37th Intt Nathiagali Summer College on Physics and contemporary needs

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By Dr. Syed Javaid Khurshid, Executives Secretary, PAEC

INTERNATIONAL NATHIAGALI Summer Colleges (INSC) on Physics and Contemporary needs have been organized every year since 1976. The idea of holding these Colleges came from the distinguished Nobel Laureate, Professor Abdus Salam who emphasized the vital need of communication, as well as for transferring and sharing scientific knowledge, among the scientific community of the Third World. The primary aim of the College is to break the isolation of the scientists in the developing countries by enabling them to interact with an international faculty and colleagues from the Third World.

Science indeed derives its intellectual vitality from interaction and exchange of ideas. Progress in any scientific field depends upon pooling the experience of scientists. For the growth and advancement of knowledge the importance of scientific seminars, meetings, conferences and colleges can hardly by overemphasized. These help scientists to share knowledge and learn from each-others experiences. Learning of science essentially requires communication of scientific activities. A scientist must have the opportunity to learn from the work of others instead of duplicating the effort. An opportunity, unique in the Third World, has thus been provided by this college (INSC) for establishing and reviewing contacts with world renowned authorities/ personalities as well as with the younger group of active scientists. The scientific activities of INSC aim at the broad coverage of topics at the frontiers of knowledge in Physics and allied sciences. Every year one or two subjects of current interest and their applications for technological development, with special reference to needs of the developing world, are highlighted.

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) has been regularly organizing this scientific activity since 1976. It is in fact the only one of its kind to be organized in a developing country and has continued with unfailing regularity. The regular sponsors of the College include the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ASICTP), the US-National Science Foundation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Czech Academy of Sciences, National Centre for Physics, and The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

Until now 37 Colleges have been arranged on Condensed Matter, Particle Physics, Cosmology, Solid State Physics, Polymer Physics, Biophysics, Laser Physics, Plasma Physics, Medical Physics, Nuclear Physics, Renewable Energy Resources, Supernova, Accelerator Physics, Computational Physics, Nanosciences and its applications, Synchrotron, Radiation, Biophotonics, and Photodynamics.

The College has been fortunate enough to attract persons who were not only leaders in their respective fields but were also very good communicators. Over the years about 670 eminent scientists and speakers including 6 Nobel Laureates drawn from leading universities, research centers and industries of advanced countries have lectured as faculty at INSC and shared their knowledge and experience with more than 1020 foreign scientists from over 72 developing countries and 7000 scientists from Pakistani RandD institutes and universities.

Dr. Abdus Salam the great scientist passed into history on 21st November, 1996. After his sad demise, the annual Salam Memorial Lecture has become a special feature of the INSC. The first lecture in this series was delivered by Professor Robert Peccei, University of California, USA at the 22nd College, and then regularly each year Salam Memorial Lecture were delivered by well-known scientists i.e. Dr. Ahmed Ali, DESY, Hamburg, Germany, Professor Sergio Ferrara, CERN, Switzerland, Prof. Roger Cashmore, Director Research CERN, Professor H. Schoper, Ex. DG, CERN and President of SESAME Council, Professor Dame Louise Jonhnson (Mrs. Abdus Salam), Professor Roberto Battiston, University of Penugia, Italy and the reputed student of Professor Abdus Salam, Professor Riazuddin, Director INSC and Scientist of Emeritus, NCP.

The Inaugural sessions of the INSC have mostly been presided over by the Head of the State or the head of the government by 22 times. This has been a source of encouragement for the scientists both for the organizers and the participants.

The speakers are the most important factor in the success of such Colleges. INSC has been fortunate enough to attract scientists who were not only leaders in their respective field but were also very good communicators. The truly international character of scientific activity is the multinational participation in these Colleges. The general atmosphere of the College reflects a true picture of international fraternity. Over the years, a growing number of scientists from Asia, Africa and other continents has participated and enjoyed the benefits of a stimulating atmosphere to learn about the latest developments from the leading scientists in their fields of specialty. Participants have been drawn from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burma, China, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Philippine, Indonesia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and USA. Interaction among Pakistani scientists has been effectively promoted.

International Nathiagali Summer College played a very important role in advancement of Science and Technology in the country. Many topics such as Biofuel, Solar Energy, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Polymers, Photodynamics, Nanomedicine, Plasma Physics, Biophotonics, Tokamak and Accelerator Technology discussed at INSC resulted in development of new research areas, research collaborations and state of art laboratories and institutes in Pakistan. Many of these faculty members, offered Pakistani students and professor to carry out their doctoral and post-doctoral research work at their laboratories. This is also an extraordinary achievement towards the human resource development especially for the upcoming technologies. All these efforts are carried out with the aim of providing RandD that would enable the country to face the upcoming challenges of the new millennium.

In 37th college, 2012 one week was devoted to Particle Physics, Cosmology, and Space Physics. It was important with reference to LHC program at CERN and discovery of Higgs, whereas, the other week was devoted to Accelerator Physics and its applications. The discussion was around the recently launched Pakistan Medical Linear Accelerator Program, which was discussed in length and enjoyed full support of all faculty members.

The 38th International College, of the series will be held from 24th June – 06th July, 2013. The first week will be on “Accelerators, their Applications and New Accelerator concepts” whereas the second week will be on “Physics of Ultra Cold Atoms”. The application form can be downloaded from website: www.ncp.edu.pk/insc and e-mailing the request to insc@comsats.net.pk. 


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