Kolkata/Geneva: The discovery of a new sub- atomic particle that is crucial to understanding how the universe is built announced in Geneva on Wednesday has an intrinsic Indian connection.
A large number of Indian scientists, representing the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics(SINP), Kolkata, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Harishchandra Research Institute, Allahabad and Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, were involved in the world`s most ambitious experiment over the years.
The Indian link to the world`s ambitious experiment was also significantly reflected in comments ahead of the announcement by CERN scientists that a sub-atomic particle "consistent" with the Higgs boson or `God particle` has been spotted.
"India is like a historic father of the project," said Paolo Giubellino, spokesperson of Geneva-based European Organisation for Nuclear Research, famously known as CERN.
As scientists thrashed out the `God particle` in its physical form in a giant collider, there was palpable excitement at SINP since its scientists had made significant contributions to the development of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiments at CERN.
The long-sought particle, known as Higgs boson, is also partly named after an Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose, who worked with Albert Einstein in the 1920s and made discoveries that led to the most coveted prize in particle physics.
Stating that it was a historical moment in physics and SINP took pride in being a part of the history, the Institute director Milan Sanyal said "It will require more data and intense scrutiny to establish these findings beyond any doubt.
"This is an important moment for the development of science and I am very happy that our institute, this city and our country is part of the science revolution," he told PTI in Kolkata.
He said that the core CMS team of the SINP had five faculty members -- group leader Prof Sunanda Banerjee, Prof Satyaki Bhattacharya, Prof Suchandra Datta, Prof Subir Sarkar and Prof Manoj Saran.
The phrase "God particle" was coined by Nobel Prize- winning physicist Leon Lederman but is used by laymen, not physicists, as an easier way of explaining how the subatomic universe works and got started.
The name Higgs boson came from a British scientist Peter Higgs and Bose, who studied at Presidency College, Calcutta, The work done by Bose and Albert Einstein, later added by Higgs, led to this pioneering day.
The fact that only the "H" in Higgs boson is capitalized in most cases has been a subject matter of debate among the Indian scientific fraternity.
Sanyal said most of his team members at Geneva had worked for more than a decade with the CMS experiment with notable contributions in the development of the experiment right from the early stage and were actively participating in the analysis of the incoming data. SINP is the oldest institute in the area of nuclear physics in India.
He said the SINP had joined in the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider facility through a memorandum of understanding with CERN signed in Kolkata during the last visit of the CERN Director-General.
Eminent Indian cosmologist Archan Majumder termed the spotting of the sub-atomic particle as a great victory for the human civilisation.
"The discovery is revolutionary in human history. This is a great victory of the fundamental knowledge of human civilisation," Majumder, attached with the S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, told PTI in Kolkata.
"There has been a strong indication of finding the much-awaited new subatomic particle which, though requiring more and more experiments for confirmation in coming years, will go a long way in unravelling the mystery of the evolution of the universe," he said.
The cosmologist said that a large number of Indian scientists, representing the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, Harishchandra Research Institute, Allahabad and Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar, were involved in the CERN experiment over the years.