India to Join Global High End Scientific Club Soon

INO, India now on a threshhold to join the global high-end scientific Neutrino club and its way has been cleared with the Union Cabinet clearing the Neutrino Observatory, INO last month. According to Prof. Naba K. Mondal, Project Director of the India-based Neutrino Observatory and Inter Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics it would open up avenues for experiments in high energy physics.

It may be noted that the Cabinet Committee on Security had cleared the project on December 26 last year, at an investment of Rs. 1,500 crores. It will be funded jointly by Department of Science and Technology and Atomic Energy, while the Infrastructure will be creatted with the help of Tamil Nadu government. Prof. Mondal, said on the sidelines of the ongoing Indian Science Congress in Mumbai.

He said , India will also seek international participation in the project, so that it turns out to be an international hub for high-end research like the CERN in Geneva. He however, said, Indian participation in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project will continue.

Dr. Mondal said with the closure of the Kolar Gold Field project this kind of high-end physics projects were not undertaken here in the past. Hence the global community had to be convinced that India is sincere in this regard. “Now with the formal approval for the project we will really want to open the space for the international community, to come and participate in the experiments or even propose new experiments. The experiment that we are doing is only the first experiment. There can be other experiments like on the dark matters. So India would like to invite the international community to come here and join us and participate so that this centre becomes a global hub for such things.”

The underground project, which will come up near Pottipuram village in Theni district on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border will comprise a complex of caverns – the main cavern, which will house the current detector will be 130 meters long, 26 meters wide and 30 meter high. There will be two smaller caverns to be used for setting up experiments for neutrino double detector and dark matters, said Prof. Mondal. The complex will be approached by a 2-kms long tunnel. The Inter Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics will come up in Madurai, about 110 kilometers from the Observatory.

“The Neutrino that we are going to detect is there anyway. We will only detect and study its properties. Light from the Sun, stars and galaxies are there always. When you put a telescope, you detect it. Here also the Neutrinos are coming, we are only putting the detector underground,” he said. “We have to put it underground, because in the surface, there are other interactions, which will completely submerge the Neutrino event. That’s why we have to go deep underground, where other particles get absorbed and we can measure the Neutrino.”

Prof. Mondal said, any apprehensions about the project’s impact on habitation in or around the village was unfounded.