Scientists at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP) have developed an Indian beamline at a Japanese accelerator facility, boosting the institution’s bid to build the world’s fifth largest high-energy synchrotron centre in India.
The SINP is in the running for building the synchrotron centre at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore. It is currently scouting for a 100-acre plot for the facility.
Experts said the scientists’ Japanese venture helped them acquire hands-on knowledge and expertise in building big science projects and this would go a long way in the SINP’s mega proposal.
"The Indian beamline in Photon Factory, Japan, is now operational and is currently being used both by Indian and Japanese scientists. We have been able to do this within a short time,” said Milon Sanyal, the SINP director, at the first users’ meet of the Indian beamline at Photon Factory of KEK (High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation), Japan.
Photon Factory is a 2.5 GeV synchrotron facility with a storage ring current of 450 mA.
Touted as a landmark in Indo-Japanese science collaboration, the project started in February 2009 with Rs 21 crore from the department of science and technology. “We lost a year because of the 2011 earthquake in which our equipment was damaged,” Sanyal said.
The project was conceived for two purposes. “It would give Indian scientists a state-of-the-art facility to do material research at the highest level and build a user community for utilising future synchrotron radiation sources in India. This would justify having such an advanced synchrotron centre in our country as well,” the director said.
So how many Indian scientists are using the beamline? Sanyal said: “We invite proposals and accept those which merit the use of such facility. Right now the ratio of acceptance is 3:1.”