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Indians involved in God particle discovery

A large number of Indian scientists were involved in the world's most ambitious experiment over the years.


Some Indian scientists and research institutes were part of the discovery of a new sub-atomic particle that is crucial to understanding how the universe is built.

The discovery was made at the European Organization for Nuclear Physics known as CERN in Switzerland yesterday.

Scientists from Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Kolkata, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Harishchandra Research Institute, Allahabad and Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar took part in the ambitious experiment over the years.

The Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics’ five member faculty team associated with the project is jubilant and flooded phone calls and video conferences.

Satyaki Bhattacharya, a member of the team and associated with the project from 1996, said “it is a definite boost to the Indian physicists and the country which had invested a lot of money on research in physics.”

He said he would be on the lookout for more particles in the collider.

Besides Bhattacharya, Suchandra Datta, Sunanda Banerjee, Subir Sarkar and Manoj Saran were the other members of the team involved in Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at CERN.

"India is like a historic father of the project," Paolo Giubellino, spokesperson of CERN, reportedly said.

The long-sought particle, known as Higgs boson or God particle, is also partly named after an Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose.

Bose, who studied at Presidency College, Calcutta (now Kolkata), had worked with Albert Einstein in the 1920s and made discoveries that led to the most coveted prize in particle physics.

The work done by Bose and Albert Einstein, later added to by Peter Higgs, led to this discovery.

However, SINP Director Milan Kumar Sanyal said while Higgs is given due credit, Satyendra Nath Bose has been denied it. His name is spelt as ‘boson’ while it should be given as “Boson”. Sanyal said he would write to CERN about it.

Sharing the joy of the quantum leap in physics is also the Raja Ramanna Center for Advance Technology (RRCAT) Indore.

The Center, a nodal agency of Department of Atomic Energy, supplied vital parts, including magnets and software, for Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of CERN.

It conceptualized, designed and developed precision-positioning devices and its maintenance, the Center’s sources said.

Besides the Raja Ramanna Center for Advance Technology, Indore based Indo-German Tool Room also played a major role in the development of Jacks on which the 27-km long LHC is positioned.

Raghunath Sahoo of Indian Institute of Technology Indore, who had worked at CERN for a decade, said the institute is a member of ALICE Collaboration at LHC (CERN).

He said “I will take some students to the CERN probably next year to see what exactly has been found and how the great lab functions.”

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