Physical Research Laboratory

Physical Research Laboratory

The Physical Research Laboratory is a national Indian centre for research in space and allied sciences, supported mainly by Department of Space. This research laboratory currently has ongoing research programmes over astronomy and astrophysics, planetary atmosphere and aeronomy, earth sciences, solar system studies and theoretical physics. [cite web |year=2005 |url=http://www.prl.res.in |title=Physical Research Laboratory |work=Department of Space, Indian Space Research Organisation |accessdate=June 22 |accessyear=2007] It currently manages the Udaipur Solar Observatory and is located in Ahmedabad

History

Known as the cradle of Space Sciences in India. Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) was founded on November 11, 1947 by Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai. PRL had a modest beginning at his residence, the RETREAT, with research on cosmic rays.

The Laboratory was formally established in the M. G. Science College, Ahmedabad, with support from the Karmkshetra Educational Foundation and the Ahmedabad Education Society. The initial focus was research on Cosmic Rays and the properties of the Upper Atmosphere. Research in Theoretical Physics and Radio Physics were added later with grants from the Atomic Energy Commission.

Today PRL is actively involved in research, related to five major fields of science. PRL is also instrumental in the PLANEX planetary science and exploration programme.

Research

PRL research encompasses The Earth, The Sun immersed in the field and radiations reaching from and to infinity, all that man's curiosity and intellect can reveal. Logo of PRL carries this information within it.

*Astronomy and Astrophysics: Current research programmes include studies on star formation, evolution of intermediate mass stars, photometric and polarimetric studies of active galaxies and BL Lac objects and high angular resolution studies by lunar occulations, study on circumstellar structure. The astronomical observations are taken through a 1.2 m telescope that is located in Mount Abu. The laboratory has also undertaken solar photospheric and chromospheric studies under the International Global Oscillations Network Group (GONG) project at Udaipur Solar Observatory. A 12 ft SPAR telescope is being used in this project.
*Planetary atmospheres and Aeronomy: The institute has been recently investigating the electric and magnetic fields, plasma instabilities and the dynamics of the upper atmosphere are being carried out by elegant radio, optical and plasma diagnostic techniques. The role of trace gases in the chemical and radiative properties of the earth's atmosphere and their impact on climate, ionization and electrodynamical parameters of the middle atmosphere are a few of the topics which are also being studied actively.
*Earth Sciences: Studies that are particularly related to geochronology, geochemistry, glaciology, oceanography and palaeoclimatology and isotope geology are one of the most actively researched upon subjects.

*Theoretical Physics: Current research programmes include Neutrino physics, Physics beyond standard model, Standard and non-standard CP violation, Fermion masses, Supersymmetry, Baryogenesis, Phenomenology of higher dimensional theories, QCD and quark gluon plasma, Colour superconductivity, Chiral symmetry breaking, Study of quantum chaos in nuclear energy levels, Group theoretical models and nuclear structures, Study of atomic Rydberg states, Stark spectroscopy of atomic levels, Stability analysis of synchronized structures in coupled map networks.

*Quantum Optics and Quantum Information: Production and characterization of entangled states, Cavity QED, Realization of quantum gates and networks, Storage and retrieval of quantum information, Subluminal and superluminal propagation of light, Dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensates and cold Fermions, Non-commutative field theory, Solitons, optical resonators and optical fibers are currently studied theoretically. Experimental study of optical vortices is also pursued.

Academics

The Physical Research Laboratory holds various seminars and public lectures. It has a workshop, computer centre, library and various other laboratories. It also offers a five-year doctoral programme in physics (Theoretical Physics and Complex Systems, Space and Atmospheric Sciences and Quantum optics and Quantum Information), Astronomy and Astrophysics (Infrared, Sub-mm and Radio Astronomy), Solar Physics, Planetary and Geosciences, leading to a Ph.D degree. The admission is through a written test/interview.

As a part of the National Science Week for the year 2006, the Physical Research Laboratory, along with the Indian Physics Association, Ahmedabad Chapter would hold a science quiz.

National awards

The research institution offers national awards to scientists who have outstanding contributions in the field of science and technology. The awards presented are:
*"Hari Om Ashram Prerit Senior Scientist Award"
*"Hari Om Ashram Prerit Vikram Sarabhai Research Awards", and
*PRL Award

cientific milestones

*1950s : Cosmic Rays Atomospheric Sciences
*1960s : Theoretical Physics Radio Physics
*1970s : Earth and Planetary Sciences Infra-Red Astronomy
*1980s : Particle Physics Solar Physics
*1990s : Laser Physics and Quantum Optics Non-linear Dynamics and Computational Physics Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology
*2000s : Quantum Information Solar X-ray Astronomy (SOXS) Submillimeter Astronomy Planetary Exploration

External links

* [http://www.prl.res.in PRL - Physical Research Laboratory]
* [http://www.ipp.ac.cn/qy/WS97/node119.html Institute of Plasma Physics, China]
* [http://www.isro.org/centers/cen_prl.htm Department of Space]

References

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