CHANDIGARH: In the series of Nobel Prize Lectures being conducted by Society for Promotion of Science and Technology in India (SPSTI) with support from Department of Science and Technology, Chandigarh Administration in association with Chandigarh Chapters of National Academy of Sciences India, Indian National Science Academy & Indian National Young Academy of Sciences and Punjab Engineering College (Deemed to be University), Chandigarh, the fifth lecture was organized on “Physics of Disordered Systems, Works of Giorgio Parisi, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics – 2021.
The lecture was delivered by Prof. Smarajit Karmakar, Associate Professor at TIFR, Hyderabad and was the Post-Doctoral student of the Nobel Laureate. Prof. Arun K. Grover, former Vice Chancellor of Panjab University while introducing the speaker said that after having worked with several statistical physicists of great repute, he reached the laboratory of Giorgio Parisi and worked with him.
Prof. Praveen Chaddah, former Director of UGC-DAE Consortium for Scientific Research, Indore, as Guest of Honor opined that we should establish new benchmarks for the youngsters to chase other than impact factor and H-index. He also said the most commonly used glass in our ancient civilizations is the transparent form of silicate glass. We believe generally that the glass forms when the liquid is cooled faster that a critical cooling rate and then it undergoes solidification without undergoing the first order transition of freezing. Nature could be very harsh and to protect ourselves from the extremes of nature, garages and homes used to have wooden or metallic windows till a few centuries back and those kept out the elements of nature when they were harsh. He emphasized that transparent glass was a turning point in our civilization. We can now sit in isolation from the vagaries of nature and still have beautiful vision.
Prof. Karmakar discussed the achievements of Giorgio Parisi on understanding spin glasses, climate modeling and swap Monte Carlo methods for breaking the glass ceiling. He differentiated spin glasses and structured glasses based on quenched disorder and self-generated disorder respectively. While explaining the importance of studying the physics of glasses, he quoted the example of glasses used in branded mobile phones and how they break form cracks on hitting. He also explained the contribution of nature based heuristic algorithms like collective migratory behaviour of animals in understanding the structures of glasses.
The lecture was coordinated by Prof. Keya Dharamvir, General Secretary, SPSTI, Dr. Pooja Sharma and Dr. Ramendra S. Dey, Members of INYAS.