Saha Institute to take up boson naming case with CERN
The Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP) would take up with European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) chief Rolf-Dieter Heuer the case of sub-atomic particle boson, derived from an Indian scientist's name, being rendered in lower case.
Heuer, director-general of the Geneva-based institute, would be on a two-day visit here from Sep 3 to address an international science conference organised by the Centre for Natural Sciences and Philosophy and the Critical Issues Forum. On Sep 4, he would also deliver a lecture at the SINP.
The discovery of a new subatomic particle, possibly the Higgs boson, considered "a key to the cosmic riddle", in July had triggered celebrations among scientists across the world.
However, the Indian scientific community had expressed its displeasure at boson being spelt in lower case while Higgs (after British physicist Peter Higgs) is spelt in the upper case.
The word boson is derived from the surname of Satyendra Nath Bose, who did path-breaking work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s using mathematics to describe the behavioural pattern of bosons - one of the two families of fundamental particles that the universe is classified into.
SINP chief Milan Sanyal had then received a lot of telephone calls and emails, and promised to write to CERN.
"However, since Heuer would be on a visit to Kolkata, I thought it would be better to talk to him rather than sending a missive. He will also visit our institute. I shall take up the matter with him then," Sanyal told IANS.
SINP scientists had collaborated with CERN in the Higgs boson research. Members of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) research team at the SINP helped the CERN experiment with data analysis and by developing hardware for the experiment tunnel.
Five faculty members from the institute were part of the core CMS team, besides ten Ph.D students being part of the project.