The Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India organized a National Meet on ‘India at LHC’ in which experts involved in construction of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in various experiments and discovery of Higgs Boson interacted with the Scientists, Researchers, Students, Media and enthusiasts etc. The interaction of experts with audience was very informative. India’s role in CERN with future direction of high energy experiments was talked.
Dr. T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DST), in his welcome address, said that role of India in the discovery of Higgs Boson is significant. Out of about 4000 plus scientific workers there were about 120 Indian scientists directly involved in the LHC experiment on Higgs. DST as a custodian of research in the country across institutions and disciplines provided nourishment in terms of funding to various Scientists, Researchers etc.
Dr. R K Sinha, Chairman, AEC and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) talked about India’s involvement in LHC constructions and various experiments. He informed that India’s role started from the very beginning i.e. at the stage of concept and design. The agreement between CERN and DAE, India was signed way back in 1991. The experiment is a team work of great scientists all over the world. India provided its expertise from ‘Precision Magnetic Positioning System’ to Data Collection and Simulation with Computing Grid.
Prof. VS Ramamurthy, Director, NIAS, Bangalore emphasized the need of such ‘High Energy Experiments’. He informed that the discovery of Higgs Boson is of high prominence to the high energy physicists providing them valuable inputs. Also, it is of immense importance to modeling and computer control of RF devices and Grid Computing people. The role of Manas Chip developed and provided by India played a great role. He said High Technology Projects have a High risk of failure but provide us valuable data.
Dr. R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, said that for big scientific steps we have to take risks. He informed that India is having ‘Observer Status’ in CERN from 1996 and is in international partnership role by providing its expertise and hardware support. India would soon be an Associate Member at CERN.
Prof Bikash Sinha, Homi Bhabha Professor, DAE speaking on ‘Why Mega Science’? Informed the role of various agencies and research institutes including IOP, Punjab University, Rajasthan University, Jammu University, VECC, IITB and RRCAT etc. He informed about the Indian Based Neutrino Observatory coming up at Theni which will be leading experimental setup for the study of fundamental particles. Along the lines of European nations coming together to establish CERN, he opined that the SAARC countries could also think of jointly establishing research facilities in this part of the world.
Prof. Atul Gutru, in his special address said that Indian scientific community played a major role in LHC experiment. From a mere Observer, India was in the process of becoming an Associate Member of CERN. It will provide Indian scientists right to participate in the CERN projects and Indian industry to participate in bids. By taking up work of CERN, Indian industry would be able to achieve technical excellence and modern capabilities. He said that this would provide impetus to Indian science.
Dr. Purushottam Shrivastava, RRCAT, Indore, Shri BS Jagadeesh, BARC, Mumbai, Prof. Kajari Mazumdar, TIFR, Mumbai, Dr. Tapan Nayak, VECC, Kolkata, Prof. BK Nandi, IIT-Bombay, Mumbai, Shri PS Dhekne, BARC, Mumbai, Prof. Gobinda Majumder, TIFR, Mumbai, Dr. Vikas Singhal, VECC, Kolkata spoke on the specific role India played in construction of LHC, development of GRID software and detectors that made the discovery of Higgs particle possible. These developments have also helped in obtaining important results on Quark Gluon Plasma.
In a separate Session, research students who have worked at CERN shared their excitement of working at such an international Mega Science facility.