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Building a realtime phase-space and timeseries plotter for a Simple Pendulum using Arduino Uno & Simulink

Reading time: 4 min 44 sec

Note: This post is intended for educational purpose. This post gives you some insights and details regarding the topic. The contents are structured to enable you to do this DIY project by yourself!

These days, it’s pretty much straight forward to simulate physical systems in a computer. Running those governing equations in any high-level languages such as Python, Visual Basic, Java, etc., make our life easier. Visualization of complex concepts of mainstream subjects is easier than ever before. Thanks to the growing community of coders!

But it is far more interesting when these computer codes interact with real physical systems which we can be touched and smelled! This opens up unlimited opportunities to probe and understand the complexities of a physical system easily. Successful communication between computers and physical systems is usually ensured by some external interfacing device which bridges the data processing between a computer and a physical system. This interface is capable of controlling and interpreting the signals to and from the computer. Though it was hard to implement such devices before, recent advanced technologies combined with novel inventions enable us to do successful interfacing effortlessly. Let’s begin!

Continue reading “Building a realtime phase-space and timeseries plotter for a Simple Pendulum using Arduino Uno & Simulink”

The essence of meditation: “Live your life, moment by moment.”

Reading time: 2 min 2 sec

People often mistake meditation as a religious act. It is imperative to demystify this common misconception about meditation. Meditation has got nothing to do with any God or religious entity. It is an astonishing fact that even in this modern age, the majority of us are not willing to approach meditation with an open mind. Such beliefs can act as huge roadblocks in harnessing the true benefits of this life-changing technique.

On a fundamental level, meditation is a straightforward activity that everyone of us can do anywhere and at any time. Why? Because the essence of meditation is “moment-by-moment awareness”. Yes! That’s the core idea of meditation. All those paid courses, mobile apps, and all those YouTube videos teach this essence explicitly or implicitly.

Let’s see what “moment-by-moment awareness” means. For instance, try this exercise: “when you walk, only walk”. Try consciously to be aware of those sensations under your feet, the movements of your leg muscles and the temperature of the ground below your feet. It is of utmost importance that you concentrate on the feeling and not on the thoughts passing through your mind. Reading this, some might ask, “we are already busy, why should we waste our time paying attention to all these silly things while walking? Instead, why don’t we think of something more useful such as tomorrow’s homework or meeting with the boss or something more important?” Well, if that’s what keeps you happy and brings out your best version, please go ahead and don’t waste your time reading this! Anyway, in my opinion, such people who try to do multitasking or keep themselves busy doing something without being present are the ones who are quickly getting frustrated or tensed.

Of course, there is nothing wrong to think while walking. But the key idea I am trying to express is about practicing a lifestyle where you appreciate each and every moment in your life, whether it seems good or bad. This is about watching your regular actions from a different perspective; this is about being aware at this moment, effortlessly; this is about doing only one thing at a time. I am pretty sure that if you genuinely try such simple exercises, you will definitely find such activities exceptional and joyful. You will feel things in ways you have never felt before. Over time, such practices naturally equip yourself to appreciate every instance of life. It trains you to provide undivided attention towards a task at work effortlessly. Once you realize that you can ‘meditate’ even while walking without compelling yourself to sit quietly and focusing on the breath, you have captured the essence of meditation.

“Hey life, you take the breath out of me…”

Reading time: 1 min 42 sec

(Contributed by an anonymous author who doesn’t want to reveal his identity.)

Dear friend,
That moment of bliss when you become one with your surroundings, you lose even the tiniest bit of importance in the grand scheme of things. Your existence no longer matters when you learn the answer to the eternal question, ” Why is there something rather than nothing”. You realize there is nothing but a dance to the rhythm of the most beautiful symphony embodying love. You become the ultimate romantic in a world where the rules of cause and effect don’t hold. You will sense the transcending beauty in the innate randomness of the spontaneous events occurring all around you.

I guess this is where I become realistic and get to the point. I have never experienced any of these life-changing blissful moments. This is the image that my unimaginative, dull conscious brain conjured up while trying to think of a possible alternative reality that could give substance to our existence. Look around you and sense the beauty in everything from the raindrop dripping along with the window grill to something as intangible as human emotions and I don’t think you can come up with a worse image that can portray our reality.

Many religious texts have provided much better portrayals of the eternal bliss in which you will be bestowed with wings, harps, a hell of a lot of virgins and what not. Alas, I wish I could come up with something as vibrant and imaginative as this. But the problem with the conscious brain is that it has an irritatingly efficient filtering mechanism that will not let you be happy with these enchanting eternal life after death scenarios. Our brain’s filtering mechanism works based on a set of beliefs deeply ingrained into our subconscious. For instance, I believe our ability to empathize with someone stems from our decisions (or free will as some people would like to call it) as much as it does from a natural physiological origin. So, any versions of reality in which your brain’s anatomy governs your love and compassion towards your fellow beings don’t go well with me. In fact, I can’t believe in any sort of reality in which my existence is given undue significance.

So, here is me hoping you and me will one day be able to appreciate this breathtakingly beautiful life in its all glory. If I live to take the next breath, I assure you, I will tell you about it in even more detail.

Aspects of mind

Rational aspect of mind never creates anything; it only deduces from something which is already being created.

It takes the irrational aspect (imagination) of the mind to create something new from nowhere!

Finite and infinite conjugate objectives

Reading time: 1 min 2 sec

An objective is nothing but a compound lens, like a normal lens, the only difference is they are much more potent in terms of numerical aperture, resolution and magnification. In microscopes, objectives are mainly used with two optical designs: finite or infinite conjugate designs. In a finite optical design, the light from a spot is focused into another spot with the aid of a couple of optical elements, and in an infinite conjugate design, the diverging light from a spot is made parallel.

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Taking Fourier plane out of an objective.

Reading time: 2 min 14 sec

We know that a lens is a Fourier transform engine, which does complicated Fourier calculations of a complex object, faster than any computer available today! An object placed at a distance d from the lens will form its Fourier image at the back focal length (f) of the lens. As we know, Fourier image is always formed at the focal plane of the lens, irrespective of the position of the object; it can be very close to the lens (d<< f) or very far away from the lens (d>>f).

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How to screen a femtosecond laser pulse stream on an oscilloscope?

Reading time: 1 min 42 sec

It is quite possible to view the pulse stream of a femtosecond output on an oscilloscope screen, especially to measure the repetition rate of the laser. It is to be noted that, we cannot see the pulse shape of the laser beam as the response time (rise and fall time) of the photodiode (PD) is quite higher than the pulse width of the femtosecond laser.

Things to be noted:

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A Mind and a Car: An analogy

Reading time: 2 min 34 sec

You know how a car moves. It takes a lot of force and effort for an engine to start the car and then accelerate. It takes a lot of fuel during this acceleration process. After a while, when it acquires the desired momentum, it needs very less power from the engine. But then the air resistance and ground friction come into play. So if the engine provides no power to push the car forward, finally it is going to be stopped. These are the details we all know. But then have you ever thought that our mind works similar to a car?

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How religion bends our thinking ability?

Reading time: 4 min 35 sec

A few days back, I was in a friendly debate with one of my best friends. As usual, it was about the existence of God. He made this statement, ‘”Our eyes have a limitation in seeing objects. It can’t see smaller things beyond an extent. Our ears are also limited so that we can only hear in the frequency interval, 20Hz to 20kHz. In fact, all our sense organs are limited by certain boundaries. So is the brain. Our brain has limitations. So you are incapable of understanding the existence of God because your brain has not yet gone beyond your limitation.”

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Time to be smart: ‘Fact’, ‘Law’, ‘Hypothesis’ and ‘Theory’ in Science.

Reading time: 2 min 57 sec

I watched a youtube video recently wherein
Dr Zakeer Naik says to a bright medical student that a theory in science will become law/fact after testing and evaluating it using scientific methods over time. I got shocked listening to this nonsense. There is no wonder when a religious person says something like this because the lack of scientific knowledge can lead him to the highest level of misconceptions (I know people who still believe that Earth is the centre of the universe! yes. They exist!). Instead, why I got shocked was because he is educated scientifically and has earned an MBBS degree. It seems that there is a lot of people out there who have confusions about differences between terms such as fact, law, hypothesis, and theory. I believe that at least people who do science should know the differences. Otherwise, a lot of misconceptions will lead them to believe in absurdities. So here we are…

Continue reading “Time to be smart: ‘Fact’, ‘Law’, ‘Hypothesis’ and ‘Theory’ in Science.”