The Sky... The Earth... And our very core...

Three titles from Springer India caught our eye recently. These are some of the Platinum Jubilee Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy (or INSA), and deal variously with the past, present and future of some matters of interest in physics.

The first is edited by Thanu Padmanabhan of the IUCAA, Pune, on Astronomy in India: A Historical Perspective. India has a strong and ancient tradition of astronomy, which seamlessly merges with the current activities in Astronomy and Astrophysics in the country. While the younger generation of astronomers and students are reasonably familiar with the current facilities and the astronomical research, they might not have an equally good knowledge of the rich history of Indian astronomy. This particular volume, brought out as a part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Indian National Science Academy, concentrates on selected aspects of historical development of Indian astronomy in the form of six invited chapters. Two of the chapters - by Balachandra Rao and M. S. Sriram - cover ancient astronomy and the development of calculus in the ancient Kerala text Yuktibhasa. The other four chapters by B. V. Sreekantan, Siraj Hasan, Govind Swarup and Jayant Narlikar deal with the contemporary history of Indian astronomy covering space astronomy, optical astronomy, radio astronomy and developments in relativistic astrophysics. These chapters, written by experts in the field, provide an in-depth study of the subject and makes this volume quite unique.

Rs 995, in our History of Science and Physics sections, ISBN:9788184899979

The second title is on the Physics and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior: Crust, Mantle and Core, edited by Alok Gupta and Somnath Dasgupta. With high P-T experimental studies on essential mineral phases present in this crust, mantle and core it is now possible for mineral physicists to develop a clear picture about the earth’s interior. Seismological studies provide additional constraints on various petrological models. Leading national and international scientists have written papers in this issue on metamorphic processes, geothermo-barometry, generation and migration of melts in the deep crust and evolution of mountain chains. Thermal structure, convection cycle and phase transformations within the mantle and core and their correlation with respect to seismic discontinuities have also been discussed. The volume gives a knowledgeable disposition about how the earth works.

Also Rs 995, in our Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences sections, ISBN: 9788184891966

And our very core- the stuff we are made of? The subject of investigation of particle physics... and the subject of the third title, Physics at the Large Hadron Collider by Amitava Datta, Biswarup Mukhopadhayay and Amitava Raychaudhuri. In an epoch when particle physics is awaiting a major step forward, the Large Hydron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva will soon be operational. It will collide a beam of high energy protons with another similar beam circulation in the same 27 km tunnel but in the opposite direction, resulting in the production of many elementary particles some never created in the laboratory before. It is widely expected that the LHC will discover the Higgs boson, the particle which supposedly lends masses to all other fundamental particles. In addition, the question as to whether there is some new law of physics at such high energy is likely to be answered through this experiment.

The present volume contains a collection of articles written by international experts, both theoreticians and experimentalists, from India and abroad, which aims to acquaint a non-specialist with some basic issues related to the LHC. At the same time, it is expected to be a useful, rudimentary companion of introductory exposition and technical expertise alike, and it is hoped to become unique in its kind. The fact that there is substantial Indian involvement in the entire LHC endeavour, at all levels including fabrication, physics analysis procedures as well as theoretical studies, is also amply brought out in the collection.

In our Physics section, Rs 1195. ISBN: 9788184892154