A Layman’s Guide to Photonic Crystals

The first time I heard the word “Photonic Crystal” in a seminar, I was stumped. So I decided to read about it, understand and then write about it to make it explain better to me, and you of course. Even though it is a whole graduate level class to explain, it does not hurt to quickly look at how Photonic crystals work. I have not taken the relevant graduate class. However, after reading this amazing answer on Quora, and from a range of other literature out there, I was able to make some good sense out of it. My idea was that at least by doing a little reading you get to throw around a fancy word like “photonic crystal”. Moreover, if someone decides to test you on what it means, you even explain it to them. These kind of examinations, where it is incumbent upon you to perform well, happen all the time, everywhere. That’s why it is important to learn. And well, then there’s that whole argument of expanding your mind to exercise your creative muscle by reading and listening carefully to things and people that are out of what you do.

Featured image credit: Flickr, Steven & Courtney Johnson & Horwitz (Picture)

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The Boat Puzzle

By Anupum Pant

I remember solving this problem when I was in the twelfth grade. However, I no longer remember how I did it. Nor do I remember the answer. The boat puzzle goes like this.

What if you are in a boat that’s floating in water (a small body of water) and have a rock in your hand. You choose to drop the rock into the water. The rock, as they all do, sink to the bottom. Did you just make the level of water rise, or make it drop, or did not change it at all. How? Try to answer and watch this for the explanation…