Sunday, March 5, 2017

Rahul Basu 04/03/1956-05/03/2011


Memory can tell us only what we were,
In company with those we loved;
It cannot help us find out what each of us,
Alone, must now become.
Yet, no person is really alone;
Those who live no more still echo
Within our thoughts and words,
And what they did has become
Woven into what we are. 

Richard Fife.

This blog post by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The IPA Rahul Basu Memorial Award Ceremony, 2016.

The  IPA Rahul Basu Memorial Award ceremony was held at the 22nd DAE  symposium in High Energy Physics  at the University of Delhi on December 16th, 2016. As mentioned in an earlier post, the award winners were Dr. Bhawna Gomber and Dr. Roji Pius, and Dr. Md. Rihan Haque and Dr. Kirtimaan Mohan had received honourable mention.

Dr. Bhawna Gomber gave a very clear and well argued talk on her thesis which primarily concerned the analysis of what could be construed as signatures of dark matter at the LHC, and also the comparison of the observed data with an alternate scenario, the  signatures of extra high dimensions via theoretical models. A major contribution of the thesis was the derivation of model independent bounds on the cross sections. It was especially delightful that Dr. Bhawna could present her talk in person, and receive her award from Prof. Probir Roy, a long standing leader of the HEP community.

Dr. Md. Rihan Haque, presented his talk via Skype. Dr. Haque presented his work on the STAR experiment, where he had analysed the beam energy dependence of the  physical properties light nucleii to understand their production mechanism. Since coalescence processes are important for light nucleii as well as for hadrons, this helps to understand hadronization
in high energy nuclear collisions.

Dr. Roji Pius had received the award for important technical contributions to the perturbative analysis of string theories. Dr. Roji's thesis  studied various aspects of the problem of mass renormalization in string theory including the computation of  the mass of a spinor in  heterotic string theory, and analysed its stability. He also developed the general algorithm for computing the renormalized mass
in string theory, which  goes  beyond the conventional approach. His video recorded talk did an admirable job of providing a flavour of these highly technical results in accessible terms. Unfortunately, this video could not be played due to system limitations. We hope to make this video accessible in a suitable forum.

Finally, Dr. Kirtimaan's thesis analysed various properties of the Higgs boson at the LHC. A special feature of his thesis has been the analysis of features of the Higgs Boson production that go beyond the conventional Standard Model. For this he has studied non standard decay modes, jet substructure properties and charge and colour breaking constraints.

The award ceremony went off well. It was particularly heart warming that it was held in Prof. Rahul Basu's alma mater, viz. the University of Delhi. This led to the presence of  supportive friends, collaborators and associates in the audience. The ceremony was preceded by talks on ongoing research problems by young HEP students. It is hoped that the talks of the awardees will have helped set the standards which will be reflected  in future nominations to this award.

Profs. Bedangdas Mohanty and Debajyoti Chowdhury, Chair and Member of the award committee were also present. Heartfelt thanks to them and other members of the committee for carrying out the herculean task of sifting through 30 nominations. Thanks are also due to the Indian Physics Association which administers the award. We hope the next round of the award will see equally enthusiastic participation from the HEP community of India.

This blog post by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


``The living owe it to those who no longer can speak, to tell their story for them.''

Czeslaw  Milosz.

A video.  (Note: The video can be disturbing.)

This blog post by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The IPA Rahul Basu Memorial Award 2014-2016

It is our great pleasure to declare that the winners of the Rahul Basu Memorial Award have been selected. These are:


Dr. Bhawna Gomber,  Calcutta University.
Thesis Title: Search of Large Extra Dimensions in g+ET final state in pp collisions with the CMS detector at the LHC.

Dr. Roji Pius, Harishchandra Research Institute, Allahabad.
Thesis Title: Perturbative aspects of String Theory and Gauge/Strong Duality

Honourable Mention:

Dr. Md. Rihan Haque, NISER, Bhubaneshwar.
Thesis Title: Nucleii Production and Azimuthal Anisotropy of charged particles in heavy-ion collisions at RHIC

Dr. Kirtimaan  Mohan,  CHEP, IISc, Bangalore
Thesis Title: The Higgs Boson as a probe of physics beyond the standard model in the era of the LHC.

The award ceremony will be held as a part of the DAE symposium on High Energy Physics, on 16th December, 2016 (Friday) in Delhi University between 12.00 and 1.00 pm. 

Award committee: Bedangadas Mohanty (Chair), Sunanda Bannerjee, Debayoti Chowdhuri, Debashis Ghoshal, Rohini Godbole, Sourendu Gupta, Neelima Gupte, Sunil Mukhi.

Thanks all.

This blog post by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The week that was

And what a week it was! It started off pleasantly enough, at the theater with  Wooster and Jeeves, trotting off in the two seater to Totleigh Towers, with Aunt Dahlia, Madeliene Basset, Sir Watkin Basset, Roderick Spode and Stiffy Byng in the mixture. Bertie was in trouble, but Jeeves saved the day. It was a terrific production, given that all roles were played by just three actors, with the two seater and the bath tub also playing stellar roles. Here is Bertie in a bath tub, although at a large distance! The ticket prices played their role in keeping the audience at a distance, with the front seats being priced at Rs 5000 a piece!

If Bertie had a bad week, the rest of us had it worse. On Tuesday, the U.S. got Trumped and India got Modified.  `Change' had a great week. The public was out of money, the ATMs were out of cash, and the PM was out of the country. However, the apologists were not out of excuses. After holding out for several days on the basis of 10 Rs notes  having found their way to the corners of sundry purses, sheer necessity forced a trip to the bank. Two and a half hours of patience yielded four of the notes below, with Gandhiji smiling bashfully on a background of a colour hitherto associated with Barbie.

All the chaos was in a good cause, being dedicated to rooting out black moneys. Here is one of them below, looking dejected. (In case of incomprehensibility, consult Google Translate).

We now await the rigours of the next week. However, Chennai might look forward to some relief. Amma is expected to be discharged from hospital. Please stand by for further bulletins from the frontline.

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Turbulent times

This post is long delayed, and hence covers a lot of mileage, due to long journeys, all through troubled parts. Although, just about everywhere is troubled these days, including, home. It's more a case of troubled times than troubled parts.

July was Europe: Slovenia, France and Germany. Summer in Ljubljana was beautiful, flowers everywhere, and dragon statues on the bridge. However, there was shocking news  every night. Bombs in Turkey, terrorist attacks in Nice and Rouen, terrorist attacks in Munich, protests in Berlin. The streets looked deceptively peaceful, but the long lines in airport security and the number of policemen in the streets gave clues to the tense state of affairs. There was a huge protest outside the Berlin Hauptbahnoff. Angela Merkel's humanitarian generosity was provoking xenophobic backlash. (There were anti-protest protests too. Good for those guys).

August was the U.S: blue skies, fresh air and the Rocky mountains. All looked idyllic, but the presidential race was hotting up. Xenophobia and misogyny were rearing their ugly heads again. Who knows what the election results will throw up, and whom it will affect? No country is truly sovereign these days, as everyone knows.

September was back home again. Dead silence in the newspapers on Kashmir, despite numerous indications of trouble. The Uri attacks and `surgical strikes' blew the lid on the bottled hysteria. All the chest thumping nationalism was woefully similar to that seen in other parts of the world. Saner voices were dubbed `anti-national', exactly like elsewhere. Xenophobia, and a preoccupation with immediate interests, seems to have become a worldwide theme.

The pictures belie the simmering discontent. All looks so pretty and so peaceful. Maybe that is the real truth, and  all the turmoil is superficial and  a passing phase. The pundits claim the world is becoming more peaceful, not less. Otherwise, as ordinary citizens, we are fearful. Let's hope the learned ones have got it right!

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Brigadier Sir Nils

This blog has been following the career of  Sir Nils Olaf, a king penguin, a member of the Norwegian Kings Guard, a long time resident of Edinburgh Zoo, for many years now (see earlier post).
Rising through the service ranks of  a corporal, a sergeant, a sergeant-major and a colonel-in-chief, and after being knighted in 2008 (the occasion celebrated in the previous post), Sir Nils was promoted to Brigadier, by the King's Guard, who were in Edinburgh yesterday to take part in the Military Tattoo. Sir Nils received his promotion with composed pride, after inspecting his comrades at arms, who maintained absolutely straight faces. (See news item and video). Congratulations, Sir Nils!

This blog post by Neelima Gupte and Sumathi Rao.