Saturday, June 13, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] artists and atoms:fission and fusion

patrick and yasminers

the elections in Iran and the implications for nuclear industry in Iran
inevitably reminds us of the way fusion and fission are tied to political
agendas= the fields of high technology are areas of national competition=
there is a new 'space race' with India, China now having their own ambitious
programs for human space flight and lunar exploration,
and the nuclear club of nations with capability for nuclear energy
and weapons is an area of strategic competition

as an anecdote, i was at an astronautics congress in Hyderabad and happened
to mention to a taxi driver that we were having a keynote by Abdul Salam the
former president of India. The taxi driver responded immediately how respected
Abdul Salam was, 'he is a nuclear scientist and a great man". Here is some
info on Salam:


its interesting to see the cultural references for the Indian nuclear tests:
Smiling Buddha and Shakti , the Hindu goddess of strength

inevitably we have to link this to robert oppenheimers quoting

" I am become Death [Shiva], the destroyer of worlds..."

the cultural embedding of nuclear power as an element of national prestige
and achievement is perhaps hard to understand from within the block
of nuclear countries us, russia, france etc, and the iranian, indian
pride in their
own nuclear capabilities is linked to many other areas of their cultural
self image...

is there a particular link between the ideas of nuclear fission and fusion
and indian philosophy and mythology ?


Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister,
and Dr. R. Chidambaram, the head of the Department
of Atomic Energy, were the chief coordinators for the operation. They
were assisted by the 58th Regiment of the Army Engineering
Corps in preparing the test site. Scientists from the Bhabha Atomic
Research Centre (BARC) and the
Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) were involved in
assembling the weapons, moving them to
Pokhran, placing them into shafts in the ground and laying a network
of sensors to gather data during the explosions.
refers to test explosions
of five nuclear devices, three on 11 May and two on 13 May 1998,
conducted by India at the Pokhran test range.
These nuclear tests resulted in a variety of sanctions against India
by a number of major states. On 18 May 1974 India
exploded its first nuclear device code named Smiling Buddha. After
about a quarter century, on Buddha Jayanti, 11 May 1998,
Operation Shakti was carried out. Shakti (शक्ति in Sanskrit meaning
'Strength'), is also the name of the Hindu Goddess
of strength. Shakti was the codename for Pokhran-II.

Yasmin_discussions mailing list

Yasmin URL:

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").

HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.