A New Beginning……….

Before I elaborate on the new beginning, let me first wish all the readers a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2023.

The regular readers of the blog might remember my sister, Anagha. She has been there with me since the beginning of my blog. She helps me refine my English’s vocabulary and l call her editor in chief of my blog.
A few weeks ago, she thought of writing on something of her interest and chose science for her first post. She’s interested in cricket, lawn tennis, literature, and science. She’s a civil engineer and has completed her masters in Structural Engineering. She has yet to decide a suitable name for her blog and I thought it to be a good opportunity to open her post on my blog, which she may later repost on her own blog. Though her posts are not related to Hindi film music at all, it would give a platform to her posts before she goes independent.
And what could be a better day than the first day of the new year! So this is all about the new beginning! I’m sure the readers would find the post interesting and would welcome her.
Over to my sister… … …

Hi there !! This is Anagha, I have been helping my brother Dr Anup for some time on his blog and I thought why not write about some of the things I enjoy knowing about or like reading. Someone out there might just want to read as well !!!
So here goes, my first attempt.

Brian Cox a Modern Day Physicist

My husband was asked to go to the UK in 2004 as a part of his job. I was on cloud nine as I was allowed to accompany him. It was a dream come true for me. We went to Birmingham. We settled in and the first thing I did was to find a library. I found a lot of biographies and science books. I really liked reading them.
I started watching the BBC, the iconic broadcastor some time later. As I was browsing the channels I came across a science programme called Horizon. It was presented by Prof. Brian Cox, the scientist.
I was mesmerised by the information and cinematography and his soft soothing accent. I have to admit he is way too handsome to be a scientist. He is like a rock star. Little did I know he really is one back then and he was voted the sexiest man alive by the People magazine.


Later came Wonders of the Solar system, Wonders of the Universe, Wonders of Life. Anyway the way he talked about the solar system was literally out of this world. I never knew physics could be so interesting and could really be understood rather than trying to remember everything. I wish I was taught by him. He makes Physics look so interesting and relatable to everyday life.

Growing up in the Space era –

Brian Cox was born on 3rd March 1968 in Oldham, Manchester, England. He grew up in the age of space exploration.
Born just one year before the first man walked on the moon, he spent his childhood gazing into the night sky, perhaps dreaming of someday travelling to space himself. He was always fascinated by astronomy.
He is from an ordinary family like you and me. His mother and father worked in a bank and he has a younger sister. He was educated in a public school called Hulme grammar school in Oldham, greater Manchester area (nothing public about it, as in the UK private schools are called public schools).

Music and Education –

As he grew older however, his interests turned almost entirely to music in the late 80s and early 90s. He joined a local band Dare as a keyboardist and began to tour and record music with them. During this time, schoolwork lost priority, to the point that he achieved D grade at A levels. When Dare disbanded, maybe he thought of rekindling his love for astronomy. He studied physics at the University of Manchester at the age of 23. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree with first-class honours.

He subsequently joined in as keyboardist for another group, D:Ream, a pop rock band with many hit songs in the UK. One of their songs, Things Can Only Get Better, was used by Tony Blair as his election anthem in 1997.
This time he was trying to juggle music and his studies. However, when D:Ream disbanded in 97, he completed his PhD in particle physics.
I always thought science is not for ordinary people like me. Scientists are all nerds, studious and extremely focused. Brian Cox proves if you are interested and you put your mind to something you can do it.

Science –

He is a professor of particle physics at the University of Manchester. He worked on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. He previously held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and a Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) advanced research fellowship.

He has co-written several books on physics including Why does E=mc2 and The Quantum Universe, Black Holes -The Key to Understanding The Universe with Jeff Forshaw, Forces of Nature and Human Universe with Andrew Cohen. I have listened to the audiobooks. I really enjoyed them and learned a lot of course. I never thought science could be so enjoyable .

He has supervised or co-supervised several PhD students to completion including Tamsin Edwards a British climate scientist.

Broadcasting –

Brian Cox is a very successful science communicator and has a long and successful broadcasting career. He is best known as the unofficial face of science in the UK. He has appeared on many science programmes, on radio including Einstein’s shadow and Infinite monkey cage, a comedy science magazine programme with comedian Robin Ince.

Being a natural presenter he has also presented various science programmes on BBC such as Horizons series and Wonders of …. series. Recently he has presented The Planets, Brian Cox’s Adventures in Space and in Time, and Seven Days on Mars. I remember watching a clip on YouTube about that documentary and Brian saying as a child he had sent a letter to NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), asking politely for pictures of some mission and they sent him the photos and he still knows NASA JPL address by heart.
It must have been such a dream come true for him to go there for the Mars mission documentary later.
He was asked to be a scientific advisor for a movie called Sunshine, by Danny Boyle. The movie is about a mission to jumpstart a dying Sun with a colossal stellar bomb.

His enthusiasm and straightforward explanations of the complex phenomenon have sparked a widespread interest in science among the general public.
Many have credited his efforts and popularity with revitalizing interest in physics in youth. As he has said “The key point is to make sure that people understand that science is something they can do . You don’t have to be some kind of genius. I think that is a complete misconception. Primarily you have to be interested”. Even while writing this I can hear his soft northern accent in my ears.
He has also appeared numerous times at TED, giving talks on the LHC (large Hadron collider) and particle physics.
It’s not all science all the time, he participated in legendary TV shows such as ‘QI’ and ‘Would I Lie to You’ as a panelist. He is a natural in front of the camera.

Once he found his passion in physics, he went from D grade at A levels Maths to graduating with first class honours and PhD. Even more, Brian has had the privilege to share this love with thousands of people all around the world. And he believes the success and advancement of the human race stems from a similar passion and determination.

I remember one of his quotes, “My grandfather was born before the Wright Brothers and he saw us land on the moon. So we went from not being able to fly to landing on the moon in sixty years…if we feel like it, we can do it”. To me that feels so positive and encouraging. With everything that is going on in the world, I feel hope.
For me he is to Science what David Attenborough is to Natural History.

Awards –
Brian has received many honours and awards for his services to science and broadcasting.

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours for services to science and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to the promotion of science.

In 2012 he also was awarded the Michael Faraday Prize of the Royal Society “for his excellent work in science communication”. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2016.

Here are a few links I have enjoyed watching on YouTube, maybe you will like them as well.

1. Audio book “Forces of Nature By Brian Cox”

2. The Arrow of Time – Wonders of the Universe – BBC Two

3. In Class with Brian Cox – Brian answers student’s questions

4. Brian Cox Discusses Dark Matter & Dark Energy

5. Brian Cox Breaks Down The Science Behind Don’t Look Up

6. Life of a Universe by Prof Brian Cox ( Ep 1 & 2) – ABC Documentary

7. Einstein’s Relativity

Disclaimer –
The images, screenshots are copyright of their owners and the YouTube links are provided for the convenience of the reader. Their copyright rests with the owners.

19 Replies to “A New Beginning……….”

  1. Dr. Anup & Anagha,

    नवीन वर्षाच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा 2023 !!

    And Congratulations to Anagha on her debut post, very well-written and informative.
    I did not know about Brain Cox so it was great to read something new and interesting on the first day of the new year.
    The links seem enjoyable too. Will watch them gradually.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Dr Rajesh
    Happy new year to you and your family.
    Glad you enjoyed my first attempt. I wasn’t sure if people would like to read about science. Thank you for your appreciation.


  3. Anup and Anagha,
    Wishing you a very Happy New Year. And heartiest congratulations to Anagha for this wonderful post. I was a student of physics once upon a time. And about 15 years back I started reading popular books by the physicists. Richard Feynman was perhaps the original rockstar. For a Nobel prize winner to write hugely popular books must have been a feat. Roger Penrose was of the same class. Another popular writer I stumbled upon was Paul Davies.

    Brian Cox I find very charming. I would have to come back to the video links. Thanks Anagha for introducing us to a very lucid and handsome speaker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello AK
      Thank you for your appreciation.
      I am sure you will enjoy reading/ listening to Prof. Cox’s books, He makes Physics so interesting. I am thinking of starting my blog,so your appreciation will help me.


  4. Congratulations, Anagha, on a very well-written and interesting post! And very best wishes for the year to both you and Anupji, as well as to your families. I hope to see more from Anagha soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anagha & Anup

    Anup, the sheer novelty of the subject you introduced bowled me over.
    Very interesting biography of Brian Cox presented by your sister. I am very interested in astronomy and cosmic science. I had scanned skies for stars with a home made telescope as a school boy when night skies were dark and devoid of pollution. Here in USA I have gone to dark places, designated as safaris for watching stars and enjoyed the glorious views of night sky.
    Anagha thank you very much for the videos. Will watch them leisurely and come back again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Mr Rangan,
    I am so glad you liked my attempt.
    Science, especially astronomy is very interesting and fascinating. Thank for your comments. I hope you enjoy watching the videos.
    Happy new year to you and your family.
    Thanks again


  7. I just want to say thank you to all of you, especially to my brother Anup who introduced me to his already popular blog. It gave me a platform to find out if anyone would like to read about something I like reading.

    And to you all a big thank you, for not only going through my first attempt but appreciating it and encouraging me to keep writing. I shall endeavour to do so
    Thank again

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Many felicitations on your first post, Anagha! I trust you will find an interested audience whenever you decide to start your own blog. And thank you as well for your services as “editor-in-chief”!


  9. Hello Anita
    Happy new year to you and your family. You are so right, physics is every where, rather everything is physics. I found out after reading one book in particular ‘Why does E=MC2 ‘ by Brian Cox, I could understand a bit more. It was thrilling and joyful. Perhaps you would like to read it too.
    Thanks for your appreciation


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