CERN chief wants more Indians to take lead in designing, building collider | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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CERN chief wants more Indians to take lead in designing, building collider

Indian scientists will be part of the next international basic science experiment right from the design stage.

mumbai Updated: Jan 20, 2010 01:25 IST
HT Correspondent

Indian scientists will be part of the next international basic science experiment right from the design stage.

The next generation accelerator, the International Linear Collider (ILC), will have a global design involving scientists from the US, Europe and Asia, said Rolf Dieter Heuer, director general of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) on Tuesday.

“In the Asian region, we want India to take a leading role in the global design and building of the collider,” Heuer said at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

The proposed electron-positron collider will study the fundamentals of nature. It will complement and make precise measurements of the properties of particles discovered in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most expensive experiment that is currently underway.

“The ILC is a truly global project. We wanted to involve scientists from the start. It will be a virtual organisation with weekly video conferences and telephonic discussions,” Heuer said.

In the city to attend the meeting of the Funding Agencies for Large Colliders to discuss funding and exchange information on the ILC, Heuer said every institution involved in the project would also be responsible for maintenance of the proposed collider and will share operational costs.

“If a country develops a component, it will be obliged to keep the intellect in the home country and train young scientists. When a country works on big challenges, it attracts young people. It is important to keep them.”

While the technical design will be brought to the table in 2012, the accelerator will be operational in early 2020s. Estimated to cost $6 billion (Rs 27,312 crore), the project will be built over a distance of about 50 km.

The host country is yet to be finalised.

CERN Director General Rolf Dieter Heuer will meet officials of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and others in February to discuss the availability of Indian manpower.

“There is a huge demand for expertise for the LHC experiments in Geneva. CERN expects more Indian participation in ongoing experiments,” said Heuer, who met AEC Chairman Srikumar Banerjee. Currently 200 Indians, including 100 scientists, are involved in the experiments. “But we need more,” he said.

After a winter break, the LHC will restart in mid-February.