Mathematician suggests extra dimensions are timelike

first_imgSpace-Time is SpinorialSparling’s spinorial theory is based on Einstein’s general relativity and Elie Cartan’s triality concept, which can link space-time with two twistor spaces. Twistor spaces are mathematical spaces used to understand geometrical objects in space-time landscapes. Sparling explains spinors in the following way:“In physics, the idea of a spinor stems from the finding that spectral lines of atoms seem to behave as if the angular momentum of the particles radiating photons was in half-integral units of the quantized spin (whose size is determined by Planck’s constant). This was fully explained by Dirac’s famous theory of the electron, which led him to successfully predict the existence of the positron.” Some spinorial particles include the electron, muon, tau, proton, neutron, quarks, neutrinos, and all their anti-particles, which are called fermions and have half-integer spins. There are also non-spinorial particles, called bosons, such as the photon, graviton, pion, mesons, the W and Z bosons, the Higgs, (if it exists) and so on, which have an integer spin, Sparling explains. “The key difference between spinors and non-spinors is their behavior under rotations: typically, non-spinorial (integer-spin) particles return to their initial value under a 360-degree (or 2π-radian) rotation; however, the spinorial (half-integer-spin) fermions actually change sign under a 360-degree rotation, requiring a full 720-degree rotation to get back to their initial values. This is completely foreign to our naive idea of how rotations work, and yet it is a basic part of reality. “Consider this analogy: if you take a plate and hold it in one hand horizontally whilst twisting it under your arm backwards through 360 degrees, your arm ends up in the air after one rotation, and it needs another 360 degree rotation to get it back to the beginning,” he said. Twistors, then, are a special kind of spinor first introduced by Penrose (Sparling was a PhD student of Penrose). In Sparling’s theory, the two twistor spaces are each six-dimensional, forcing space-time to also have six dimensions, in accordance with Cartan’s unifying triality. Because the twistor spaces’ geometry is ultra-hyperbolic, the extra dimensions are time-like.“My work has three six-dimensional spaces which at one level are on an equal footing and which are bound together by a new transform, which I call the Xi-transform,” Sparling said. “Two of these spaces can be understood at the space-time level as twisters. Then the third space can be given a space-time interpretation, but only if we have two extra dimensions: so it is the requirement of symmetry between the spinor spaces and the space-time that dictates that the extra dimensions be there.”A Harmonious ConcinnityWhile the concepts of twistor theory and spinors have been previously investigated as an alternative to space-time, Sparling explains how his new proposal is slightly different because it’s not a complete replacement of space-time. Rather, the guiding principle of his idea is that of a harmonious combination of three entities, or a “trinity.” Each part of the theory reinforces the other parts. “If one accepts that there are these three spaces [space-time and two twistor spaces] that are central to my theory, one looks for a theory which unifies them; this would be the ‘concinnity’,” he explained. “An indicator that there might be such a theory comes from the theory of Jordan algebras, which naturally unifies the three spaces into a twenty-seven dimensional whole, called an exceptional Jordan algebra.” Sparling’s student Philip Tillman and ex-students Dana Mihai, Devendra Kapadia and Suresh Maran also played a significant role related to this work. “A second indicator is that there are two radically different descriptions of massless particles, such as the photon: the standard one uses Fourier analysis in space-time and another uses twistor theory and sheaf cohomology,” he added. “The mathematical formalisms used in these two different descriptions are so different that it is simply amazing that they are describing the same basic physics. The concinnity would provide an explanation for this. This would then unify twistor theory, space-time theory and string theory—this is very tentative, however.“A very interesting aspect is that Newton fought strongly against the idea of the trinity (in a religious context),” Sparling noted. “It is ironic that I am invoking that very same idea in the context of gravity: perhaps Newton saw that the concept could be used in physics, but because he could not think of such a use he rebelled strongly against it (of course, I have no evidence for this!).”Although the theory is not definitive, Sparling explains that several major ideas in current physics would likely play a role (such as condensed matter physics, category theory, non-commutative geometry, string theory, and the structure of superfluids). Such connections might also point the direction to a unified theory, though currently speculative.“My work can be seen as a strong antidote to the present air of pessimism surrounding modern fundamental physics,” Sparling said. “As is well-known, string theory has been roundly criticized for its lack of predictive power. String theorists have been reduced to an absurd reliance on the anthropic principle, for example. Here I have a clear-cut prediction, which goes against the common wisdom, which gives experimenters a target to go for: first find the extra dimensions, then decide their signature (a very tough homework assignment!). Of course I could be proved wrong, but the effort to decide is surely worthwhile.“Actually, in the area of philosophy, I am in opposition to string theory,” he said. “It is a top down theory: dream up something that works in some high dimension and then try to finagle some way of reducing to fit in with the lower-dimensional theory. My approach is bottom up: take the existing four-dimensional theory seriously and try to build up from it. This is very tough to do. Hopefully my ideas work. Note that my work only constitutes a possible beginning at a more inclusive theory.”Sparling continues to explore the ideas of this 6-D time-like spinorial theory of space-time, with support from a workshop at the BIRS Institute in Banff, Canada, and ideas from philosophers including Alexander Afriat, Steve Awodey, Jonathan Bain and Rita Marija Malikonyte-Mockus. He predicts that experimental investigations in the near future—such as the Large Hadron Collider—might uncover the extra dimensions. Citation: Sparling, George A. J. “Germ of a synthesis: space-time is spinorial, extra dimensions are time-like.” Proc. R. Soc. A. doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1839.Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Proposed Spacetime Structure Could Provide Hints for Quantum Gravity Theory The analytical structure underlying the spinorial theory can be represented visually. The structure is a Xi-transform, which moves between the three spaces in the directions given by the bendings of the upper case Greek letter Xi. The distorted squares represent the wave operator. The product of a wave operator and a Xi transform, taken in any order, is zero. Image credit: Erin Sparling. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Cartan’s triality symbol links two twistor space and space-time. Image credit: Erin Sparling Explore furthercenter_img Sparling’s paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A, lays the groundwork for his theory. He explains how spatial dimensions contain positive signs (e.g., Pythagoras’ 3D space is expressed as the sum of the squares of the intervals in three directions, x, y, and z). Minkowski’s time-like dimension, on the other hand, combines these three dimensions with the square of time displacement, which contains an overall negative sign. “In three dimensions, the formula reads s2 = x2 + y2 + z2,” Sparling explained to PhysOrg.com. “Our standard spacetime has four dimensions, but the formula has a critical minus sign: s2 = x2 + y2 + z2 – t2. The Lithuanian Hermann Minkowski invented this idea, which was published just six weeks before he died. Indeed, [Sir Roger] Penrose, for one, says that special relativity was not a finished theory until Minkowski’s famous Raum und Zeit [‘Space and Time’] paper.”Up until now, Sparling explains, most theories concerning extra dimensions have dealt with space-like rather than time-like dimensions, which results in a “hyperbolic” rather than an “ultra-hyperbolic” geometry. However, Sparling notes that there are no a priori arguments for a hyperbolic geometry, and he looks into the possibility of a “spinorial” theory of physics, where six dimensions of space-time arise naturally. “In general dimensions, we say that the space-time is hyperbolic if there is only one minus sign in the formula for s2,” he said. “So, for example, in the ten dimensions of superstring theory, there are nine spatial dimensions with plus signs and one minus sign. Only in that situation is there a clear-cut distinction between the future and the past.” “In my case, I am led to the conclusion that the ordinary four dimensional space-time extends naturally into six dimensions: the four dimensional space is hyperbolic as usual, but in the surrounding space there are equal numbers (3 each) of space and time dimensions, so the formula for s2 reads something like s2 = x2 + y2 + z2 – t2 – u2 – v2, where u and v represent the new time variables. I call this structure a (3, 3)-structure (mathematicians call it ultra-hyperbolic).” In a recent study, mathematician George Sparling of the University of Pittsburgh examines a fundamental question pondered since the time of Pythagoras, and still vexing scientists today: what is the nature of space and time? After analyzing different perspectives, Sparling offers an alternative idea: space-time may have six dimensions, with the extra two being time-like. Citation: Mathematician suggests extra dimensions are time-like (2007, April 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-04-mathematician-extra-dimensions-time-like.htmllast_img read more

Googles SPDY will speed up downloads

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — As part of its effort to speed up the Web, Google is experimenting with SPDY, a new application layer protocol, that it hopes will speed up the conversation between browsers and Web servers and enable Web pages to download up to twice as fast. According to software engineers Mike Belshe and Roberto Peon in Google’s research blog SPDY (pronounced “speedy”) protocol was tested in the laboratory by downloading each of the top 25 websites 10 times. The test environment simulated home network connections, and used a special web server and a Google Chrome browser prototype. The tests indicated SPDY gave page load times up to 55% faster. SPDY does not replace HTTP, but rather creates a session between the HTTP application layer and the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) transport layer and basically augments HTTP. It speeds up web page downloads by using several techniques, including allowing multiple simultaneous HTTP requests per TCP session, request prioritization, and compressing the data to cut the number of packets. It does not replace HTTP headers but it overrides HTTP’s data transfer formats and connection management features. HTTP allows browsers and servers to understand each other and translate data from a Web publisher to a page displayed in a browser. It became the web standard in 1996, but Google’s development team think it needs the update to make it faster.SPDY’s performance in the real world still needs to be evaluated. Web pages would not need to be changed for the SPDY protocol to work, but Web servers and browsers would. If it is to be widely used, the new protocol would therefore need to be supported by browsers other than Google’s own Chrome, such as Firefox and Internet Explorer. While Mozilla may be willing to support it, convincing Microsoft to do the same may be more troublesome. Previous developments aimed at improving download speeds, such as SST (Structured Stream Transport) and SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol) have not become widely used.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Chrome 4.0 beta web browser launched This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: Google’s SPDY will speed up downloads (2009, November 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-11-google-spdy-downloads.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Scientists take another step towards quantum computing using flawed diamonds

first_img Citation: Scientists take another step towards quantum computing using flawed diamonds (2011, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-scientists-quantum-flawed-diamonds.html Explore further More information: meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR11/Event/138902 (PhysOrg.com) — David D. Awschalom, of the Center for Spintronics and Quantum Computation, University of California, Santa Barbara, in a paper published recently in the Bulletin of the American Physical Society, describes a way to connect the laser-induced spinning of an electron in a free (defect) space in a diamond, with a nearby nitrogen atom in its natural state, thus, providing a means for creating a quantum data bit (qubit). Turning down the noise in quantum data storagecenter_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com Awschalom’s discovery takes advantage of the fact that some diamonds have a flaw in them, which at the atomic level means holes are left in the lattice that make up the diamond structure. It is well known that these extra electrons can be made to spin by lasers or even microwaves; what Awschalom did was figure out a way to measure the slight magnetic pull between the free electron and the nucleus of a nearby nitrogen’s atom, all based on the spin of the free electron, and then to use that data to ascertain characteristics of the nitrogen atom. And that’s all you need to create a qubit.It’s been noted that the spin generated by the laser only lasts about a 100 nano-seconds, which granted isn’t very long, but certainly long enough for a high speed computer to perform many calculations. The exceptional thing though is that because the time frame is so short, it would be virtually impossible for anyone to slip in and manipulate the system, thus making a future computer, almost impossible to hack.To look at the system another way, imagine an array of tops, all spinning for just one second; if you could ascertain the state of something else, say the string that was pulled to cause each top to spin, based purely on the data contained in the spinning top, then you‘d have the equivalent of a qubit; and in quantum computing, that’s all you really need; well, that and a method for creating an array of just tops, or with the diamond, all defects. Scientists have for years been intrigued by the idea of a quantum computer; a machine that relies on natural atomic structures and phenomena; such a machine would be able to perform calculations based on existing materials, such as the flaw in a diamond, rather than have to build them from scratch from comparatively bulky materials. Such a machine would dwarf the capabilities of modern computers due to such physical things as the close proximity of atoms relative to one another as compared to the distance data must now travel through micro-processors, much less data I/O channels.With his paper Awschalom shows an actual example of a real world way to create an environment where cubits can be created, observed, and maybe even used to someday create an actual quantum computer; yet another step in a very long process. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers learn more about the possible role of gamma ray bursts on

first_img A gamma ray burst (GRB) is a massive wave of radiation that comes about very quickly due either from a star that is dying or when two neutron stars collide. When the wave strikes another planet it can cause major disruptions.GRBs come in two varieties, long and short burst. The longer variety are much more common but until recently scientists didn’t believe they could occur in our part of the universe at all because it was thought they only occurred in low low-metallicity galaxies. More recently it has been found that though more rare, they do also occur in high-metallicity galaxies like ours. Such findings led the researchers with this new effort to wonder what impact GRBs might have had, or continue to have, on the existence of life on planets, including ours.Among other things, they found that based on the likely average incidence of GRBs happening close enough, calculations showed a 60 percent likelihood that a GRB has caused an extinction event here on Earth within just the past billion years. They also found that planets are likely to be less impacted by GRBs the farther away from the center of their galaxy they are simply because there are less such events occurring due to the existence of fewer stars in general. They also noted that it appears unlikely any form of life would have been able to survive anywhere in the known universe prior to 5 billion years ago, as galaxies were so compact before then and strikes would have been very common.The researchers don’t believe a GRB striking the Earth could penetrate the atmosphere, but do believe one could destroy the ozone layer, which would of course lead to the extinction of most living things. They believe it’s possible that such a strike could be the cause behind the Ordovician extinction, approximately 440 million years ago. Explore further More information: Possible Role of Gamma Ray Bursts on Life Extinction in the Universe, Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 231102 – Published 5 December 2014. dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.231102 . Arxiv: arxiv.org/abs/1409.2506ABSTRACTAs a copious source of gamma rays, a nearby galactic gamma ray burst (GRB) can be a threat to life. Using recent determinations of the rate of GRBs, their luminosity function, and properties of their host galaxies, we estimate the probability that a life-threatening (lethal) GRB would take place. Amongst the different kinds of GRBs, long ones are most dangerous. There is a very good chance (but no certainty) that at least one lethal GRB took place during the past 5 gigayears close enough to Earth as to significantly damage life. There is a 50% chance that such a lethal GRB took place during the last 500×106  years, causing one of the major mass extinction events. Assuming that a similar level of radiation would be lethal to life on other exoplanets hosting life, we explore the potential effects of GRBs to life elsewhere in the Galaxy and the Universe. We find that the probability of a lethal GRB is much larger in the inner Milky Way (95% within a radius of 4 kpc from the galactic center), making it inhospitable to life. Only at the outskirts of the Milky Way, at more than 10 kpc from the galactic center, does this probability drop below 50%. When considering the Universe as a whole, the safest environments for life (similar to the one on Earth) are the lowest density regions in the outskirts of large galaxies, and life can exist in only ≈10% of galaxies. Remarkably, a cosmological constant is essential for such systems to exist. Furthermore, because of both the higher GRB rate and galaxies being smaller, life as it exists on Earth could not take place at z>0.5. Early life forms must have been much more resilient to radiation. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Researchers learn more about the possible role of gamma ray bursts on life extinction in the universe (2014, December 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-role-gamma-ray-life-extinction.html © 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A pair of astrophysicists studying gamma ray bursts has found that such events might play a much larger role in the existence of life on Earth and other planets than has been thought. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Tsvi Piran with the Hebrew University in Israel and Raul Jimenez from the University of Barcelona in Spain, suggest that gamma ray bursts might be responsible for past extinctions on Earth, and for limiting the possibility of life on planets near the center of galaxies. End times. In this drawing, as the shell of gamma radiation (blue) from a gamma-ray burst passes across the Earth, it destroys the ozone layer, leaving life vulnerable to deadly solar ultraviolet radiation. Credit: NASA Journal information: Physical Review Letters Gigantic explosions buried in dust: ALMA probes environment around dark gamma-ray bursts , arXivlast_img read more

Long term study shows grasslands can recover naturally from too much atmospheric

first_img(Phys.org)—A long term study conducted by managers of The Park Grass experiment at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, UK, shows, according to a team of researchers from Germany and the U.K., that under certain conditions, grasslands are able to recover naturally from overexposure to atmospheric nitrogen. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes the condition of grasses and soil at the research center over the course of the past century and a half and what has been learned from it. David Tilman and Forest Isbell with the University of Minnesota offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team and compare it with findings in other parts of the world. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Scientists know that an overabundance of atmospheric nitrogen can lead to loss of plant diversity—Tilman and Isbell explain that the reason this happens is because of the trade-offs involved in the evolutionary process. When plants in a certain area are suddenly faced with a new nutrient, those with adaptations well suited to the new nutrient are able to take full advantage, while those that are not get pushed out. Over the past couple of hundred years, levels of atmospheric nitrogen increased as part of human caused air pollution, but as problems became evident, people in some parts of the world took action to cause less to be emitted which meant less was put into the air. One of those places was Great Britain, a country heavily involved in the industrial revolution and which also took action to reduce such emissions. During part of this time period a group of progressive thinkers set up a plot of land at Rothamsted Research and planted sections of grasses, with the sections being treated differently—some were fertilized, others were not. This allowed for noting the natural loss of diversification in the grasses that grew on the plots as atmospheric nitrogen levels increased and then as diversification returned, (somewhat) naturally as levels of atmospheric nitrogen were reduced. It was this change that the researchers with this new effort noted and they claim that it shows that under certain circumstances grasslands can heal themselves.There is one major caveat however, the grass blocks at the research center were mowed periodically and the cut grass removed, which presumably took with it some of the nitrogen. More information: J. Storkey et al. Grassland biodiversity bounces back from long-term nitrogen addition, Nature (2015). DOI: 10.1038/nature16444AbstractThe negative effect of increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) pollution on grassland biodiversity is now incontrovertible1, 2, 3. However, the recent introduction of cleaner technologies in the UK has led to reductions in the emissions of nitrogen oxides, with concomitant decreases in N deposition4. The degree to which grassland biodiversity can be expected to ‘bounce back’ in response to these improvements in air quality is uncertain, with a suggestion that long-term chronic N addition may lead to an alternative low biodiversity state5. Here we present evidence from the 160-year-old Park Grass Experiment at Rothamsted Research, UK6, that shows a positive response of biodiversity to reducing N addition from either atmospheric pollution or fertilizers. The proportion of legumes, species richness and diversity increased across the experiment between 1991 and 2012 as both wet and dry N deposition declined. Plots that stopped receiving inorganic N fertilizer in 1989 recovered much of the diversity that had been lost, especially if limed. There was no evidence that chronic N addition has resulted in an alternative low biodiversity state on the Park Grass plots, except where there has been extreme acidification, although it is likely that the recovery of plant communities has been facilitated by the twice-yearly mowing and removal of biomass. This may also explain why a comparable response of plant communities to reduced N inputs has yet to be observed in the wider landscape. Explore further Park Grass aerial view May 2005. Credit: The Park Grass experimentcenter_img © 2015 Phys.org Team studies diversity among nitrogen-fixing plants Journal information: Nature Citation: Long term study shows grasslands can recover naturally from too much atmospheric nitrogen (2015, December 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-term-grasslands-recover-naturally-atmospheric.htmllast_img read more

Researchers use shear forces to create selfassembled supramolecular hydrogel

first_img Explore further More information: Hua Ke et al. Shear-induced assembly of a transient yet highly stretchable hydrogel based on pseudopolyrotaxanes, Nature Chemistry (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0235-8 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Chemical structures and overview of the gelation process. Credit: Nature Chemistry (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0235-8 Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself Citation: Researchers use shear forces to create self-assembled supramolecular hydrogel (2019, April 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-self-assembled-supramolecular-hydrogel.htmlcenter_img © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Nature Chemistry The researchers noted that supramolecular hydrogels are generally destroyed by shear forces resulting in conversion to a sol (a colloid with solid particles). They were working with bioinspired versions of molecular self-assembly typically seen in nature, such as occurs with self-healing in animals. They noted that in the natural world, such assembly is usually seen in materials with a complex architecture and have very focused functions. Those made in the lab, in contrast to those in nature, have typically been more stable.As part of their experiments, the researchers added copper ions to a solution of pseudopolyrotaxanes (which were created by threading molecular tubes onto polyethylene glycol chains). They found that when they vigorously shook the cylinder holding their solution, the material inside transformed into a gel. The researchers explain that the shaking exerted shear forces on the ingredients forcing intrachains to become interchains with little to no crosslinking with other pseudopolyrotaxanes.The researchers report that the gel had promising properties and compared favorably to other gels, and it is stretchable to 30 times its non-stretched length. They also found that it reverted back to a sol when left on a table overnight at room temperature. But shaking it returned it to a gel. They report that the cycle could be repeated up to five times before it began to degrade. They note also that the cycle represents a form of self-healing. The researchers suggest the form of dissipative self-assembly demonstrated by their experiments would very likely be of use to material scientists because of the gel’s ability to mimic natural self-healing—they suggest it could also prove to be quite adaptive. They also note that the resultant gel was stronger than other structures created using synthetic dissipative self-assembly, and demonstrates better mechanical properties. A team of researchers at Southern University of Science and Technology in China has found a way to use shear forces to create a self-assembled supramolecular hydrogel from a sol. In their paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry, the researchers describe how they created their hydrogel and some of its properties.last_img read more

Does reading fiction make us better people

first_imgThe claims for fiction are great. It’s been credited with everything from an increase in volunteering and charitable giving to the tendency to vote – and even with the gradual decrease in violence over the centuries. Every day more than 1.8 million books are sold in the US and another half a million books are sold in the UK. Despite all the other easy distractions available to us today, there’s no doubt that many people still love reading. Books can teach us plenty about the world, of course, as well as improving our vocabularies and writing skills. But can fiction also make us better people? Characters hook us into stories. Aristotle said that when we watch a tragedy two emotions predominate: pity (for the character) and fear (for yourself). Without necessarily even noticing, we imagine what it’s like to be them and compare their reactions to situations with how we responded in the past, or imagine we might in the future. Read the whole story: BBClast_img read more

Lightning kills 10 including 5 kids as Norwester hits state

first_imgKolkata: As many as 10 persons including four children were killed as thundershowers lashed various South Bengal districts and parts of North Bengal too on Sunday afternoon. All those who died were stuck by lightning. Two people died at Nadia, one at Jalangi in Murshidabad, two at Ghatal, West Midnapore while four children died at Uluberia, Howrah, while another child died while playing football at Park Circus.”The four children who died at Uluberia had ventured out of their houses for collecting mangoes during the thundershowers when they were struck by lightning,” a senior police officer in the district said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsChief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief over the deaths in the incidents and assured all help and support to the families where there has been loss of life and property due to the inclement weather. “We are doing a survey on the extent of damage. The Chief Secretary has sought reports from all the District Magistrates. We have a disaster management fund and the government will extend all sort of assistance to the families that have suffered loss in terms of life and property,” Banerjee said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAs many as 14 flights in Kolkata airport were affected due to bad weather conditions. “Five flights scheduled to land at the airport were diverted to Bhubaneswar. A Delhi-bound flight was even cancelled and there was delay in landing and departure of eight flights,” a spokesperson of the airport mentioned. The city and other districts in South Bengal may witness heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours, predicted the weather office on Sunday. Many of the districts which are going to the Panchayat polls on Monday may also receive moderate to heavy rainfall. Moderate to heavy rainfall occurred in various South Bengal districts on Sunday afternoon. There is also an alert of heavy rain in some districts including Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata. It may be mentioned here that heavy rain accompanied with strong winds lashed some parts of North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Nadia, Hooghly and Kolkata on Sunday afternoon.The city sky remained overcast from Sunday morning. The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore predicted that it may rain in the city and adjoining areas accompanied with storm in the next 24 hours. According to a weather expert, a strong moisture-laden wind which is blowing from the sea, turned the conditions favourable for a storm. A cyclonic circulation has also contributed to the condition. According to the weather office, various North Bengal districts may also receive rainfall. The prediction also says that a wind of around 40-60 km per hour will sweep through North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Hooghly, Howrah and Kolkata. Various district administrations have already issued alerts asking people to stay indoors during thunderstorm and lightning. In a few recent incidents, many people have died due to lightning in the districts. According to a senior official of the weather office, conditions are favourable for a thunderstorm and heavy rain in some of the South Bengal districts. There is enough moisture flowing in from the sea as well. Two other factors could raise the chances of a storm. One is the rising heat and the second a cyclonic circulation. A thundershower on Monday is expected as well. The city recorded 23.8 mm of rainfall while North 24 Parganas district’s Barrackpore recorded 68 mm rain, the highest in the state on Sunday, a MeT official said. Meanwhile, one tree was uprooted at 116, Santoshpur Avenue under Survey Park Police Station. DMG and KP have swung into action immediately. A tram wire also snapped near Shiraz hotel on Park Street at Mallick Bazar. Lightning struck a three-storeyed house on D Gupta Lane under Sinthee PS leading to damage of electricity connection. No injuries were reported. Police and CESC officials have rushed to the spot. Incessant rain led to water-logging in various parts of the city including Kankurgachi underpass, Abdul Rasul Avenue, in front of Thanthania Kali Mandir and Ultadanga underpass as well.last_img read more

Delhi Book Fair A treat for book lovers

first_imgBooks are an indispensable part of our lives and depict our lifestyle and preferences, to a great extent. Be it fiction, non-fiction, anthology, biography, mystery, romance, satire, books of any genre have adorned the shelves of every book lover, starting from their growing years to adulthood. They not only cater to our literal appetite but also help to establish a balance in our ever-changing lives. One finds solace in the books he or she loves the most and sometimes this even transcends the company of a living soul. Books are no longer limited to the ‘source of knowledge’ definition but have evolved over the years, bringing out variety of genres while catering to the needs of book lovers of all age groups. But this doesn’t end here and it is necessary to provide a platform where a book enthusiast can get an opportunity to justify his love for books and explore as well as choose from a variety of options. This is where a book fair comes at a book lover’s rescue.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’So, to take this thought forward and to maintain a healthy book-reader relationship, the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) is organising the 21st edition of the Delhi Book Fair at Pragati Maidan from August 29 to September 6.Dr Ashok Gupta, the director of Delhi Book Fair and the president of FIP tells Millennium Post about the urgency to combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow pertinent is the theme “Skill Development” to the literary domain, in the present scenario?Any education, without involvement of books is not possible.  Skill Development, if at all is to be achieved as per the vision of our Prime Minister, we will have to ensure the amalgamation of book knowledge as well as practical knowledge.  The Delhi Book Fair 2015 is providing a good interactive platform for the students as well as the teachers to expose themselves to book knowledge which can ultimately be used in the practical knowledge to achieve the expertise. Since the theme is quite new this year, will it affect the pattern of the book fair in terms of the events organised, as compared to the past years? Is Delhi going to experience a whole new, evolved version of the book fair?Change is the law of nature and every year the Book Fair is presented with a new dimension.  And as you know, the theme of this year is Skill Development.  We have tried to make this book fair youth centric and also create a cultural hub for the entertainment of the book lovers. Some spaces have specially been carved out in the halls to provide good ambience for the people to sit, relax and think over the specific subjects to be seen amongst the exhibited books, which will be a new feeling to the book lovers during their visit to the Fair. Will the Book Fair cater only to the highbrow crowd of the book enthusiasts or will it also have something in store for the general public?I am sorry to say that it is a wrong perception that the book fair is only for the highbrow crowd. Knowledge is for everybody and so is the vital source of it, that is books, and a book fair caters to all sections of the society and all age groups. As you said that the Delhi Book Fair will cater to all genres and age groups, so will books, solely representing the theme of the fair, be at the book lover’s disposal, this year?It is a misconception that the entire Book Fair will be dedicated to the theme of Skill Development. There will definitely be an area dedicated to skill development related literature but other parts of the Book Fair will have the conventional books on all subjects and languages.  Also, additional efforts have been put to organise stalls where digitised form of learning including e-books are placed for the benefit of book lovers.  Apart from instilling and encouraging the idea of book-reading and also of satisfying the book lovers of all age groups, will the Fair also emerge as a beneficial platform for business-to-business transactions for exhibitors and publishers?We will be supportive and encouraging of those who would work out to bring a change in the society by spreading literal awareness among people at large.last_img read more

Govt taking all steps to combat spread of dengue assures Hakim

first_imgKolkata: The state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department has taken every possible measure to prevent the spread of dengue and there is no reason to panic, state minister for the department Firhad Hakim said on Friday.Coming down heavily on those who have criticised the Urban Development department for not taking appropriate measures to prevent Dengue, Hakim said: “We have taken up the matter seriously and our aim is to reduce the number of persons afflicted with the disease to zero.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHakim met all the officials of the municipalities of North 24-Parganas at Writers’ Building to take stock of the situation. He said there was news of unknown fever from some areas. “But no need to panic. The municipalities have intensified their vigil and prompt actions are being taken.” He will meet officials of all the state municipalities on August 14.It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked all the civic bodies in the state to take up anti-larvae drives seriously. As the mosquitoes have changed their breeding season, all the civic bodies had began awareness campaigns from January. At the onset of monsoon, the anti-larvae drives have been intensified by them. In North 24-Parganas there are many closed factories and abandoned mills, particularly in areas surrounding Barrackpore where the garbage has not been cleaned and there are broken sheds that hold rain water. The mosquitoes lay egg in clear water and it takes only seven days for the pupae to become adult mosquitoes. It may be mentioned that the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has already made a move to enter the houses that have been kept under lock and key for years, in presence of police, to clear the garbage and spray mosquito repellants.last_img read more