India needs a particle accelerator like Switzerland's LHC: CNR Rao

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 2:14pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
SAC-PM calls for setting up national synchrotron facility.

The immediate need for setting up a national synchrotron facility in the country has been sounded by the country’s uppermost body that deliberates on various policy issues pertaining to science and technology.

The scientific advisory council to the prime minister (SAC-PM) has asked the planning commission to speed up the process of setting up a national synchrotron facility in the 12th plan (2012-2017).

SAC-PM chairman CNR Rao in a recent letter shot off to K Kasturirangan, member of the planning commission said that it is high time India set up a 3Gev (giga electron volts) synchrotron facility that serves the needs of the scientists in the country.

“A need for a national synchrotron facility in India has been discussed since the 11th plan.

Unfortunately, we still do not have a good working synchrotron. What is surprising is that Brazil is now building its second synchrotron and even a small country like Taiwan has good synchrotron facilities. Many of us are using facilities from all over the world and it’s high time that the next generations of scientists will have a national facility,” stated Rao’s letter.

Currently, there is a synchrotron facility in Indore, but Rao said a new national facility that is a joint effort between the department of science and technology and department of atomic energy and located in the environs of research or educational institution is necessary.

Though there is a proposal to setup a synchrotron facility at the second campus of Indian Institute of Science (IISc) located in Challakere in Chitradurga district, it has not made any headway.

That apart, the National Green Tribunal has halted all projects, which includes DRDO’s, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and IISc’s, that was to come up over 10,000 acre plot in Challakere, citing violation of environment norms.

The proposed synchrotron is to be set up with an investment of Rs6,000 crore on 100 acres of land, and is said to be on the lines of the renowned Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland.

What is Synchrotron?
According to the science Synchrotron is a machine for accelerating charged particles to very high energies. The particles move in an orbit of constant radius guided by a magnetic field. The acceleration is provided at one point in their orbit by a high-frequency electric field whose frequency increases to insure that particles of increasing velocity- arrive at the correct instant to be further accelerated.

It has was a wide range of applications in life sciences, drug discovery and research, analysing, fluorescence studies, particle therapy to treat some forms of cancer among others.

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