Archive for April, 2019

NCERT unable to produce evidence for “Euclid”

Monday, April 29th, 2019

The NCERT class IX textbook on mathematics has its chapter 5 entitled “Euclid’s geometry”. A public grievance was lodged with the government pointing out numerous other falsehoods in the book. The grievance in the 4000 character text format specified for grievances is posted at http://ckraju.net/geometry/NCERT-grievance-note.txt. There is also a detailed version, posted at http://ckraju.net/geometry/NCERT-grievance-detailed-note.pdf.

The NCERT in its response failed to supply any evidence for Euclid. This laughable response is further proof of the total irresponsibility of the NCERT. Its implicit policy is that students dare not ask questions, for if NCERT cannot answer, obviously the teachers would be unable to answer similar questions in class.

Correcting Einstein

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Someone brought to my attention this article in the Wire on “poor” Albert Einstein.

The author, a facebook expert, is unable to separate the myth of Einstein from the theory of (special) relativity (this intellectual sloppiness is critical to his argument). I had made this distinction (between the person Einstein and relativity theory) very clear, even for layperson, in my TGA acceptance speech, on Einstein’s mistake. Einstein  plagiarised the special theory of relativity from Poincare, without fully understanding it, and consequently made a mistake.

Decades earlier, I had pointed out Einstein’s mathematical mistake (about functional differential equations) in my book Time: Towards a Consistent Theory, Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1994 (Fundamental Theories of Physics, vol. 65). Before pontificating on “poor Einstein”, Srivastava should have bothered to inform himself. He should have read at least the reviews of that book say the one by J. F. Woodward in “An Essay Review of C. K. Raju’s Time: Towards a Consistent Theory (Kluwer Academic:, Dordrecht)”, Foundations of Physics 26 (1996) 1725-1730, or by G. J. Klir, Review of Time: Towards a Consistent Theory (International J. General Systems 27 (1999) 427-8). Perhaps Srivastava reads so many registered letters, he has no time to read scientific books.

Third, because the physics involved is so elementary (special relativity is a first-year  under-graduate subject), my point about relativity was published even earlier as a series of articles in Physics Education (India). (Ironically, one of the referees for those articles was from TIFR.)  My argument was debated internationally, and my claim (of a paradigm shift) was attacked by H. D. Zeh. But the debate was effectively settled after I actually published the first solution of the functional differential equations of electrodynamics (in a journal edited by Zeh). This debate is described and explained in my more recent series of six expository articles on functional differential equations in the same journal. (References to all articles can be found in the 6th article.)

Sadly, Srivastava, is unfamiliar with all this elementary physics. He is a scientist by virtue of his job, not knowledge. He would have done better to  avoid this public exhibition of his ignorance.

The fact is that no one refuted any of my arguments, either mathematical or historical, about Einstein, in the past 25 years, since my first book was internationally published. To the contrary, on the centenary of Einstein’s special relativity paper, in 2005, the supposedly great mathematician Michael Atiyah, a former President of the Royal Society, in his Einstein lecture, endorsed my argument, against Einstein, for it is an argument readily understood by a mathematician. Actually, Atiyah plagiarised my thesis  (about Einstein’s mistake) from my above book. (Imitation is the best form of flattery!) So keen was he to falsely grab credit for my argument, that even after he was personally informed, he kept plagiarising it until he was eventually exposed and  forced to admit it, and later indicted for plagiarism. Ironically, again, two former directors of TIFR, including the late M. G. K. Menon, supported my efforts (”Petition against celebrity justice”) to bring Atiyah to book, against the Western ethics of always defending cheating by Westerners.

Colonial attitudes

However, people like Srivastava exemplify the colonial trick of using science to deprecate Indians by putting them down to establish mental authority over them. This results in the widespread but wrong impression about “inferior Indians”. To correct it, I recently wrote a series of article on “Scientific temper in ancient and modern India”. My point was that the experimental method was used in India long before it was used in the West. (more…)