New Zealand is still dear to my heart since my visit in April. Therefore, it was shock to see in the news that a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Christchurch early this morning. Miraculously, no fatalities or injuries were reported so that is great news! Hope the residents there can get back on their feet quickly and rebuild the city.
Last year, I took a number of vacations which involved cruising, diving, snorkelling and walking on glaciers. Thinking back on those trips, I could not help but notice that water and ice exhibited different colours in different settings. I decided to dive deeper into the colours of water. Finally, here are my findings. Water’s True Colour The colour of an object mainly depends on the colour of light emitted from it. In the case of water its colour is also affected by factors like light source, absorption, scattering, and suspended materials. Absorption by water is stronger for red light, but weaker for blue light. Water is therefore, intrinsically blue. However, this effect is only apparent when the water is reasonably deep. This is why a glass of water appears colourless whereas a big aquarium looks bluish through the thickness of water. Why is the Sea Blue? I did two cruises last year, one in the Caribbean and the other in the South Pacific. Owing to the depth of the water, th
One of my favourite books is A Brief History of Time , written by Stephen Hawking. This book is famous like its author. Its wonder lies in the fact that the forefront of physics is portrayed in laymen's terms. Thus the theories behind quantum mechanics, relativity, black holes, time travel, and wormholes can all be comprehended by the average person. Every time I pick up this paperback, I feel humbled by the grandeur of our mysterious universe. Needless to say, the origin of the universe may just provide a clue to the birth of life. Of all the theories described in the book, I was most intrigued by Einstein's special theory of relativity. Before the dawn of the 20th Century, the Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted to substantiate the existence of a substance called "ether." Instead, it created a shock wave for the entire scientific community. Throughout the next twenty years, numerous futile attempts were made to explain the surprising results of the experime
I recently stumbled upon a mathematical problem known as the Stable Marriage Problem (SMP). Per Wikipedia, the problem is commonly stated as: Given N men and N women, where each person has ranked all members of the opposite sex with a unique number between 1 and n in order of preference, marry the men and women together such that there are no two people of opposite sex who would both rather have each other than their current partners. If there are no such people, all the marriages are "stable". The SMP has real-life applications to any problem requiring stable pairing of two sets of equal size. In fact, this problem is always solvable using the Gale-Shapley algorithm . There is a rather big catch however. While the marriages are always stable, they may not be ideal from the vantage point of an individual. To illustrate this, imagine three men A,B,C and three women X,Y,Z. Here are their ranked preferences for members of the other group: A: YXZ B: ZYX C: XZY X