pp 333-334 Editorial
pp 335-335 Science Smiles
pp 339-353 General Article
Wallace Hume Carothers holds a place of pride amongst thepantheons of twentieth-century chemists who transformed ourway of thinking, and brought an entirely new perspective toa branch of science. Polymer science flourished in the yearsafter Carothers as never before, and led to the creation of anew industry – vibrant, useful, and exciting. The greatness ofCarothers lies in the profound, yet simple questions he asked,and the clarity and definitiveness with which he provided theanswers. In a short working span of eleven years, he leftbehind an incredible legacy of achievements which ordinarymortals cannot even dream of accomplishing in several lifetimes.This article chronicles the life and times of WallaceCarothers, the men and the institutions that inspired him,his seminal contributions to polymer chemistry; the mood ofmelancholy that permeated his persona and which ultimatelycost him his life.
pp 355-368 General Article
The very idea that large polymer molecules can indeed existwas hotly debated during the early part of the 20th century.As highlighted by Sivaram in his articles on Carothersand Flory, Staudinger’s macromolecular hypothesis was finallyaccepted, and the study of polymers gained momentumbecause of the remarkable efforts of the these two individualswho laid down the foundations concerning the processes thatled to the formation of large polymer molecules, and to thosethat led to an understanding of many of their extraordinaryphysical properties. Condensation polymerizations, as thename suggests, utilizes bond-forming reactions that generatea small molecule condensate, which often needs to be continuouslyremoved to facilitate the formation of the polymer. Inthis article, I shall describe some of the essential principles ofcondensation polymerizations or more appropriately calledstep-growth polymerizations; and I will also describe someinteresting extensions that lead to the formation of polymernetworks and highly branched polymers.
pp 369-375 General Article
If Wallace Carothers was the designer, Flory was the architectand builder of the edifice of polymer science. If Carotherswas the composer, Flory was the man who wrote the notes forthe music. Carothers and Flory represent the quintessentialqualities that are needed to make great science – intuition andrationality, experiment and theory, flights of imagination anddiligent reduction to practice, exuberance and rigour.
pp 377-387 General Article
Brahma Kamal and few other related species of the thistletribe of plants are native to the Himalayas. Their flowersbloom during mid-monsoon months amongst the rocks andgrasses of alpine meadows and gorges. These extremely rareplants are not only famous for their beautiful flowers, but alsofor their significant importance in traditional medicine. Inthis article, an attempt has been made to document the diversity,distribution, endemism, status, and indigenous usesof these valuable plants.
pp 389-398 General Article
Gravitation, the universal attractive force, acts upon all matter(and radiation) relentlessly. Stable extended structurescan exist only when gravity is held off by other forces of nature.This series of articles explores this interplay, looking atobjects that just missed being stars in this particular installment.
pp 399-405 General Article
Richard Feynman once said: “nobody understands quantummechanics”. Still, those who devised it are perhaps the onesclosest to understanding their creation. It suggests that wheneverthe weirdness of quantum mechanics haunts you, it isbetter to go back to its creators in terms of their originalpublications. In the present article, the author has tried toseek help from Heisenberg’s 1925 paper, in order to reducethe weirdness of going from classical observables to quantumoperators.
pp 407-413 Classroom
In this series of articles, the authors discuss various phenomenain fluid dynamics, which may be investigated via tabletopexperiments using low-cost or home-made instruments.The second article in this series is about a simple set-up fordemonstrating the instability of Kolmogorov Flow.
pp 415-426 Classics
pp 427-427 Errata
pp 429-429 Information and Announcements
pp 431-431 Flowering Trees
Volume 22 | Issue 4
The domain part of the email address of all email addresses used by the office of Indian Academy of Sciences, including those of the staff, the journals, various programmes, and Current Science, has changed from 'ias.ernet.in' (or 'academy.ias.ernet.in') to 'ias.ac.in'. Thus, for example, the address email@example.com (or firstname.lastname@example.org) has changed to email@example.com (without the string 'academy'). Please take note of this change.