December 2013

Asteroid Science: Astronomers viewing our solar system's asteroid belt with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have seen for the first time an asteroid with six comet-like tails of dust radiating from it like spokes on a wheel. Read more ....

Batteries through biology Lithium-air batteries have become a hot research area in recent years: They hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight, which could lead, for example, to electric cars with a much greater driving range. MIT researchers have found that adding genetically modified viruses to the production of nanowires - wires that are about the width of a red blood cell - could help in making better batteries. Read more ....

Lithium ion battery Researchers have made the first battery electrode that heals itself, opening a new and potentially commercially viable path for making the next generation of lithium ion batteries for electric cars, cell phones and other devices. Read more .....

Plants and trees Rain as acidic as undiluted lemon juice may have played a part in killing off plants and organisms around the world during the most severe mass extinction in Earth's history. Read more ....

Water droplet Those who study hydrophobic materials - water- shedding surfaces such as those found in nature and created in the laboratory - are familiar with a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a water droplet to bounce away from such a surface. But MIT researchers have now found a way to burst through that perceived barrier, reducing the contact time by at least 40 per cent. Read more ....

Merging black holes Throughout our universe, tucked inside galaxies far, far away, giant black holes are pairing up and merging. As the massive bodies dance around each other in close embraces, they send out gravitational waves that ripple space and time themselves, even as the waves pass right through our planet Earth. Read more ....

Glowing bright

Neon signs

I love the glitter of neon signs on shops in the evenings. These signs turn the dark night into a colourful one - some neon signs are red, some blue, and there are other colours as well. They look lovely!

One evening, while returning home, I happened to meet a friend on the way and stopped to talk with him.

My attention was drawn to a particular neon sign on a shop. There were four words which made up the name of the shop. The sign read "New Pankaj Super Shoppe". The peculiarity of this sign was that the four words, which made up the name, glowed in turns. After observing carefully, I discovered that the first word, New, glowed for one second and, then, went off for one second. This process was repeated. The second word, Pankaj, also glowed for one second and went off for two seconds before lighting up again. The third word, Super, remained lighted for one second and then went off for four seconds before coming back. The fourth word, Shoppe, remained lighted for one second but went off for five seconds before coming back again.

So, in short, each word glowed for a duration of one second but glowed at intervals of 1, 2, 4 and 5 seconds.

Then I saw the four words glowing together. I was curious to know at what intervals do all the four words glow together. Can you help me find this out?

Click here for the solution


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  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad -
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi -
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training -
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) -
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi -
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai -

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