2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. A very special tribute to Dr Donna Strickland.

From left: Nobel Laureates Donna Strickland, Gérard Mourou, Arthur Ashkin

The Book of Genesis, The First Book of Apostle Moses, Chapter 1, verse 3 refers to the creation of Light.

2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. A very special tribute to Dr Donna Strickland.

Today, the world celebrates the invention of powerful optical tools that can illuminate God’s creation giving us new insights hidden from our view as God’s Light cannot reveal those hidden mysteries of Life.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

Puma Punku Divine Society

Nobel Prize in physics awarded for ‘tools made of light’; the first woman in 55 years honored – The Washington Post

Clipped from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/10/02/nobel-prize-physics-awarded-tools-made-light-first-woman-years-honored/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.741b3da16405&wpisrc=nl_science&wpmm=1

Notable women who have won a Nobel Prize


Donna Strickland, a researcher who was recognized for her work turning lasers into tools, became the first woman in 55 years to win the Nobel Prize for physics. (Joyce Koh /The Washington Post)

The 2018 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded Tuesday to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their pioneering work to turn lasers into powerful tools.

Ashkin, a researcher at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, invented “optical tweezers” — focused beams of light that can be used to grab particles, atoms and even living cells and are now widely used to study the machinery of life.

Mourou, of École Polytechnique in France and the University of Michigan, and Strickland, of the University of Waterloo in Canada, “paved the way” for the most powerful lasers ever created by humans via a technique that stretches and then amplifies the light beam.

“Billions of people make daily use of optical disk drive, laser printers and optical scanners . . . millions undergo laser surgery,” Nobel committee member Olga Botner said. “The laser is truly one of the many examples of how a so-called blue sky discovery in a fundamental science eventually may transform our daily lives.”

Strickland is the first woman to be awarded the physics prize since 1963 when Maria Goeppert-Mayer was recognized for her work on the structure of atomic nuclei. Marie Curie won the physics prize in 1903 and the chemistry Nobel Prize in 1911.

A reporter asked Strickland Tuesday what it felt like to be the third woman in history to win the prize.

“Really? Is that all? I thought there might have been more,” she responded, sounding surprised. “Obviously, we need to celebrate women physicists, because we’re out there. I don’t know what to say. I’m honored to be one of those women.”

Ashkin, 96, is the oldest person to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He would not be available for interviews, the committee said Tuesday morning; he was too busy working on his next paper.

2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. A very special tribute to Dr Donna Strickland.

An artist’s illustration of wavelengths of light in a laser beam. (Johan Jarnestad)

In a laser beam, light waves are tightly focused, rather than mixing and scattering as they do in the ordinary white light. Since the first laser was invented in 1960, scientists speculated that the energy of these focused beams could be put to work to move and manipulate objects — a real-life version of Star Trek’s “tractor beams.”

“But this was science fiction for a very long time,” committee member Mats Larsson said.

Ashkin spent two decades studying the properties of lasers, first recognizing that objects could be drawn toward the center of a beam, where the radiation was most intense. (A committee member demonstrated this phenomenon during the news conference by using a hair dryer to suspend a ping-pong ball in the air.) By further focusing the beam with a lens, he developed a “light trap” that could suspend a small spherical object at its center.

Ashkin used his new tool to hold a particle in place, then an atom, and, eventually, in 1987, a living bacterium. Ashkin even demonstrated that the tool could be used to reach into a cell without damaging the living system.

Atomic physicist Bill Phillips, who shared the Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work on cooling and trapping atoms with lasers, said Ashkin’s discoveries were vital to his own research. “I feel like I owe a great debt to Art,” he said.

Also in the 1980s, Mourou and Strickland were working together at the University of Rochester to overcome a problem that had dogged laser research for decades: High-intensity laser beams tended to destroy the material used to amplify them. It was as though scientists were trying to boil water in a pot that could not handle such high temperatures.

The Rochester researchers developed an elegant workaround, which they called “chirped pulse amplification.” First, they stretched out the beam with a mile-long fiber optic cable, reducing its peak intensity. Then they amplified the signal to the desired level, before compressing it into an ultrashort, ultrapowerful pulse lasting a tiny fraction of a second.

“Different people were trying to get short pulses amplified in different ways,” Strickland said. “It was thinking outside the box to stretch first and then amplify.”

Strickland was a graduate student at the time of the CPA research; the 1985 article that announced the achievement was her first scientific publication.

Students have historically not been recognized by the Nobel Committee, something critics say overlooks the work done by young scientists who are more frequently women and underrepresented minorities.

Yet graduate students are the backbone of most scientific research; often they run the experiments and do the detailed data analyses that lead to major discoveries. The prizewinning discovery of pulsars — swiftly spinning cores of collapsed stars — would not have been possible without Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who built the telescope and spotted the first signal when she was earning her PhD. But Burnell was not among the list of laureates for that prize.

The journal Nature reported this weekend that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences would explicitly call on future nominators to consider gender, geography and topic for the 2019 prizes.

Göran K. Hansson, secretary-general of the academy, said Tuesday the academy is taking these measures “because we don’t want to miss anyone.” But they did not affect this year’s prize: “It’s important to remember that the Nobel Prize is awarded for discoveries and inventions, and those who receive it have made major contributions to humankind, and that’s why they get the prize.”

CPA has been used to take images of split-second processes, such as the interactions between molecules and atoms, and it’s fundamental for laser eye surgery.

The technique is just as important to basic research.

“Fast pulse, high-energy lasers is . . . one of the key things that characterize modern atomic physics,” Phillips said. “There’s so much you can do with [them] to study how atoms behave.”

In a phone interview with the Swedish Academy, Strickland said her favorite application of high-power lasers is something she still demonstrates to undergraduate students in physics lab: White light generation.

With this technique, a beam containing a narrow range of wavelengths is shot into a medium such as water, causing the waves to spread out into a rainbow. This is more advanced than Newton’s famous experiment with a prism; whereas he simply spread out light into its component colors, white light generation broadens the spectrum contained within a beam, creating the colored light.

“It’s a remarkable thing to see,” Strickland said, and it took decades for physicists to understand how it worked.

“But that’s what scientists like to do,” she said, “is puzzle over something.”

India currently has two lasers that produce 100 terawatts (10 to the power 12) beams.

The terawatt (TW) is equal to one trillion (1012) watts. The total power used by humans worldwide is commonly measured in terawatts (see primary energy). The most powerful lasers from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s produced power in terawatts, but only for nanosecond time frames.

The Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology in Indore is in the process of installing two petawatt systems, while another is likely to be installed in Hyderabad.

Such high intensities are extremely useful in many scientific contexts. These high-power beams of light, when they interact with matter, produce such extreme conditions that are found only in the deep cores of stars, or other celestial bodies. Scientists use this to study and understand these conditions, which would otherwise not be accessible to them, giving rise to the expression ‘astrophysics in the laboratory’.

Such ultrashort and high-power light beams also help the scientists in uncovering processes that take place in the micro-world. These processes happen so quickly that they cannot be captured by anything else. High-power femtosecond (10 raised to the power minus 15) pulses have enabled scientists to ‘see’ processes such as atomic interactions that earlier appeared to be instantaneous and remained invisible.

2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. A very special tribute to Dr Donna Strickland.





Monday, June 25, 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of enactment of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which provides protection to people working in the US.

In my analysis, FLSA is fundamentally flawed for it divides workers into categories such as “White Collar” and “Blue Collar” without understanding basis for man’s existence in natural world. There can be no distinction among workers if Life is defined as ‘Knowledge in Action’. All human beings process similar kind of information and use chemical energy to perform similar kinds of sequential, guided, purposeful and goal-oriented actions described as ‘Metabolism’.

I ask US Congress and The US Department of Labor to put an end to division of workers into White or Blue Collar. As such, each employee and his or her employer must make determination about compensation or remuneration and agree upon salaried or hourly wage for performing labor. In my view, Natural Science does not validate the concept of “WHITE-COLLAR” as no human being performs executive, administrative, or professional service while operating metabolic functions of human bodies of their own. No man lives as boss, ruler, governor, or administrator of his own body.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada



Clipped from: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/whdfs17s.htm

(March 2018) (PDF)

Fact Sheet #17S: Higher Education Institutions and Overtime Pay Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The FLSA requires that a non-exempt employee receive minimum wages for his or her work, as well as overtime wages whenever he or she works more than 40 hours in a workweek. Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA, however, exempts certain employees who perform bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales duties from minimum wage and overtime requirements. These exemptions are often called the “white-collar” exemptions. This fact sheet discusses the applicability of these exemptions to jobs that are common in higher education institutions.

General Requirements for Exemptions

To qualify for a white-collar exemption, an employee must generally satisfy three tests:

1. The employee must be paid on a salary basis that is not subject to reduction based on the quality or quantity of work (the “salary basis test”), rather than, for example, on an hourly basis;

2. The employee must receive a salary at a rate not less than $455* per week (the “salary level test”); and

3. The employee’s primary duty must involve the kind of work associated with the exempt status sought, such as executive, administrative, or professional work (the “duties test”).

4. Additional information concerning these exemptions is available in Fact Sheets 17A-G. See https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdcomp.htm.

Exemptions for Common Higher Education Jobs


A teacher is exempt if his or her primary duty is teaching, tutoring, instructing, or lecturing to impart knowledge, and if he or she is performing that duty as an employee of an educational establishment. See 29 C.F.R. § 541.303. Educational establishments include elementary school systems, secondary school systems, institutions of higher education, and other educational institutions. See 29 C.F.R. § 541.204(b). If a bona fide teacher meets this duty requirement, the salary level and salary basis tests do not apply. See 29 C.F.R. §§ 541.303(d), 541.600(e). Given these standards, professors, instructors, and adjunct professors typically qualify for this exemption.

A faculty member who teaches online or remotely also may qualify for this exemption. The regulations do not restrict where bona fide teaching may take place, to whom the knowledge can be imparted, or how many hours a teacher must work per week to qualify for the exemption. The exemption would therefore ordinarily apply, for example, to a part-time faculty member of an educational establishment whose primary duty is to provide instruction through online courses to remote non-credit learners. The exemption could likewise apply, for example, to an agricultural extension agent who is employed by an educational establishment to travel and provide instruction to farmers, if the agent’s primary duty is teaching, instructing, or lecturing to impart knowledge. To determine a teacher’s primary duty, the relevant inquiry in all cases is the teacher’s actual job duties. Job titles or full/part-time status alone do not determine exempt status.

A teacher does not become non-exempt merely because he or she spends a considerable amount of time in extracurricular activities (such as coaching athletic teams or supervising student clubs), provided the teacher’s primary duty is teaching.


Athletic coaches employed by higher education institutions may qualify for the teacher exemption. After all, teaching may include instructing student-athletes in how to perform their sport. But a coach will not qualify for the exemption if his or her primary duties are recruiting students to play sports or visiting high schools and athletic camps to conduct student interviews. The amount of time the coach spends instructing student-athletes in a team sport is relevant, but not the exclusive factor, in determining the coach’s exempt status.

Professional Employees

The FLSA provides for several kinds of exempt professional employees—such as learned professionals, creative professionals, teachers, and employees practicing law or medicine. In higher education, employees eligible for the professional exemption are often either teachers (as discussed above) or learned professionals (as described below). To qualify as a learned professional, the employee must satisfy three requirements:

1. The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge;

2. The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and

3. The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

See 29 C.F.R. § 541.301. Unless the employee is a teacher or practicing law or medicine, he or she must also satisfy the above-referenced salary basis and salary level tests to be an exempt professional.

In higher education, examples of exempt non-teacher learned professionals generally include certified public accountants, psychologists, certified athletic trainers, and librarians. Postdoctoral fellows, who conduct research at a higher education institution after completing their doctoral studies, likewise generally meet the duties requirements of the learned professional exemption, and they may additionally qualify for the teacher exemption if teaching is their primary duty. Of course, an employee’s qualification for the exemption depends on his or her actual job duties and education. Job titles alone are not sufficient for determining whether an employee satisfies the duties test.

Administrative Employees

Various employees at higher educational institutions may qualify as exempt administrative employees. The administrative exemption applies when the following requirements are met:

1. The employee’s compensation must satisfy the above-referenced salary basis and salary level tests;

2. The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and

3. The employee’s primary duty must include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

See 29 C.F.R. § 541.200. Such administrative employees in higher education might include, for example, admissions counselors or student financial aid officers. An employee’s qualification for the exemption depends on his or her actual job duties; job titles alone are not sufficient for determining whether an employee satisfies the duties test.

Notably, there are specific regulatory provisions for certain administrative employees—known as “academic administrative employees”—whose primary duty is performing administrative functions directly related to academic instruction or training in an educational establishment. To be exempt as an academic administrative professional:

1. The employee must satisfy the above-referenced salary basis and salary level tests or receive a salary of at least the entrance salary for teachers in the same educational establishment; and

2. The employee’s primary duty must be to perform administrative functions directly related to academic instruction or training in an educational establishment.

See 29 C.F.R. § 541.204. Employees who work in higher education but whose work does not relate to the educational field (such as work in general business operations) do not qualify as exempt academic administrative employees. See id.

In higher education institutions, exempt academic administrative personnel generally include department heads, intervention specialists who are available to respond to student academic issues, and other employees with similar responsibilities. Exempt administrative personnel would likewise generally include academic counselors who administer school testing programs, assist students with academic problems, and advise students concerning degree requirements. Again, whether an employee satisfies the duties test for these exemptions depends on the employee’s actual job duties, not just the employee’s job title.

Executive Employees

To qualify for the executive exemption, an employee must satisfy the following tests:

1. The employee must receive compensation that satisfies the above-referenced salary basis and salary level tests;

2. The employee’s primary duty must be managing the enterprise or a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof;

3. The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent (for example, one full-time and two half-time employees); and

4. The employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or in the alternative, the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion, or any other change of status of other employees must be given particular weight.

See 29 C.F.R. § 541.100. Various positions in higher education institutions might qualify for the executive exemption, including deans, department heads, directors, and any other manager or supervisor whose job duties and compensation satisfy the above criteria.


As a general matter, most students who work for their college or university are hourly non-exempt workers and do not work more than 40 hours per week. The following, however, are examples of students who often receive a salary or other non-hourly compensation:

· Graduate Teaching Assistants. Graduate teaching assistants whose primary duty is teaching are exempt. Because they qualify for the teacher exemption, they are not subject to the salary basis and salary level tests.

· Research Assistants. Generally, an educational relationship exists when a graduate or undergraduate student performs research under a faculty member’s supervision while obtaining a degree. Under these circumstances, the Department would not assert that an employment relationship exists with either the school or any grantor funding the student’s research. This is true even though the student may receive a stipend for performing the research.

· Student Residential Assistants. Students enrolled in bona fide educational programs who are residential assistants and receive reduced room or board charges or tuition credits are not generally considered employees under the FLSA. They therefore are not entitled to minimum wages and overtime under the FLSA.

An employment relationship will generally exist when a student receives compensation and his or her duties are not part of an overall education program. For example, students who work at food service counters, sell programs or usher at events, or wash dishes in dining halls and anticipate some compensation (for example, money or meals) are generally considered employees entitled to minimum wage and overtime compensation.

Compensatory Time at Public Universities

Public universities or colleges that qualify as a “public agency” under the FLSA may compensate non-exempt employees with compensatory time off (or “comp time”) in lieu of overtime pay. A college or university is a public agency under the FLSA if it is a political subdivision of a State. When determining whether a college or university is a “political subdivision,” the Department considers whether (1) the State directly created the entity, or (2) individuals administering the entity are responsible to public officials or the general electorate.

If the public university or college qualifies as a public agency, non-exempt employees generally may not accrue more than 240 hours of comp time. However, employees engaged to work in a public safety activity, an emergency response activity, or a seasonal activity may accrue as much as 480 hours of comp time. See 29 U.S.C. 207(o)(3)(A). Private higher education institutions may not pay employees comp time in lieu of overtime pay.

Where to Obtain Additional Information

This publication is for general information and is not a regulation. For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our toll-free information and help line, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone at: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

Note (added January 2018): *

The Department of Labor is undertaking rule making to revise the regulations located at 29 C.F.R. part 541, which govern the exemption of executive, administrative, and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Until the Department issues its final rule, it will enforce the part 541 regulations in effect on November 30, 2016, including the $455 per week standard salary level. These regulations are available at: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/regulations.pdf.




In my analysis, there can be no ‘Theory of Health’ without sharing ‘Theory of Man’. The question, “What is health?” cannot be asked without raising the question, “What is man?”

In my view, ‘existence of man always precedes essence of man’. For that reason, biological basis of man’s existence must be identified to define living entity called man.

Man’s existence in any condition, good health or ill health, at any age, at any given time and place, depends upon Mercy, Grace, and Compassion( Sanskrit. KRUPA or KRIPA) of LORD God Creator. Man does not exist in Natural World because of his physical and mental work. Man needs input of matter and energy, from an external source, from moment of conception until conclusion of his entire life journey. Man’s existence is always conditioned as he cannot regulate either internal, or external factors that determine the fact of his existence.

I invite my readers to review article titled “What is health?” published in Microbial Biotechnology by Dr. Harald Brüssow. I took freedom to add few comments to his article to help my readers to examine the topic in a critical manner.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada


What is health?

Clipped from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917469/

Microbial Biotechnology. 2013 Jul; 6(4): 341–348.

Published online 2013 May 6. doi:  10.1111/1751-7915.12063

PMCID: PMC3917469

PMID: 23647782

Harald Brüssow*

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.


Medical Science fails to define the term ‘health’ for it fails to define the term ‘man’. To attach meaning to health, I must attach meaning to word called ‘man’.

Classical medical research is disease focused and still defines health as absence of disease. Languages, however, associate a positive concept of wholeness with health as does the WHO health definition. Newer medical health definitions emphasize the capacity to adapt to changing external and internal circumstances. The results of the 2010 Global Burden of Disease study provides keys for a quantifiable health metrics by developing statistical tools calculating healthy life expectancy. Of central social and economic importance is the question whether healthy ageing can be achieved. This concept hinges on theories on the biological basis of lifespan determination and whether negligible senescence and the compression of morbidity can be achieved in human societies. Since the health impact of the human gut microbiome is currently a topical research area, microbiologists should be aware of the problems in defining health.


Man represents biological community of trillions of individuals; independent, living cells with individuality. Man is also natural host to trillions of microbes. Human life must be defined in terms of biotic interactions; both intraspecific, and interspecific biotic interactions.

Science has its fashions. Suddenly the leading science journals are full of articles about a specific topical research area. Sometimes, this wave of popularity follows a technological break-through which permits asking questions that were previously impossible to tackle or at least very hard to address experimentally. At other occasions, this cumulation of top-level research reports is the consequence of large international research efforts where grant agencies provided large amounts of money, which attracted many scientists to the field. In still other situations, the scientific community realizes that a certain field of scientific inquiry has simply been overlooked or neglected and the view offered by the new insights is exiting theoretical interest and promising practical applications. The human microbiome is currently such a fashionable field. Novel DNA sequencing techniques combined with new bioinformatic tools and the general progress of ‘–omics’ technologies offer the methods; major research grants on both sides of the Atlantic provided the money and the field has been an eye-opener for microbiologists which might be compared with the time of Leeuwenhoek when microbes in our mouth were first seen in the microscope and the time of Koch when the first isolated bacterial colonies were seen by the naked eye and linked to human disease. We perceive the human microbiome metagenome as our second human genome, as a source of human genetic variability (Schloissnig etal., 2013) and as a factor influencing human health (Clemente etal., 2012). The human gut microbiome has been associated with health issues of central importance such as obesity (Turnbaugh etal., 2006), healthy ageing (Claesson etal., 2012) and most recently cancer (Arthur etal., 2012), to quote only the most prominent fields. Probiotic bacteria have also been fashionable for a while (Thomas etal., 2010) and were judged to have a scientific basis (Neish, 2009), but scientific reports aroused less attention than gut microbiota research. Probiotics carry in their definition as ‘live health-promoting bacteria’ the concept that microbes can influence our health. But what is health? If you want to boost health, you must know what it is and how to measure it.

Health: ask the experts

I ask Medical Science to apply principles of Clinical Medicine not only to diagnose ill-health but also to diagnose good and perfect or ‘Whole Health’ for man is created by entity called God who is always Perfect and Whole.

At school we heard of Socrates who asked people who are supposed to be experts and to get an answer from a dialogue with them. Therefore, I first went to health authorities like medical doctors and their authoritative textbooks that guided generations of medical students like Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (Longo etal., 2011). In the 18th edition you find ample material on pathogens, even a chapter on the human microbiome (Gordon and Knight, 2011), a chapter on women’s health, but no definition of health. Overall, one gets the impression that medicine deals with disease and not health. In a recent meeting, one of my colleagues said that the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) should correctly be called National Institutes of Diseases reflecting this disease focus of medical research. Health is currently fashionable as ‘Global Health’, but again scientists working at institutes called like this or in such programmes deal mostly with diseases. After this disappointment, the author turned to PubMed with ‘health’ and ‘definition’ as search terms and got less than 20 papers – a quite surprising outcome for such a central question of the human society. Clearly there is a problem with the definition of the term ‘health’.

Health: ask the languages

None of the living functions performed by man involve the use of any known human language.

When a term is so self-evident and at the same time so elusive that no definition is provided in the scientific literature, it is frequently helpful to investigate the words we use when speaking about it. Naming is the first activity of human beings when trying to make order of things surrounding us. Words reflect the experience of many generations and words constitute a collective subconsciousness that determines still today our unexpressed thoughts and actions, more than we are aware of consciously. In the Oxford Dictionary ‘health’ is defined as ‘the state of being free from illness and injury’. It is obviously a negative definition. Such a definition reflects the current use of the words in the spoken language, but not necessarily its development over time. The English ‘health’ derives from Old English ‘hælth’, which is related to ‘whole’ ‘a thing that is complete in itself’ (Oxford Dictionary) derived from Old English ‘hal’ of Germanic origin (the addition of the w in whole/hal reflects a dialect pronunciation of the 15th century). In Middle English ‘hal’ also became ‘hail’ with the meaning of health in greetings and toasts. ‘hal’ is related to the Dutch ‘heel’ and the German ‘heil’. In German the connections between health, wholeness and salvation becomes even clearer than in English. ‘Heil-kunde’ and ‘Heil-kunst’ are still common German words for medicine, ‘Heiler’ is a traditional or alternative health provider; ‘heilfroh’ means wholly happy and refers to a relationship between health and happiness. ‘Heil’ has also religious meanings as seen from the German word ‘Heiland’ for the Christ as Savior (or for false prophets as in ‘Heil Hitler’). The German word conserved clear links with the religious and cultic realm in ‘heilig’ (English: holy) where ‘Heil’ is equivalent with salvation in the religious meaning (‘Seelen-heil’). These connotations are still vibrating consciously or unconsciously in native speakers when using these words. In fact, from this quasi-religious context the constitution of the WHO adopted in 1948 becomes understandable when stating ‘the following principles are basic to the happiness, harmonious relations and security of all people: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. The definition has not been revised but was variously challenged for its ‘complete wellbeing’ as reflecting a fundamentalist view, referring to an ideal world of messianic expectations. Some scientists have therefore asked for redefining health to make it a realistic, measurable quantity (Saracci, 1997).

Since this language approach turned out to be revealing, let’s follow the relationship between health and wellness (are they synonyms or do they express distinct concepts?) and between health and disease (are they antonyms?). Disease is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as ‘disorder of structure or function in an organism that produces specific symptoms and is not the result of physical injury’; ‘dis-ease’ derives from the Old French ‘desaise’ (lack of ease). Wellness and illness is clearly a pair of antonyms. Illr is a Norse word for evil and was taken into Middle English with the meaning of wicked, malevolent. ‘Well’ (German: wohl) derives from a word common to many Germanic languages and means ‘in a good way’, initially as a contrast to wicked. As an adjective one of the meaning of ‘well’ is specifically ‘in good health’ (Oxford Dictionary). In German ‘wohl’ goes beyond good health, it alludes to psychological and emotional aspects (‘Wollust’: English: lust, but in Old English as in current German still in the sense of ‘pleasure’ and ‘delight’) and material wealth (‘Wohlstand’). Wellness thus goes beyond physical health and has a strong connotation of happiness, but also of hedonism (where pleasure is the chief good).

One might argue that these are linguistic associations restricted to Germanic languages. However, this is not the case: the Latin word pair ‘salus’–’malus’ has very similar connotations which were transmitted into modern Romanic languages (French: salut–maladie). In Latin ‘salus’ means health, rescue, redemption and wealth. It derives from ‘salvus’, Old Indian ‘sarva’, which meant initially nothing else than ‘whole’. We see here again the notion of completeness with health. Malus which leads then to malady shares with the Germanic word ‘small’ a common root and thus refers to incompleteness. Malus has also moral connotation (Eritis sicut deus scientes bonum et malum – the snake in Genesis: you will be like God knowing the good and the evil). Disease has long been regarded as a celestial punishment for moral failing. In many traditional societies, health surveys should not miss to ask about ‘the evil eye’, underlining the widespread magic concepts on disease.

Redefining health: medical approaches

What is Spiritual Sickness? Lust, Avarice, Anger, Arrogance, Jealousy, Infatuation, and Miserliness are symptoms of Spiritual Sickness. Spiritual well-being is integral component of Whole Health.

Recently the need for a new definition of health was expressed by the British Medical Journal (Jadad and O’Grady, 2008). A discussion via global blog conversation was initiated on ‘How should health be defined?’ The participation rate was weak: only 38 communications were counted. In an influential blog, R. Smith (2008) confessed that this issue is for most doctors an uninteresting question since they are interested in disease and not health. Medical textbooks are a massive catalogue of diseases. Health is an illusion and according to the strict standards of the WHO definition, most people are unhealthy for most of the time, so far, his comments. Research-oriented doctors complained that the WHO definition has no direct operational value – it is so widely formulated that health outcome cannot easily be measured. Health like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It turned out that redefining health is an extremely ambitious and complex goal. A conference held in 2009 in the Netherlands (‘Is health a state or an ability? Towards a dynamic concept of health’) (Huber, 2010), an editorial by the Lancet (‘What is health? The ability to adapt’) (Anonymous, 2009) and an analysis in the BMJ (‘Health: how should we define it?’) (Huber etal., 2011) proposed a few conclusions. The preferred view on health was the ability to adapt and to self-manage. With respect to physical health the term of ‘allostasis’ was introduced – the maintenance of physiological homeostasis through changing circumstances. In the field of mental health, a sense of coherence was identified as defining criterion. Social health included people’s capacity to fulfil their potentials and obligations, the ability to manage their life and to participate in social activities including work. R. Smith summarized this into the phrase ‘health is the capacity to love and work’ attributed to Sigmund Freud. The Dutch conference highlighted a few important aspects. When applied to ‘successful or healthy ageing’ only a very small percentage of people would fit the WHO definition. When self-rating of well-being was used a much higher percentage rated themselves as successfully ageing and this rating was roughly constant over lifetime. With an ageing population chronic disease become a life condition to many people. The Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme uses strategies to enhance self-efficacy which resulted in fewer healthcare requests. Also, the WHO has added to this discussion. In preparation of the Ottawa Charter of 1986, the WHO defined health as the ability of an individual to realize aspirations and satisfy needs and to cope with the environment. Health was thus seen as a resource for everyday life. The WHO has also developed an International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health assessing the performance of a task in real life situation. WHO surveys assessed an individual’s health state by asking for mobility, self-care, pain, cognition, interpersonal activities, vision, sleep and energy and affect. The answers go into a single metric reaching from death (0) to perfect health (1). The abovementioned Lancet editorial quoted the French physician G. Canguilhem who perceived health in his 1943 book The Normal and the Pathological not as something that can be defined statistically or mechanistically. Health is the ability to adapt to one’s environment and its own limitations. At the Dutch conference, a participant asked for the concept of ‘salutogenesis’ (becoming healthy) and more concrete research work in a field dominated by studies of pathogenesis (becoming ill). In practical terms it means that instead of carefully observing the conditions that led from the healthy to the diseased state, research should also be conducted for the opposite process, i.e. the transition from the diseased to the healthy state. In some diseases the transition from health to malady is a way of no return and its inverse process of ‘salutogenesis’ is obviously difficult to study. However, for microbiologists the situation is easier. Many acute infectious diseases show a transition from health to disease followed by a return to the normal. Here ‘salutogenesis’ is commonly studied and had practical outcomes. For example, understanding the immune response to an infectious agent which led to the resolution of the disease was often instrumental for designing vaccine strategies.

Scaling health levels?

Scaling of health fundamentally relates to experience of satiation, satisfaction, or contentment from living condition. Dissatisfaction or lack of contentment denotes the absence of health.

A fundamental question not yet addressed in our discussion is whether health is a state as opposed to the alternative state of disease. There are medical conditions that allow only two alternative conditions; a frequently quoted example is a woman in childbearing age who either is pregnant or is not pregnant. There is no condition where a woman is a bit pregnant, pregnancy is an all-or-nothing event allowing only a ‘plus’ and a ‘minus’ state and no transitions between both of them. At first glance, one might also take ‘health’ and ‘disease’ as alternative ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ states. The self-perception of a subject is a relative reliable measure differentiating a healthy state from a diseased state. In a prodromal phase of an infectious disease, we feel lousy before any overt disease symptoms are evident. During convalescence we feel the reverse process of returning vigor and strength. This distinction finds expression in our outer appearance allowing not only an experienced physician, but even an attentive layperson to differentiate these two states with a single look at a person. This experience speaks for health and disease as two alternative states. However, medical doctors use scoring systems to assess the health and disease status of patients to decide on medical interventions. To quote just two examples: the Karnofsky score runs from 100 (perfect health) to 0 (death) in steps of 10 and assesses the independence or dependence of patients on assistance for everyday activity or survival; its main purpose was to quantify the capacity of cancer patients to cope with chemotherapy. Another score rates the status of newborns: the Apgar score attributes up to two points each for the appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, respiration of the baby (despite this mnemonic, Apgar is named after an anesthesiologist). Apgar expresses the need for medical intervention by the pediatrician. Apgar scores of 7 or higher characterize healthy babies. These scoring systems are interesting since first, they put health and disease into the same measurable category and second, they anticipate that both health and disease states can be graded. By their design as indicators for medical intervention, these scoring systems have more graded disease levels than graded health levels, but this point can be quickly remedied by introducing a scoring system that depicts in analogy with the number line increasing positive integers to the right as indicators of a graded health level and increasing negative integers to the left as indicators of graded disease levels.

Around 0 is an indifference zone where the subject feels neither particularly healthy nor definitively ill. While numerous scoring systems exist to describe severity grades for many diseases, less scoring systems exist for assessing health levels. This situation could quickly be corrected: Physical strength or mental fitness could be measured quantitatively by performance tests on the subject or functional reserves could be measured by physiological tests on individual organ systems of the subject. Such physical types of test are frequently used in geriatric medicine.

This grading concept – oversimplified as it is – has interesting consequences. When physicians speak about health interventions, they speak mostly about disease interventions where a treatment shifts for example a person from disease level −7 to disease level −3 to remain in the analogy of this fictive scale. Over recent decades medical treatments were also increasingly applied on apparently healthy subjects, who show, but do not suffer, from pathophysiological states (e.g. hypertension, hypercholesterolemia) in order to prevent for example a shift from health level +3 to disease level −7 when the pathophysiological risk factor transforms into actual disease (e.g. myocardial infarct or stroke) (again in this fictive scale). However, physicians and the pharmaceutical industries have much less considered the possibility to increase health levels from for example health state +4 to health state +7 which increases physical and mental performance of the person or the functional reserves of the person’s organs. These health interventions were largely left to fitness centers and sport clubs and private activities of the individual. The aim of such nutrition and health interventions would be a better performance in everyday life, more pleasure (quality of life), but not necessarily disease prevention. However, increasing the functional reserve of the body necessarily creates a buffer such that extrinsic factors decreasing the health level do not result that quickly in disease as without this intervention.

Health: ask the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 survey

Burden of Disease, and Rewards of Health must be estimated after stating Purpose of Human Existence.

One might argue that health of an individual or a population is to a certain extent a lip service of the medical profession and the true interest of medical doctors is to cure or to prevent disease. Language-wise this focus is expressed by the now frequently used term of ‘ill health’ in the columns of leading journals like ‘Nature’ and ‘The Lancet’, which is of course a clear contradiction in terms and reflects the disease focus of medicine. One might suspect that economists and sociologists have a greater interest in the health of a population when focusing on the productivity and social ‘functioning’ of people. However, such an evaluation does not do justice to the epidemiological, statistical and intellectual efforts of the medical community to come to grip with these terms. The Herculean effort of the medical research field is illustrated by a whole issue of the Lancet describing the GBD Study 2010 in a series of articles (Das, 2012). Over 5 years 486 scientists from 302 institutions in 50 countries have collected data on ‘ill health’ and evaluated the data by using the most sophisticated statistical data treatment methods (Murray etal., 2012a). The results are stunning. It is here not the place to review these studies, but I want to share with the reader some excitement. From 1970 to 2010 global life expectancy at birth rose by 3–4 years every decade. The resolution of the data set is astonishing: you can for example compare life expectancy per region and per sex. You see then that women in Bangladesh increased their life expectancy from 47.5 years in 1970 to 71.0 years in 2010 (not a printing error). Or you get global life expectancy per 5-year intervals for both sexes, e.g. 80-year-old men had in 1970 a life expectancy of 5.8 years compared with 7.2 years in 2010 (‘the older you get, the healthier you have been’) (Wang etal., 2012). Or you get information on 235 leading causes of death separated by age and sex based on files compiling vital registrations, verbal autopsies and various surveillance data from 187 countries. You learn that mortality from communicable diseases has decreased over this time following major ameliorations in mortality from diarrheal diseases, measles and tetanus, but less so for respiratory infections and increases for HIV/AIDS. When the global years of life lost (YLL) is displayed separately for the causes and individual years between 1990 and 2010, the data analysis was so well performed that you see the 1995 famine in North Korea as a sudden increase in global death due to nutritional deficiencies and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda as an intentional injuries increase (Lozano etal., 2012).

In the context of our discussion another GBD 2010 report is even more interesting. Salomon and colleagues (2012) start their paper with the statement: ‘Improvement of population health means more than simply delaying death or increasing life expectancy at birth’. They continue: ‘With the trend of population ageing, the need to prioritize healthy ageing is increasingly recognized’. The authors of this paper focus on the description of ‘healthy life expectancy’ as a summary measure of population health. While this term has no philosophical or biological foundation, it is based on a lot of sound statistical reasoning. In fact, it goes back on a method developed 40 years ago by D. Sullivan. Healthy life expectancy is the number of years a person at a given age can expect to live in good health considering age-specific mortality, morbidity and functional health status. While health is here still largely defined negatively as the absence of disease, it becomes a measurable quantity and thus a simple logically appealing summary measure of population health. The GBD 2010 study goes even further by analyzing a composite metric that captures both premature mortality and the prevalence and severity of disease leading to the term of disability-adjusted life years (DALY) (Murray etal., 2012b). Health status was measured in other studies by the absence of disability expressed as activity restriction, or absence of dementia, or on a broader basis as a multidimensional expression of functioning. However, with a sufficiently large raw data set one can calculate the ‘healthy life expectancy’ in years. Then the difference between life expectancy minus healthy life expectancy can be interpreted as the average number of years of potentially healthy life lost to poor health. To get back to the above Bangladesh women who had in 2010 a life expectancy of 71 years, they had a healthy life expectancy of 59 years, for Canadian women the two figures were 83 and 68 years respectively. Despite different absolute numbers, women from both countries spent more than a decade with poor health. Interesting trends emerge: both for men and for women global healthy life expectancy has increased by about 4 years between 1990 and 2010 keeping with the overall trend of life expectancy increases. The gains in healthy life expectancy over the past 20 years have mainly been through reductions of child and adult mortality and not through reductions in years lost to disability (YLD). When looking into a study from member states of the European Union, larger variations were found for healthy life expectancy than for life expectancy (Jagger etal., 2008). These results are not just about statistics, they represent important elements for political decisions. The UN Millennium Development Goals have focused on the reduction of mortality from major killers like HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. With that focus life expectancy will (hopefully) increase, but it will have minor impact on healthy life expectancy. The computation of healthy life expectancy has changed over the years. Some used dichotomous weighting schemes categorizing people into either healthy or not. The new calculation accounts for the severity of disability calculated for 289 named diseases (Murray etal., 2012a) allowing thus a quantitative, gliding disability scale.

Ageing concepts

Every change or natural phenomenon such as aging is operated by underlying ‘Unchanging Principle’. For example, Chemical Compounds are operated by ‘Law of Definite Proportions’ or Proust’s Law of Definite Composition. Man, experiences aging changes while Chemical Elements and Chemical Compounds of his body remain unchanged.

The structure of the world population is dramatically changing with an increasing percentage of the human population living to old and very old age (Suzman and Haage, 2011). This phenomenon is not limited to the classical industrialized countries, until 2050 China is expected to reach 440 and 101 million inhabitants older than 60 and 80 years respectively (Shetty, 2012). This change in the population pyramid has not only important socioeconomic consequences (healthcare, pension funds), but affects also the health and disease discussion in an interesting way.

Like for health, everybody knows what ageing means, but definitions are again less obvious, and biologists have not yet developed a generally shared theory of ageing (Martin, 2011). Part of the problem might be that different organisms might have their own modes of ageing. Languages are not of much help: ‘age’ is something which can be very simply counted on a timescale. Different languages reflect a different attitude towards ageing: while in English ‘ageing’ implies deterioration, in Japanese it means just the advancement of age. A Japanese researcher has therefore defined ageing as a ‘regression of physiological function accompanied by advancement of age’ (Imahori, 1992). Medical doctors consequently differentiate a chronological and a physiological age of a person.

Medical gerontologists perceive ageing as a progressive decline in structure and function of the body (Ferruci and Studenski, 2011). Most prominent and very visible are the effects of ageing on body composition: lean body mass from muscles and visceral organs decrease steadily, muscle strength decreases (sarcopenia) and is a good predictor of mortality. Progressive demineralization leads to decline of bone strength that together with neurodegeneration induces unstable gait, poor balance and slow reaction times leading to falls and fractures resulting in increasing frailty. Memory decline and dementia are other neurological observations in some, but not all ageing persons. Decline of the sensory system is frequent (vision, hearing, taste). Another physiological change is declining resting metabolic rate with ageing, which is also a marker of illness. Homeostasis pathways (hormones, inflammatory mediators, antioxidants) change progressively with age inducing a lower resistance to stress. Normal ageing is also associated with a decline in food intake particularly in men which leads to malnutrition.

While ageing leads ultimately to death, great biological differences exist for lifespan and ageing process between different organisms. While the lifetime of fly’s measures in days, some ticks survive for decades and lobsters were reported to survive for more than 100 years without any apparent loss in fertility. Similar data have been reported for turtles, where older females lay more eggs than younger females, show no loss of vigor and no increase in mortality rate with increasing age (Finch, 2009). These observations led to the concept of negligible senescence and the Centenarian Species Project (Guerin, 2004). Negligible senescence contradicts Hamilton’s influential theory that natural selection shaped senescence (Hamilton, 1966) and ideas that late survival was sacrificed in evolution for reproduction (Kirkwood and Rose, 1991). Even today, Hamilton’s Forces of Natural Selection described in his 1966 paper were compared by evolution researchers to what is the Lorentz transformation for relativistic physics (Rose etal., 2007). Of course, working with long-lived animals which might have lifetimes longer than that of the researcher is not to the taste of geneticists who prefer short-lived animals like flies and worms or mostly mice where results are obtained within a grant period. However, negligible senescence would fit other theories, for example that of the French zoologist Buffon who suggested in the 18th century that the duration of life in animals corresponded to six to seven times that of the period of growth for the given animal. An animal which has undetermined growth like some reptiles (crocodiles for example grow as long as they live) could have a very long lifespan. Those zoologists might in fact be right who claim that lobsters die from predation, accident and infection but not as a consequence of ageing.

Many ideas have been developed by biologists on ageing: for example, Hayflick developed 40 years ago an argument that the finite number of cell doublings determines the lifespan of a species (Hayflick, 1968). Molecular biologists have added arguments to this idea by highlighting the importance of telomere length shortening with increasing cell divisions. Several other mechanisms and pathways have been revealed by molecular biologists and geneticists for the ageing process. Caloric restriction and longevity is another of the fruitful fields of ageing research. Whether it applies to monkeys as our closest relatives is currently the focus of much discussion (Mattison etal., 2012).

However, all what we have discussed so far fit more the fundamental interest of biologists than that of the medical doctor. For the present review let’s therefore focus on the human condition and the medical view on healthy ageing.

Healthy ageing

Man’s experience of time and its consequence called aging is operated by sensory experiences that are fundamentally false. Man’s existence demands influence of grand illusion that protects man from experiencing speed of planet Earth.

Thirty years ago, Fries (1980) published in The New England Journal of Medicine a seminal paper on ‘Ageing, natural death, and the compression of morbidity’ which heavily influenced the medical discussion on ageing. He starts with the statement that the length of life is fixed; speculations on immortality are rooted in human hope. The medical field assumes that death is always the result of a disease process, but due to his hypothesis of a set human lifespan, death might occur without overt disease when the normal span is lived. In his paper he depicted the ‘ideal’ human mortality curve in the absence of premature death: it is a sharp peak around the ‘naturally set’ human lifespan of 85 years. He arrived at this value from the extrapolation of life expectancy data at birth and at age 20 and 65 measured over the last century which intersect in his graph at 85 years. With that idealized model the survival curve of humans has a sharp rectangular form while the actual survival curve for humans at 1900 looked more like a triangle with a continuous decline of survival with age. In 1980 the survival curve took already a substantial rectangular form: much of the 1900-typical attrition over increasing age had been eliminated and the actual survival curve started to approach the ideal curve. He admitted that the average length of life was increasing, but he argues that this was due to a decrease in childhood mortality, not to a secular trend for an increase of life expectancy at age of 75 years. He highlighted that acute, usually infectious diseases determined mortality in the USA at 1900 and that chronic diseases have now superseded acute diseases. In his view health improvement must address chronic instead of acute diseases, morbidity and not mortality, quality of life rather than duration of life. Postponement of disease is more important than cure of a disease. Weight control, regular exercise, treatment of hypertension, elimination of smoking and alcohol over-consumption (today we would add an equilibrated diet) were the practical measures. With that focus of medical interventions, one could achieve what he called the compression of morbidity. A postponement of chronic disease would also result in a rectangularization of the morbidity and not only the mortality curve. Since loss of reserve function represented his operational definition of ageing, one could theoretically also achieve a compression of senescence. He postulated a plasticity of ageing against a non-elasticity of the human ideal lifespan.

It is interesting to compare the Fries’ model with the actual data set from the GBD 2010 study. Already in an analysis of demographic data from 2002, the WHO reported that precisely the very old age groups are growing the fastest worldwide. A cornerstone of Fries’ model is the lack in increase of centenarians over one century of observation. The WHO projects in contrast a 13-fold increase in centenarians over the next decades (Kalache etal., 2002). Better hygiene, nutrition and healthcare have increased life expectancy as also seen in GBD 2010. When the life expectancy of females in the most advanced nations is plotted against historical time, a straight line is observed showing a steady increase of 2.5 years longer life expectancy per decade between 1850 and 2000 (Suzman and Haage, 2011). Humans in some industrialized countries have now nearly reached the lifespan limits of Buffon’s formula, but the asymptotic behavior requested by a genetically fixed life expectancy was not yet observed. One central tenet of the Fries’ model is thus not confirmed. What about the compression of morbidity? GBD 2010 showed that countries with high life expectancy had mostly also lower age-specific disability than countries with low life expectancy. While an analysis of disability-adjusted life expectancy (DALE) with data from the GBD 1999 study (Mathers etal., 2001) showed still ‘some evidence to suggest that compression of morbidity may be occurring in some low mortality countries’, later analyses did not concur with this interpretation. According to GBD 2010, years lived with disability (YLD) rose despite a decrease in the prevalence of age-specific disability (Salomon etal., 2012). Simply, the decrease in disability did not keep pace with the increase in survival. A compression can only occur if healthy life expectancy would rise faster than life expectancy.

Globally, YLD rose from 583 million in 1990 to 777 million in 2010 (Vos etal., 2012). The main contributors at the global level were mental and behavioral disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes and endocrine diseases. The leading specific causes were the same in 2010 as in 1990: low back pain, major depressive disorders, iron-deficiency anemia, neck pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, anxiety disorders, migraine, diabetes and falls. Rates of YLD per given number of people did not change, but since YLD rise steadily with age, population growth and ageing were the major drivers for the increase in YLD (Vos etal., 2012). The health system is thus confronted with a rising number of individuals with a range of disorders that largely cause disability but not mortality.


John Milton in his epic poem of Paradise Lost, Book XI shared the golden principles of healthy aging. The rule of not too much, the Law of Temperance helps man to live to his fullest potential.

I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.
But is there yet no other way, besides
These painful passages, how we may come
To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?

There is, said Michael, if thou well observe [ 530 ]
The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
In what thou eat and drink, seeking from thence
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
Till many years over thy head return:
So may thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop [ 535 ]
Into thy Mothers lap, or be with ease
Gathered, not harshly plucked, for death mature:

In summary, GBD 2010 showed clear evidence of expansion, not compression of morbidity. An increase of the number of years lived in reduced health has implications beyond the person suffering from restricted health. Healthy ageing is a socioeconomic need since otherwise national health systems will not be able to stem the cost associated with managing increasing numbers of individuals suffering from various disease sequelae. If by preventive measures a healthy ageing could be achieved, the healthcare system could save cost and the individual could enjoy a greater quality of life for a longer period of life. This goal is quite ambitious though, but the incentive is great justifying the exploration of various associations with healthy ageing. In an accompanying review, I explore the data associating gut microbiota composition with healthy ageing and to what extent the gut microbiota composition can be changed by nutritional interventions (Brüssow, 2013).


I thank my colleagues Wolfram Brück for critical reading of the manuscript and Olga Sakwinska for stimulating discussions.


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In Physics, the term ‘Fundamental’ is used to describe a Principle, Theory, Law etc., serving as a basis forming a foundation that could be essential to explain other interactions in the natural world. In Physics, the term ‘Force’ is used to describe the cause or agent that puts an object at rest into motion or alters motion of a moving object.


Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force. Physics accounts for Four Fundamental Interactions. In Natural World, there are Interactions between Living and nonliving Matter which are fundamentally different from Interactions explained by Physics.

All known physical interactions of Matter occur through the agency of four basic, or ‘Fundamental’ kinds of ‘Forces’; 1. Strong Nuclear Force, 2. Weak Nuclear Force, 3. Electromagnetic Force, and 4. Gravitation Force. Most natural phenomena can be accounted for in terms of Four Fundamental Interactions. Gravitation and Electromagnetism act over long distances and it is easy to observe their effects. Strong and Weak Nuclear Forces act over subatomic distances and the range of their effects is limited.



Gravitation is the pervasive Fundamental Interaction. Every particle of Matter seems to attract every other particle with a Force that is proportional to the Mass of each and inversely proportional to the square of their separation. This relationship was first proposed by Sir Isaac Newton. His Theory of Gravitation is ‘Fundamental’, in the sense that all Motion due to the gravitational forces exerted on all objects can be described as a result of the same Force. Gravitation causes apples to fall from trees and determines the orbits of planets around Sun.



Mechanics is the branch of Physics that deals with motion of material bodies and the phenomena of action of forces on bodies. Celestial Mechanics is study of motion of astronomical bodies as they move under the influence of their mutual gravitation. If the forces acting on a System do not cancel, Motion will result. Calculation of such motions is complicated because many separate forces are acting at once and all bodies are moving simultaneously. Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion and Theory of Universal Gravitation provide a great understanding of the simple elliptical orbits as described by Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion.


It is interesting to note Hindu Scriptures called Vedas may describe or mention Earth’s rotational spin. Neither Vedas, nor Science have accounted for ‘Force’ that initiated rotational spin of various celestial bodies. Rotational Spin is different from orbital motion displayed by planets. Rotational Spin of planets cannot be explained as caused by physical forces of mutual attraction between celestial objects. Newton maintained that mere Motion does not require application of Force. In Space, there is no friction to restrain motions of celestial bodies.


Man’s existence on surface of Earth cannot be fully accounted by physical force of Gravitation that explains Earth’s orbit or revolution around Sun. Man travels about 67, 000 miles per hour during Earth’s yearly orbit around Sun. Man’s lifetime or lifespan on Earth is determined by alternating periods of Day and Night caused by Earth’s rotational spin. Physical Forces act mechanically without sense of purpose or goal. Earth’s rotational spin serves a specific purpose for it directs Biological Rhythms of Living Systems.


Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: Physical Force may account for the Speed of a point on the surface of Earth. Living Systems have synchronized their Biological Rhythms with Rotational Spin of Earth which serves specific purpose by causing alternate periods of Light and Darkness.


Physics of Spirituality Science – Love is Fundamental Force: Man travels nearly 67,000 miles per hour in yearly orbit around the Sun. Earth’s Orbital Motion does not determine Man’s lifetime or lifespan. Man’s lifetime is measured by alternating periods of Day and Night caused by Earth’s rotational spin.

Within our Solar System, no celestial object shares rotational spin characteristics of another object. Each planet spins at a different speed or exhibits different rotational axis. On each planet, we will experience Day and Night and Seasons in different manners as they orbit around Sun. Each planet is unique, distinctive, original, and one of its own kind of celestial object. Space Exploration discovered thousands of planets, but none of them share identical rotational spins, in fact each planet displays individualistic variation in its spin characteristics. So, we need to recognize existence of “UNKNOWN” Force that may have imparted energy to initiate rotational spin of each celestial object.



I am using the term ‘LOVE’ to define it as Fundamental Force that brings Unity and Harmony in Interactions between Inanimate and Animate Matter to establish Natural Order. LOVE is Fundamental to existence of Sensible or Living Matter. Living Things have ability to perceive LOVE which instruments developed by man cannot measure.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada

Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA

Created with Microsoft OneNote 2016.



What is Consciousness? – Is there Self-Awareness of Life’s Journey?

It is easy and convenient to use terms in conversation when no meaning is attached to the words used in conversation. It is unfortunate to note schools have not designed instructional programs to use words with well-defined meaning attached to them. Basic terms like, man, life, existence, consciousness, and self-awareness have to be used after giving or attaching meaning to those terms.

Consciousness fundamentally involves awareness of one’s own existence. For example, Amoeba proteus is aware or conscious of its own living condition at any given time, and place of its existence. Consciousness may include awareness of thoughts, moods, and feelings and yet it is not mental function. Consciousness is biological function, a characteristic of all living cells. In Clinical Medicine, consciousness is always evaluated and it does not involve taking educational, or occupational history. What you are is described by Science called Anatomy, and what you do is described by Science called Physiology. If Life is defined as ‘Knowledge in Action’, this Knowledge is not experience acquired by cells of human body through man’s learning process.

Life’s Journey relates to functional ability called locomotion which depends upon the nature of living, corporeal substance called protoplasm, or cytoplasm which always exists in perpetual state of motion. This living condition in perpetual motion is synchronized with motions of Earth that provide alternating periods of Light and Darkness called Day and Night while the Sun shines all the time. No instant during the entire period of one’s Life Journey is the same as another instant. Each living instant remains unique, or one of its own kind as no instant can repeat itself. During Life’s Journey, man has no consciousness or awareness of motion of his own living substance and has no consciousness or awareness of the motions of Earth. Man may have intellectual understanding of motions performed by his living substance and of Earth on which he finds his existence. This intellectual ability does not provide direct sensory experience of Journey performed by Living Substance or Earth. For that reason, I suggest that the “Journey” from point A to point B on the surface of Earth that man performs is predestined for man has no ability to control either motion of his living substance or motion of his earthly abode.

What is Consciousness? Is there Self-Awareness of Life’s Journey? On bhavanajagat.com

I always ask my readers to read cell anatomy and physiology to discuss any issue that pertains to life. The Cell Theory is verified Science; Cells are building blocks of life.

What is Consciousness? Is there Self-Awareness of Life’s Journey? On bhavanajagat.com

To speak of human consciousness or self-awareness, the discussion demands knowing  Egg Cell as conscious entity.

What is Consciousness? Is there Self-Awareness of Life’s Journey?

This Egg Cell begins Life’s Journey from the instant called Ovulation, later, Conception until another instant called Implantation. Does this Journey from Ovulation, Conception, to Implantation requires Consciousness or Self-Awareness?

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA

What is Consciousness? is there Self-Awareness of Life’s Journey?
What is Consciousness? Is there Self-Awareness of Life’s Journey
What is Consciousness? Is there Self-Awareness of Life’s Journey?



What is Life? Who is Your Governor?
What is Life? Who is Your Governor?

I am student of Natural Sciences and Medical Science. I know that man does not rule or govern even a single cell of his own human body that comprises of trillions of Individual, Independent, and Autonomous Cells, the building blocks of Life.

What is Life? Who is Your Governor? Man is governed by the Creator of Day and Night.

Human Anatomy and Human Physiology explain the structures and functions of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems of body. For man is not the ‘Governor’ of his own body, man has to know the ‘Governor’ who has authority over both body and the world in which body physically exists. Man is governed by the Creator of Day and Night.

What is Life? Who is Your Governor? All living functions are guided, sequential, purposeful events. Who is Your Guide?

On bhavanajagat.com

What is Life? Who is Your Governor? Who is the LORD? Who is the Enjoyer? Who is the Sustainer? Who is the Protector? Who is the Permitter? Who is the Supersoul?

Scriptures offer guidance. Man of understanding will follow the guidelines to arrive at Knowledge. Firstly, I ask my readers to understand Life as Knowledge in Action. All living functions demand purposeful, goal-oriented, non-random, sequential, and guided events. Scripture speak of LORD God Creator as “GOVERNOR.” If there is ‘Governor’, He will be known by study of Laws which govern Existence of Man and World.


What is Life? Who is Your Governor?

I ask my readers to study Fundamental Laws of Conservation taught by Physics and Chemistry. Life is possible because of unchanging Laws that govern Chemical Elements, Chemical Compounds, and Chemical Interactions. Both living functions and dying process involve chemical reactions called Oxidation-Reduction Chemical Reaction.

What is Life? Who is Your Governor?
What is Life? Who is Your Governor? Birth, Aging, and Death are Natural Phenomena operated under influence of Time.

Every Natural Phenomenon is Operated by Unchanging Principle:

Change is the natural phenomenon for things in Nature change under the influence of ‘Time’. Man undergoes change during the course of his entire existence from conception to death. Man uses various organs of sense perception to perceive the world in which he exists. Mind is the chief organ of sense perception for it interprets sensory information after rational analysis.

Every natural phenomenon, event or situation that man observes or perceives, demands operation of an underlying unchanging principle. For that reason, events called birth and death represent natural phenomena supported or operated by an underlying unchanging principle. Phenomenon called Life is simply impossible if some values are not conserved as per The Universal Law of Conservation of Mass, Energy, and Momentum.

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA

What is Life? Who is Your Governor? Who gives Day and Night?
What is Life? Who is Your Governor? Who gives Sunshine and Rain?
What is Life? Who is Your Governor? Who is Your Protector? Who is Your Sustainer? Who is Your Preserver?
What is Life? Who is Your Governor? Which direction man has to look?



This blog post is dedicated to Goddess Sarasvati, the Goddess of Pure Knowledge and Perfect Wisdom :

WHAT IS LIFE? Goddess Sarasvati symbolizes the pursuit of Knowledge and Wisdom and She helps me to define Life as Knowledge in Action.


Knowledge is defined as the act, fact, or state of knowing a range of information. The act of knowing requires knowledge or information relevant to a particular act. The state of knowing describes the condition that characterizes an object in which such knowledge or information exists. If knowledge is defined as a fact of knowing some information, it describes a clear perception, or understanding, or awareness, or cognizance of information that pertains to that fact. Knowledge can only exist, can only be found in an object which has the abilities of perception, understanding, awareness, or cognition. In other words, knowledge is an attribute of the act, fact, or state of living. A living object is the seat of knowledge and presence of knowledge could be verified or detected in any of the actions or activities of that living matter. The act of living requires a state or condition of knowing information relevant to sustaining life’s functions.

WHAT IS LIFE? If human brain or mind is viewed as the Seat of Knowledge, hands and feet, or the muscles used in vocalization are the sites where Knowledge is transformed into Action.

In common usage, the word knowledge is used to describe all that has been perceived or grasped by the human brain or mind. The learning, the body of facts, principles, etc., accumulated by man is stated as his knowledge. The state of knowing becomes evident only when knowledge is transformed into action. Man displays knowledge in the use of his hands and feet in the performance of his actions. Man can communicate his knowledge in his speech, in his writings, and in his use of a variety of tools, instruments, gadgets, and machines. If human brain, or mind is viewed as the seat of knowledge, hands and feet, or the muscles used in vocalization are the sites where knowledge is transformed into action. Knowledge involves receiving / storing information at one site and using that information in the performance of an action at a different site. The ability and the quality of a man’s function reflects upon his state of knowledge relative to that function. Knowledge is verified during its application to perform functions. This concept or understanding about knowledge in action could also be used in the context of describing functions at cellular level.

WHAT IS LIFE? The Da Vinci Telerobotic Surgical System permits the surgeon to perform operation on patients from a remote site. The mechanical robotic arm could perform tasks with great precision while it has no knowledge of its own.

While information can be found in books, in writings, in speech/ speech recordings, and etc., it should not be described as knowledge. A robotic, mechanical arm could perform tasks with great precision while it has no knowledge of its own. Knowledge, awareness and ability to use information exists only as an attribute of life or as an act of living.    


Anatomy of Plant Cell clearly illustrates that Life exists because of establishment of Knowledge, the source of Information for a variety of biological functions.
Both Bacterial(Prokaryotic), Animal, and Plant(Eukaryotic) Cells share similar Characteristics. The Living Cell functions by application of information contained in its genetic material. Use of information to perform action describes the Knowing and it represents Knowledge in Action.
Virus particles composed of Nucleic Acids either RNA or DNA within a case of Protein, in its Free State the Virus particle behaves like Inert matter and when it infects living cells of plants, animals, or bacteria the Virus starts replicating using the Chemical Energy and Nucleic Acid synthesizing abilities of the host Cell. The Application of Knowledge in Viral Replication is very interesting.
WHAT IS LIFE? The Structure of Influenza Virus reveals its Functional Organization.Each function involves application of Knowledge. This Knowledge is derived from its hereditary information.
WHAT IS LIFE? The Virus exists because of genetic material which provides it the information to perform its functions that are characteristic of its existence.
What is Life ? Life is Knowledge in Action. A living cell performs a variety of functions that are characteristic of its life. The Cell Structure known as Nucleus is the Seat of Knowledge. In structures known as Chromosomes it stores hereditary, and biological information for its growth, development, replication, reproduction, and metabolic functions such as protein synthesis for its growth and maintenance. Protein Synthesis takes place in structures known as Ribosomes that are located in Cytoplasm outside the Nucleus. Nucleus transfers information to Ribosomes by using Transfer RNA. Nucleus provides only information and to use that information for its function of Protein Synthesis, the Ribosome derives Energy from another Cell Structure known as Mitochondrion. This process of Cellular Function describes Knowledge in Action.

Life is described as a state of an organism characterized by certain processes or abilities that include metabolism, nutrition, growth, motion, replication, reproduction, responsiveness to stimuli, and awareness of its own condition of existence or living in an environment. The act of living could be stated by describing the functions that characterize life. Functions depend upon use of information; the information that is stored at a particular site or location is transferred to a different site or location where it is transformed into action which constitutes the nature of functioning. Life is always associated with its living functions and these functions depend upon the use of energy. If Nucleus is viewed as the Seat of Knowledge of a Living Cell, it communicates its Knowledge to another Cell Structure known as Ribosome which is the Site of Action for the Knowledge transferred from the Nucleus. The Ribosome performs its action of Protein Synthesis drawing Energy provided by another Cell Structure known as Mitochondrion. So also the human brain provides information and sends signals to muscles to perform actions. Muscle cells perform actions drawing Energy from Mitochondria of their Cells. This process called Living depends upon the use of Energy. If Life is manifestation of an Energy or Life Force, Life could be defined as  Knowing the Connection between ‘energy-Seeker'( or energy-demanding molecules ) and an ‘Energy-Provider’ or Source of Energy( or energy-yielding molecules ). Life and its functions are evidence of its State of Knowledge. Hence, Life could be defined as “Knowledge in Action.” Life comes into existence or into a state called Living,  and Life begins with establishment of Knowledge in an object or matter that gains  identity of a Living Organism.    

Please also view a related blog post titled ‘Defining Indian Identity – The Pursuit of Pure and Perfect Knowledge.


Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada


Biographical Information :

1. Place of Birth : MYLAPORE, Madras City, Chenna Patnam, Chennai, Madras State, Tamil Nadu, India. Born Hindu( Brahmin, Niyogi, Smartha ), Telugu-Speaking.

2. Date and Place of Marriage : 29 January, 1973. Congregational Town Church, Cuddapah City, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India.