Monday, October 14, 2013




I was reading 'The Hindu' which had reported announcement of this year's Nobel prize for physics. It was conferred it on Francois Englert. Francois Englert, a Belgian theoretical physicist who along with Robert Brout, in 1964 formulated the mechanism describing how fundamental particles acquire mass. Further Peter W Higgs, a British theoretical physicist who within a few days of Francois Englert’s proof published a process through which fundamental particles could have gained mass. I quote from The Hindu


The universe was born with a Big Bang 13.8 billion yrs ago, releasing a lot of energy. This energy was symmetrical, uniform in space and time. This symmetry broke 1011 s later. The particles become non uniform because they had acquired mass. This was due to the Higgs mechanism. The universe is pervaded by an invisible field of energy the Higgs field. Higgs boson is the smallest disturbance in it. Higgs bosons couple to the fundamental particles moving through the field, giving them mass. For Higgs mechanism to occur, 4 particles were necessary, electroweak forces swallowed 3 the only survivor is the Higgs boson. Large Hadron Collider (LHC) found the Higgs boson beyond reasonable doubt in January 13”.  


I was reading this to my son studying in 9th class. Though he did not understand the theory in full, partly understood that at one point of time it was hot everywhere during the Big bang, and because of those high energy and high temperatures, there was hot gas everywhere. Slowly it started cooling and crystallized into small rotating balls which resulted in Solar Systems and planetary systems. My grandma, old but still very active did not understand a thing as she was not proficient in English. I tried to tell her about origin of universe and how it all started. I told "First there was flash of energy, then there were hot and vapourised gases everywhere………" of course I was translating it in Marathi so that she could grasp it. We entered into a conversation and to my surprise this religious old lady was at ease with the subject. “Ok this is discussed in Rig Veda in Nasadiya Sukta  (Rig Veda 129 sukta of 10th mandala)”,  she said, and started telling about it,


“There was nothing in the beginning, or was there everything in subtle Tejas? Because something cannot come from nothing. ‘There was not even nothing in the beginning’ so the Tejas was breathing without a breath. The subtle Tejas which was uniform all-pervading got a desire to manifest itself,  which aggregated into gross. This started the process of creating differences thus forming the matter”.


It was a great experience to hear this from religious old lady who never studied physics. She told me that she has read it in Bhagwat, read it in Puranas, read it in Gita and heard it in Pravachans and Kirtans in different forms.


In fact she was most comfortable with the last sentence of the news referred, which I have quoted “For Higgs mechanism to occur, 4 particles were necessary, electroweak forces swallowed 3 ..................” she said this is how our Pravachankar tells us, in a very simple language which everybody understands. “There were four Anurenukan earlier. Three were swallowed and one remained, when that remaining kan interacted with the Tejas and thus gross was born………….”


Tailpiece – What was there before Bigbang? If the process started with a big bang then was there nothing before it? How can something come from nothing? Who switched ON the BigBang button? Was the Bigbang with a mind?  

To be continued…..






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