Thursday, March 5, 2009


Dear friends, here I am reminded of how Einstein learnt science from the two miracles. One, he was given a compass by his father and Einstein was endlessly fascinated by the fact that invisible forces could make object move. This experience made a lasting impression on him. His interest in compasses was reinforced when he found a caring mentor to hone his ideas. At the age of 12, he experienced second wonder in a little book given by his mentor Max Talmud with Euclidean plain Geometry which he called “Holy Geometry Book”. Einstein called this his “second miracle”. Here Einstein made contact with the realm of pure thought.

Similarly, Ramanujan demonstrated a natural ability at mathematics, and was given books on advanced trigonometry by S. L. Loney. He mastered this book by age thirteen, and even discovered theorems of his own. He demonstrated unusual mathematical skills at school, winning many awards. By the age of seventeen, Ramanujan was conducting his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler–Mascheroni constant. He received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam. He failed his non-mathematical coursework, and lost his scholarship. Srinivasa Ramanujan lived only for 33 years and did not have formal higher education or means of living. Yet, his inexhaustible spirit and love for his subject made him contribute to the treasure houses of mathematical research – some of which are still under serious study and engaging all-available world mathematicians’ efforts to establish formal proofs.

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