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.