Friday, November 22, 2013

My editorial on the 2013 Physics Nobel Prize

My editorial on the 2013 Nobel Physics prize in Current Science Vol. 105, No. 10, November 25, 2013 issue.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Nobel Prize colloquia

Yours truly has been invited by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics to present a colloquium on the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics which will take place on Monday, the 21st of October at 3:30 PM, and by the Raman Research Institute on Tuesday, the 22nd of October at 4:00 pm. Notice is hereby served to all those who wish to attend...please spread the word.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Institute Colloquium on 24th September, 2013, 4 pm, Faculty Hall, IISc, `Vistas in Elementary Particle Physics'

I have been invited by my employer to deliver the `Institute Colloquium' which is said to be a once in a career honour. It will take place on the 24th of this month at 4 pm at Faculty Hall. The title is: Vistas in Elementary Particle Physics.

I give the abstract below.

In this colloquium, we will take a quick tour through some of the most exciting developments in the field of elementary particle physics, in an accessible manner, including an introduction to the Higgs Mechanism and the recent discovery. By discussing in general the challenges, we will also highlight some of our own research results in several branches of particle physics. An effort will be made to reach all the research students in the Institute, irrespective of the branch of study as well as undergraduate students.

Update: the link has been deposited here.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Convocations and convocation robes

The students representatives at a meeting in IISc raised the possibility of a formal convocation with robes. Sometime ago, our learned minister Jayaram Ramesh said that these gowns are an anachronism a piece of our colonial legacy. Indeed, they may have come from European Universities, but where did the European Universities get them from? Do not look far, but read the address given by Mahmood Mamdani at the University of Johannesburg in 2010, which you can find here. He says, "...borrowed from the Islami madressas of the Middle East." and further that "..., modeled after the dress of the desert nomad, as the symbol of high learning."

Thursday, February 28, 2013


"...but France has a long tradition of justifying all moral transgressions in the name of art, talent and intelligence." This was too good to resist. From this article.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Our research featured in IISc Research Highlights.

Our work is featured here in IISc Research Highlights.

It is given below for fear of link-rot in the future.

Research Highlights

Determination of the strong coupling constant at high precision using renormalization group and Borel summation methods

- B. Ananthanarayan, Gauhar Abbas, CHEP

The determination of the strong coupling constant, which is the analog of the Sommerfeld fine structure constant of elecrodynamics, is one of the most important issues in elementary particle physics. The problem is a very subtle and difficult one due to the inherent uncertainties of renormalization group methods. Recently, an important new development has been advanced by a student, Gauhar Abbas (now a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai) and B. Ananthanarayan (Professor and Chairman, CHEP) from the Centre for High Energy Physics of the Indian Institute of Science, working in collaboration with Irinel Caprini from Bucharest, Romania, in the use of a particular method of resumming renormalization group effects in the extraction of the strong coupling constant from the decays of the tau-lepton, a superheavy cousin of the electron. This result was published in Phys.Rev. D85 (2012) 094018 some months ago, and has already been cited in an influential review by Siegfried Bethke in his `World Summary' for this constant for the year 2012. The trio above has more recently collaborated with Jan Fischer from Prague, Czech Republic, to accelerate the convergence of the relevant perturbation expansion in the Borel plane, as the theory is known to have a zero radius of convergence. F. Dyson had addressed the corresponding problem in electrodynamics over a half century ago. These authors have presently put together powerful tools of complex analysis and Borel summation methods and have obtained impressive results by combining these with renormalization group summation and have provided an excellent determination of the strong coupling constant with reduced errors. This work has been published in Phys. Rev. D 87 (2013) 014008 on January 7, 2013. The CHEP group has thus broken new ground and have contributed in a fundamental manner to the advance of elementary particle physics.