For commoners' benefit, BU to start mobile science unit

Varsity to upgrade infrastructure, laboratory of Physics dept

For commoners' benefit, BU to start mobile science unit

To bring science concepts closer to the public, Bangalore University (BU) is planning to start a mobile science unit.

The varsity will soon submit a proposal in this regard to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to get its approval for the project under the Innovative Universities scheme.

“The idea is to make science accessible to people on the streets and increase their understanding of and interest in the subject,” said BU’s Department of Physics chairman Prof Sharath Ananthamurthy. The mobile science unit will function on the lines of the mobile libraries of the department of Libraries of the State government.

This is one of the initiatives being planned by the department. The department of Physics will soon see a makeover of both infrastructure and laboratory facilities. A science communication centre is also being planned. Computers would be upgraded and new systems procured within the next four months. The department will also get wi-fi facility, he said.

To give a lift to the infrastructure, Prof Sharath has planned to approach national funding agencies including the Ministry of Science and Technology. “Toilets, which badly need a repair, will be rebuilt. The auditorium will also get additional facilities,” he said.

New equipment

Students will have access to Optical Tweezer and the Raman Spectrometer shortly. These equipment would be procured at a cost of Rs three crore. An Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) will also find its place here benefiting not just students pursuing Physics but even those in other departments.

The department’s two weather stations that were set up a few months ago will also receive a fillip. A display unit, showing the weather computed, will be put up in front of the department. The weather stations are digitising data on humidity, temperature, wind speed and directions. With the display units, those on the BU campus will get regular updates on weather.

The department’s Chandrashekar Research Scholar Forum is now active with 18 full time research scholars and several part-time scholars. The scholars will gather once in two weeks to discuss developments pertaining to not just their fields of research but also international developments in Physics.

The university had invited applications from eminent scientists last year for the Sir MV Chair set up by ISRO. The chair was constituted to promote research in the areas of space science, space technology and space applications. It is now active with the department conducting a workshop on ‘Advances in Atmospheric and Space Sciences,’ in co-ordination with ISRO, last week.

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