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Higher Education & Research

Higher Education & Research

To lend depth to the study of astronomy, the Centre established a Research Cell on the History of Astronomy. Apart from organizing an All India Seminars and International Seminars and lectures by prominent scholars in the field both from India and abroad, several priceless ancient astronomical palm leaf manuscripts were acquired.

It is hoped that in the years to come this cell would contribute significantly to the history of Indian astronomy in particular.

Research is also currently being done in Theoretical Physics and Astronomy by a number of research scholars, under the supervision of Dr. B.G. Sidharth, Director of the Centre. Three scholars were awarded the PhD for this work. In addition several Nobel Laureates have delivered lectures.

The Centre has initiated a number of nationally important and relevant research projects. One of these is the Artificial Intelligence project under which documents from one Indian language are translated by the computer into another. Under the first phase of this project, Birla Trans, in a major breakthrough, documents in official Hindi could be computer translated into official Telugu.

Yet another fascinating research project undertaken by the Centre was the study of ancient Indian Science and Technology and its history. Important results under this project are a totally new dating and fabrication of new alloys, unknown to modern science, from ancient Indian literature.

The unique Science Centre is a truly integrated national facility for the dissemination of science and scientific awareness. An “Everyman’s University” indeed which has already attracted millions of visitors and has become not only an impressive landmark of the city, but has also carved a niche for itself on the international level.

In addition the Centre has conducted several Masters and P.G. Diploma Courses.

A Note on Dr. B.G.Sidharth’s Work

Dr. B.G. Sidharth, is the founding Director of the renowned B M Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad and its subsidiary centres like the G P Birla Observatory & Astronomical Research Centre. Here is how his research work on Particle Physics and Cosmology has been described, a striking feature of which is its strong interface with experiment and observation.

In 1997, when the standard big bang model was the accepted theory, with the Universe believed to be slowing down to a half due to dark matter B.G. Sidharth put forward his dark energy driven accelerating universe cosmology, with a small cosmological constant. (“The Universe of Fluctuations”, International Journal of Modern Physics A, accepted April 1997 and presented at the Marcell Grossman Meet in Jerusalem in 1997). This contra prediction was confirmed by observation the very next year. Today dark energy is the new paradigm and the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics went to the Observational Evidence for all this, done in 1998.

Commenting on this, a very reputed publication quoted Nobel Laureate Prof. Tony Leggett:”…It is of course clear that your equation predicts an exponential (inflation-type) expansion of the current universe, hence acceleration. And it would have been nice if the Nobel committee had mentioned this,”

Prof. Antony Hewish, a British astronomer who had won the Nobel for physics in 1974, also felt that Sidharth’s work should have been recognised. “You must feel gratified that your ideas in 1997 were spot on,” Hewish wrote.’

“..I would guess that while you did not share the prize this year, the fact that you predicted something that was the key to the other getting the prize should make your chances quite high for the future.” wrote another Nobel Laureate.

Dark energy is an all pervading force that is different from the other known forces like electromagnetism. It relentlessly pushes the galaxies away, making them speed up in the process. This acceleration itself is small.

In the mid nineties he put forward a theory for 2 and 1 dimensional Fermions in several papers predicting the behavior in one dimensional nanotubes and also grapheme (“Anamolous Fermions” Journal of Statistical Physics, 95, vol.3/4, 1999 and several other papers)

The latter was experimentally observed a decade later in graphene around 2005, a discovery that lead to the Nobel Prize for the experimentalists.

In the words of Nobel Laureate Claude-Cohen Tannoudji, “..it is ofcourse clear that you have done an important work on 1D and 2D systems of fermions”

This apart Sidharth has in some 200 international publications proposed several other features, which have been described an breakthroughs by reputed physicists from Europe and the U.S. All these ideas have been experimentally/observationally verified and have been described at www.bgsidharth.webnode.com

He has won several national and international awards. He got the 2013 IFM Einstein-Galilei award along with Nobel Laureate Prof. D.D. Osheroff.