As all eyes are on the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, famously known as CERN, Indian scientific and technological contributions are among the many that keep the world’s biggest particle physics laboratory buzzing.
In a ‘quantum’ leap in physics, CERN scientists on Wednesday claimed to have spotted a sub-atomic particle “consistent” with the Higgs boson or the “God particle”, believed to be a crucial building block that led to the formation of the universe.
There is an intrinsic Indian connection to what is happening at CERN — Satyendra Nath Bose. It is Bose after whom the sub-atomic particle boson is named.
His study changed the way particle physics has been studied ever since. The Higgs Boson is a particle that is theoretically the reason why all matter in the universe has mass.
The name Higgs Boson came from a British scientist Peter Higgs and Bose. The work done by Bose and Albert Einstein, later added by Higgs, lead to this pioneering day.
“India is like a historic father of the project,” Paolo Giubellino, CERN spokesperson had said back in October last year when PTI visited the facility.
At the core of the CERN, spread over two countries as it is situated near the Swiss-Franco border, is the 27-km long tunnel, over 70 metres beneath the ground, where the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) or commonly referred to as the Big Bang experiment was conducted last year.
The experiment had aimed to recreate the conditions of the Big Bang, when the universe is thought to have exploded into existence about 14 billion years ago.
The CERN runs a number of experimental projects and over 100 Indian scientists are working round the clock.
Significant contribution by Kolkata institute
The Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP) said in Kolkata on Wednesday that its scientists had made significant contributions to the development of the CMS experiments at CERN.
“This led to the observation of the new particle at 125.3 GeV, consistent with a Higgs Boson as predicted by the Standard Model of Particle Physics, announced just now,” SINP Director Milan Sanyal told PTI in Kolkata.
Stating that it was a historical moment in physics and SINP took pride in being a part of the history, he said “It will require more data and intense scrutiny to establish these findings beyond any doubt.
“This is an important moment for the development of science and I am very happy that our institute, this city and our country is part of the science revolution,” Mr. Sanyal said.
He said that the core CMS team of the SINP had five faculty members — group leader Prof. Sunanda Banerjee, Prof. Satyaki Bhattacharya, Prof. Suchandra Datta, Prof. Subir Sarkar and Prof. Manoj Saran.
Most of the team members, he said, had worked for more than a decade with the CMS experiment with notable contributions in the development of the experiment right from the early stage and were actively participating in the analysis of the incoming data.
He said that the SINP was committed to contribute in all areas of the future development and in participating in the exciting physics programme of the CMS experiment in the years ahead.
Mr. Sanyal said that the SINP had joined in the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider facility through a memorandum of understanding with CERN signed here during the last visit of the CERN Director-General.
“Our institute has significantly expanded its collaborative research activities at CERN since then, particularly in three experimental areas, like ALICE, CMS abnd ISOLDE,” he said.
SINP is the oldest institute in the area of nuclear physics in India.