National Science Day celebration at RRCAT on 28th and 29th February 2020

National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28th February of each year to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect by Prof. C. V. Raman who was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1930 and Bharat Ratna in 1954. In addition, RRCAT is also celebrating the Birth Centenary Year of Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai who took charge of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) after sad demise of Dr. Homi J. Bhabha in 1966. RRCAT celebrated the National Science Day on 28 and 29 February, remembering the great contributions of both Dr. C.V. Raman and Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai by holding an open house for the school and college students, teachers, family members and guests of RRCAT staff and invitees from public. The theme of this year’s National Science Day was “Women in Science”, hence a dedicated pavilion on this theme was also set up.

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On Friday, February 28, 2020, students of Class XI and teachers from schools in and around Indore, were invited for a full day visit. About 1410 students and teachers invited from 100 schools from Indore and nearby places visited RRCAT. The inauguration and introduction program was solely organized and conducted by women scientists, engineers and girl students of the centre. The program started with an address by Shri Debashis Das, Director, RRCAT on the basic principles of working of accelerators and lasers, which are the main areas of research and development at RRCAT. His lucid explanation in simple Hindi language was very much appreciated by the students and the teachers. He also explained with the help of movies clips, the scientific and technological aspects about exhibits arranged for the students at different laboratories. A few small movies depicting importance of hygiene and cleanliness were also shown to students and teachers under “Swachcha Bharat Abhiyaan”.

Special arrangements were made for the Hearing and Speech impaired students invited from special schools to participate in the celebrations accompanied by interpreter-teachers. Director, RRCAT, along with senior members of organizing committee, interacted with these 50 special students in a separated interactive session and tried to address their queries with the help of interpreter-teachers. The students participated actively in this interactive session.

After the address, all the students were taken to exhibit places at laboratories and RRCAT Convention Centre, in organized groups, under the guidance of RRCAT volunteers. There were working exhibits on lasers like use of light and lasers for biomedical applications, demonstrations on applications of lasers like: laser cutting and marking, laser additive manufacturing and Nd:YAG and fibers lasers etc. To explain some basic science concepts, special experiments had been set up like Raman effect, Michelson interferometer, glow discharge, laws of motion, gas laws, conservation of momentum, change in physical properties of materials at low temperature, etc. To explain some technology applications, live demonstration with models of superconducting magnetic levitated trains, hyperloop train, CNC machining, induction heating, glass blowing etc. were shown. Videos on Indus Synchrotrons and their uses, development of SCRF cavities, indigenous 10 MeV linear accelerator, optical diagnosis of cancer, laser additive manufacturing, laser cutting, detection of RF and Microwave signals etc. were shown.

About 43 exhibits related to technologies of accelerators, lasers, cryogenics, superconductivity, RF and Microwave, magnets, along with demonstration of Fire & Safety aspects were set up at RRCAT Convention Centre and in different laboratories to explain the scientific and technical activities of RRCAT as well as to demonstrate a few concepts in basic sciences and engineering. A “Women in Science Pavilion” was specially set up to highlight the contributions of women in science and engineering and encourage girl students to plan their career in science.

“Make in India Gallery” was set up to showcase recent important scientific achievements and in-house technology developments carried out at RRCAT. About 20 advanced technology achievements were exhibited with the help of illustrated posters, working models, and actual components. These included instruments like TuBerculoScope, Raman Probe Oncodiagnoscope, laser micro welding machine for brachytherapy sources and development of laser technologies related with maintenance of Indian PHWRs, diode pumped laser marker, technology for LN2 based REEFER, SCRF cavity, superconducting corrector magnets, solid state RF amplifier, high stability power converters, non-evaporable getter (NEG) coating, crystal growth, mask-less fabrication of semiconductor devices, Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensor and machine for fiber polishing etc. which greatly enthused the young visitors.

The overall response of the students and teachers was very enthusiastic showing keen interest in the exhibits and had lively discussions with the RRCAT officials. Exhibits like demonstration of laser cutting, taking ride on magnetic levitated train, shaping glass using glass blowing technique, artificial cloud creation by liquid nitrogen and live demonstration of fire-fighting created a vivid impact on young minds and earned applause from students, teachers, family members of staff and guests.

An “Ask-a-Question” event was organized for the students with an aim to create an opportunity for free discussion between these young minds and the working scientists. Several RRCAT scientists interacted with the students encouraging them to ask questions. The discussions ranged from questions arising out of the exhibits at RRCAT for science day to basic scientific concepts. The event also encouraged the accompanying teachers to discuss their problems in teaching particular concepts of science. Participation prizes were also given to curious students. The specially-abled students also visited various laboratories and took part enjoyably in “Ask a Question” event with great enthusiasm.

All the students and accompanying teachers were offered refreshments and lunch in the morning and noon respectively. Souvenir caps were also distributed to all the students and teachers. In addition, brochure covering recent achievements and developments carried out at RRCAT were distributed to all. Buses were arranged for movement of the students to various exhibits and labs. The overall response of the students was extremely enthusiastic as demonstrated by the number of queries they put in during the visits to the exhibits and at the “Ask-a-Question” event. They went back full of admiration for the scientific activities being pursued by DAE in general, and RRCAT in particular. They were also impressed by the cleanliness, greenery and lakes in the RRCAT picturesque campus.

On February 29, 2020, family members and guests of RRCAT staff, college students, and invitees were given opportunity to visit RRCAT laboratories. More than 2500 persons including 450 college students and teachers visited the laboratories and expressed their happiness on getting an opportunity to learn about the important R & D activities being carried out at the Centre.

The whole event was managed, under keen supervision of Shri Debashis Das, Director, RRCAT, by an Organizing Committee with Shri Purushottam Shrivastava as Chairman of Apex Committee and Shri Rajesh Arya as the Convener. The committee had made quite elaborate arrangements for the event with the help and enthusiastic cooperation of a large team of volunteers, exhibitors, administrative staff, and security personnel.

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