The life of the Mumbai local

Updated: Jul 15, 2019, 09:18 IST | Karishma Kuenzang

A unique outreach initiative byTIFR highlights the science behind local trains via an informative discussion in Matunga

The life of the Mumbai local

Making science fun and providing an interactive platform for the public to engage and lean more, Chai and Why? is an effort by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research to decode science in daily life. "Science isn't limited only to what is in the textbook. It's all around us, and in Mumbai, what better than to talk about the science related to its local trains that are the lifeline of this city. From physics to social behaviour, so much can be seen when travelling in a local," says Arnab Bhattacharya from TIFR, who will be speaking at the discussion this weekend. The Mumbaikar has commuted by train since he was a child. "My real observations about science in trains were in the few years I went to school in Colaba while staying in Mulund. I was the curious kid who spent two hours every day in a train, taking in the sights and sounds, and asking questions. Although, I got the answers to those questions now," he adds.

Surendra Kulkarni (left) and Arnab Bhattacharya conduct fun science workshops with Chai and Why?

Though the second speaker, Mahesh Gokhale, doesn't hail from Mumbai, he points out that the trains have evolved in terms of technology. "A part of the session will be about the cool things the modern local train system has — such as how power is sent back to the grid when the train slows down, and the new safety systems," he tells us, adding that he first took the local when he came here for an interview in 1992. "There is a worrying disconnect between science and society. With this series we provide those interested in science a platform to interact with scientists and ask questions," Surendra Kulkarni, secretary, science popularisation, TIFR, adds. And so, they will use simple demonstrations and ca­­lculations to talk about the reason behind the typical sound of the wheels, how the electric­al wires are kept straight, and the need for 'mega blocks' on Sundays.

ON July 21, 11 am to 1 pm
AT DG Ruparel College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Tulsi Pipe Road, Matunga West.

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