Showing posts with label Listicle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Listicle. Show all posts

5 Women Who Deserved To Win Nobel Prize In Physics

women who deserved to win nobel prize in physics

The Nobel Prize can be as controversial as it is prestigious. There is a long history of women going unrecognized, especially in the field of physics. Many female scientists have made ground-breaking contributions that should have won them a Nobel Prize, but they never became laureates.

Since 1901, of the 219 Nobel Prize winners in physics, only 4 were women. The following is a list of at least five more women who deserved to win the Nobel Prize but did not receive the top honor. Instead, the prize was either awarded to their male colleagues, advisor or not considered at all.

Chien-Shiung Wu


Chinese-American experimental physicist is best known for conducting what is called the Wu experiment. She showed that parity, which is conserved for electromagnetic and strong forces, is not conserved for weak force.

The violation of parity meant that if there was a mirror version of the real world then it would be possible to distinguish between the two. Before the Wu experiment, it was assumed by physicists that parity was always conserved.

Her male colleagues Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang received the 1957 Nobel Prize in physics for the idea, whereas Wu's contribution in the discovery only got a mention in the Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell


Astrophysicist from Northern Ireland picked up an interesting signal as a research student that turned out to be the first rotating neutron star, Pulsar, ever known. The discovery was recognized by the award of 1974 Nobel Prize in physics. However, Bell was excluded from the recipients.

Astronomers Martin Ryle and Anthony Hewish (doctoral advisor of Bell) won the Nobel Prize which was the first physics award given in recognition of astronomical research. Fellow astronomer Fred Hoyle strongly objected to Bell's omission, but to no avail.

Emmy Noether


German mathematician Amalie Emmy Noether made extraordinary contributions to both physics and mathematics. In physics, among many discoveries, Noether's theorem is the most famous that explains the relation between conservation laws and symmetry.

women who deserved nobel prize in physics

Her expertise in mathematics was sought after by famous mathematicians such as David Hilbert to understand the theory of general relativity. Albert Einstein described Noether as the most important woman in the history of mathematics.

Unfortunately, the scope of Noether's exceptional work in physics was not recognized during her lifetime. She died in 1935 at the relatively young age of 53 which is probably one of the reasons why she never won a Nobel Prize.

Lise Meitner


Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner was among the first to discover nuclear fission. In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart, which releases zero-emission clean energy, as the total mass of the resultant particles is less than that of the initial reactants.

Nobel committee for chemistry decided that German chemist Otto Hahn should be the sole winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his role in understanding fission. The committee members failed to understand why the physics community regarded Meitner's work as seminal.

Lise Meitner spent most of her scientific career in Germany. She was the first woman to become a full professor of physics in Germany. Albert Einstein nicknamed her as the German Marie Curie when she discovered the radioactive element Protactinium.

Vera Rubin


American astronomer discovered a discrepancy in the predicted and observed angular momentum of galaxies which was the first evidence for the existence of dark matter, which makes 27% of the universe. In fact, the matter we know of makes only 5% of the universe.

In 1970s, with her long time collaborator Kent Ford, Vera Rubin found that there was more gravitation in individual galaxies than normal matter could account for. They showed that there must be at least six times more dark matter than visible mass, which is an accepted fact today.

Dark matter research gained momentum after their discovery but neither Ford nor Rubin won the Nobel Prize. Rubin fought hard to gain credibility in a traditionally male-dominated field of astronomy. Rubin died in 2016 after waiting over 40 years for a Nobel Prize recognition.

5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Marie Curie

marie curie quotes international women's day

Marie Curie was denied education in her native Poland because she was a woman. She had to attend a secret underground university to prove her merit. Times changed and Marie emerged as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century winning two Nobel Prizes in less than 10 years.

It was a period of very limited opportunities for women in all spheres, yet in an academic world that belonged to men Curie made an everlasting mark. Following are five inspiring quotes by Madame Curie that each teach you a valuable lesson in life.

1. To her two daughters – Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.

marie curie quotes international women's day

Irene and Eve grew up to be distinguished figures in their own fields. While Irene became famous for her scientific achievement, Eve worked for UNICEF providing help to mothers in the developing countries.

2. On curiosity – Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. If I see anything vital around me it is precisely this spirit of adventure, which seems indestructible and is akin to curiosity, that guides me.

According to Madame Curie: We only fear that we do not yet understand. Curie was exposed to Radiation in her scientific investigation of elements. Later on, she was exposed to X-ray when she served as a medical doctor during the first World War.

3. On scientific beauty – I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale.

All my life the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a little child. So we should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can be reduced to mechanisms, machines, gearings; even though such machinery also has its beauty.

4. On usefulness of science – We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it.

Apart from its medical application, Radium was increasingly used in industries such as timekeeping. The radium watch first produced in 1916 became a highly profitable commodity. However, Marie and her husband Pierre benefited little as they refused to patent their discovery of Radium.

5. On her wedding dress – I have no dress except the one I wear every day. If you are going to be kind enough to give me one, please let it be practical and dark so that I can put it on afterwards to go to the laboratory.

Marie and her husband Pierre came together through common love of science and research. They shared the Nobel Prize in 1903 in recognition of their extraordinary services to the study of radiation phenomena. For their honeymoon, Marie and Pierre took a bicycle tour around the French countryside in 1895.

marie curie and pierre curie, international women's day

One can know of her dedication to science by the fact that Curie survived on buttered bread and tea to be able to afford her education. Denied access in early years, she received her doctorate of science only at the age of 36. The way of progress is neither swift nor easy, Curie used to say.

Before her untimely death in 1934, Marie Curie founded the Radium Institute in 1932 as a specialized research institute and hospital. Hugely inspired by her drive and intellect, Albert Einstein said: Of all celebrated beings, Madame Curie is the only one whom fame has not corrupted.

5 Important Discoveries By Heinrich Rudolf Hertz

heinrich hertz biography experimental physics

Heinrich Hertz (1857–1894) was a renowned German experimental physicist whose discoveries over a period of 10 years served as the foundation stones of modern communication technology and quantum mechanics.

Hertz was home schooled from age 15, as he was an outstanding student who showed proficiency not only in the sciences but also in foreign languages, such as Arabic and Sanskrit. In 1930, the SI unit of frequency was named Hertz in his honor.

1. Inertia of electricity

Hertz studied under physicist Hermann von Helmholtz at the University of Berlin. In 1878, Helmholtz was involved in a fierce debate with a colleague: Does electric current have mass? He announced a prize to anyone who could answer the question.

At that time, electron was not yet discovered so it was a big ask. Hertz accepted the challenge as it gave him immense pleasure in learning directly from nature through well thought out experiments.

After one year of hard work, Hertz settled the debate by showing in a series of experiments that if electric current had any mass at all, it must be negligibly small. Nearly 20 years later, electron was discovered by J.J. Thomson.

2. Radio waves

Hertz was 7 years old when James Clerk Maxwell wrote the famous equations of electromagnetic theory. No one was able to generate electromagnetic waves until Hertz in 1887. Hertz was 30 years old at the time.

Hertz was demonstrating electrical sparks to his students in 1886. He noticed during the lecture that sparks produced a regular electrical vibration within the electric wires.

Hertz thought that this vibration was caused by accelerating and decelerating electrical charges. If Maxwell was right, this would radiate electromagnetic waves through air.

When Hertz was asked in an interview the use of electromagnetic waves, he replied: Nothing I guess. This is just a home-made experiment that proves Maestro Maxwell right.

3. Electromagnetic spectrum

Hertz calculated the speed of radio waves he created and found it to be the same as the speed of light. This was an experimental triumph as he had proved yet another prediction of Maxwell.

Hertz also showed that the waves radiating from his oscillator could be reflected, refracted, polarized and produced interference patterns like light.

In 1890s, Hertz also worked with ultraviolet and x-ray. He concluded that UV, radio, x-ray and light are part of a large family of waves which is today called the electromagnetic spectrum.

4. Photoelectric effect

In 1887, Hertz observed that an electrically charged metal when put under ultraviolet light lost its charge faster than otherwise. This is called photoelectric effect.

As Hertz was an experimental physicist he did not try explaining the phenomenon. Theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was a young boy in Munich at this time.

In 1905, Einstein wrote the theory of photoelectric effect and won the Nobel Prize for the same in 1921. This work played a key role in the development of quantum mechanics.

5. Contact mechanics

Hertz wrote a paper in 1881 outlining the field of contact mechanics. Contact mechanics is a part of mechanical engineering in which engineers study the touch points of solids.

The principles of contact mechanics are useful in applications such as rail-wheel contact, braking systems and tyres.

Summing up

Heinrich Hertz was only 36 years old when he died of complications in surgery to fix his constant migraines. In just 15 years of his scientific career Hertz made pioneering contributions to various fields of physics.

From Maxwell to Einstein, Hertz is the famous experimenter whose observations either confirmed a previous theory or laid groundwork for a new theory. Hertz is among the few scientists in whose honor an SI unit is named.

7 Facts About Galileo Galilei That You Didn't Know

galileo galilei birthday interesting facts about galileo

Astronomer Galileo Galilei was the most well known scientist of old and one of the most underrated scientists today. He is not as widely recognized as Newton or Einstein despite laying the very foundations of physics in the 16th century.

But one can also learn from Galileo lessons of bravery and honesty. To search for truth in all his life, Galileo challenged and exposed the stubbornness of authorities – academic or religious. Following are 8 interesting facts on Galileo.

Middle finger


At the time of Galileo's death, his family wanted to erect a marble mausoleum in Galileo's honor. The then Pope of Catholic Church vehemently protested against it and Galileo was buried in a small underwhelming room as a result.

After the Pope died, the family reburied Galileo and removed three fingers from Galileo's remains. Today, the middle finger of Galileo's right hand is on display at a Museum in Florence. A prime example of how the tables have turned.

Father of physics


Einstein was highly inspired by Two New Sciences which was written while Galileo was under the house arrest. In this book, Galileo summarized all the experiments on physics he had conducted in the forty years earlier. As a result of this work, Galileo is often called the father of modern physics.

Einstein's hero


Galileo proposed that everything is relative... there is no absolute motion or absolute rest. That the laws of physics are the same in any system that is moving at a constant speed in a straight line, a principle that is central to Einstein's special theory of relativity.

Debunking Aristotle


A biography by Galileo's student Vincenzo Viviani states that Galileo gathered a crowd and climbed the Tower of Pisa to drop balls of the same material, but of different masses to prove Aristotle wrong. Galileo observed that an object twice as heavy did not fall twice as fast, as was Aristotle’s claim.

Apology by Church


In 1939, Pope Pius XII in his first speech, described Galileo as being among the most audacious heroes of research... not afraid of the stumbling blocks and the risks on the way. On 31 October 1992, Pope John Paul II acknowledged that the Church had erred in condemning Galileo 359 years ago.

Galileoscope


In 2009, a small mass-produced low-cost telescope was released with the motive to increase public interest in astronomy and science. It was developed to commemorate the fourth centenary of Galileo's first recorded astronomical observations with the telescope.

The 2-inch Galileoscope helped millions of people view the same things seen by Galileo Galilei with his telescope such as the craters of Earth's Moon, four of Jupiter's moons, and the Pleiades.

What is in a name?


Galileo disliked his given surname and did not use it in public documents as it was not compulsory at the time. He was named after a family ancestor Galileo Bonaiuti, who was an important physician and professor in Florence. Galileo Bonaiuti was buried in the same church where about 200 years later, Galileo Galilei was also buried.

Follow your heart


Since Galileo was named after a physician he was enrolled at the University of Pisa in 1580 to become a doctor. Although Galileo considered priesthood as a young man at his father's urging he obliged.

In 1581, when Galileo was in a lecture hall studying medicine he noticed a swinging chandelier, which air currents shifted about to swing in larger and smaller arcs.
To him, it seemed that the chandelier took the same amount of time to swing back and forth. This could be a fine time keeping instrument Galileo thought.

Up to this point, Galileo had deliberately been kept away from philosophy and mathematics because a doctor earned more than a mathematician. Galileo convinced his father into letting him study natural philosophy instead of medicine after this incident.

10 Best Astrophysics Books For Students

10 best astronomy books astrophysics books for students

Books break the shackles of time... one glance at a book and you are inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.

That is how astronomer Carl Sagan described his love of books in the popular TV show Cosmos: a personal voyage. As per him, a book allows reader to see back in time much like a telescope, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs.

In this post, let us take a look at 10 great astronomy and astrophysics books that every science student should read. These highly popular books were written by famous scientists of this generation, so without further ado...

Astrophysics for people in a hurry

An essential text on the subject by American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson – from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.


A brief history of time

This classic book was written by Stephen Hawking for non-specialist readers with no prior knowledge of physics and astronomy. Hawking has touched upon his own research on black holes in the book as well for more experienced students.


The first three minutes

Written by Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate, this book describes what happened immediately after the big bang. Weinberg elaborately explains the evidence in support of the big bang theory and takes us back in time to the origin of the universe.


Cosmos

This book by astronomer Carl Sagan covers astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology and philosophy of the universe. In one sentence, it is amalgamation of the sciences in one book, a story of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution, science and civilization.


Special and general relativity

You can gain insights into the theory of relativity from its creator, Albert Einstein, by reading this book he authored in 1916. Einstein wrote this book for interested students who are not yet comfortable with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics.

A universe from nothing

This book by physicist Lawrence M. Krauss answers the deep philosophical question - why there is something rather than nothing? It is again a text that takes us back in time to the origin of the universe when there was practically none of space and time.

Dark matter and dark energy

This book by Brian Clegg is about the hidden 95% of the universe that astronomers have been confused by since the 1970s. It explores why the expansion of the universe is accelerating at a faster and faster rate and what causes it. This book is a treat for modern physics students.

The elegant universe

In this international bestseller, Brian Greene, one of the world's leading string theorists explains what the string theory is in layman's terms. He unravels the eleven hidden dimensions of the universe and introduces the superstring theory in this book.

Parallel worlds

This book by Michio Kaku covers M-theory and Everett interpretation (many worlds) of quantum mechanics. It also discusses creation of wormholes and hyperspace (a 11-dimensional wormhole) to enable humanity survive big freeze - end of the universe.

Black holes reith lectures

In 2016, Stephen Hawking delivered the Reith Lectures on a subject that fascinated him for decades - black holes. He argues that by understanding black holes we can unlock the secrets of space and time that make up the universe.

10 Engineers Who Won Nobel Prize In Physics

top 10 engineers who won nobel prize in physics

It is not surprising that there are many engineers whose first passion is physics (or mathematics). However, under unavoidable circumstances, they end up doing engineering instead. For example: did you know that Paul Dirac's father wanted him to become an electrical engineer?

After graduating, Dirac was without job. He decided to shift his attention to his first love-physics and the rest is history. Today we know Dirac as one of the founders of quantum mechanics. So, even if you might be clueless in life right now, your passion will find you in the end.

John Bardeen

Bardeen is the only person in history to have won two Nobel Prizes in physics. He received his bachelor and master degrees in electrical engineering in 1928 and 1929 respectively from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

At first, John was employed by Gulf Oil corporation where he worked for four years. But he switched career by enrolling at Princeton University in 1933 to obtain a degree in mathematical physics. John went on to win Nobel Prizes in 1956 and 1972.

Henri Becquerel

top 10 engineers who won nobel prize in physics

Henri Becquerel was born into a family which produced four generations of physicists. He specialized in civil engineering at one of the most prestigious institutions in France. Becquerel was appointed as chief engineer at the Department of Bridges and Highways in 1894.
Around the same time he was investigating the properties of chemical elements. In 1896, he stumbled upon a new phenomenon that was named radioactivity by Madame Curie. The 1903 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Becquerel and the Curies.

Wilhelm Röntgen

Röntgen was a student of mechanical engineering at ETH Zurich. He was a contemporary of Becquerel... in fact, their ground-breaking discoveries were apart by only a few months. In 1895, Wilhelm produced very high energy waves called the x-rays, an achievement that earned him the inaugural Nobel Prize in 1901.

Eugene Wigner

Eugene Wigner was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1963 for contributions he made to nuclear physics, including the formulation of the law of conservation of parity.

Wigner enrolled at the Budapest University of Technical Sciences in 1920 but he was unhappy there and decided to drop out. In 1921, as guided by his parents, he joined the Technical University of Berlin where he studied chemical engineering.
Wigner accepted this offer because he was able to attend weekly conferences of the German Physical Society that hosted leading physicists of the time including Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg and Albert Einstein.

Paul Dirac

As mentioned before, Dirac studied electrical engineering at the University of Bristol. He graduated in 1921 but despite having a first class honors in engineering, he was unable to find work as an engineer in the post-war Britain.

top 10 engineers who won nobel prize in physics

Dirac again enrolled for a bachelor degree, this time in mathematics at the University of Bristol. He was allowed to skip a year as well as study free of charge because he was an exceptional student during his engineering years.
In 1923, Dirac once again graduated with a first class honors. Several years later, he became part of the quantum revolution that engulfed Europe. In 1928, Dirac predicted the antimatter which was discovered within few years by Carl Anderson in America.

Dennis Gabor

Dennis Gabor was a Hungarian-British electrical engineer and physicist who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1971 for the invention of Holography, a technique he created in 1948 to create photographic recording of a light field.

Jack Kilby

Kilby was an American electrical engineer who was one of the inventors of the integrated circuit, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 2000. Jack also invented hand-held calculator and thermal printer. He had completed bachelor and master degrees in engineering in 1947 and 1950 respectively.

Simon van der Meer

Dutch scientist Van der Meer was born in a family of teachers. He received an engineer's degree in 1952 from Delft University of Technology, which is the largest public university in the Netherlands. Simon joined CERN in 1956 and remained there until his retirement in 1990.

top 10 engineers who won nobel prize in physics

In 1984, he shared the Nobel Prize in physics with Italian physicist Carlo Rubbia for contributions to various projects at CERN that led to the discovery of the W and Z particles, which play a role in the weak nuclear force.

Shuji Nakamura

Nakamura was a Japanese-American electronics engineer who holds over 100 patents. He won the Nobel Prize in 2014 for the creation of blue laser diodes in the early 1990s that were later on used in the HD-DVD and blue-ray technologies.
Shuji Nakamura obtained his bachelor and master degrees in electronics engineering from the University of Tokushima in 1977 and 1979 respectively. Nakamura was also awarded a D.Eng. degree from the University of Tokushima in 1994.

Ivar Giaever

Ivar Giaever is a Norwegian-American engineer who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in physics with Esaki and Josephson for their discoveries regarding electron tunneling. Giaever had earned a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1952.

5 Discoveries at CERN That Changed The World

discoveries by CERN that changed the world

More than 12,000 scientists from 110 nationalities work at CERN whose discoveries shape the future of technology and advance our understanding of the universe. Founded in 1954, the facilities at CERN include one of the largest and most advanced particle accelerators in the world.

Higgs Boson


The 2012 detection of Higgs Boson was groundbreaking for two reasons. Firstly, the elusive particle was postulated in 1964, almost five decades prior to discovery. Its search required big budget and collaboration of many countries.

Secondly, because the Higgs Boson explains as to how fundamental particles such as electrons and quarks have mass. Due to its pervasive nature, Higgs particle was termed the God Particle by several scientists. However, Peter Higgs himself didn't endorse the name.

World Wide Web


It was physicist Tim Berners-Lee who developed the concept of hypertext at CERN in 1989. Many engineers including Robert Cailliau chipped in and the first website was ready by 1991, as a tool to allow scientists to share information.

The world wide web was made freely available to the world in 1993 so that anyone anywhere could connect to the internet. Not only www, the scientists at CERN have also helped develop technologies like PET scans, which is used to detect cancers.

Antimatter


Antimatter was theoretically described by physicist Paul Dirac in 1928. Creation of antimatter could shed light on why almost everything in the known universe consists of matter.

In 1995, scientists at CERN successfully created a stable antihydrogen for the first time. In 2002 they produced antihydrogen atoms in large quantities, but for an incredibly short lifespan, just several milliseconds.

In 2011, scientists were able to maintain antihydrogen atoms for more than 15 minutes, a historic feat. This will allow them to conduct a more detailed study of the antimatter and to create stable antimolecules soon.

Weak Neutral Current


Weak neutral current, a prediction of electroweak theory, is how subatomic particles interact with one another using the weak force. Here, the word current only implies the exchange of Z particle and has nothing to do with electrical current.

In 1973, weak neutral currents were detected by CERN in a neutrino experiment and confirmed the electroweak unification theory by Salam, Glashow and Weinberg who were recognized by the Nobel Prize in 1979.

New State of Matter


In the 1970s and early 1980s, cosmologists theorized the conditions immediately after the Big Bang. They predicted the existence of a new state of matter, a quark-gluon plasma in which quarks, instead of being bound up into protons and neutrons, are liberated to roam freely.
One of the objectives at CERN is to mimic those early universe conditions. In doing so, detection of quark gluon plasma was confirmed in 2000. The then director general of CERN called it an important step forward in the understanding of the early evolution of the universe.

Summing up


You will be surprised to know that of all the people working at CERN, only 3% are physicists. They employ technicians, engineers, IT specialists, writers, etc. who not only aid the advancement of physics but also help change the world by innovating medical, computing and aerospace technologies.

10 Roger Penrose Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

mathematician roger penrose 10 facts

Nobel British mathematician and physicist Sir Roger Penrose is popularly known for black hole singularity theorems which later on inspired Stephen Hawking's singularity theorem for the entire universe. In 2020, Penrose won the physics Nobel Prize for work done in the 1960s. Yes, it took that long.

Childhood Penrose spent his early childhood during the second World War in Canada. It is quite surprising to know that Penrose was not always the brilliant man he is today. After winning the Nobel prize, in an interview, he revealed: "I was always very slow. I was good at maths, yes, but I didn't necessarily do very well in my tests."

Genius family There also was added pressure due to the fact that he was born in the Penrose family, a family of artists, scientists and chess players.

Penrose's paternal grandfather was a famous portrait artist while his maternal grandfather was a physiologist and an early biochemist.

His father Lionel was a geneticist whose interests extended well beyond his profession and included such fields as geometry and chess, which he often shared with his children.

No surprise that Penrose's older brother went on to become a distinguished physicist himself. The younger brother and sister became Chess grandmaster and geneticist respectively.

Roger Penrose family 10 facts about Roger Penrose

Love of geometry – As a student, Penrose used to create illusory objects like the Penrose Triangle and the Penrose stairs. Several artworks by the renowned Dutch artist M.C. Escher were in part inspired by Penrose's impossible figures.

Roger Penrose mathematics 10 facts Penrose Triangle

PhD Post graduation, Penrose came under the supervision of mathematician W. V. D. Hodge. Though after one year, he was "thrown out" of the class for not being able to find solution to the problem assigned to him. "I decided that the problem Hodge suggested had no solution but he didn't believe me."

For the next two years, Penrose worked under geometer John Todd and in 1958 finished his doctorate degree with a thesis on tensor methods in algebraic geometry.

Inspiration Roger Penrose was encouraged by his cosmologist friend Dennis Sciama to work alongside Stephen Hawking on the problems in astrophysics. "What are you doing with this pure mathematics nonsense? Come and work on physics and cosmology."

Lectures on quantum theory by Paul Dirac and on general relativity by Hermann Bondi influenced Penrose further. In the 1960s, he joined Sciama and Hawking to derive the Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems using Indian physicist Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri's namesake equation.

Consciousness – Apart from the problems in physics, Penrose has also explored the nature of consciousness, especially in his 1989 book: The Emperor's New Mind.

He was partly motivated to write the book after hearing computer scientist Marvin Minsky, one of the fathers of artificial intelligence, say: Human brain is just a computer made up of meat.

Minsky was of the belief that human intelligence could be mimicked artificially in accordance with a learning program. Roger Penrose argued against that viewpoint, saying: Human thought and intelligence cannot be simulated artificially.

In 1997, Penrose devised a theory of consciousness based upon quantum gravity. However, it failed to garner critical or experimental support. Hawking commented: Penrose's argument seemed to be that consciousness is a mystery and quantum gravity is another mystery so they must be related.

Religion – Roger Penrose regards himself as an agnostic. During an interview with the BBC in 2010, he stated: "I'm not a believer myself. I don't believe in established religions of any kind." Penrose is also a well-known supporter of Humanists UK organization.

Cycle of time – According to Penrose, the universe keeps dying and being reborn. In 2010, he reported possible evidence based on the data from cosmic microwave background, of an earlier universe existing before the Big Bang.

His conformal cyclic cosmology model although derives inspiration from Hindu-Buddhist philosophies is built within the framework of general relativity. Penrose has popularized the theory in his 2010 book Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe.

Architecture – Believe it or not but Roger Penrose has made a remarkable contribution to architecture as well. Penrose tiling, a covering of the plane by non-overlapping polygons, is quite a popular choice for floor designs.

mathematician roger penrose 10 facts

According to one alumnus, the campus of Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad was inspired by Penrose architecture. "The domes and the corridors were the nodes and connections respectively of the Penrose architecture."

Similarly, Miami University in Ohio, Andrew Wiles Building at the University of Oxford and Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy (as seen in the picture) make use of Penrose Tiling.
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