I have this friend of mine who is not very fond of the idea of people doing astrophysics – he says that a human trying to understand the universe is just like a tiny small bacteria in someone’s body trying to talk about the structure, evolution and properties of the human body. Well, may be that bacteria won’t be able to truely picturize the body he is residing in, or may be he will :p who knows! But for ‘human and his quest to know the universe’ – though we have understood (hopefully) just a tiny portion of the space and time, it still amazes me to see how just (mainly) by looking at the light (electromagnetic radiation) from distant sources, we can understand so many things happening out there and make so many predictions (which are verified experimentally later) and talk about exotic things (like different stars, Active Galactic Nuclei, Black Hole, Planetary Nebula etc) where we have not even stepped on.
Astonished by the cosmos and the ability of human to understand it as much as we do, Anil Ananthaswamy (the author of the book ‘The Edge of Physics’ and a consultant editor of New Scientist in London) goes for a ‘journey to earth’s extremes to unlock the secrets of the universe’. From Atacama Desert to Antarctica, from the top of Himalayas to some abandoned mine far below the sea level in North America – he travels around the world looking at telescopes, detectors and meeting the scientists who have dedicated their life to work for a better understanding of our existance and our place in the cosmos.
Though I have not ‘yet’ read his book, but I watched a TedTalk video of him talking about his experience while exploring some of the earth’s most extremely remote places giving us a glimpse of how cutting-edge research is done. I found it worth sharing, and hence here it goes 🙂 –