Tag Archive: Puzzle


    This post is (partly) an answer to the puzzle that I posted here (Why’s the sky dark at night?).                                                                                                            Did I say partly? The reason is that this “paradox”(The Olber’s Paradox as it is [in]famously known) has yet to be completely answered.

 According to Henrich Olber, the   sky should look something like the image that I found on Wikipedia(and found particularly apt for this post). But that’s not the case, right? Several explanations have been proposed for this somewhat ‘strangeness.’

Theory 1: Dust present between the stars and the galaxies veils the light that we should be seeing.

What’s wrong with it? The dust from the stars would eventually heat up and start radiating the light.(that’s one theory that eats the “dust”)

Add-fact: Even if all the matter in the Universe were converted to Energy(the famous e=mc^2), given the immensity of the Uni., the   energy would be just enough to raise the temperature of the Uni. to 20 kelvin(that’s about -253 deg.Celcius- not very much, huh!)

Theory 2: Let’s bring some “Big-Bang” to this paradox. Galaxies are dispersing, always running(or flying) away from each other(that’s the Big-Bang Theory!). So, a phenomenon known as the redshift occurs. As a sidenote, redshift is the same phenomenon that occurs  when the pitch of a siren increases when it approaches you and lessens as it moves away(here’s an audio). The main difference here is that it’s light. As another sidenote, light consists of a spectrum, there is the visible region(made up of the colors), there is the microwave region(the name says it all), the radio region and a host of other. The difference is the frequency with which vibration occurs. Returning to our paradox now.

So, according to the theory, the visible part gets shifted to the invisible infrared part(are you still with me?) and that’s why we do not see the light(literally).

Something’s wrong, again!! : The problem with this explanation is that if there is a shift in the visible region, then, there should also a shift from the other Ultraviolet region to the Visible one and we are (again) at square one.

What, another theory(3)?: Yep. This one’s a little tricky. The dark sky is due to the large distance light has to travel to reach us. It is, more scientifically speaking, attenuated as it reaches us.

Triple Trouble:Let’s take a concentric layer on which stars are uniformly spaced. If we decrease the distance from the centre, the ellipse formed will be shorter and thus, there will be lesser stars on this one. Now, we would be right if we said that the light from the distant stars gets attenuated by a certain factor f when it reaches the other stars. However there is a factor f  more stars on the larger ellipse. The net effect is a cancellation!

What’s Generally Accepted: Today’s most apt explanation is “The Universe NOT being infinitely old although infinitely large”. Light has a finite velocity(~300000 kpsecond) and light from the distant galaxies takes some time to reach us. For e.g light from the sun takes about 8 minutes to reach the Earth, so we’re seeing the sun as it was 8 min. ago. As it stands, our Universe is approx. 13 billion years old. So, we cannot see light beyond that! Galaxies, on the other hand, do not live infinitely, their emitted light dim. These two conditions prevent a fully blazing night sky to be seen.

The Trouble: Just Jokin’, I leave it to you to find it and possibly gain International fame!

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“He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

“An Ancient Puzzle!”

I created this riddle while trying to sleep. And , I have decided to post it here, hoping that, unlike me, you could possibly get some sleep pondering over this.

An Ancient Puzzle
I am literally “the one that cannot be cut” ;
Yet so many times, people have tried to open me up ;
Aeons have I lived ;
But unbeknownst most have I been;
Everywhere and Everything I am ;
Yet, ye can see me only through a ‘cam’ ;
Mostly empty I am inside ;
Save for a dot that always hides;
Allow me to tell ye of my family ;
A Brother I hath ;
So much we hate each other that we should never touch ;
Though we love each other so much that nothing can prevent us from meeting as such ;
Three Sons have I ;
Two are opposites- they never see eye to eye ;
One is always neutral about them as am I ;
Change my attire many times I must ;
Losing my sons every time, only just ;
Yet, do so I always hath ;
For from the natural law, no one escapeth ;

Can ye, O stupefied reader ;
Find me in this Puzzler? ;

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THE ANSWER

I find it rather strange that no one could find the answer(I prefer not to consider that no one came on this post). Even stranger given that I wrote the answer almost times in “A Brief History… Of Everything”.

The ‘very’ simple answer is …THE ATOM! Allow me to clarify:

An Ancient Puzzle
I couldn’t think of a better name

I am literally the one that cannot be cut;
“ATOMOS”(that’s atom in Greek) literally means ‘indivisible’ or ‘not to cut’

Yet so many times people have tried to open me up;
This refers to the scores of curious little men who have tried countless times(and finally succeded) to probe the atom and its structure

Aeons have I lived;
The atom(of Hydrogen and Helium is) ‘only about 350000 years younger than the ‘Big Bang’- that makes the atom about 13.7 billion years old. Still in its teen years, right?

But unbeknownst to most have I been;
There are not many people out there who know what the atom is all about( this seems to include those who have read this puzzle as well!)

Everywhere and Everything I am ;
Cannot be clearer than this. I’ll just use Lord Kelvin’s sayying to enumerate one measure of the atom- the mole.
Kelvin said that if you decided to mix a glass of water in the Ocean and took another glass from this mixture, you would get a hundred of your original atoms everytime. This may sound confusing. A better explanation goes thus: “remember that everytime you drink a glass of water, you are drinking atleast one atom that went through Aristotle’s bladder!”(I stopped looking at a glass of water in the same way after I heard this explanation)

Yet, ye can see me only through a ‘cam’;
The only way to ‘see’ the atom nowadays is to use an STM(scanning tunnelling microscope) or an AFM(atomic force microscope). Fact is we cannot ‘see’ it in reality as the atom is way smaller than the smallest wavelength of light that we can really see(red, blue…). So, scientists use electrical impulses to ‘see’ it in a screen. Enough explanations now, moving on…

Mostly empty I am inside ;
Our dear friend Rutherford would have quite a lot to say about this. He was the first to put forth the idea.In his own words: shooting the atom with alpha particles(helium nuclei) is trying to stop a bullet with a tissue paper!

Save for a dot that always hides;
Yup, that’s the nucleus we’re talking about- the good old house for the neutron and the proton.

Allow me to tell ye of my family;
We’d love to hear about them!

A Brother I hath;
That’s the anti-atom(all the stuff about anti-matter). It contains the anti-particles of the atom.(positron for electrons, anti-proton for proton and anti-neutron for neutron).

So much we hate each other that we should never touch ;
Now for the most infamous equation in history. e=mc^2. All their masses become pure energy upon meeting(gamma rays and stuff). Old Einstein would be so happy!

 

Though we love each other so much that nothing can prevent us from meeting as such ;
Positive negative, action and attraction- that’s what this is all about.

Three Sons have I ;
And then were the neutron, the proton and the elecron.

Two are opposites- they never see eye to eye ;
Proton rhymes with positive and electron with negative charges. They are opposites( though there are quarks but that is not very relevant here)

One is always neutral about them as am I ;
Neutron rhymes with neutral. The atom is neutral as well- equal positive charges and negative charges cancel out. If that wasn’t the case, you would probably have been stuck(literally) to your laptop screen while reading this !

Change my attire many times I must ;
That’s the case of Radioactive Decay! An unstable atom changes to a more stable one.(google ‘fukushima’ and there’s nothing you wouldn’t know about it). There are many types of decays.

Losing my sons every time, only just ;
An example would clarify things up. In a Classic Decay type, Uranium(the stuff used nuclear) changes to Thorium by emitting helium nucleus( 2 protons and 2 neutrons). The process can be understood by simple addition of numbers.

Yet, do so I always hath ;
For from the natural law, no one escapeth ;
Could not be clearer. Decay always happens whenever it has to.

Can ye, O stupefied reader ;
Find me in this Puzzler? ;
I doubt that I have to explain this part!!

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We’ve got no money, so we’ve got to think.“Rutherford

 

 


 

A Classic!

Hey guys,

For the first “Crazy Puzzle”, I would  like to present a “classic“. For those who already have been through it, it is called the “Nine-Dot Puzzle”(if it really matters). Anyway, this one is for you who are seeing this puzzle for the first time.

Just a bit of advice, though, do not try to “google” the solution after several minutes,”just hang on”. Believe me, finding this solution on your own is a big “AHA” and will be well worth the time you took!

So, ready for a “braingasm”( One last advice: “Do NOT limit yourself to the box!)

Here it is:

The Nine Dots

Now the question: Using a pencil(or anything else), try to cover all the dots with 4 straight lines. The catch- you are not allowed to lift your pencil from the paper while making the lines.

I will give the answer in the next post and write some more interesting puzzles!

Till then:

“Logic can carry you from A to Z through 25 alphabets but imagination makes you fly all over them”- By Vasish(Plagiarized from Einstein!)

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Okay, now for the solution. I really hope that there have been atleast one person out there who tried to find it.  The answer is quite easy. Remember the hint that I gave above (“do not limit yourself to the box). There was no figurative meaning hidden there. Really, write outside the box, that’s the solution. Here it is:

That’s it then!

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p.s. check my “Ancient Puzzle”(I just Invented it!)