It's time to look beyond solar energy: Scientist

It's time to look beyond solar energy: Scientist

Noted scientist Dr A Sivathanu Pillai on Tuesday called upon young researchers to look beyond solar energy to address the future needs of space and defence programmes as well as to address issues pertaining to the energy demand.

Speaking at an international conference on ‘Recent advances in materials science’, Pillai, who is also the chief controller, Research and Development, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), New Delhi, said helium-3, a non-radioactive isotope of helium, was the new source of energy the scientific community was looking at.

“The fact that Helium-3 is thought to be in greater abundance on the moon, various manned space missions towards the moon are also aimed at exploring the possibilities of extracting the isotope from there,” he said.

Pillai said the field of materials science was fast expanding and there was an increasing convergence of nano technology and bio-technology.

“The application of bio-nano revolutions is into various fields, including the recent development of bio chips, to activate neurons in the brain to cure diseases like Parkinson,” he said.

Professor Rudolph A Marcus, Nobel laureate and Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, who was conferred honorary distinguished professorship by Tumkur University, said new devices in solar energy were the need of the hour.

“Apart from solar energy, others fields such as electrochemistry, biological systems, etc, will also get to benefit from recent advances in materials science,” he said.

About 175 researchers from across the country and abroad, including Professor Maria Elisabeth Micheal-Beyerele, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Professor M S Hegde, the Indian Institute of Science, participated in the conference.

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