The Department of Physics, SNU organized an All Day Long Astrophysics Seminar Program “Unravelling the mysteries of the Universe: selected topics on Astrophysics and Cosmology that started at 10 am at Seminar Hall of SNU and continued till about 2 pm.
The Seminar program consisted of the following distinguished faculties from reputed institutes.
1. Prof Narayan Banerjee, Dean of Faculty and Professor at the Department of Physical Sciences, IISER, Kolkata.
2. Prof Dibyendu Nandy, Professor at the Department of Physical Sciences, IISER, Kolkata, and the founder member of the (multi-institutional) center of Excellence in Space Sciences, India at IISER, Kolkata.
3. Prof Pratik Majumder, Associate Professor E, Centre for Astroparticle Physics and Cosmology, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata and the Deputy coordinator of the analysis and software committee of the International Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cerenkov (MAGIC) Telescope collaboration.
The program began with a mesmerising presentation by Prof Pratik Majumder who briefly described the history of the discoveries of Cosmic rays and pointed out that it is difficult, if not impossible to trace back the exact origin of the cosmic rays because of the diffusion of the charged cosmic rays in the interstellar and the interrgalactic magnetic field. He also talked about two types of messengers of very high energy phenomena in astrophysics, namely the cosmic rays and the GeV-TeV energy photons coming from sources such as supernove and the active galactic nuclei. Prof Majumder then continued to describe some of the possible sources of gamma rays and spoke about the telescopes- mainly the MAGIC telescope and the forthcoming Cerenkov telescope array (CTA) collaboration.
The next speaker was Prof Narayan Banerjee who started his lecture with a lucid description of the modern cosmological theories beginning from Big-Bang to the large scale structure formations like stars and Galaxies in the Universe. It was indeed a very engaging talk inviting many questions from enthusiastic students.
A completely different aspect of astrophysics and space research was presented by Prof Dibyendu Nandi who spoke about the nearest of the stars, namely our very own Sun. He pointed out that the Sun is not at all mundane as it seems to be, but highly active and going through an activity period because of its magnetic dynamo cycles. During the high magnetic activity period the Sun releases enormous mass and energy in our space environment that might affect the life in modern civilization in various ways, such as the disruption in power distribution, damages of satellite, disruption of GPS system etc. He pointed out in his presentation that an accurate prediction of solar-magnetic activity, formally known as the space weather prediction is therefore necessary, mainly through theoretical modelling, computer simulation and analysis of the data collected by various space mission.
The program was attended and appreciated by a large number of students and the members of faculty of various departments of SNU as well as by the enthusiastic students and faculties coming from neighbouring educational institutions.
At the end of the program the Honorable Vice Chancellor declared that many such public outreach program will be organized by the SNU in the coming sessions.