In my blogpost titled Carmel (June 28, 2017) I announced that I was taking a break from blogging to work on a book. I knew that nobody would care but I made the announcement anyway to create pressure on myself. Three readers sent email and six readers gave me a “like” under the “Carmel” post. That was the extent of encouragement I received.
I used to think that the blogging on weekends and the 10 hour workdays in the office were preventing me from focusing on my book writing. It turns out that I was mistaken. My excuses were just that: excuses. After I stopped blogging my weekends were free to work on the book but I kept staring at the blank page. The structure imposed by the book format and the pressure to say something new paralyzed me. Deep down, I think, I also wanted to create a distance between my earlier writing and the book.
After few months of paralysis I got started. In the middle of the book project, I became overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. During this second episode of paralysis I felt I was forsaken. I felt that I was not worthy of inspiration anymore.
I have read somewhere that it is never too late to quit on a book project. One thing became clear to me. I will never be able to complete the book I wanted to write. The solution then is to write a less ambitious book. My blog site contains many half-baked ideas. It would be a shame if I do not develop those half-baked ideas and present them in a coherent way under a unifying theme. By God’s Grace I will complete such a book. I don’t know when but I will complete it.
PS: While working on the book I think I will publish blog posts every once in a while.
- On October 16, 2017, very important experimental observation was announced. In a series of papers, almost 1/3 of the world astrophysics community reported the first observation of gravitational waves from the collision of 2 neutron stars which released gravitational waves followed by electromagnetic radiation while forming heavy elements in the process and ending in a black hole. From this single event many theories were tested. On the day of the announcement Matt Strassler’s summary was the best expository writing.
- CERN LHC delivered 50 inverse femtobarns worth of collisions to ATLAS and CMS detectors in 2017. See the charts here.
- Physics beyond Standard Model: there is progress on multiple fronts (collider particle creation experiments, neutrino experiments and precision measurements of particle properties) but findings are not statistically significant yet.
- 21cm absorption line at the cosmic dawn: I highly recommend Adam Falkowski’s summary of the EDGE observatory’s findings regarding the 21cm absorption line.