Thus Spoke Sudarshan: An Interview with God's Own Physicist

Thus Spoke ECG Sudarshan: Interview with God's own Physicist.

This is a compilation of Sudarshan's interviews with Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Urjith A Yajinik and GK Rajesh.

Biographical Sketch.
*Sudarshan was a very famous Physicist of India, who challenged Albert Einstein's theory that nothing with mass could travel faster than light.
*Sudarshan discovered the possibility of existence of certain particles named Tachyons , which could travel faster than light.

Birth and Education

*Born in Kottayam, kerala in 1931 as Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan.
*His contributions in Physics range from formulating fundamental ideas in particle Physics to understanding quantum nature in light.

*He was born and completed his basic education in Kerala.
*Graduated from CMS College, Kottayam.
*Later secured master's degree in physics from Madras University.
*After that he joined Tata Institute of Fundamental Research..
*There he worked with Homi Bhaba, the father of Indian Nuclear Program.

"After that he moved to Texas and worked as a professor in Physics at Rochester University and University of Texas, for 40 years.

His Major Contributions.

"VA Theory- a theory about weak interactions between subatomic particles.

*He continued his research work in weak interactions in collaboration with famous scientists like Marshak , Weinberg and the like.
*He has also made major contributions to the field of Quantum Optics.

*He was the first scientist to propose the existence of ' tachyons', particles that can travel faster than light.


*Though he was eligible for Nobel Prize he was subject to prolonged neglect.
*However, he was awarded the Dirac Medal of the ICTP in 2010
*Padmavibhushan in 2007.
*Kerala State Puraskaram in 2013.

*He died in 2018.

The Interview.

*This work is a compilation of excerpts from the interviews Sudarshan had with Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Yajinik and GK Rajesh.

*This compilation throws insights into Sudarshan's early life, education and his profession.

First Question.
Sudarshan's family and School.

*He was one among three brothers who belonged to a sort of academic home.
*His mother was a school teacher and he remembers how he was afraid of his father finding fault with his English.
*As a child, Sudarshan was fond of Maths.
He understood maths even without getting it explained.
*His fellow students, very often, tried to test his knowledge by asking him to solve maths problems.
*He remembers how he read his brothers physics textbook and got tremendously impressed by the formula of simple pendulum.
*But he says all these occured so naturally and he did it all without competition, for none seemed interested in them.

Second Question
Experience of having grown up in Kerala.

*He deems it a privilege to have grown up in Kerala, with its great culture that gave importance to learning.
*He remembers how well they were taught maths and language.
*According to him, Kerala was ahead of the rest in terms of pursuit of knowledge.
*But outside of that, both curriculum and texts were dull.

Third Question.
What does Physics mean to you?

*Physics, means everything to him.
*He says he doesn't know anything else better than Physics.
*He liked the excitement of looking at the world through the prism of Physics.

Fourth Question
Quantum mechanics
*He remembers how good his teachers were at MCC, who provided inspiration.
*Mr Thangaraj's optic course was inspiring, who loved to teach without notes, but carried chits in his pockets, which he used to pull out, at the right time during his lectures.
Sudarshan remembers, Optics was taught seriously in India, due to the presence of CV Raman, but once he went abroad, he realised that Optics was an old fashion there.

Fifth Question.
TIFR Recollections.

*He was at TIFR for three years.
*The food served was not suitable for a South Indian Palate
*The rotis were horrible.
*However they found a South Indian joint that served idlis.

*His contemporaries at TIFR were S S Jha, Raja Ramanna, Suryanarayan and K K Gupta.
*He had been assigned to the experimental cosmic ray group.
*The work involved identifying emulsion tracks of cosmic rays with great precision.
*But Sudarshan's hand was not steady and because of this reason he couldn't do it with precision.
*But his fellow student Biswas, whose hands were as steady as a rock could do it well.
*They also developed a model for this, which turned out to be quite effective.
*Sudarshan also started helping Dr Phadke's lab, whose group was designing an electron gun.
*Gradually Sudarshan emerged as a consultant to that group.
"During his first year at TIFR, Paul Dirac, the world famous English Physicist, visited TIFR and taught them a course in quantum mechanics for six months.
*To Sudarshan, he was very friendly.

Upon completion of your PhD, you were given a fellowship to join Harvard University by Julian Schwinger. What was your interaction with him?

*Though Marshak recommended me for a fellowship at Institute of Advanced studies to Oppenheimer.I was asked to wait until the next year, for it was already late ,and the term had already begun

*However Marshak approached Schwinger and he arranged a special fellowship for me at Harvard.
*I had a very short interview to test if I really knew anything beyond theories and diagrams.
*Finally I was hired.

What led to your decision to settle in the USA?

*While my advisor in India, told me that I won't make it,at Rochester they asked me where I was all this time.
*But the real reason is, he had expected to complete his PhD in 5 years, which he finished in just 2 years. After that he was offered job by Schwinger.
*In the meantime, Bhabha also offered him a job, but Marshak told him that Sudarshan already got a job with Schwinger.

So Bhabha also offered you a job.?

*Yes he too had offered me a job, says Sudarshan . 
*Bhabha was already aware of my achievements in the field of V-A theory.
* But it was already late, as Sudarshan joined Rochester.

Rochester Days: Really memorable days.

*The first year was really a memorable one.
*One day Marshak was out of his country
*The responsibility of his 10 students fell upon the next senior professor, Gabor.
*Gabor, who had some personal problems, vested the same along with teaching, on Sudarshan.

*Of course, teaching was his passion. But teaching those extraordinary students of *Marshak was very difficult.
*Chief among them were, Tom Jordan, Douglas Curry and Korkut Bardacki.

*At that time Sundaran was residing in the Bachelor's apartments, near students accomodation.
*So the students were free to approach him at any time.

*Jordan was very good with Maths, Curry though good at physics was always arguing.

*During that time Sudarshan was studying Paul Diracs proposal for relativistic theories of quantum mechanics.
*He used to discuss this with the students, who occasionally expressed differences in opinion, mainly with Curry.
*Later the three jointly published a paper on Manifest Covariance versus Relativistic Invariance.

*A new student named Mukunda arrives. He completed degree from Delhi University.
Sudarshan was almost afraid to talk to him.
Sudarshan was teaching classical mechanics that year and he had his own ways of teaching Because he hated the mechanical way in which maths was presented in the textbooks.
*This Mukunda used to take down lecture notes. Later when sudarshan went through these notes he thought that he must have been wise, as there were so many good things in those notes.

The Nobel Prize is the greatest Laurel in the academic world. But is it administered fairly?

*He said no. They could have nominated me for this prize for my PhD Thesis 1957. 
Atleast they could have given me the same after 10 years. But they didn't. Instead they gave it to someone who did something on top of what I did, bypassing the ground work done by me. 
*They gave his prize to Glauber. Glasgow, Salam and Weinberg did the next step to what Sudarshan did. Without the first step they couldn't have done it.
*Later he received the Dirac medal , that too on the tenth year of it.
*But he says that his life is not dependent on a nobel prize.

Recollections on IISC and IMSC.

*When Sundarshan took over IMSC it's budget was 3 crores. By the time, he handed it over, after 5 years, it was 30 crores.
*A lot went into building infrastructure and library renovation.

It was during that period, the academic staff' s salary was raised. 

*Sudarshan and team , then set up the Centre for Theoretical Studies in IISC, . Its mandate was to carry out research applying maths to both applied and basic sciences.

Once your name was synonymous with tachyons. now nothing is heard about it. Could you reflect on Tachyons?

*First Sundarshan denies that nothing is being heard about Tachyons. Even now Tachyons are relevant. It was two years ago, I proposed the existence of such particles and it created a great furore.
*People misunderstood things. 
*Usually as per the theory of relativity, if you give more and more energy to a particle, it can move faster but can never reach the speed of light. So people said this is an absolute barrier.

*Here lies our real problem 
*Light barrier is not the absolute barrier.
*There are particles that can travel faster than light but we are not discovering it.
*The necessity of discovering such things haven't urged us yet.
*Necessity is the mother of invention.
*To prove this Sundarshan suggests an analogy of a dog chasing us.
*If a dog is following you and if you think the dog is not well intentioned towards you, then you try to walk faster, eventually you start running. If the dog approaches you faster, then it would be very awkward and you wil be forced to break your maximum speed limit. This is the problem with us too.
*We haven't come across such a dog.
*Even the greatest scientist, Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than light.
Sudarshan denies it. Einstein made this statement centuries back, it was relevant then, but not today. Also at that time Einstein was an old man. Obviously he has said and done many good things, but what is the problem if one thing he said goes wrong?
*We need not do the same mistake again.
So if you ask me can anyone find particles that can travel faster than light, my answer would be yes.

Tachyons and application

*They have a wide range of application.
With tachyons , communication can be made faster.
*At present we are limited by the light barrier.
Once we overcome this, we can communicate with another star. 
*If we don't make use of these we are mere frogs in the ponds.

*Secondly, you can do things at a distance faster than light can travel. Your range of doing things get extended. It can bring in revolutionary changes in our life and economy.

*Sadly most of the people don't believe in Tachyons.

How do you rate the present standards of scientific research in India?. Are you pleased with the work that is happening in our universities and institutes?

*Except the hype, we could hardly see any results coming out of it.
*Most of the scientists are locked up in their comfort zones with no desire to excel.
*Progress is not made by repeating things that has already been done.

Do you think that we still lack facilities for doing decent science in India?.

*It is not the facilities but attitude that really matters.
*Today many people migrate to foreign lands in pursuit of science and the explanation they give for that is there they have better facilities.

*It is not the facilities that we do lack, but a proper scientific temper .
*Sudarshan says that one doesn't need a laboratory for doing science. I just walk around with my hands in my pocket. Once stricken with an idea I just take it down on the paper.
*Also I don't agree with the general opinion that science is doing all the right things.
*But the number of scientists today when compared to the times before is amazing.
*There were no scientists those days. The people who taught us were ones who learnt a little more and sometimes did not know very much more. 
*But now there are scientists everywhere.
Also the amount of scientific research carried out today is very high. But it could be better.
*For instance there are big national laboratories which do not do anything.
*Earlier people were satisfied with a master's degree alone. But now things have changed they pursue PhD and even post doctoral. So there is a steady growth in the rate of doing research, but it is a very awkward growth. It is just like a tumour.
*Our system has a lot of money for nonsense like God's particles and the like, but no fund for the universities and institutions.

Have you considered moving back to kerala?

*I think of it often, but I don't think I can.
*Now people here regards me as a guest.
Once I move back permanently, I fear they might perceive me as a pest.
*So I am happy as a guest.

What is your message for students today?

*Now I can see that the trait of doing things out of one's own curiosity or interest or by one's own efforts have gone from students ( inspired inquiry).
*Aa a result our education has gone down.
Sudarshan says that, while he was at MCC, I learnt more than people learnt for their PhD course.

*Also students should be aware of the interconnectedness of things. 
*Especially those who opt physics should realise that physics is a connected subject.
If you are a physicist, you must know about the melting of ice, which requires a thorough knowledge of the various allotropic variations of ice.. so things are connected. 
*One such person was CV Raman.
*Inorder to study the process scattering of life, he had to do research in a kind of blue butterflies who got attracted to blue hibiscus flowers.
*Likewise he also did research in musical instruments for his theory of vibrating strings.

*So this same sense of inspired inquiry needs to be brought into the honours class.

MG University English Common Course Issues that Matter Model Question paper

E: 19101797 Reg No : .....................
Name : .....................
Second Semester
(Common for all UG programmes)
Maximum Marks: 80                Time: 3 Hours

                           Part A
        Answer any ten questions.
     Each question carries 2 marks.

1. Why does Oe say that what happened in Hiroshima after the A-bomb was not horrible?
2. Why does the husband, in the story War, feel that his wife deserves the pity of the fellow passengers?
3. How do the young one's die according to the stoic traveller in the short story War?
4. What according to Toni Morrison are the two human responses to the perception of chaos?
5. Where do we locate the writer in the poem who rushes to his desk " to write fierce letters to the morons in power"?
6. In the story A Trip Westward where did the author's mother live?
7. "My mother had never gone to school, and though she meant always to give up her own customs for such of the
Whiteman's ways as pleased her, she made only compromises." Explain the context.
8. Why does Arenla feel that weaving is a better craft to learn than pot making?
9. Why does the poet call the roots 'the strength of the tree'?
10. What did the mysterious bird reveal to Hagar?
11. What is the difference between refugees and other immigrants and ethnic minorities?
12. What does the speaker in the poem "Refugee Blues" say about his passport?

                                Part B
           Answer any six questions.
         Each question carries 5 marks.

13. In the poem "The Old Prison" why is the song of the waves 'bitter'?
14. Reflect on the sarcasm in the passengers' discussions about paternal love in the story War.
15. How was Juan able to join the Censorship Bureau?
16. What was Grandpa Yetalya's attitude to Bapu Patil's humiliating ways?
17. Comment on the reactions of Grandma when Grandpa Yetalya throws away the crumbs.
18. What did Sentila experience while making pots after Arenla left her alone in the shed?
19. What are the responses of the alarmists and anti-alarmists to the fossil records available?
20. Why does the poet in the poem "On Killing a Tree" say that it takes much time to kill a tree?
21. "When I was born my mother said you are a refugee./Our tent on the roadside smoked in the snow./On your forehead
between your eyebrows there is an R embossed my teacher said." Describe the life world depicted in the given lines.
                                Part C

  Answer any two questions.
       Each question carries 15 marks.

22. Justify the title of the essay The Unsurrendered People.
23. Describe how Rushdie puts forward an effective proposition against censorship using comparisons and literary
24. Does the preservation of biodiversity really matter? Substantiate your views on the basis of the arguments raised by
various prominent alarmists and anti-alarmists.
25. Comment on the repeated use of 'a hostile time' as a trope of human pathos and irony in highlighting the lives caught
in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

New Timetable ( requested) for Kerala Psc Assistant professor in English for the month of September 2020, October 2020 and November 2020(updated)

Timetable kerala psc Assistant professor in English

September 2020

Syllabus for Assistant Professor English
From Early English Literature to 18th century
Module 1
For detailed study
John Donne – Batter My Heart, Canonization
Milton – Lycidas, Paradise Lost - Book 9
John Dryden – Macflecknoe
Thomas Gray – Elegy Written in a Country churchyard


William Shakespeare – Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Sonnets No 18, 30, 116
Alexander Pope – Rape of the Lock
Christopher Marlowe – Doctor Faustus

Francis Bacon – Of Books, Of Marriage and Single Life, Of Truth
Jonathan Swift – The Battle of the Books
Robert Burns – A Red, Red Rose
William Blake – The Tyger, The Lamb


Ballads – Sir Patrick Spence, Chevy Chase
Geoffrey Chaucer - Prologue to the Canterbury Tales


Thomas Kyd – The Spanish Tragedy
Edmund Spencer - Epithalamion
Andrew Marvell – To His Coy Mistress


Richard Sheridan – The School for Scandal
Sir Thomas More - Utopia
Henry Fielding – Pamela
Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe


William Wordsworth – Ode: Initimations of Immortality from Recollections 
of Early Childhood
Samuel Coleridge – Kubla Khan
John Keats – Ode to a Nightingale
P B Shelley – Ode to the West Wind


Lord Byron – The Prisoner of Chillon
Lord Tennyson – Ulysses, Lotos Eaters
Mathew Arnold – The Scholar Gypsy, Dover Beach
Robert Browning – Andrea del Sarto


G.M. Hopkins – The Pied Beauty

Thomas de Quincey – On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth

Charles Lamb – Oxford in Vacation, Dream Children


Oscar Wilde – The Importance of Being Earnest

Non detailed study 

Module 4

William Wordsworth – Preface to the Lyrical Ballads

Olauda Equiano - The Interesting Narrative (Chapter 4 and 5)


P.B. Shelley – The Cenci

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein

Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights

Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist

Thomas Hardy – Tess of the D’Ubervilles


Jane Austen – Mansfield Park

 Walter Scott - Ivanhoe

Module 5

For Detailed Study

W.B.Yeats – The Second Coming, Sailing to Byzantium


T.S.Eliot – The Wasteland

W.H. Auden – In Memory of W.B. Yeats

Dylan Thomas – Poem in October

Sylvia Plath – Daddy

Philip Larking – Church Going


Carol Ann Duffy – Anne Hathaway

Ted Hughes – Thought Fox

Thom Gunn – On the Move

G.B. Shaw – Pygmalion


S. Eliot – Murder in the Cathedral

J.M. Synge – Playboy of the Western World

Samuel Beckett – Waiting for Godot

Harold Pinter – The Birthday Party


T.S. Eliot – Tradition and Individual Talent

Virginia Woolf – Modern Fiction


Non Detailed Study

Module 6

F.R. Leavis – The Great Tradition

Joseph Conrad – The Heart of Darkness

Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway

James Joyce – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


George Orwell – 1984

John Fowles – The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Angela Carter – Nights at the Circus

Caryll Churchill – Top Girls


Indian Writing in English

Rabindranath Tagore – Poems 1 to 20 from Gitanjali

Sri Aurobindo – The Trance of Waiting

Sarojini Naidu – Coromandel Fishers

Kamala Das – My Grandmother’s House, Freaks


Nissim Ezeliek – Background, Casually

A.K. Ramanujan – A River, The Striders

Girish Karnad – Nagamandala


Manjula Padmanabhan – Harvest

Mahesh Dattani – Dance like a Man


S. N. Dasgupta – The Theory of Rasa

Kunjunni Raja – Theory of Dhwani


For Non detailed Study 

Module 8

Vijay Tendulakar – The Court is in Session

Mulk Raj Anand – The Untouchable


Raja Rao – The Serpent and the Rope

Anita Desai – Clear Light of Day


R.K. Narayan – Malgudi Days

Salman Rushdie – Midnighht’s Children


Arundhati Roy – The God of Small Things

Aravind Adiga – The White Tiger


A.K. Ramanujan - Is there an Indian Way of Thinking: An Informal Essay

American Literature

Module 9

For detailed Study

Walt Whitman – Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking

Emily Dickinson – I felt a funeral

Robert Frost – Home Burial

Wallace Stephens – Sunday Morning


Edgar Allan Poe – The Raven

Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Woman

Eugene O Neil – Emperor Jones


Tennesee Williams – The Glass Menagerie

For Non detailed Study 

Module 10

Emerson – Self Reliance

Thoreau – Civil Disobedience


Arthur Miller – Death of a Salesman

E E Cummings – Buffallo Hills

Alln Ginsberg - America

Gertrude Stein – Daughter


Hawthorne – The Scarlett Letter

Herman Melville – Moby Dick


Hemmingway – The Old Man and the Sea

Toni Morrison – The Bluest Eye


Structure of English Language and Linguistics

Module 11

Indo European Family of Languages-Old English, Middle English, Modern


Phonetics and Phonology-General phonetics-Phonetic transcription- Stress-


Morphology; Traditional Grammar and Modern Grammar- Form class 

words-Function Class Words- Fallacies- Saussure- Structuralism

Syntax-PS Grammar-TG Grammar-Deep Structure-Surface Structure-

Chomsky’s Trace Theory- Case Grammar, Systemic, 

Stratification and Tagmemics

Semantics- Lexical semantics-Metaphor-Figures of speech

Linguistics- Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics


English Language Teaching

Module 12

Key concepts in ELT- ESL- EFL- Mother tongue interference

Methods of teaching – Grammar Translation Method, Direct Method, Audio 

Visual Method, Suggestopaedia, Community Language 


Learning Theories- Behaviourism, Cognitivism, Constructivism

Learner Factors, Teaching Aids, ICT

Types of tests- Tools for Evaluation- Error Analysis and Remedial Teaching


Literary Criticism

Module 13

Aristotle – Poetics

Philip Sydney – An Apologie for Poetry

Samuel Coleridge – Biographia Literaria (Chapter 14)


Virginia Woolf – A Room of One’s Own.

T. S. Eliot – Tradition and Individual Talent

Northrop Fry – Archetypes of Literature


Cleanth Brookes- The Language of Paradox

Edmund Wilson –“Marxism and Literature”.

Elaine Showalter – “Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness”.

Jacques Derrida- “Difference”.


Karl Marx- “The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof” 

Sigmund Freud – “The Conscious and the Unconscious”; “The Id and The

Ego”; “The Ego and the Super Ego” Beyond the Pleasure

Principles and Other Writings


Jurgen Habermas– “Modernity- An Incomplete Project” 

Raymond Williams– “Tradition, Institution, Formations” 

Stephen Greenblatt – “Shakespeare and the Exorcists”


Michel Foucault – “Two Lectures” from Power/Knowledge, “The Unities of

Discourse” from the Archaeology of Knowledge and the

Discourse on Language

Edward W. Said – “Introduction to Orientalism”.


Helen Cixous – “The Laugh of the Medusa”

Eve Sedgwick – Epistemology of the Closet

Module 14

Culture Studies

Theodor W. Adorno – “Culture Industry Reconsidered” (pp 98 -107) in

Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture


Stuart Hall – “Encoding/Decoding” from Culture, Media, Language.

Laura Mulvey – “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”

Judith Butler – “Subject of Sex/Gender/Desire” from Gender Trouble:

Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.

Angela McRobbie – “Postmodernism and Popular Culture”.



Shakespeare Sonnets Explained In English | Summary | Background | Characters | Themes | Line by Line Explanation


Does it Matter by Richard Leaky summary

Does it Matter

  Today we are facing a serious global ecological crisis unlike anything human kind has ever encountered.It is not because of how our ecosystem functions, but because of how of ethical system functions. The present crisis is one that can be called as a systemic crisis ( a systemic problem is one that cannot be solved in isolation, as it is related to the overall system), and it owes largely to our foolish acts

Shakespeare Sonnets Explained In Malayalam | Summary | Background | Characters | Themes


Chapter 50: Passivisation


Simple technique to convert active voice into passive

Normally the passive voice is characterized by the occurrence of a form of auxiliary verb 'be' + past participle of the main verb.

In a given sentence if the form of be occurs just before the past participle form of the main verb, it is said to be in passive voice.

So Passive voice = be ( any form of be) + past participle of verb

So now just have a look at this and try to identify the sentence in passive voice.