Department of physics

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Dept. of Physics, Panjab University

Midterm Report (2008-2012)

Submitted for Review by CAS advisory committee



  1. Overview of Physics Dept., Panjab University, Chandigarh 2

  2. Group Reports : 5

A1) Exptl. HEP 6

A2) Theoretical HEP 11

A3) Theoretical Astrophysics 14

B) Nuclear Physics 15

C) Condensed Matter Physics 25

D) Molecular Spectroscopy 31

E) Mass Spectrometry 33

3. List of Publications 35

4. Summary of graduates From Teaching Programs 101

5. List of Seminars/Extension Lectures by Faculty 102

6. List of Seminars 107

7. List of Meetings held 114

8. Utilization of Funds 116

9. Additional funding requests 123



The Physics Department at Panjab University, Chandigarh, is one of the most prominent Physics Department among Universities in India. Since it’s re-establishment in Chandigarh in the 1950’s, it has launched nationally pre-eminent and Internationally significant Research programs in the chosen areas of High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics and Condensed Matter Physics. These programs are in addition to the Undergraduate and Post-Graduate (Honours School) programs in Physics, and Physics and Electronics which have augmented the maximum sanctioned strength of B.Sc (Hons. School) students from  some 90 students in the mid-1990’s to over 200 students today, and that of M.Sc. (Hons. School) students from 100 to over 270 today. On top of these, there are 120 Ph.D. Research Scholars. There is also an M. Phil course with 15 students. An underlying service commitment to teach subsidiary courses in Physics to about 200 Undergraduate students from other Science Departments takes the numbers of students using the Physics Department facilities each day to some 800 students and research scholars. Department of Physics is already a significant present or proposed locus of National investment in advanced research facilities in High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics and Condensed Matter Physics running in the Department for the last half century and ever increasing levels. A balance between the teaching and research performance has been maintained by the faculty members with proven academic and research credentials in Theoretical and/or Experimental Physics.

In view of the burgeoning size and activities of the Department, as a part of the request for XII plan proposal, the Dept. has submitted a request for formation of a linked University Institute of Physics. It may be noted that this proposal is very much in tune with the call of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to double investment in Science and Technology and the acute difficulty in doing soon the basis of green field facilities while ignoring the languishing and increasingly moribund Universities where  the bulk of the nations students and faculty are relegated.

The Department has already gone through various stages of recognition since its inception after the Panjab University re-chartered on Oct 1, 1947 after partition. The Physics department moved to present Panjab University campus in 1958. The department had humble beginning in research in Experimental High Energy Particle Physics with the establishment of Nuclear Emulsion Lab. by Prof. B.M. Anand. The Nuclear Physics group got a boost with establishment of Cyclotron Facility by Prof. H.S. Hans. Since then the department has gone through various prestigious funding stages of UGC/DST/DAE for Research and Teaching as mentioned below:

  1. UGC COSIP (College Science Improvement Programme) and ULP (University Leadership Programme) 1977-1983

  2. SAP (Special Assistance Programme)1980-1988

  3. COSIST (Committee on Strengthening of Infrastructure in Science and Technology)1984-1991

  4. Center of Advanced Study (CAS) status since1988

Unique feature – CAS in all three major thrust areas of Physics granted :

    • High Energy Particle Physics (Expt. & Theory)

    • Solid State Physics (Expt. & Theory)

    • Nuclear Physics (Expt. & Theory)

  1. Funded for IV th phase of Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) in 2009 after successful completion of previous three phases since 1988.

  2. Funding under DST-FIST-I (Funds for Improvement of Science & Technology) Programme (2003-2008) and DST-FIST-II (2009-2013).

As mentioned above, the department has already achieved the standing of a National Institute due to its very active research programmes. In the XII Five Year plan, the department has proposed for its status as University Institute of Physics, which would take this department to new heights in research and teaching programs. It will provide the department sufficient autonomy to make the teaching programmes more research-oriented and facilitate scientific research by providing support at all levels ranging from general administrative matters to infrastructure support. The main strengths and achievements of the established research groups in the Department are given.

In a related development, recognizing the growth of the Department and its pressing space requirements the University has constituted a high level committee to recommend expansion of the Physics Dept. by construction of addition 15000sq ft as demanded by the department in view of its saturation of available space. The UGC-CAS could greatly help the dept. in gathering funding for this vital requirement. Details are given in Chap. 9 of this report.



Univ. Emeritus Professors


Prof. C.S. Aulakh


Prof. H.S.Hans


Prof. J.B. Singh


Prof. K.N.Pathak


Prof. Manjit Kaur


Prof. Nirmal Singh


Prof. V.P. Singh

Re-employed Faculty


Prof. A.K. Bhati


Prof. Suman Bala Beri


Prof. D. Mehta


Prof. M.M. Gupta


Prof. Navdeep Goyal


Prof. M.M. Aggarwal


Prof. R. K. Puri


Prof. K. Dharamvir


Prof. G.S.S.Saini


Prof. K.P. Singh

Associate Professors

Emeritus Scientists

Dr. C.N. Kumar

/ Project Scientists

Dr. S.K. Tripathi


Prof. R.K.Gupta

Dr. S. Sahijpal


Prof. Satya Prakash

Dr. K.S. Bindra


Prof. V. K. Jindal

Dr. Ranjan Kumar


Prof. Gulzar Singh

Assistant Professors


Dr. J.S. Shahi


Dr. V. Bhatnagar


Dr. Ashok Kumar


Dr. S. Srivatsava


Dr. B.R. Behera


Dr. Kuldeep Kumar


Dr. Bimal Rai


Er. Manish Dev Sharma


Er. Neeru Chaudhary


Dr. Samarjit Sihotra


Dr. Rajesh Kumar


Thrust Area wise Faculty Members

High Energy Physics (Experimental)

Prof. J.B.Singh

Prof. M. Kaur

Prof. S.Bala (R)

Prof. M.M.Aggarwal (R)

Dr. V. Bhatnagar

High Energy Physics (Theory)

Prof. M.M.Gupta(R-CASCOORD-2011),
Prof. C.S.Aulakh(CASCOORD :2011-),

Dr. C.N.Kumar

Dr. Kuldeep Kumar

Nuclear Physics (Experimental)

Prof. N.Singh (R)

Prof. A.K. Bhati

Prof. K.P.Singh (R)

Prof. G.Singh (R)

Prof. D. Mehta
Dr A. Kumar

Dr. B.R. Behera

Dr. S.Sihotra

Dr.J.S. Shahi

Nuclear Physics (Theory)

Prof. R.K.Gupta

Prof. R.K.Puri

Cond. MatterPhysics

(Experimental and Theory

Prof.: K.N.Pathak (R)

Prof. S. Prakash (R)

Prof. V.K.Jindal (R)
Prof. K. Dharamvir (R)

Prof. N. Goyal

Prof. G.S.S Saini

Dr. S.K.Tripathi

Dr. S. Srivatsava

Dr. Ranjan .Kumar

Dr. Rajesh Kumar

Non-Thrust Areas

Prof. V.P. Singh (MassSpectrometry)

Dr. S. Sahijpal (Astrophysics)

Dr. K.S. Bindra (Phys.Education)

Dr. Bimal Rai Singh (MassSpectr.)

Er. M.D.Sharma (Electronics)

Er. Neeru Chaudhary (Electronics)

      1. Experimental High Energy Physics Group

Experimental Particle Physics & Heavy Ion Group:

  1. Experimental Particle Physics Group

Since 1954, the Physics Department, Panjab University group has been actively engaged in the experimental High Energy Physics Research initially using Nuclear Emulsion Technique. Using this technique several Cosmic rays as well as particle accelerator based experiments were performed. Later on in 1975, after TIFR, Panjab University was thE only University to initiate setting up Bubble Chamber Technique facility and using know how from TIFR and Michigan State University, Bubble Chamber projection Systems were developed at CSIO, Chandigarh. Using this facility group participated with CERN on several Bubble Chamber experiments using beam at 780 MeV, 40 GeV K-Beam and 360GeV Proton Beam. Later of its own with having Collaboration of TIFR, Panjab University used Bubble Chamber Facility to participate in Tevatron Neutrino experiment with Fermilab(USA). During late 80’ Group started participating in Frontline International Experiments using Electronics detectors like; Dzero(Tevatron,USA), Belle(KEK, Japan), WA98(CERN), ZEUS (HERA),CMS(CERN),ALICE(CERN),STAR(USA). These Experiments led to the following discoveries:

  • Discovery of TOP Quark (1995)

  • Discovery of CP-violation in B-meson System(2001,2003)

  • Discovery of new particle state with Belle

  • Observation of Quark-Gluon Plasma

Following are the details of contribution and participation in various International Collaborative Experiments :
Belle Experiment at KEK (Japan)

One of the most mysterious phenomena in the particle physics that remains unresolved is the CP-violation which is considered to be responsible for the baryon-antibaryon asymmetry in our section of universe. Keeping in view the importance of CP-violation effect, two dedicated e^{+}e^{-} collider machines (B-factories) have been pursued in the world - one at KEK(Japan) and another at SLAC(USA). The KEK accelerator and Belle detector have been made operational and started data taking in July 1999. The observation of a CP-violating asymmetry in B-meson decays is an important milestone in high energy particle physics by these B-factories. From Panjab University along with students, we have been participating in this Prestigious International Experiment.

The Panjab University would continue to participate in Data taking, Physics analysis of the Belle Experiment at KEK B-factory (Japan). The Belle collaboration has already made truly historic achievements in the area of Quark Flavour physics and has become a world leader in this branch of high-energy physics. The experiment would continue to run during next several years and also intend to upgrade the World's Highest Luminosity KEKB accelerator to new Accelerator Super-KEKB and the Belle Detector. During next 10-years group would participate in the Physics analysis with higher statistics which would lead to more and more discovery of new particles and new phenomenon in the field of B-physics including Direct CP-Violation. To summarize we intend to Participate in Data taking with Belle Detector at KEKB factory Physics Analysis for the observation new B-decay modes Search for Direct CP-Violation in new rare B-decays Detector development and R&D for Silicon Detector for Super-KEKB detector
CMS Experiment at LHC (CERN)

Group is participating in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Switzerland. The LHC is going to be the Highest Energy Accelerator for next 10-15 years and would provide unique opportunity Search of new particles and new physics at TeV scale. The CMS experiment is one of two large general purpose particle physics detectors capable of studying many aspects of proton-proton collisions at Centre of Mass Energy 14TeV. It contains sub-detectors which are designed to measure the energy and momentum of photons, electrons, muons and other particles produced in the collision. At Panjab University along with TIFR, we took complete responsibility of designing, fabrication, testing and installation of one of the sub-detector called Outer Hadron Calorimeter (HO) into the CMS detector.

For this purpose, we got about 900 plastic scintillator tiles grooved at CTR, Ludhaina. These tiles were assembled in the form of detector and tested with Data Acquisition at Panjab University and TIFR. After complete tested and assembly, these have been integrated with the CMS detector. The final tests and commissioning has been carried by the team of Engineers and Scientists from TIFR and Panjab University and detector is ready to be used. During next 10-15 years, these detectors would be used for the data collection at LHC and we need to make sure the smoothing running of our HO detector with some required upgrade. Group members and students are studying various physics aspects like, Higgs Search, SUSY particle Search, B-physics, Top Quark study, QCD study, etc. With the start of LHC in June/July 2008, the group members have participated in data taking with CMS and physics analysis related to various physics aspects-Higgs,B-physics,QCD,etc. The group also developed expertise in setting up Grid Computing infrastructure for unifying with the WLCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) for doing the distributed data analysis. The required computing hardware/software were configured locally to accomplish these tasks of data analyses.

Dzero Experiment at Fermilab (U.S.A)

Group members are participating in Dzero experiment at Fermilab and are part of International Dzero collaboration. EHEP group of P.U has made significant contribution for hardware and software of D0 experiment at Tevatron energy which led to Top Quark Discovery which was one of the milestone for Particle Physics. Currently we are participating in data analysis and physics studies of signal and background for Higgs and top properties. Group also participates in detector shifts as well as online data monitoring shifts.

ZEUS Experiment at DESY (Germany)

Members of HEP group are involved in the ZEUS experiment at DESY, Germany. The experiment is aimed at studying electron (positron)-proton collisions at HERA accelerator which collided 27.5 GeV electron/positron longitudinally polarized beams with proton of energy 460, 575 and 860 GeV. The physics is dominated by the interactions of gluons and probes the structure of proton down to distances 10-16 cm to confront the Standard Model (SM) of strong and electroweak interactions in search of signals of Physics beyond the SM. Many important physics topics will benefit from data at different center-of-mass energy, such as measuring associated structure function FL , to understand small-x physics, measuring structure functions at higher values of  x leading to more precise extractions of parton distribution functions, measurements of cross sections for longitudinally polarized virtual photons to scatter off protons for inclusive and diffractive physics. The results thus obtained will make an important and essential input to LHC physics.

(ii) Heavy Ion Physics Group:

The Chandigarh group is a part of international collaborations, STAR experiment at RHIC(BNL, USA) and ALICE experiment at LHC (CERN, Geneva), to study QCD matter as a function of density and temperature reached during heavy ion collisions at ultra-relativistic energies, i.e. the state of matter existed during the first few microseconds of the big bang. Recent results of four experiments, BRAHMS, PHENIX, PHOBOS and STAR, at RHIC have shown the formation of extremely high energy density system in Au+Au collision, whose description in terms of simple hadronic degrees of freedom is inappropriate. Further more, the constituents of this system (quark-gluon plasma) experience a significant level of interaction with each other inside the medium (liquid state). This is considered to be an ideal gas in the theory of QCD. The minibangs at LHC will briefly reach several times the energy density and the temperature that reached in RHIC collisions. This will be interesting to see if the liquid like behavior witnessed at RHIC will persist at the higher temperature and densities encountered at the LHC.

The research work at Chandigarh is related with the development fabrication and testing of the Photon Multiplicity Detector (PMD), read-out chip testing, installation and calibration of PMD, maintenance and data taking during the runtime and in the analysis of data to extract following signals of QGP:

  1. Determination of reaction plane and collective flow.

  2. Fluctuations in the number of produced particles.

  3. Disoriented chiral condensates.

In addition to the above experiments, the group is intended to participate in the Compressed Baryonic Matter (CBM) experiment at Darmstadt (Germany) also. The experiment offers the possibility to discover the first order deconfinement phase transition and the critical end point of the QCD phase diagram expected to exist at high net baryon densities.
Participation in Neutrino Physics Program using INO - India-based Neutrino Observatory
During next 10-15-years, several faculty members of the department would participate in the Neutrino Physics Program of the Country. In this regard, jointly Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology have proposed a 1300 Crore Rupee Mega science project near Mysore. This experiment would require big 2mX2m more than 12000 Resistive Plate Chamber detectors and also, huge efforts on Neutrino Physics and detector simulation. Panjab University group members have started working on the Detector development, theoretical aspect of Neutrino physics and physics simulations.
Detector Development Facility:

Panjab University group established the various modern detector development facilities during the course of these years starting from the collaboration with the DZERO detector at Fermilab to the latest on-going CMS detector at CERN. These facilities include:

Scintillator Based Detector

To provide the coverage to the DZERO detector from the cosmic muons (forming one of the background signals) and vetoing them, the local HEP group started the R & D work and setup the scintillator based detectors. A prototype was developed which was approved by the collaboration. This whole activity allowed us to develop local zigs for testing the WLS (wave length shifting) fibers for attenuation studies, bonding-coupling of fibers with the light guide and shaping the scintillators for maximum light gathering. The whole setup was CAMAC controlled.

This expertise with the scintillators led to the participation in the CMS Outer Hadronic detector. Thousands of scintillator based detectors were cut/polished/assembled and fabricated with embedded optical fibers with the help from the Central Tool Room, Ludhiana. These were all tested for quality checks locally and where shipped to CERN for installation in the CMS detector.

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