About

Hi! I’m Vasudevan Mukunth, a science writer in/from India. I’ve penned science stories for The Hindu, Quartz, Scroll and Hindustan Times, and now write for The Wire (all bylines here).

Broadly, I enjoy discovering how theories and observations are connected, and how different observations across fields can often be derived in a continuous, logical sequence starting from the first principles (this is why metamaterials spook me). Specifically, I’m drawn toward astronomy and high-energy physics. I write this blog because if I don’t write something down, I’ll probably forget it.

What is ‘edmx’?

I was just going for ‘editor: M’ but ‘edm’ was always going to give the wrong idea, so I tacked on an ‘x’. Now I can pretend ‘ed mx’ also stands for ‘editor max’ or something like that.

Why do you keep changing this blog’s name?

Because my blog means a lot of things to me, and what exactly it means to me now will only be a subset of what it will mean to me tomorrow. It’s my most intimate interlocutor on my journey to figuring out who I am, what I want to do, that sort of thing. And it’s only because it’s acquired the character of a science blog do I know that I’m interested in science (and whatever about science I’ve stated earlier). So, I’m sorry if you mind the changing names but it’s not going to stop; if you’ve subscribed to this blog, the updates will always keep coming.

Note: No links will ever break, but if you’re looking for a URL that will always point to this blog, try https://isnerd.wordpress.com/.

What did the previous name, ‘gaplogs’, mean?

A log of gaps in my knowledge and my attempts to patch them up.

I stopped using it because my relationship with my blog in the last year changed from being about learning to something more expressive and opinionated.

Do you have a favourite quote?

Yes, I do.

After a cup of tea (two spoonsful for each cup, and don’t let it stand more than three minutes,) it says to the brain, “Now, rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature and into life; spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!”

– Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat.

13 Comments on “About

  1. I am a huge fan of your work! It is always a pleasure to meet somebody who is also interested in the fields of science that deserve the most attention. If I may ask, how were you first interested in Physics? What allured your attention?

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    • You ask a good question. 😛 I don’t know, I’m just uncomfortable not know how /exactly/ things work, I guess. It’s like an itch.

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  2. Pingback: The transparency of public transportation | Sciblogger

  3. I enjoyed your reports on quasicrystals.Can you assemble them into one document,,convert to,PDFs and send me?
    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Watched Particle Fever for a second time and starting to vaguely understand the ‘big’ questions. There are two conflicting views on the higgs-boson ‘mass’ – 125 GeV was supposed to have put a nail in the coffin of susy and not yet conclusive evidence for multiverse. Is this not the case ? Just wondering what probabilistic scenarios make you think SuSy is still not dead? Will we conclusively know the answer in 2015/16.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s difficult to say for sure if we’ll find signs of SUSY by 2015/2016 but it’s likely that we will get a much better picture of SUSY and whether or not supersymmetric particles exist.

      As for Higgs mass: it is unnaturally low. Finding the Higgs boson bolstered the Standard Model, but also instigated the post-SM scenario because SUSY has an explanation for why the Higgs mass could be so low.

      Both the question of SUSY and the Higgs mass correspond to a principle in fundamental physics called naturalness. I had the fortune to meet one of its foremost proponents, Dr. George Sterman. I’ve written about our meeting here: http://strangequarks.org/2013/01/06/theres-something-wrong-with-this-universe/

      Hope this helps. 🙂

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  5. Hi, just found out about your blog and it’s good to know that it deals with topics which interest me too (a LOT!). I hate to be a nit-pick on the first day at the blog, but please let me point out that quarks don’t make up leptons 🙂

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  6. HI, This is Chetan. I am inspired to start filling My own blog after going through Your’s. What you said is absolutely correct, some things are worth doing even if they do not pay (in a materialistic way), after all we pursue science for a similar reason. India needs Science communicators, and I am happy to know of a person who has similar interests. All the best 🙂

    My small and humble place on the internet:

    https://physicssolutions.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Without exaggerating it ,what we seem to need in these grand conversations you deal with is respectful care to facts and connections without our prejudices intervening surreptitiously Equally we also need the dare to take a leap .In a sense both both the hedgehogs and the foxes and the mysterious and rational
    I love your blogs , a stroke of inspiration to name it as gaplogs

    Like

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