The High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK) completed the much-awaited ‘rolling-in’ of the Belle-II experiment in Tsukuba, Japan, on Tuesday. This experiment is designed to study violations of the Standard Model of particle physics.
A grand collaboration of 700 scientists from 23 countries, Belle-II has a significant Indian participation both on experimental and theoretical sides.
The fourth layer of the six-layer, highly sensitive particle detector, which is at the heart of Belle-II, has been built by Indian scientists, led by Tariq Aziz and Gagan Mohanty, who are with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai.
“In 1998, when Indians [in this field] were working mostly with CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), KEK first wanted us to participate in this experiment, which had a complementary approach,” says Prof Aziz.
Scientists from the Indian Institutes of Technology in Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Guwahati and Hyderabad; the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai; Panjab University; Punjab Agricultural University; Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur; Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali; and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, are participating in this research. “Building the silicon vertex detector has been a directing force that brought us together. It is a very young team, with an average age of 30 years, apart from some senior leaders,” says Professor Mohanty.
The lone person leading theoretical studies among this group of 35-40 experimentalists, IMSc’s Rahul Sinha says, “Some of the modes and techniques that will be possible for Belle-II to study were first proposed by the group at IMSc.”