## Sunday, November 13, 2011

### Physics & Lyrics

How many times have you read a poem (or listened to a song) about Scientific terms and concepts? Maybe 2 or 3 or for some, it may even be a negative number. So, this post is dedicated to making that number increase by 1.

You must know about Initial Value Problems (IVP) & Boundary Value Problems (BVP), right? You don’t? Ohh… then the following sher will define these for you:

वो अंजाम की इब्तिदा चाहता है
मैं आग़ाज़ का इर्तिक़ा चाहता हूँ

Wo anjaam ki ibtida chaahata hai
Main aagaaz ka irtika chaahata hun

(S)He wants the beginning of the end
I want an evolution of the beginning

-शीन काफ़ 'निज़ाम' (Sheen Kaaf ‘Nizaam’)

For Urdu-illiterate people like me, the main four words appearing in the above sher need to be translated to simpler terms, which I do now:

अंजाम = अन्त (End)
इब्तिदा = प्रारम्भ (Beginning)
आग़ाज़ = प्रारम्भ (Beginning)
इर्तिक़ा = विकास, प्रगति (Development, Progress)

Everything above in Hindi is reproduced from the following book, which has inspired a few posts (actually, this cover image should have already appeared in earlier ones!):

Now it should be obvious that those two lines define IVP & BVP. IVP is defined by the second line, which basically means give me the initial conditions of the system and I’ll predict what happens next or in passive voice: how does a system evolve given its starting configuration? That means BVP is defined by the first line, which tells you to give me the initial and final conditions and I’ll find a ‘path’ which connects those two or in passive voice: how does a system go from a given starting configuration to a given final configuration?

Isn’t the sher beautiful & profoundly deep? Wait… What? You want real, physical examples of such problems now? Oh come on, don’t ask a theoretical physicist for physical examples, I’m not a phenomenologist! Anyway, that was just a joke I’ve been trying to get out of my system for a long time. Then, let me give a very simple example… IVP: You earn X amount of money, so what will you do with it? BVP: You earn X amount of money per unit time and you want to buy something that costs Y(~3X), so how’ll you go about the purchase? Hope that helps!

The eternal question a human faces over the duration of his lifetime (or even after-lifetime) is “What does one want?”. And in my view, the following (un-translate-able) sher captures that emotion very well:

दुआ को उठा तो दिये हाथ लेकिन
ख़ुदा जाने क्या मांगना चाहता हूँ
-शीन काफ़ 'निज़ाम'

The answer simply is “Nobody knows!”. If someone wants to give the above Sher’s translation a try, be my guest and comment. I leave you with another beautiful Ghazal regarding

Love, Pain & the Likes