C V Vishweshwara or “Vishu” as he was known to all, was born on 6th March 1938, in Karnataka. He finished most of his schooling in Bengaluru and then his graduation in Mysore University. For his PhD, he moved to Columbia University and later to University of Maryland in USA, to work on general relativity. On returning to India, Vishu joined Raman Research Institute in Bengaluru and then later joined the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
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How do stars and star clusters influence their neighbourhood? How does the birth of stars affect their neighbours? let us start with the birth of a star. It begins with gasses, mostly hydrogen, accumulating under gravity until it gets hot and dense enough to start nuclear fusion, where the lighter Hydrogen atoms merge to form heavier helium atoms, with an enormous outburst of energy. This energy moves in the form of a shockwave, pushing all the excess gas away from the newborn star. For a million years after its birth, high energy radiation from the star continues to push the surrounding gas away. From here the picture gets a little murky as we hadn’t quite understood what happened around a star or a cluster of stars, after the million year mark. Now a new study by researchers from Raman Research Institute (RRI), the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and P.N Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia could throw more light on this issue. They have successfully developed a model to simulate the interaction of a star cluster with its surroundings. The model was then tested for accuracy by comparing it with observations from Tarantula Nebula, a nearby star cluster, where the observations matched closely to the predictions made by the model. Maybe now we can better understand the processes that guide the formation of stars, nebulae and galaxies!
In peering through a thick early morning mist or looking into a smoke-filled room or scanning muddy waters, we encounter a common problem – vision through such media gets obscured, and we cannot see what lies within. And many a times we have wanted to take pictures in foggy conditions, only to get a coarse image with no discernible features. ‘Seeing’ in these conditions would seem impossible without expensive equipments like thermal imaging cameras or radar technologies. The dream of that perfect picture on a foggy morning could be closer to reality, thanks to a new research. A collaborative study by scientists from Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bengaluru, and the University of Rennes, France are working to make seeing through the haze a reality.
‘We are all made of stardust’ goes the common saying. The phrase is more than just rhetoric; it alludes to the formation of atoms and molecules in the universe. Most atoms and a few molecules around us were mostly formed in the bowels of exploding stars, which then went on to form planets, oceans, living organisms and everything in between. Now, a collaborative study by Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bangalore, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, is studying the processes that may have led to the formation of these molecules from the debris of the exploding stars.
Paper, considered a symbol of knowledge, has been used indiscriminately in the past century causing severe environmental degradation. One study estimates that with all the paper we waste each year, we can build two 12-foot high wall of paper from New Delhi to Bangalore! Electronic storage is not a better alternative since it poses another challenge of handling e-waste that is generated. Now, a collaborative study by researchers headed by Prof. Sandeep Kumar and Dr. A.R Yuvaraj at Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bangalore, and the University of Malaysia, has developed a novel technology that could reduce the use of paper and the generation of e-waste by replacing the way we present information. The researchers have developed an optical storage device made of gold nanoparticles decorated with compounds called azobenzenes.
An international team that included Indian researchers has analyzed the published results on Gamma rays in the immediate aftermath of the recent detection of Gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) – called the GW150914 event, and has concluded that the non-detection of High Energy Neutrinos (HEN) during that event suggests an upper limit to the energy of the associated short Gamma Ray Burst (GRB).