Report on Science Academies’Lecture Workshop on
“Lasers and their Applications”
20th and 21st January, 2018
Indian Women Scientists’ Association(IWSA),
Plot No 20, Sector 10A, Vashi, Navi Mumbai 400703
Prof. R. Nagarajan, Fellow IAS, INSA, NASI,
Emeritus Professor, UM-DAE Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (CEBS)
Dr. Lalitha Dhareshwar, Vice president, IWSA,
Formerly Raja Ramanna Fellow, Laser and Neutron Physics Division,
The Science Academies’ Two Day Lecture Workshop on Lasers and their Applications for Graduate and Post Graduate level students, Researchers and Teachers was held on 20th and 21st January 2018, at the ICICI Multipurpose hall of Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) at their head quarter premises at Vashi, Navi Mumbai. The workshop was sponsored by the Science Education Panel of Indian Science Academy, Bangalore(IAS); Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi (INSA) and National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), Allahabad.
The objective of this lecture workshop was to clear the fundamental aspects of lasers as well as introduce some of the advanced topics. Topics were chosen after going through the BSc and MSc syllabus of Mumbai University. The workshop was thus designed to enhance the knowledge as well as trigger the curiosity in the participants.
Experts from the field of Lasers from BARC, TIFR at Mumbai and RRCAT at Indore were invited give the lectures. Each of the speakers was allotted 90 minutes for lecture and discussions as per the Academies’ guidelines. In addition to the lectures, some demonstration experiments on Lasers and their applications were arranged. Annexure I is the abstract booklet which also contains the program with the list of lecturers, their topics, and the abstract of experiments.The announcement as in Annexure II(a) along with the application form shown in Annexure II(b) were put up in website of IWSA and also was circulated, both as email and as hard copy, to about 50 Science, Engineering and medical colleges in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.120 participants registered at the workshop. List of participants is given in Annexure III.
The lecture workshop started with a brief inauguration, in which Dr. Surekha Zingde, President, IWSA informed the participants briefly about the various Science Education as well as community welfare activities of IWSA. This was followed by Prof. Nagarajan describing the various programs of the Science Education Panel of the Academies. He presented the slides covering the fellowship programs, Refresher courses and Lecture workshops conducted and publications by the Academies. He particularly stressed Science Academies’ Summer Research Fellowship Programme for Students and Teachers. This was followed by a brief overview of the Lecture workshop by Dr. Lalitha Dhareshwar, Coordinator of the workshop. Shri U.K. Chatterjee, former Head. Laser and Plasma Technology Division, BARC, Mumbai, who was the first person to demonstrate and put to use a semiconductor laser in India, reminisced about early days of Laser in India and expressed his appreciations for the workshop on Lasers being organized.
The lectures in the Workshop started with two lectures by Prof. Ravindra Kumar of TIFR, who is a very well known Indian researcher in the field of basic research in applying lasers (Fellow of the Academies and recipient of Infosys Prize). He covered the fundamentals and overview of Lasers. Further lectures covered different types of lasers, high resolution spectroscopy, and application of lasers in the field of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Medicine, Industry and including exciting frontier areas such as, Laser Plasma simulating astrophysical conditions in the laboratory, fusion etc. A glimpse of the topics can be had from the enclosed abstract booklet (Annexure IV). It may be noted that amongst the lecturers, apart from Dr. Ravindra Kumar, Dr. Pushan Ayub and Dr.Indira K. Priyadarshini are Fellows of the Academies.
In addition to the lectures, there were four major demonstration experiments (see abstract in Annexure I for details) were set up by Prof. Nagarajan and his team from Univ. Mumbai-Dept. Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CEBS). The apparatus belonging to CEBS were transported and set up at IWSA. Prof. Nagarajan and his colleagues also set up some additional minor, but interesting, demonstrations and also arranged display of a CO2 laser system. To make efficient use of time, lunch and tea breaks were used as working time and utilized for the demonstrations.
One of the highlights of the workshop was the Lecture cum demonstration on the topic-“Sculpting Light- Holographic applications of Lasers”. In this lecture, Dr. Ajith Kumar gave a hands-on experience to the participants in recording holograms with a laser. This session and the experiment demonstrations were appreciated by one and all.
Every participant was given a booklet (about 45 pages) of about “A Tribute to Laser pioneers” containing brief biography and valuable contribution of 20 pioneers (starting with Einstein and ending with Nakamura who invented the blue / violet diode laser and recipient of Nobel Prize in 2014) in the field of laser science, produced by Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore. A copy of this booklet is enclosed with this report for your record. We are indeed grateful to Director, RRCAT for providing this booklet free of cost for distribution at this workshop.
Participants interacted actively with all the speakers during the lecture as well as during lunch and tea time. A feedback was taken from the participants in a form (Annexure IV(a)) and their opinion is briefly summarized in Annexure IV(b). All of the speakers expressed appreciation of the workshop, for its content and for its organization. Two opinions received by e-mail are given in Annexure V.
Details of expenditure and the photographs with the labels are being sent separately.
We thank the Science Academies for enabling us to organize this workshop and for their full support. We hope that we have fulfilled the expectations of the Academies. We also hope that in future we will have more such associations with the Academies and contribute in education and spread Science in society.
Prof. R. Nagarajan Dr. Lalitha Dhareshwar