More than 150 scientists from India and Europe assembled at our campus for the annual NUSTAR week 2012 meeting in the last week. NUSTAR is a collaboration of scientists from all over the world, devoted to the study of NUclear STructure, Astrophysics, and Reactions at the upcoming FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) facility at GSI, Darmstadt in Germany.
The meeting at VECC held is the 4th in the series. The previous NUSTAR week meetings were held at Dubna (2009), Lund (2010) and Bucharest (2011). The aim of the NUSTAR Week meeting was to exchange views about the collaboration in general, hold working group meetings of all NUSTAR projects, presentation of new technical results and discuss perspective ideas together. This year, one full day of the meeting was devoted for the discussion on Indian participation in NUSTAR activities, the day was declared as “NUSTAR-India Day” of the meeting.
The meeting started on 8th October afternoon at the Ajay Divatia Lecture Hall with an informal welcome address by our Director, Prof. D. K. Srivastava. Technical discussions, collaboration meetings for different experimental campaign and meetings for the common working group on silicon detectors were held on 8th October evening and 9th October. In the evening on 9th October, participants enjoyed a fascinating Indian classical dance performance “Amritasya Putra” by Mamata Shankar Dance Troupe from Kolkata.
The meeting was officially inaugurated for all on Wednesday, 10th October. Dinesh Kumar Srivastava, the Director of VECC, welcome the participants. Thomas Nilsson, the Chairman of the NUSTAR Board of Representative argued that India being a strong share holder in FAIR should support NUSTAR activities by taking part in a big way in areas of common interest. V.S. Ramamurthy assured the Indian scientists that funding will not be a problem since the 12th Five Year Plan has just started in India and mentioned that it is the right to come up with concrete experimental proposal for NUSTAR. Bikash Sinha advocated for the Indian participation in FAIR in a big way. He encouraged the "Nu stars" (new stars) in Indian science, to participate in experiments and facility development, that are guided by the extensions of the similar ongoing programmes where Indian researchers are engaged over the decades both inside and abroad. Inti Lehmann presented an overview of the FAIR facility.
In the “NUSTAR-India Day” of the meeting, on 11th October, Prof. Sibaji Raha, Director of Bose Institute and Vice-chair to the FAIR council mentioned that India is the third largest share holder in FAIR GmbH with 3.5 % share (36 million euro). Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bhandari talked about India’s participation in the design and development of magnets for FAIR. Prof. Raj Pillay presented a summary of the participation of Indian low energy experimental community in NUSTAR experiments. More than 20 Indian scientists presented their research work that has overlap with NUSTAR activities.
In the final day of the program on 12th October, six plenary physics talks were delivered. Dr. Saila Bhattacharya presented an overview of the experimental research activities that are pursued at VECC. In his closing remarks, Thomas Nilsson mentioned that the meeting will be useful in a great way in shaping the NUSTAR project. The next NUSTAR week meeting will be held in GSI, Germany in February, 2013.