Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Aerogels: "Solid Air"

So I was happily surfing the web, minding my own business, when I came across the word 'aerogel'. Intrigued, I looked it up.  I was not disappointed.

I had no idea that aerogels existed! They are the world's lightest solid materials.  They're so low in density that they're often called "solid air" or "frozen smoke".  They've got an insanely impressive variety of properties, depending on which materials they're made out of. Check out this Quest Lab video:

Awesome, innit?

There's a ton of information here:

Sunday, July 28, 2013


You don’t know
How powerful the mind is
How it can rise to the occasion
A sling to a broken heart
How it can wrap around you
A warm blanket under ice
How no matter what
It remains your best friend
Even its harsh whispers
That keep you from sleep
Are nothing but a chrysalis
A wall of protection
While you transform
Tear at the threads, sweetheart
Tear at them
And fly away

Image from

Friday, July 19, 2013

FF - Function Space and Qubits

I've written an introduction to qubits on Function Space.  If you're curious about quantum computing, and want to know just what it's all about, this generic article is for you!

A couple of friends pointed me towards Function Space this week, and I'm kicking myself for not finding it sooner (granted, it was founded only in April 2013, so I'm not that late).  It's an excellent resource for anyone wanting to explore science, math and computer science.  From their 'About' page:
What is Function Space?
Function Space is an online education social network and a learning platform.Whatever you need, from lectures, online discussions to interact with people, book reviews, problem solving sections, in-depth articles and subject groups; we have it all. This multifaceted approach of Function Space lets you grasp whatever you learn.
What really resonated with me is their aim to deepen understanding of subjects through discussions of interesting problems you don't normally see in classrooms.  I've always felt uncomfortable with the way students tend to memorize things, spit them out for exams, then promptly forget them, without really understanding the subject -- heck, even I used to do that as an undergrad, because the educationssystem is such that it doesn't always encourage out-of-box thinking.  Only when I got involved in out-of-classroom problems did my passion for research and science ignite.

Adit Gupta, a co-founder of Function Space, is passionate about science, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the few chats I've had with him.  He gave me the opportunity to write articles for them, so I started off with Introduction to Qubits.  My future articles will be listed here on my Function Space profile.

Right now their home-grown social learning network is at its beta stage, but I encourage you to sign up!