13th Prof P C Mahanta Memorial Lecture

Accelerators and Associated Research Activities

13th P C Mahanta Memorial Lecture

Prof P C Mahanta was the founder Head of the Department of this department, who has given a definite shape to this institution. A PhD from Imperial College, London, he was a top-rated physicist of that time, working mainly on material science.

Born in the year 1911 in Bajali, Assam, Prof Mahanta was a visionary from the beginning. After completing his graduation from Cotton College, and masters from University of Calcutta, he joined Cotton College as a Lecturer in 1941. In 1948, he went to the UK to do his PhD from Imperial College, London, where he also earned a diploma from Imperial. On his return, he once again joined Cotton College before coming to Gauhati University as the founder Head of the Department of the newly founded Physics Department, in 1955, and remained till his superannuation.

Every year the Department organises this memorial lecture in the memory and honour of Prof Mahanta and remembers his invaluable contribution. Many famous scientists have graced this occasion in the past, which includes Sir (Prof) Arnold Whittaker Wolfendale, FRS and Astronomer Royal, UK, the famous Astrophysicist, Prof Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, and Prof Yash Pal, former Chairman of UGC. Last  year, we have dedicated the Memorial Lecture to the International Year of Crystallography, which has been celebrated worldwide. This year our theme is 100 Years of Relativity.

The year 2015 marks the hundred years after Albert Einstein formulated his famous General theory of Relativity, which has been more or less the basic framework on which advances in cosmology has been made during past one hundred years. It has been found remarkably accurate in predicting certain natural phenomena which includes bending of light by massive stars. In this year, the 12th Memorial Lecture was delivered on Friday, 20 November, 2015, by the renown physicist from Prof A Prasanna of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad on this theme.

2017 Memorial Lecture :

 Title    Accelerators and associated research activities
 Speaker  Prof D Kanjilal, Director, Inter-University Accelerator Centre (IUAC), New Delhi
 Type  Popular Lecture
 Date  11:00 AM, Friday, 17 March, 2017


Developments of various accelerators delivering energetic ion beams having a wide range of the energy and their applications in modern research will be discussed in detail. Focused research in the areas of nuclear physics, atomic and molecular physics, materials science and radiation biology using the state of the art experimental facilities are being carried out at IUAC by more than four hundred research groups from all over India and abroad. A brief introduction of the overall research and developmental activities will be given. Ion beams at varied energies and doses are used for precise modification of materials at desired location in three dimensions. Some of the interesting results on controlled modification of different materials will be presented systematically at popular level. Special emphasis will be given to the understanding of the fundamental interaction processes involved and the various experimental techniques used to achieve the desired goals. Low energy (keV) ion beam is generally used for ion implantation of the desired species with required concentration at predetermined location. High energy (~ MeV/amu) ions are used for modification of structures leading to the formation of specific phase in a controlled manner by dense electronic excitation during irradiation. Some of the recent results on formation of different controlled structures at desired location in materials will be discussed.