convictions and mine, I have a better chance of formulating). Hence, there is no one single man’s name as yet attached to it. Before such reformulation, it is called by the mystic-altruistic-collectivist name of Quantum Mechanics. It is the mechanics of isolated charged bodies—i.e. where the particles flux is so low (as in the “microscopic” situations) that the continuum assumption of the Maxwellian mechanics doesn’t hold, and such new empirical observations have to be properly accounted for. When was the last time you heard of this kind of characterization? Instead, you have that routine idiocy of Newtonian—“Relativity,” “Observable,” “Collapase,” “Contradiction,” “Consciousness,” etc. … Anyway, to conclude this point, let me just say that by electrodynamic relativity, I mean the Maxwellian electrodynamics and Lorentzian relativity, seen in a conceptually proper (perhaps new) way.
  5. Mathematical topics like vector spaces, linear operator theory, etc. Why, engineers aren’t even taught Strum-Louisville theory (only basic Fourier analysis and transforms), or even the ideas such as well-posed differential equations (I picked up this topic, and many similar ones, from outside of typical engineering texts and course-work).

And, this list is incomplete.

Since engineers (esp. metallurgical/materials/software/mechanical engineers) aren’t taught all these topics, I have to learn these on my own. And, not only that, given the (Hindi) “deDh shahaaNe” that are physicists, esp. Indian ones (look up and get in touch with any asshole employed by, say, a Tatas-run institute; form your own judgment; and then know that the path is downhill from there onwards), I have to make sure that in my enthusiasm of talking or writing, I don’t end up making silly mistakes.

This is a serious matter. With engineers, it is different. Software engineers are all the time first writing some code and then improving it later on (say, using profiling and all). But they are not alone. Even mechanical, civil and other engineers are perfectly OK if you goof up on something—so long as you are sufficiently tentative in the first place, are willing to work to correct, and in fact do correct. That way, even among engineers, academics are assholes—they don’t fully qualify to be called engineers. But still, they are far better as compared to the physicists. Especially, the Indian physicists (including the Tatas employed shameless bustards who call themselves Physicists or Physics Professors).

That is another reason why my progress with physics is slow.

A final reason also is: I am not intelligent enough. I can easily imagine a more gifted person progress more rapidly than what I am able to manage. But then, I don’t give this factor too much damn, primarily because one doesn’t attempt to change the metaphysically given (while still acknowledging that not all aspects of intelligence are metaphysically given—some are a matter of volitional improvement).

6. What I Am Reading Currently

Currently, I am busy reading Whittaker’s history of aether theories (see my tweets), and also “A Chronological History of Electrical Development” (also available off, and many other related books. I will write a separate post detailing these in a few days’ time. I will also write my understanding of what the most basic problem of the (special) relativity theory is, and some of the thoughts which occurred to me concerning it. I would share that.

Though this post could be made better, for the sake of making time available to myself, I would like to let this post remain in whatever shape that it is in.

* * * * *   * * * * *  * * * * *
A Song I Like:
[I am sure that this song is very little known. Hence, I am giving a more detailed verse-line. It was new in late 1970s. I am giving the credits purely by memory. Drop a line if you have a CD/cassette of this one…]
“haa unaaD awakhaL waaraa,
hyaa Tapor shraavaN dHaaraa,
phulwoon pisaaraa saaraa,
too naach aaj re moraa, too naach aaj re moraa, too naach aaj re moraa…”
Singer: ? [Certainly not Lata. Could be Usha, perhaps Krishna Kalle. Or, someone else!]
Music: ? [Could be Bhaskar Chandavarkar or Hridaynath. Or, someone else!]
[Another hint. The song does sound like many modern Marathi songs. It has a bit of modern, Western style of orchestration, with a distinct use the rhythm guitar—the chords in part supply the rhythm, so to speak. The last time I heard it could easily have been in my XII standard, i.e. 31+ years ago. If what I recall of the song from memory is right and representative of the actual song, then this one would always easily make it to my top 10 or at least top 20 list—the enthusiasm and the freshness is too distinct (for me, that is).]


Wanted: Fast FEA Solvers…


I am thinking of informally conducting a specific case-study concerning the FEA solvers. The reference problem is a very simple but typical problem from stress analysis, leading of course to the linear systems: Ax = b and Ax = Lx.

I seek advise as to what software libraries currently available in the public domain would be best to use—the ones that would be fastest in terms of execution time for the reference problem.

I have a personal and longer-term research interest with certain issues related to the solvers technologies.

Suggestions and comments are welcome!

(1.) The Reference Problem:

(1.1) Consider a homogeneous thin rectangular plate made of MS, say of the size 200 mm X 100 mm, with a thickness of, say, 1 mm.

For the initial requirement, the plate carries no hole, though a small 60 mm dia. hole at the center might be introduced later on, during a separate phase of this study.

(1.2) For static analysis, the plate is loaded with a uniform traction acting on the two shorter sides of the plate, whereas the longer sides are kept free. For modal frequency analysis, the plate is considered clamped on all the four sides.

(1.3) Simple, standard finite elements are to be used: (a) CST and LST for the static analysis, and (b) DKT flat-shell element for the modal analysis.

(1.4) The domain is to be meshed using high-quality irregular triangles, the smallest allowed angle being ~34 degrees as in Shewchuk’s Triangle library [^] or Niceno’s EasyMesh [^].

To obtain a medium-fine mesh, the triangle side may be restricted to < 5 mm. This choice leads to about 2,500 triangles, 1,200 corner nodes, and 4,000 edges—i.e. about 1,200 nodes for CST analysis and 5,200 nodes for LST analysis.

However, if the upper bound on the triangle side is halved (< 2.5 mm), then we obtain a very fine mesh of about 10,000 triangles, 5,000 corner nodes, and 15,000 edges—i.e. about 5,000 nodes for CST and 20,000 nodes for LST.

Note that these numbers refer to the geometry nodes. In the FE model, each such a node would carry several DOFs.

(1.5) The linear systems resulting after the FE-discretization are to be solved for both static and modal analyses.

(2.) The Software/Hardware to be used:

(2.1) The linear system is to be solved using C/C++ callable and fairly well-tested open-source libraries (libraries of the kind: LAPACK, ARPACK, Taucs, etc.).

(2.2) The library itself might have been written in FORTRAN; the only requirement is that compiled binaries and C/C++ wrappers should be readily available.

(2.3) Dependencies on open-source libraries/platforms such as GoToBlas, Boost, MTL, etc. are OK.

(2.4) Assume this (lower-end) software-hardware platform: A single 32-bit desktop PC, Intel Core2 Duo @ ~3 Ghz main clock, 1 MB L2 cache, 2 GB of RAM. Assume the OS to be Windows 2K/XP.

(2.5) The compiler of preference is VC++ 6. However, other free compilers like VC++ Express Edition 2008 can be considered. Also, I am open to using GCC or other compilers, with or without their CMake, MinGW requirements etc.

(2.6) The sequential mode execution is assumed. No parallel processing, whether using shared memory, clusters (MPI), or GPUs. For the same reason, it’s OK if the solver library is not parallel processing-enabled, and does not take advantage of an additional core. Thus, for this study, it is OK even if the total CPU usage on a double-core machine doesn’t exceed 50%.

(2.7) All the solver operations are expected to occur in-core (not out-of-core).

(2.8) Assume that all mathematical operations would be peformed in double precision (8 bytes).

(3.) What Is Being Sought:

(3.1) Considering the above requirements, please suggest the libraries and methods that might provide the highest performance (the least execution time) for the following categories of solvers:
— direct solver for static analysis (Ax = b)
— iterative solver for static analysis (Ax = b)
— direct solver for eigenvalues computations (Ax = Lx)
— iterative solver for eigenvalues computations (Ax = Lx)

For iterative solvers, assume the usual kind of convergence requirements (error norms).

(3.2) The total execution time is to be measured (a) from the tick that the reading of all the disk files containing all the input matrices to RAM is complete, (b) to the tick that the solution is first fully ready in RAM, waiting to be written to the output disk files.

(3.3) Please provide any additional information like the assumption of a specific pre-conditioner, the reason why you recommend a particular algorithm for this type of problem, etc.

(3.4) Not very important right now, but any side suggestions you might have for nonsymmetric A matrices would also be welcome.

(3.5) A general point of reference for this query is this URL:

(4.) Why This Study:

The purpose is something like this. I have some preliminary ideas concerning solvers.

I would like to test my ideas against the available state of the art/cutting-edge solver implementations, in the context of the above kind of applications—viz. that the K matrix wouldn’t be tridiagonal but would be banded SPD, having a topology implied by the above category of problems.

It’s easily possible that my ideas may not work out. I wish to put them to the testing ground anyway. (I really am just at a very preliminary stage.)

(5.) Your Suggestions/References:

Well thought-out comments/suggestions w.r.t the point (3.1) are sought.

Since I am not affiliated to any institution having e-Journals access, in case you provide links to research papers, I would greatly appreciate if you could also send e-copies to me by email: aj175tp[ at ]yahoo[ dot ]co[ dot ]in.

Thanks in advance!

PS: Posted also at iMechanica [^]

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