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Published by Sriram Ramakrishnan
Check out citizen's supplement-- Antariksh- The Science Newsletter
Check out citizen's supplement-- Antariksh- The Science Newsletter

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Published by: Sriram Ramakrishnan on Sep 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Rediscovering Science 
What’s the big fuss about 
It’s not that I often take fancy to a gadget. I encounter tons
of them, not physically maybe but through online reviewsand friends. Most of them are superfluous and are nothingmore than objects of geek-
chic .Maybe that’s what gadgets
are about, but to me a gadget is good only if it serves youin some way.I want to write about the Android OS that runs on my
phone. It’s simply powerful if used in the right way and
has tones of features that make it very useful in your dailylife. Android phones come in myriad designs and versions.The most popular ones are 2.2 and 2.3 (as of now).Android has a well-designed UI, is fast and has lots of se-curity features. But what truly makes it different is its abil-ity to serve as a platform for a mind boggling number of applications. For e.g., the PNR tracker, lets you find infofor your railway PNR right from your mobile. No need toreload the crappy IRCTC website or stand in a queue atthe railway station. Need some Bollywood gossip? You gotan app for that. News, Facebook? Check.
Well when an Android phone is not connected to the ‘net,it’s just a normal phone. But give it an internet connection,
 boy wait until it springs to life. Your Google calendar willsync with your Google account.Your Gmail app will automatical-ly download all your mails andattachments. Want to send thephoto you clicked to your friendin Chennai? Just mail it rightaway without having to login intoyour account.Traveling has never been this easy or simple. As long asyou have the GPS, G-maps and an Android phone, your chances of getting lost are very less unless you are in themiddle of the Sahara or Siberia.The Android market is full of cool and delightful gamesthat will keep you engaged for hours with sniper shootingto Sudoku. And yes all Angry Bird versions are availableand many are free of cost.What started as a small project in 2003 turned into one of the biggest game changers of the current era! From itshumble beginnings, Android has displaced many OSes andtraditional phone makers to become the market leader inOSes. What really make it successful are its constant inno-vations in terms of features and user experience. With sup-port for Near Field Communications and the EmbeddedAPI for controlling Home electronics, Android is all set to become the center of your world where you use it controlall the electronics around you .Its key strength is its always built with the user in mind , making it a truly successfuldevice err, gadget. So, if you itching for a phone get anAndroid. The experience will truly be wonderful.
-N. Govindarajan II Year, M.Sc (SE) 
The roundabout way of doing things 
Remember the scene where the chota clown Kamal avenges the first of his dad’s killers in
Aburva Sagothargal or the ingenious pranks the kid in Home Alone pulls on the dim wit-
ted thieves? That’s CONTRAPTION for you! CONTRAPTION is the ultimate applica-
tion of the most basic concepts of mathematics and physics. Of course, you would ques-
tion: “Why use 100 odd steps to achieve something as simple as switching on a radio (seethe pic!) when it can be done by the simple press of a button within the blink of an eye?”
This is because CONTRAPTION drives you to understand and apply every basic theoret-ical concept we have studied right from projectile motion to Hooke
s Law.The five of us (Vinoth Kumar, Subramanian, Thennapan, Arun Prabhu, Prasanth) were
introduced to the concept of CONTRAPTIONS in QUEST ’10 and indeed it was a fun
and brain cracking experience. We let the maximum level of perplexed confusions runover our human in-
 built CPU (that’s the CONTRAPTION way of referring to the brain)
and finally came up with a number of sequential steps to do the mundane task of lightinga serial bulb. Sounds easy right? But then this was no easy task in the world of CONTRAPTIONS! Believe us when we say that none of us knew what a contraptionwas. Our only aim was to just take part in it.It was not what we had studied or the books we referred to, that came to our rescue while building our CONTRAPTION. All the funny thoughts that crossed our mind took shapeas a physical unit. The implementation phase was a chaos. We had to sacrifice some of our best ideas for the lack of equipment, yet we emerged successful.
Lessons learnt:
Never try to burst a water balloon with a pin.
The most difficult task in the world is to make a ball stand at the top edge of a slope.
Engineering books provide the required elevation for placing contraption units.
The best lesson is when working as a team never work seriously as it spoils the funand makes the work boring.
-E. Vinoth Kumar  III Year, EEE 
W SUF OS? 
- A N
It’s amazing that most of us are not aware that sugar is inherently flam-
mable. Anyone who's had a bad experience caramelizing custard sprin-kled with sugar can attest this. Imagine you're in a closed room coatedwith a thick layer of sugar dust. You smack your hand down on a tabletop, disturbing some of the sugar dust and dispersing it into the air. If you light a match, you could see the ensuing explosion in slow motion,what appears to be a single, instantaneous burst is actually a chain reac-tion. The ignited sugar dust particle ignites another particle and so on.The entire process is fueled by the oxygen in the room, and since thedust is suspended in the air, it interacts with the oxygen more easily thanwhen it's settled on the table. The chain reaction produced from the ig-nited sugar dust particles produces energy. This produces compressionof air. When this buildup occurs fast -- as can be the case indoors -- youhave an explosion.
-P. Subramaniam III Year, Mech

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