The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) has been advancing intense laser science for the past 20 years and has unveiled many unique features in this field. TIFR and the Central Laser Facility (CLF) have developed a strong collaboration on the science of laser-driven accelerators – and recently, this partnership has been taken to a higher level with the UK government investing in a joint hub for innovation in this area called the Extreme Photonics Innovation Centre (EPIC), which will be housed at TIFR's new campus in Hyderabad.
This September, EPIC was officially inaugurated at TIFR in India. The inauguration of EPIC represents a genuine collaboration between the two countries, as the joint project is mutually beneficial for the UK and India.
The event began with welcome addresses by Professor V Chandrasekhar (Centre Director, TIFR Hyderabad) and Professor Sandip Trivedi (Director, TIFR). This was followed by Dr. Andrew Fleming, the British Deputy High Commissioner of Hyderabad, who lit a lamp at the front of the stage. The lighting of a lamp is the traditional Indian way of opening all ceremonies. This custom is a symbolic representation of light (knowledge) conquering darkness (ignorance).
Dr Srikumar Banerjee, Chancellor HBNI (Homi Bhaba National Institute) and Former Chairman of AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) and Secretary DAE (Department of Atomic Energy) then unveiled the EPIC plaque on stage:
Following this, Professor John Collier, Director of the CLF, gave a talk about the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and CLF, highlighting the event as a paradigm shift in collaborations between India and the UK where the focus is moving to innovation through development of cutting-edge technology.
The event was concluded with a round of questions and a vote of thanks.
EPIC's laser-driven acceleration technology was inspired by the CLF's existing high power laser systems, which have demonstrated the potential application of laser-driven accelerators in industry, engineering, science, medicine, and advanced materials.
Dr. Rajeev Pattathil, EPIC's UK lead, said about the project, “Working with India on developing further the technologies that transform novel accelerators to real world applications will be mutually beneficial as India aspires to have a strong research programme in this area through the recently announced expansion of TIFR centre in Hyderabad that will house EPIC."
If you would like to read about previous news on EPIC, click here.