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IIT-Madras to Partner with CERN, Higgs Boson Inventor

Madras IIT has become the first member of collaboration with CERN towork on the ATLAS experiment that helped find the God Particle, Higgs Boson, by the Large Hadron Collider.

With this, Indian Institute of Technology – Madras will join other similar reputed Indian institutes like TIFR, BARC and IISc, which vae been partnering with CERN on its prestigious LHC experiment.

Prafulla Kumar Behera, associate professor with the department of physics, IIT-M said the mmbership 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.

Besdies Behera and aother faculty member James Libby, two more PhD scholars will join the research collaboration. Behera was part of the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus), one of the many particle detector experiments at the LHC particle accelarator, for over five years till 2011 before returning to India to join the IIT-M.

The 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.

“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.

With his expertise on the silicon pixel detector, he said it has many useful applications beyond the confines of the fundamental scientific research. Its use in medical field like advanced imaging can be exploited by Indian industries to manufacture detectors in the field, he said.

He said his team in Chennai will collaborate by using grid computing to access data generated at the labs in Geneva and has been made available to TIFR, Mumbai and it will be expanded to south India now, he said.


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