Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

G. Ravindra Kumar

Physicist

G. Ravindra Kumar
Atul Loke
G. Ravindra Kumar
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
G. Ravindra Kumar and his colleagues at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, set out 10 years ago to work on laser fusion, at a time when it was considered among the big disappointments of 20th century science. Millions of dollars had been sunk into research by the West with little to show.

A decade on, though, Kumar and his team’s work is seen as "pathbreaking" by the international scientific community. Provoking matter using short, high-intensity laser led to the discovery of giant ultrashort magnetic pulses, millions of times larger than the earth’s magnetic field, the sort that exists only in stars. Simply put, they created table-top versions of stars: plasma that emits visible light, X-rays, gamma rays, electrons and highly-charged ions. Then the team created nanostructures that helped the plasma absorb more than 80 per cent of the laser: a more brilliant yield and a more efficient source of X-rays.

What’s next? A "tsunami of electrons", an unsustainable giant wave released when matter is excited, crucial for "fast ignition", a process that may make laser fusion a reality. Also a source of cheap, safe and endless power.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

A Message Not Delivered, A Matisse Painting Never Gifted: A Co-Star’s Tribute To Shah Rukh Khan

A Message Not Delivered, A Matisse Painting Never Gifted: A Co-Star’s Tribute To Shah Rukh Khan

Sayani Gupta, a star-struck teenager who acted with SRK, reveals what endears the superstar to his millions of fans across the globe.

In Valley, Amit Shah Says No To Talks With Pakistan, Yes To Dialogue With J&K People

In Valley, Amit Shah Says No To Talks With Pakistan, Yes To Dialogue With J&K People

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Sunday called for talks with Pakistan for the sake of peace in the region.

IPL: RPSG Group, CVC Capital Win Bids To Own New Teams

IPL: RPSG Group, CVC Capital Win Bids To Own New Teams

RPSG Group will be based in Lucknow while CVC Capital will have Ahmedabad as their base city from IPL 2022.

With Lalu, TMC Taking Potshots At It, Congress Faces Trouble From Anti-BJP Regional Parties

With Lalu, TMC Taking Potshots At It, Congress Faces Trouble From Anti-BJP Regional Parties

The challenge Congress faces at present is it has to fight not just internal dissidence and the BJP but deal with anti-BJP regional parties, who are no longer seeing it as a viable ally.

Advertisement