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Importance of materials science highlighted

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Making a point: G. Mohan Rao, professor in the Department of Instrumentation, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, speaking at the inaugural function of a seminar in Manipal on Wednesday.
Making a point: G. Mohan Rao, professor in the Department of Instrumentation, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, speaking at the inaugural function of a seminar in Manipal on Wednesday.

Staff Correspondent

Manipal: G. Mohan Rao, professor in the Department of Instrumentation, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, said on Wednesday that materials science played a vital role in the fields of science, technology and medicine.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of a two-day national seminar on “Current trends in materials science” organised by the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) here.

Dr. Rao said that materials science had been a subject of great relevance since ancient times. One of the examples of the use of materials science could be seen in glass paintings in old churches. The paintings contained silver and gold nanoparticles which had different colours depending on their size, he said.

Use of silver plates was in vogue in India, he said, and added that this was not because eating out of them was a status symbol, but because silver nanoparticles could kill bacteria. Similarly, gold “bhasma”, which contained clusters of nanoparticles, was used in Ayurveda, Dr. Rao said. Registrar of the Manipal University G.K. Prabhu said that there should be more research on molecularly designed materials. Teachers should be more innovative in teaching subjects such as materials science. They could make the subject more interesting by telling students how it was more relevant in their daily lives, he added. Joint director of the MIT Radhakrishna S. Aithal said that the Department of Physics at the MIT should give more importance to research in the field of materials science.

Head of the Department of Physics at the institute Ashok Rao welcomed the gathering. Coordinator V. Upadhyaya explained the objectives of the seminar which is sponsored by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, and the Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences, Mumbai.

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