#TVAABP (The Vacuum As A Bubbling Place, August 09, 2014):

SynTalk thinks about Vacuum and asks why is there something rather than nothing? Is empty space really empty? Does vacuum exist in the natural universe or is it merely a theoretical abstract conception? Is absolute vacuum possible? The concepts are derived off / from Hindu thought (eternal recurrence), Bible (genesis, void), Aristotle, Newton, Einstein, Copenhagen interpretation, Sommerfeld (fine structure constant), Maxwell, Heidegger (PEQ), Casimir (pair production), Biermann (solar wind) and Parker (solar wind model), among others. We marvel at the beauty of nature via CMBR, pole wandering (did dinosaurs die because of this?), magnetic reconnection, cosmological constant, dark matter / energy, dipoles, plasma (a la fire?), and absolute zero. How virtual particles come into ‘being’. What is happening in upper atmosphere (~70,000 kms above earth)? What does an ‘agitated’ sun do to earth’s atmosphere? Whether the laws of causation break down with quantum mechanics and sub-micron distance scales. How do neutrinos / muons reach us via empty space? Has Quantum Field Theory (QFT) left us in a state of limbo, and do we need to reformulate our conception of God? How empty space is bubbling. How would a ride to the sun be? The SynTalkrs are: Prof. Sunil Mukhi (particle physics, IISER, Pune), Prof. Kuruvilla Pandikattu (philosophy & theology, Jnana-Deep Vidyapeeth (JDV), Pune), & Prof. R. V. Reddy (plasma physics, Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai).

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

Prof. Sunil Mukhi (particle physics, string theory, music) is a physicist and his areas of interest including string theory, quantum field theory and particle physics. Presently, he is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER, Pune). Earlier, he worked at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR, Mumbai). He has been invited to lecture on string theory in numerous international conferences. He was one of the organisers of the conference String 2001 in Mumbai which saw participation of luminaries such as Stephen Hawking, David Gross and Edward Witten. He was the recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in 1999 for his contribution in the field of physical sciences. Besides physics, he is also heavily interested in the Indian classical music (especially Hindustani classical music). He maintains a website on the notable vocalist Pandit Kumar Gandharva as a tribute to the legendary artist who he admires the most. He also has a keen interest in food & cooking.

Prof. Kuruvilla Pandikattu (theology, philosophy, physics) is a professor of physics, philosophy and religion at Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV) in Pune. He is also Director of JDV Centre for Science-Religion Studies. He is a Jesuit priest belonging to Dumka-Raiganj province in India. His prime areas of interest are science-religion dialogue, philosophical anthropology, inter-religious dialogue and life-management. He is interested in looking at both science and religion critically so that they can enrich each other and the humanity. In this area, he has written several books and articles and delivered numerous lectures. Prof. Kuruvilla has authored more than 26 books and written over a 100 academic articles. He has been involved in organising national and international conferences on science-religion dialogue. He writes a weekly column on ‘Contemporary Spirituality’ in Financial Chronicle.

Prof. R. V. Reddy (plasma physics, upper atmosphere sciences) is a leading intellectual in plasma physics. Presently, he is a member of faculty in Upper Atmospheric Studies Division at Indian Institute of Geomagnetism in Navi Mumbai. His prime research areas are magnetospheric physics and space weather. In this area, he has written numerous academic articles & papers in refereed journals. He is a visiting scientist in several universities outside India. He is a member of the Plasma Science Society of India and the Indian Geophysical Union.

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

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