Thursday, February 25, 2010

Congratulations Sachin

Yesterday he finally made it what people might have speculated for years. His knock will keep all his critics silent forever I believe. I too felt I was really wrong when I used to criticize him for not playing well up to the expectations on many occasions since my childhood. Although I missed most part of his innings, I was lucky enough to watch the last two overs. I was rushing to my hostel from my lab in the evening and thank God I could reach the TV room before the innings ended. It was really heart-touching to watch him taking the 200th run. Although the place where I stay is a bit solitary, I heard of celebrations across India when he reached the mark, my brother called me up saying the atmosphere near his house in Guwahati was like some big festival. It was really a never before occasion in the history of cricket and of course was worth celebrating.

Conphused 2!

I could make some improvement in the unification plots than before. I am using the U(1) normalization to be $ \surd{3/8} $ in my calculations. For a specific choice of intermediate symmetry breaking scale I see the SU(3) and the SU(2) line meeting near $ 10^{12} $ GeV, which is not enough to prevent proton decay however. But I guess this tension can be eased if we add some new color degrees of freedom and make the two lines meet at a higher scale. But one serious problem is coming from the $ U(1)_{B-L} $ line which is hitting the Landau pole much before the expected unification scale. One way to get rid of this is may be to shift the intermediate symmetry breaking scales or may be to add some new $ U(1)_{B-L} $ charged particles. But adding new such particles might make the $ U(1)_{B-L} $ line meet the Landau pole even before the present case. May be I need to play around with these two possibilities and see how things get changed.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I am getting confused regarding $U(1)$ normalization while trying to check unification of gauge coupling constants in a class of models. For $ U(1)_Y $ the normalization constant square is $ \surd{3/5} $ if we take the GUT group SU(5) . For $ U(1)_{B-L} $ its according to some convention $ \surd{3/8} $ and according to some others $ \surd{3/2} $ if we take the GUT group $ SO(10) $. Initially I was following a paper by Manfred Lindner where he has taken $ \surd{3/8 } $. Today I have seen a paper by R. Mohapatra where he has taken $ \surd{3/2} $. I am not being able to derive any one of them from the $ SO(10) $ multiplets. Depending on the normalization the boundary condition for intermediate symmetry breaking also changes and that is going to affect the running. My calculations are giving some nonsense results now where the U(1) coupling is hitting the Landau Pole much before the preferred unification scale. May be I have to do all the calculations more carefully.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Boring Weekends!

Weekends are pretty boring nowadays for me. Although during the working days I always keep looking forward to weekend, when the weekend comes I don't find anything to do except eating and sleeping. This weekend was better to some extent, as I played badminton with friends here. For some reason I hardly feel like working on weekends although I have the required facilities (academic)here in the hostel. In Bombay I used to visit my cousins, relatives during weekends which I am really missing here. Even if I had to stay in the IIT hostel during weekends, I used to download lots of movies from DC++. Here I am using torrent to download movies, but its really irritating to wait for 10-12 hours for a single movie which I could download in 5 minutes using DC++. Anyway I have to find some other ways to make my weekends better. I am planning to visit IIT Gandhinagar at Chandkheda where I know couple of people, let's see when that happens.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The very first paper....yet unpublished....still giving nightmares!

I am still stuck in getting my very first paper published somehow. I have addressed all the issues mentioned by the referees this time. Since there were spontaneous R-parity violation in my model, there were serious doubts regarding the stability of the dark matter candidate. In my corrected version, I have decided not to talk much about dark matter and focusing mainly on the symmetry breaking and neutrino masses in the model. One important correction which I have done is incorporating soft susy breaking terms into the model. In my earlier version I just minimized the F-term potential and found the relation between various symmetry breaking scales. Now I have added both the D-term potential as well as the soft susy breaking terms. Fortunately they did not alter the relations between various mass scales which I obtained from the F-term conditions. Since we are not talking much about dark matter, we removed it from the title also. Anyway it does not hamper the relevance of the paper since in our earlier version also, our discussions about dark matter were qualitative only. I resubmitted the paper yesterday. Hopefully there won't be any serious bug this time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Leave me alone please!

I get very much frustrated when people ask me "How long will u keep studying?"...being a PhD student I find it very difficult to answer. Since I have decided to stay in academics, study is a never ending process for me. I get paid for that only. I don't know how to convince those people that people can earn "good" money without finishing their studies also. I don't know much about the cities, but in rural areas people still prefer their children to become doctor, engineer or bureaucrats. In fact when I decided not to do engineering or medical, my father sent me to study in Delhi thinking that after my B.Sc. I will appear Civil Service examination. But nobody asked me why I want to do B.Sc. in Physics: to become a bureaucrat or because of my interest in Physics. Anyway after cracking IIT post graduate entrance exam, I somehow convinced my parents that IIT is a big place and I will do good if I go there. After spending almost four years in IIT, still my parents think I will appear Civil service exam after I pass out from here. I do not know how to keep my family as well as the people in my locality happy. I have realized now that its better not to visit home before finishing my PhD, so as not to let these depressing feelings come in between me and my research. I am really happy with the fact that I am doing whatever I like, but may be people would have liked me to do what they like. They do it everywhere, not just in case of career, but in case of marriage also. They never let you marry the person you love to be with throughout your life, its them who will decide whom you gonna marry. I can't believe I am living in 21st Century and in a country which has one of the fastest growing economy and a future superpower( by 2020 as Kalam said). I would just say those who can't appreciate what I am doing then please leave me alone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Doing research through Skype ;-)

When I installed skype for the first time, I never thought I will be doing research related things with it. I just wanted to see my friends, relatives and talk to them free of cost. But yesterday I had a skype meeting with my PhD supervisor (who is on sabbatical leave nowadays). We had around 15 minutes chat where we discussed about the work I was doing with him and some possible things we might wish to look at. It was much better than e-mail discussions I must say, where I have to wait till someone read my mail and reply back, and in some cases by the time I get the reply, I forget the topic of discussion ;). Till we get back to one place, I hope we will be communicating through skype only. I was busy with doing some corrections to my first paper with my friend and was not being able to look at the work with my guide properly. I have finished all the corrections today and hopefully they will be enough for the paper to get published. I am really dying to focus my attention to some new and interesting work (which also includes the work I have been doing with my supervisor).

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Incredible Gujarat

Gujarat represents a completely different picture of India. You stay here for few days, you will see the differences from other parts of India. From power cut to water supply, law and order to infra-structure, from education to agriculture, Gujarat has a different story to tell about than the remaining states in India. If we count all these bright sides of Gujarat, the chaotic traffic situation here(as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts) can be neglected without any real difficulty. A person living in Gujarat won't believe that almost half of the Indian population are below poverty line( Magsaysay Award winner P Sainath has claimed more that 70% of the population under poverty line, although Government report says only 30%). Today I went out of my hostel just to buy a toothpaste. I walked for around 2 kilometers but did not find any general store although there were many other shops. Finally I had to go to the shopping mall known as Vishal mega mart just to buy a toothpaste. Then I realised somebody said it correctly that the mall/supermarket culture was brought to India by Gujarat first. This is just a small difference which I noticed today, may be many more such surprises for me are on their way ;-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Aloo Pitika and Kukura Xaak @CCD, Guwahati ;-)

During my recent trip to Guwahati, I went to the Cafe Coffee Day, Dighali Pukhuri. I thought I will order some frappe which I do every time I go there. But when I had a look at the menu I was surprised to see some new items there. They have included some local food items. One of them was Aloo pitika Puff: Potatoes cooked with green herbs filled in a puff pastry, and the other was Kukura Xaak Sandwich: Chicken cooked with green herbs and stuffed in rice bread. Kukura and Xaak are Assamese words which mean Chicken and Green Herbs respectively. I ordered both of them, and although they are not very great, but the taste was really different, a never before experience. I hope CCD will keep including many new exotic items into the menu in future.

Is hep-ph getting saturated?

The reason I am losing interest nowadays in hep-ph is because of its super saturated state at present. Whenever some new ideas come to my mind, after I search in the Internet, I come to know that lots of work have been done on it. There are thousands of papers nowadays which address the same problem from different perspectives. I can not see any good way to do things except incorporating some ad hoc stuffs (hypothesis) just to make my work look different from others. Although the situation here is not as bad as the string landscape, yet string theory nowadays look more interesting, especially after the AdS-CFT came into business. If we keep the landscape problem aside, we can do many things using string theory and apply them to various other fields and try to match the results with observations. Although such matching does not verify string theory, yet it at least justifies the use of string theory as a mathematical tool. During the Asian Winter school, I was greatly fascinated by various talks related to applications of string theory in superconductivity, RHIC etc. I do not know if I need to learn a great details of string theory to work on such interdisciplinary fields, but I would love to do such stuffs. I am looking forward to Shiraz's lectures on AdS-CFT and hydrodynamics at the SERC main school in April,2010. His four lectures (one hour duration each) in the Asian school were not adequate for me to learn the subject in details, but just to get an overview.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In Ahmedabad once again!

I reached Ahmedabad today morning by Ashram express from Delhi. The weather here is a bit hotter than Delhi. People have started using electric fans. Yesterday the weather in Delhi was so awesome that I was not feeling like boarding the train to Ahmedabad. It was raining there and with the mercury going down, the weather became ideal for a night out party. I wish I could be with my crazy cousins and friends there. Anyway, I reached PRL, Thaltej campus at around 8 30 in the morning. Thank God, they provided me a single room to stay. Since I know couple of students here from before, I am not feeling as lonely as one might have expected. I went to the PRL main campus at 9 am and came back by 3 pm. The traffic was as crazy as I saw one year before, there is absolutely no traffic light and except a few junctions, there were no traffic police also to handle the traffic. People drive their cars in whatever way they like which made the streets really chaotic and scary. I hardly think I would dare to drive on such streets. Forget about driving, even walking is too scary to me. Thank God I could come back safely to the hostel after walking around 3 kms to the market for buying something. Apart from the traffic and very hot summer, I have absolutely no complain about the city. People say Gujarati food is not good, but I have no problem with that. After coming out from my state Assam seven years before I have tasted so many different varieties of food that any food is okay with me nowadays if its not very spicy. I hope to have some good time ahead here both academically as well as non-academically.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Recent Home Trip

This is the first time I have gone home in the month of January. Just after I came back from Mahabaleshwar, I took a flight to Guwahati. Although I was expecting the weather to be very cold, I found it average type which was really embarrassing. During the magh bihu (3rd week of January), the weather there was very cold and when my mom told me about it, I got very tempted. But as soon as I landed at Guwahati, it seemed as if the winter is gone. After sunset however the weather became cold, but during the day it was sunny and hot as well. Although I reached home almost ten days after Magh Bihu, yet I could find a Harli Ghar (a hut built in the paddy field after harvesting on the occasion of magh bihu) where we had party at night with a bonfire. This was like a never before experience for me, when I was at home till my class 10th, my father did not allow me to go out at night. We did many crazy things there at night like stealing woods, bamboo from people to keep our bonfire alive. I stayed at home for one week and came back to Guwahati three days before my journey date from Guwahati to New Delhi. I spent some really good moments with my girlfriend there, did some shopping as well. I reached New Delhi on 5th February and fortunately its end of season sale going everywhere here, the best time to do shopping. I did shopping this time in such a way as if I am buying stuffs for next one year. I am leaving for Ahmedabad tomorrow and will be staying there till June. Hope to have a nice time at PRL and do some good work.