Big Bang on Indian shoulders

Key research centres part of developing computing system as well

Big Bang on Indian shoulders

A monitor showing the first ultra high-energy collisions is seen at the CMS experiment control room of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) on Tuesday near Geneva.  AFP

The instrumentation support will continue as a team from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai is now developing “resistive plate chambers”, which will be required to take the large hadron collider (LHC) to its maximum energy level of 14 Tev.

India decided to partner the LHC project in 1990-91 and a formal agreement was inked between European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) and department of atomic energy (DAE) in 1996.

India contributed both in cash and kind. It manufactured some of the key detectors and equipment for the giant atom smasher. As a quid pro quo, Indian physicists were made active participants in two of the four experiments.

There are four detectors at LHC meant for specific high-energy physics experiments. They are known by their acronyms – ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb. Indian participation is only in ALICE and CMS.

Delhi and Punjab Universities together with BARC and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai are participating in the CMS experiment whereas ALICE-India comprises researchers from the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Kolkata, and Jammu, Aligarh Muslim and Rajasthan Universities.

Financial aspect
“Financially, ALICE and CMS-India may have contributed Rs 60-70 crore each for the LHC,” said TIFR scientist Atul Gurtu, who is the CMS-India spokesperson.

In fact, the entire 27 km accelerator is literally sitting on 7,080 precision magnet positioning system (PMPS) jacks made in India.

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre also play a key role in developing the GRID computing system that will be put to use for analysing mammoth amount of LHC data. “TIFR will be one of the tier-2 centres in the grid hosting 650 tera-bytes of storage,” said Gurtu.

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