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Big science in India

Current and future big science projects in India are providing opportunities for young researchers and building technological capabilities, while contributing to new scientific discoveries. Seven scientists involved in these large-scale projects reflect on the impact their project has on the Indian research landscape.

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G.C. Anupama is a professor at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics and in charge of the Indian Astronomical Observatory. A Ph.D. in Physics, she is an observational astronomer with expertise in the study of transients. She is the President of the Astronomical Society of India.

Subhasis Chattopadhyay, a senior Scientific Officer at VECC-Kolkata, India, is involved in experimental high energy nuclear physics research and associated instrumentation. In addition to performing experiments in CERN-Geneva, STAR-BNL, he is currently coordinating India’s participation in the FAIR facility in Germany.

Shishir Deshpande is a physicist working at the Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar, since 1993. From 2007 to 2018, he worked as the Project Director of India’s Domestic Agency for ITER. His interests are tokamak physics and fusion science.

Joydeep Ghosh is a professor at the Institute for Plasma Research and leads the ADITYA-U Operation Division. He has actively been pursuing the operations and experiments in ADITYA-U. His current research interests include transport and confinement, disruption control and runaway mitigation in tokamaks and plasma spectroscopy.

Rohini Godbole is an honorary professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. She is an internationally acclaimed theoretical physicist, working for more than four decades and has been associated with CERN and the CERN-India cooperation programme in many capacities.

D. Indumathi works at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai. She is interested in the interface of theory and experiment, a field called phenomenology, to understand particles such as protons and neutrinos, their properties and interactions. She is also interested in science popularization in general.

Tarun Souradeep is a professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune. He has led a cosmology subgroup on cosmic microwave background studies and coordinated a national initiative for gravitational waves experimentation and science. He serves as the member secretary of Scientific Management Board and the scientific spokesperson for LIGO-India.

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Correspondence to G. C. Anupama, Subhasis Chattopadhyay, Shishir Deshpande, Joydeep Ghosh, Rohini M. Godbole, D. Indumathi or Tarun Souradeep.

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Anupama, G.C., Chattopadhyay, S., Deshpande, S. et al. Big science in India. Nat Rev Phys 3, 728–731 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42254-021-00384-5

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