Author Archives: Chandra Sivaraman

What is in the empty space around an atomic nucleus?

This question occurred to me when listening to a TED-Ed podcast. Can the space between the atomic nucleus and the furthest electron be considered vacuum? Since all it has are a handful of electrons. Google directed me to the following reddit thread, which basically says that the space isn’t technically a vacuum since it contains […]

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here's an excerpt: A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 230 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the […]

Carl Sagan in Pale Blue Dot

For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural […]


PK – Raju Hirani’s stunningly audacious gauntlet to organized religion and its myriad brazen peddlers of every creed, race and denomination, who patented “divide and conquer” ages before it’s diabolical reinvention by the British, “clothed” in the adorably naive and perenially petrified persona of AK, with Anushka and Sushant’s puppy romance serving as icing on […]

Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of evolution theory, presciently writes in 1911: These considerations should lead us to look upon all the works of nature, animate or inanimate, as invested with a certain sanctity, to be used by us but not abused, and never to be recklessly destroyed or defaced. To pollute a spring or a […]

Whither Generosity of Spirit

It was my unfortunate lot to be witness to a nauseating abuse of power and human degradation the other day on an episode of “Anupam Kher Show” where two senior actors whom I happened to admire until that point of time decided that they would gang up and have some fun at the expense of […]

My Favorite Books

This list originated from a request on Facebook from my cousin, Arjun Rajan: Cosmos by Carl Sagan – one of the most epic tour de forces on the universe and all that is contained within it in Carl Sagan’s irrepressibly optimistic and exquisitely refined prose; a scientific education all by itself more complete than any […]