With the aim of introducing a few thrust areas in Nonlinear Physics to postgraduate students, and M.Phil and Ph.D. scholars, a three-day national level workshop on Nonlinear Physics: Theory, Experiments and Applications, got off to a start at the Nehru Memorial College, Puthanampatti, on Monday.

A total of 125 participants, including many from rural areas, are to benefit from the workshop organised by the PG and Research Department of Physics with sponsorship from the Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Salt Lake, Kolkata.

A fast evolving subject, Nonlinear Physics has exciting applications in a wide variety of fields including Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Economics, and Medicine. During the past decade, multifold perspectives of applications have emerged by exploiting basic ideas, according to M. Lakshmanan, Emeritus Professor, Bharathidasan University, a renowned expert in Nonlinear Physics.

They include application of chaotic synchronisation to optoelectronics for implementation of secured telecom devices, and application of time series analysis for projections in financial markets and prediction probabilities of extreme events such as natural hazards.

Lectures were arranged in three categories: Basic topics; Applications in Nonlinear Optics, Plasma Physics and Condensed Matter physics; and Computational Physics. Prof. Lakshmanan handled the first category of lecture along with A. Khare, Professor, Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, who introduced Classical Chaos to the students, and Arul Lakshminarayan, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology - Madras, who discussed Quantum chaos.

In the second category of lecture, Alok Sharan of Pondicherry University will handle Nonlinear Optics. K. Porsezian, Professor, will talk about Linear and Nonlinear Propagation effects in Optical Fibres; A. N. Sekar Iyengar, Professor, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata, on Nonlinear Dynamics in Plasmas and Electronics; and P. K. Panigrahi, Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, on Bose - Einstein Condensates in one dimension.

M. Daniel, Professor, Bharathidasan University, will present an application of Nonlinear Dynamics in Magnetic Materials, and P. Muruganandam will give an elementary introduction to Numerical aspects revolving around Nonlinear Differential Equations.

M Ponnambalam, Chairman, college governing body, presided over the inaugural. College committee president Pon Balasubramanian, secretary Pon Ravichandran and college Prinicipal K. Ramasami offered felicitations.