As many as seven Nobel laureates assembled on the third day of sixth science conclave being held at Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad on Tuesday. Two Nobel Laureates - Prof Serge Haroche and Prof Harold Kroto joined the conclave on Tuesday morning.
Addressing the huge gathering in the pandal, the Austrian born American theoretical physicist Prof. Walter Kohn and recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1998 said that 90 percent experiments in science get failed in order to achieve new discoveries. Therefore, he advised the young scientists to be remained committed towards their research works.
He today talked about “characterization and partial correction of Macular distortions”. Before starting over the topic he shared few memories of his earlier visit to India and some of the amazing experiences he had with people here in the years before. He exclaimed his visits to India to be one of his most amazing experiences.
Firstly during his lecture he revised about the linear increase in world population and its consequences to be faced by this new generation. He mentioned that the new generation will have to deal with the problem of global warming, clean and renewable energy. “Not only this, but the problem of stabilization of population is also a major concern to be dealt with in future”, said Prof. Kohn.
He continued on disease of Macular degeneration. He said that Macular literally is a spot & is inside the back of your eyes. Its the first receiver of visual information of our eye. Regarding Macular Degeneration , he said it causes patient’s central visual field to be spatially distorted.
According to him the main objectives for this problem is to characterize the distortion and to look for methods to compensate the distortion which he discussed in his further slides.He explained students how signal absorbed by the eyes travels as an electric signal to the brain which processes it to give a favourable outcome.
Talking about Amsler Grid, he said it is widely used, non-invasive, diagnostic tool for Macular Degeneration. He described its simple working and explanation. He said that this disease affects people only above 65 years. Also more than a billion people suffer from this all over the world. He further discussed about editing and diagnosis of AMD Patient with the help of Amsler Grid.
He demonstrated the process of compensating distortions using the two slabs and explained how a computer program that creates a dynamic spatial correction has been implemented. He also mentioned that the compensating distortion can be applied to cure Macular Degeneration in real time using portable computing devices( like small computer and a video camera built on the nosepiece).
Prof. Douglas Osheroff, a physicist known for his work in experimental condensed matter physics and Nobel Laureate gave his lecture on “How Science changes Your Life”. He started by explaining electric power generation in US. He also explained basic power generation and its working in case of thermal and hydro electric power.
In his lecture he mentioned that 80% of US power generation is dependent on burning fossil fuels which makes them vulnerable to price fluctuation of petroleum. He talked about 1000 years of global CO2 level and temperature change which is rising dramatically in recent years. He also talked about melting of Arctic sea ice and its depletion. It has devastating affects on the floura and fauna of the region. The animal habitants like the polar bear travel for long distances in search of dens to house their siblings.
He further talked about Palaeontology, which he described as study of life on earth and our place in the cosmos. Next he mentioned and talked about Charles Darwin and his theory of Natural selection. He mentioned James Clerk Maxwell and his experiments related to Electromagnetic radiation, Alexander Fleming who discovered ‘Penicillin vaccination’, and also mentioned Rosalind Franklin who at first discovered structure of DNA.
He discussed Magentic Resonance Imagining which was discovered by felix Block and Ed Prucell and was developed largely by Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield. With its help he said, “One cannot find what a patient is thinking but one can know where, i.e. which part of his brain, he is thinking”.
Then he further talked about computers, Apple iphone G4 and other modern ‘communication gadgets’ along with the basic bell’s telephones. He talked about evolution of flights which started from the one by Wright Bros. to the latest space shuttle. He concluded, mentioning Mars Rovers and the Robotic Exploration over there. He mentioned the Hubble space telescope.
Prof. Serge Haroche, a French physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in year 2012 talked on power and strangeness of the quantum world. He said that today the modern technologies are much dependent over the quantum thesis and are further helping in their advancement. He explained about how quantum theory tells us about the matter and light-matter interactions and has given us all modern technologies.
He informed students about the modern technologies based on quantum giving examples of lasers, atomic clocks and GPS, magnetic resonance and MRI and many more.Then he discussed about GPS system and explained how without relativistic corrections, the GPS would be off by several kilometres. He said that the GPS devices exploit quantum physics and relativity without us being conscious of this (‘veiled’ strangeness). He then summarised the quantum physics and state superposition said a few words about coherence.
Earlier, in the morning the institute’s “C V Raman Bhawan” was inaugurated by Prof. Goverdhan Mehta, the Chancellor of IIIT-A and all seven Nobel Laureates. The building CV Raman Bhavan was dedicated to the nation and its welfare.
The building was beautifully decorated with flowers and garlands. An idol of maa saraswati illuminated by diyas was placed at the entrance. Nobel laureates Prof. Walter Kohn, Prof. Ivar Giaever, Prof. Douglas Osheroff, Prof. Rositsa Bateson, Prof. Richard Roberts, Prof. Harold Kroto, C. Tannnaudji along with their wives and Prof. Joseph Sifakis Turing Awardee performed the pooja cereomony of the new building. The Director of IIIT-A Dr M.D. Tiwari, Prof. Ramesh Chandra and others were present on the occasion.