#TCAO (The Chaotic And Orderly, June 02, 2018):

Which side of the separatrix are you? Does self-interaction make systems chaotic? Have you ever experienced turbulence? Do you have an intuition for chaotic behaviour in various realms? Is chaos always fecund? However, can chaos also be ‘produced’? Is noise the same as chaos? Can very simple systems be chaotic? Can solids, circuits, and solar systems be chaotic? How do laminar (periodic) systems transition to aperiodic chaos, & vice versa, when (say) flow happens inside a pipe? Did chaos come first, & is everything thereafter a result of its coming together with Gaia and Eros? Is it possible for the future to determine the present (or the past) – is this provable? Can events be a part of a process, & what causes it? Is history chaotic? Do chaotic systems’ sensitive dependence to initial conditions prove that the World is non deterministic? Are all deterministic systems necessarily predictable? Can a very ‘small’ cause lead to a very ‘large’ effect? However, do some things just happen spontaneously? Does weather in one part depend on the rest of the world? Can we create large scale robust chaos? &, what is the long term future of our understanding of chaos? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from electrical engineering (Prof. Soumitro Banerjee, IISER, Kolkata), fluid dynamics (Prof. Rama Govindrajan, ICTS-TIFR, Bangalore), & philosophy (Dr. Arun Iyer, IIT Bombay, Mumbai).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TCAO show.

Prof. Soumitro Banerjee (electrical engineering) is currently Professor at the Department of Physical Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata. He has also previously held academic positions at the IIT Kharagpur (1985-2009). Prof. Banerjee completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering, 1981) from University of Calcutta, and then went to IIT Delhi, where he completed his M.Tech. (1983 , Energy Studies), & Ph.D. (1988, ‘Magnetic Energy Storage Units for Improvement of Power System Stability’). His field of specialization is nonlinear dynamics, with areas of interests being bifurcations in non-smooth dynamical systems & nonlinear phenomena in power electronic circuits. Prof. Banerjee has been invited to deliver lectures at multiple conferences, universities, & institutes, including, MIT Cambridge (Boston, USA, 1996), H¨ohere Technische Bundeslehranstalt Salzburg (Austria, 2001), Imperial College (London, 2004), & University of Stuttgart (Germany, 2008). He has also served on and has been associated with sectional committees of multiple government agencies and juries. He has been been an Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Circuits & Systems (2003-2005 for Part II, & 2006-2007 for Part I), and is currently the Associate Editor for IEEE Circuit & Systems Society Newsletter (since 2006). He is also the Editor in Chief of ‘Prakriti’, a Bengali popular science magazine. He has received multiple awards including JC Bose Fellowship (2015), Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Sciences (2003), & Citation Laureate Award by Thomson Scientific’s Web of Science for being a highly cited researcher (2004). Prof. Banerjee is also an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI, 2014), IEEE (2013), The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS, 2012), Indian National Science Academy (INSA, 2007), Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS, 2005), & Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE, 2004).

Prof. Rama Govindarajan (fluid dynamics) is Professor at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS-TIFR), Bangalore. ICTS is a new institution with a multi-pronged approach to fundamental science. She earlier held academic position at TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences in Hyderabad, was a faculty member at the Engineering Mechanics Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR, Bangalore, 1998-2012), and was a scientist at the National Aerospace Laboratories (Bangalore, 1988-1998). Her research interests are fluid dynamics (flow instability), cloud flows, vortex dynamics, stratified and interfacial flows (on scales from laboratory to ocean and atmosphere), and the Indian monsoon. The key question in her research is how gradients of density, viscosity, and thermodynamic effects brought about by phase change affect, in a deep way, the tendency of a laminar flow to go unstable. She also researches how raindrops are formed in clouds (droplet growth bottleneck), & asks specifically how vortex dynamics can influence this process. Prof. Govindarajan completed her B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Delhi (1979-1984), before completing her M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, (USA, 1986), & her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from IISc, Bangalore (1991-1994). She was then a post-doctoral fellow at Caltech (California Institute of Technology, USA, 1994). Prof. Govindarajan has received multiple awards including Platinum Jubilee Prize (Aerospace Engineering Department, IISc, 2018) and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize (Engineering Sciences, 2007). She is also a fellow of the American Physical Society (Division of Fluid Dynamics), the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS), and National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI). She is the editorial advisory board member for Physics of Fluids (American Institute of Physics), and the editorial board member for Physical Review Fluids (American Physical Society).

Dr. Arun Iyer (philosophy) is Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the IIT Bombay, Mumbai. Earlier he held an Instructor’s position at Seattle University (USA, 2011-2016). He completed his B.E. (Electronics & Telecommunication, 2000) & M.A. in Philosophy (2002) from University of Mumbai. He then went to Marquette University (USA) where he completed M.A. (History of Philosophy, 2011) & Ph.D. (Philosophy, 2011). Dr. Iyer works mainly in the area of twentieth century European philosophy (especially Heidegger, Foucault and Husserl), with an eye of specific metaphysical questions concerning the historicity of knowledge and its implications for human praxis. His research interests are history of philosophy, epistemology, ethics, business ethics, & Indian philosophy. He is the author of ‘Towards an Epistemology of Ruptures: The Case of Heidegger and Foucault’ (2014). He is currently working with Dr. Pol Vandevelde to edit and translate the twentieth century German philosopher, Hans-Georg Gadamer’s previously untranslated essays into three volumes, all of which are being published by Bloomsbury Press. The first of these volumes has appeared under the title ‘Hermeneutics between History and Philosophy: The Selected Writings of Hans-Georg Gadamer’ (2016). He has also contributed chapters & articles in multiple published books such as ‘The Cambridge Foucault Lexicon’ (Cambridge University Press, 2014), & ‘Phenomenology, Archaeology, Ethics: Current Investigations of Husserl’s Corpus’ (Continuum Press, 2010). Dr. Iyer has been invited to deliver lectures at multiple institutes including University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol, UK, 2018), & IIM Trichy (2016). He is a member of American Philosophical Association, Heidegger Circle, & Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. He has also received research awards such as the Smith Family Fellowship (2009-2010), & Arthur J. Schmitt Fellowship (2008-2009).

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TCAO mentionsHesiod, Aristotle , Issac Newton, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Henri Poincaré, Edward Lorenz, & Leon O. Chua, among others.