IIT-M Joins Hands With CERN To Explore Secrets of Universe
CHENNAI: Led by an expert who was part of the ATLAS experiment that
helped find the God Particle, Higgs Boson, by the Large Hadron Collider
at CERN, the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras has become a full
member of a collaboration with the Geneva-based organisation in search
of the structure of the universe.
While reputed institutions
including TIFR, BARC and a few others have been partnering with CERN,
IIT-M is the first IIT to come on board of the prestigious LHC
According to Prafulla Kumar Behera, associate
professor with the department of physics, this initiative will help the
institute strengthen its capabilities in fundamental research. “CERN is
home to a lot of innovations, including the world wide web. This
collaboration is like a bridge that would connect us to the highest
level of scientific research while offering them our talent and
expertise,” Behera told The New Indian Express.
Besides him, another faculty, James Libby, and two PhD scholars have come on board on the CMS collaboration.
was part of the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus), one of the many
particle detector experiments at the LHC particle accelarator, for half a
decade till 2011 before returning to India to take up the job at IIT-M.
collaboration will be on CMS or Compact Muon Solenoid, a particle
detector that is designed to see a wide range of particles and phenomena
produced during high-energy collisions in the LHC. This information is
believed to hold answers to questions like what the universe is really
made of, what forces act within in and what gives everything substance.
has previously worked on silicon pixel detector, a sophisticated
technology used primarily in fundamental scientific research, which is
not available in India. “We would like to collaborate and develop Indian
expertise so that by the time the plant is upgraded by 2020 as has been
planned, there will be substantial contribution from our country,” said
Behera, who returned from CERN a week ago.
The silicon pixel
detector has uses outside the limits of fundamental scientific research,
including medical purposes like advanced imaging, he said, pointing out
that Indian industries could manufacture the detector in the coming
While the team from Chennai will be placed at CERN during
the summer, the idea is to collaborate from here by using grid computing
to access data generated at the labs in Geneva. Grid computing facility
has already been networked till TIFR, Mumbai, which will be expanded to
south India, he added.