Sinking & Swimming in SUSY

For quite some time I’ve been thinking of blogging along as I try to learn Supersymmetry and related stuff, but it’s taken quite a few pushes from several friends to overcome the initial inertia barrier. Today is as auspicious a day as any, so let me start. After some thought, I’ve decided that I’ll let my posts slant more to the side of popular science with lesser equationy stuff, mainly for the following reasons:

  1. Anyway have to work out most of the equations as part of my project, so posting at a more expository level here, will complement that by forcing me to think up of why certain things work the way they do, how to better look at things, & most importantly, ensure that I actually understand what I’m doing.

  2. I’m lazy, and it’s pain to typeset equations in HTML, (made more horrible by wordpress not supporting MATHML)

So, here’s hoping I’ll start soon tomorrow!

The Gamma Song

Well, the idle mind is the devil’s workshop, but I’d say that a busy one, is a storehouse of crazy, arbit, stupid, meaningless & unwanted creativity. This time during the endsems, Shankar & I came up with “The Gamma Song“. It’s another parody of the famous(?) Llama Song[1] Check it out if you like Physics/Maths/Stupidity or just have a lot of free time.

The Lyrics:

here's a gamma,there's a gamma
and another little gamma,
real gamma
virtua' gamma,
gamma gamma

gamma gamma,
gamma gamma,
gamma gamma

I was once a Tensor,
I lived in a space,
but I never saw the way
the indices were raised
I was just an A-mu,
but that fixed a gauge,
And now listen little child,
to this verbiage

did you ever see a gamma,
miss a gamma
hit a gamma,
gamma's gamma
curve of gamma
gamma gamma

Affine gamma,
Dirac gamma,
Chiral gamma,
gamma with psi bar
a drama,
gamma gamma

is it all in bold now?
is this all so weird?
is it made of tangent bundle?
Now our song is losing spin,
we've run out of ... look!
time for me to retire now,
and become a crook!

QFT … or why you should be glad I’m not a poet

Quantum Field Theory, it's come a long way,
Since Oscar & Walter started out one day,
Rewriting Schrödinger's equation in a relativistic way,
But their effort was partly in vain,
For the electron did not see fit to deign,
Being a spinor with spin h-cross by two,
Physicists they were left without a clue.

Then along came Paul, stared into the fire,
Pulled out an equation with anticommuting stuff,
Alack! Alas! The equation seemed wrong,
Negative energy eigenvalues it did acquire,
There was a solution, though it was rough,
Fill the vacuum with an electron sea,
Now if there is a hole where an electron should be,
Why! That is a positron can't you see?
Those were the days of old QFT

Skip forward in time, two dozen more years,
And Richard and Julian, and Shinichiro San,
They smoothened the wrikles and layed rest to fears,
And things it seem'd were falling in place,
Till other new problems blew up in our face,

Are neutrinos massless? Are quarks confined?
Is Gravity quantised? Howe'er shall we find?
M-theory, and unification, why it's all still a puzzle,
And science marches on from hurdle to hurdle!
From this eternal story we can surely surmise,
That theories are made, and problems are solved,
These theories then fade, as new problems arise.

Had to post something . . .

If you were only 1 inch tall
you’d ride a worm to school,
The teardrop of a crying ant,
would be your swimming pool

Nice comic

On the Superiority of Pandas over all Felines … and um … ninjas of course

Still and quiet feline form,
In the sun, asleep and warm.
His tail is limp his
Whiskers drooped.
Man, what could make
This cat so pooped?

Bill Waterson

Gentle Panda, e’er so great,
Could you please elucidate,
That tiger which now looks all dead,
Why you hit him on the head?


La Trama

Thanks to the friendly folks at zbb and google, I recently put together this translation of Borges’s story La Trama.

The original story is available here.

The translation:

The Plot
To his complete horror, Caesar, harassed at the foot of the statue by the daggers of his impatient friends, discovers among the blades and faces, that of Brutus, his protégé, perhaps his son, and no longer defends himself, exclaiming, “You too, my son!” Shakespeare and Quevedo record the pathetic shout.
Destiny is pleased by repetitions, variations, symmetries; nineteen centuries later, in the south of the province of Buenos Aires, a gaucho is attacked by other gauchos; whilst falling, he recognizes a godson of his, and says with vague recollection and mild surprise (these words must be heard, not read): “Pero, che!*” They kill him, and he does not realise that he dies so that a scene may be repeated.


* ¡Pero, che! -> ‘What the..? Hey!’

Still not sure what to make of it.


Creolisation or Code switching?

“Tuné book padichi kar liya?”
X-SAMPA [tu:ne buk p@d`ici: k@r lIja]

A typical sentence, I’d use with my sister or some of my cousins, much to the chagrin of my parents, who had long given up on trying to persuade not to mix languages (basing this on their perhaps, true claim that the usage of such a mixture would render us incapable of mastering any one of them). To us this weird pidgin mixture of Hindi, Tamil & English was the closest, thing we had to a mother tongue, being Tamilians growing up in the Hindi belt. All communication with friends at home and school, was obviously in Hindi, yet somehow we always fell back on this creole for all communication among ourselves.


Now, what amazes me is how quickly, unintentionally, this language developed a sort of unwritten grammar of it’s own far more comprehensive than what I had expected. Some examples are:

  • Pronouns are almost always from Hindi
  • Case markers also from Hindi except for the Dative where we often used the Tamil -əkku
  • Verbs almost always from Tamil though often inflected as in Hindi (or Hindi auxiliary verbs used alongwith them)

There are several more interesting features such as the strange usage of the English suffix -ify applied to Tamil verbs which were followed by a Hindi verb as in Tuné tani kudichi-fy kar liya?(tu:ne t@n`:i kud`icif@i: k@r lIja) to mean have you drunk water?


I’m not sure whether such a pidgin can be thought to have undergone a certain ammount of creolisation, considering that we started using this language at quite an early age. I think it would be highly unwise to try to linguistically analyse it any further purely from my memory, without hard data. Next time I go home, I’ll try to record some conversational data with my sister, to subject it to further analysis.