A proposal of a billion dollar science experimental facility to build a electron cyclotron in India was put forward in 2011 by the international committee headed by SINP (saha institute of nuclear physics,kolkata) a premier institute in this field.The machine Indian Synchrotron for Materials and Energy Research (ISMER) would be one of the largest in the world after USA,Germany,Japan,France. But only iff west bengal govt offered a 100 Acre land within the span of 50 kms from city and airport for easy transport for physicists across borders . But this is too much to ask for the government who believes in immediate benefit from investment and insists that it will be better to give the land for building AIIMS( medical school) than GOD-KNOWS-WHAT electron synchrotron. This chaps have not even heard of one before, although, one similar technology is running right in front of their nose at VECC (variable energy cyclotron centre).
Bengal has been the hotspot for fundamental Physics education for long time. It has developed into one of the leading center for making of good scientists starting from Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose, the man who realized the famous “Bose particle”, a now fundamental part of physics to recently Dr. Ashok Sen for his outstanding research in fundamental string theory. What these two men have in common is they hailed from a place called the “intellectual” capital of India:West Bengal and have devoted their lives trying to understand the fundamental constituents of nature.
But the same Bengal, with due respect, is the home of another kind of intellectuals, the “wanna be” intellectuals, who quickly climb up ladder of high politics, who I guess cannot fathom the scale of development and progress a science project can build.
Coming to the points why this should be build:
1. Every nation must strive to achieve something hard/majestic, that is what sets them apart, remember them, just like Maharajahs are remembered by their wonderful monuments which sometimes took decades to complete, the modern day monuments are the Science and Technological marvels. Constructing this will take 10 years almost and employ thousands of people and also advance technology manifold.
2.Kolkata is home of many great scientist, and having this in homeland will make us even more proud.
3.Wiki gives the following uses for Science and Technology apart from fundamental physics:
- Life sciences: protein and large-molecule crystallography
- LIGA based microfabrication
- Drug discovery and research
- “Burning” computer chip designs into metal wafers
- Analysing chemicals to determine their composition
- Observing the reaction of living cells to drugs
- Inorganic material crystallography and microanalysis
- Fluorescence studies
- Semiconductor material analysis and structural studies
- Geological material analysis
- Medical imaging
- Proton therapy to treat some forms of cancer
Bengal have now been producing some software technicians like one in each hundred, only to brain drain to other state or even country doing some poor quality work for foreign demands. This project will employ enthusiast engineers in thousands. I have seen people from Bengal holding high posts in other states, intelligent people, scientists, artists fleeing this land, because of lack of opportunity, lack of cooperation from government, lack of understanding amongst those who take the decisions. Lets bring in a change, a change so that many people can really build something, a thing that will be remembered in history. Lets aim for long term benefit.