India is leading the world in some of the latest aspects of research and application in the field of atomic and molecular physics and is being seen as a collaborative partner in USA, European, and Chinese space programmes, chairman of Europlanet Nigel Mason said on Tuesday. “India is leading the world in some of the aspects of atomic and molecular physics. In the past Indian scientists used to join as a junior partner, but now they are being brought in as necessary partner because they have the expertise, which the international community needs,” he said.
Europlanet is Europe’s largest planetary science forum. Mason, who teaches molecular physics at The Open University in UK, was speaking at a seminar on subject Atomic and Molecular Physics held at Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) here.
“New techniques developed at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research for analysing negative ions has become a standard technique in the world with some of its applications being in the space programmes where it is used to understand how molecules are formed in the space and other planets,” Mason told PTI on the sidelines of the event.
He said today the Indian space community is just as competitive as the European and the US space communities. “..So, we are hoping that in the next five years, Europe, USA, China and India will work together on space programmes,” Mason added.
He added that India is developing a process in laboratory that enables to identify molecule in space, and this will be the second such laboratory outside USA. Mason said India’s leadership position requires that it looks out to build and maintain collaborations with Europe, USA, and also with Asian nations.
“Probably in the next 10-15 years, India will collaborate with China and developing Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and even countries like Vietnam and Thailand. What India will do is to provide leadership to these countries in building science,” he added.
Mason was in the city to attend the inaugural ceremony of 21st national conference on Atomic and Molecular Physics, a biennial meeting of the Indian Society of Atomic and Molecular Physics.