This is one Big global pat that India can claim… and also hope to cash in on.
Now, the Indian scientists’ contribution to the Big Bang experiment is also being seen as a billion-dollar opportunity for Indian science.
The impressive show put up by the Indian scientists at European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) has opened the floodgates of a never-before interest in the country’s scientific talent pool. CERN is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory where the first such experiment is on to recreate conditions which enabled the birth of the Earth.
When India was given the responsibility of providing key equipment for the $3.8 billion (Rs 16,340 crore) Big Bang experiment on the outskirts of Geneva, laboratories around the world watched closely, with some even doubting whether India could accomplish the task.
Now, top global labs have approached India with requests for scientific inputs to their projects.
Inquiries on Indian know-how have now come from the Fermi National Accelerator Lab, US’s foremost particle physics agency.
“Impressed by our precision work, Fermi director Pier Oddone has sent feelers seeking to explore ways of co-operation,” said Vinod C Sahni, director of the Centre for Advanced Technology (CAT).
CAT is the nodal agency which did the bulk of the work on the Large Hadron Collider project or the Big Bang experiment.
Inquiries have also come from the International Linear Collider Steering Committee, another multinational physics project aiming at an even bigger experiment. “We have achieved two things from the Big Bang. An opportunity to prove,” says Sahni, “and praise”. “If you go to a body like CERN today and tell them you are from India, they look up to you with awe and respect,” said Sahni.
The experiment that began on Wednesday has been dubbed as the biggest scientific experiment ever.
India provided 1,848 corrector magnets. This is half the number of the magnets required for the Big Bang project. “All of them worked as they ought to,” Sahni said.