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Historian of Science
Theoretical Physicist

Date & Time

Wed, 23 Sep 2020 Sun, 4 Oct 2020


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

English, Punjabi and Hindi, with English Subtitles | 2020 | 59 minutes

Director and Producer: Jahnavi Phalkey

Editor: Tanya Singh

Cyclotron is a film about the world’s oldest functional particle accelerator and the people who keep it running today. 

Operational in 1936 at the University of Rochester, United States, it was built merely three years after the very first cyclotron was built by Ernest Lawrence at Berkeley. The entire set-up in Rochester was dismantled and sent to India in 1967, and is now housed at the Panjab University, Chandigarh. With the cyclotron, the regional university became one of the very few places in India for research and education in nuclear physics. This was otherwise possible only in the facilities of the Department of Atomic Energy. The cyclotron has been running for nearly fifty years in Chandigarh.

The film explores the life and legacy of the machine as well as the struggles and triumphs of its technicians, researchers and students. It is a comment on the state of experimental research and higher education in Indian universities.


About ICTS

The International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, established in 2007, is a multidisciplinary research centre located in Bengaluru, India. The ICTS is a novel venture in Indian science, with a three-pronged mission strategy that brings together programs, research and outreach in a unique way that is tailored to the Indian scientific ecosystem. ICTS Programs bring together researchers from all over the world under one roof. At these programs, physicists, astronomers, cosmologists, mathematicians and biologists work together to solve the most challenging questions posed by nature, to discover the underlying structures across the sciences, and to strive for the unity of knowledge. In-house research is conducted at ICTS by permanent faculty together with a large floating population comprising visitors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Through many outreach initiatives, ranging from public lectures by eminent scientists to school outreach programs, ICTS aims to stimulate and harness the young minds of India and connect with members of the public who are interested in the latest developments of scientific research.

About BLiSC

Bangalore Life Science Cluster (BLiSC) is a unique hub of excellence in biological research in India. The creation of the Bangalore Life Science Cluster aims at developing best practices for inter-institutional collaborations in India.

Nucleated by the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), a premier centre for cutting edge biological research and training in India, the Bangalore Life Science Cluster includes two other research institutions in Bangalore – inStem and CCAMP . Each of these additional entities has its own scientific mandate, but benefits from and contributes to the rich environment in basic biology already offered by NCBS. It is envisioned that these synergistic associations at the Cluster will have a far greater impact on life sciences research than the sum of individual contributions from each institution.

The vision of the Cluster is to have an integrated multi-disciplinary and interactive bioscience and technology research enterprise, which will result in path-changing scientific discoveries, and the translation of these into tangible technological advances.


Jahnavi Phalkey

Historian of Science
Jahnavi Phalkey is the Founding Director of Science Gallery Bengaluru, and the Sir Asutosh Mukherjee Visiting Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies.
Formerly based at King’s College London, Jahnavi was Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute of Advanced Study, Berlin). She was also external curator to the Science Museum London, and has been a Scholar-in-
Residence at the Deutsches Museum, Munich. She is the author of Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India and has co-edited Science of Giants: China and India in the Twentieth Century.
Jahnavi read civics and politics at the University of Bombay, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She holds a doctoral degree in the history of science and technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.


Shiraz Minwalla

Theoretical Physicist

Prof. Shiraz Minwalla is a theoretical physicist known for his pioneering work on string theory and quantum field theory. His seminal and influential contributions to theoretical physics and the discovery of new terms in the equations of charged relativistic hydrodynamics have won him several prestigious awards including the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in 2011 and Infosys Prize in Physical Sciences.

Previously he has been a Harvard Junior Fellow and subsequently an Assistant Professor at Harvard University.

Recently, he has been awarded the TWAS 2016 Prize for contributing towards the advancement of science in developing countries in the field of Physics. Currently, he is a faculty at TIFR, Mumbai.