PRL KA AMRUT VYAKHYAAN

Date : 22-09-2021
Time : 16:00:00
Speaker : Dr. Valentin Martinez Pillet
Area : DEAN'S OFFICE
Venue : ONLINE

Abstract

The start of operations of the NSF’s Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) in late 2021 coincides with the science phases of two solar encounter missions, Parker Solar Probe (NASA) and Solar Orbiter (ESA/NASA). The three facilities constitute a multi-messenger suite destined to help us understand how the heliosphere is magnetically connected to the Sun. By getting closer to the Sun, the two spacecrafts can measure in-situ the pristine consequences of the processes observed at the solar surface with unprecedented detail and sensitivity using DKIST. The ability to observe spectropolarimetric signals from the solar corona is a novel and unique capability that DKIST will contribute to this collaboration. This talk will outline some multi-messenger science cases that will benefit from combining the three facilities using different vantage configurations created by their orbits around the Sun. This discussion will be useful to update on the status of DKIST, but also of the NSO operated synoptic network GONG (with a node in Udaipur) and the plans for a future improved network that replaces it.

Date : 15-09-2021
Time : 16:00:00
Speaker : Dr. Purnima Jalihal
Area : DEAN'S OFFICE
Venue : ONLINE

Abstract

In today’s world the need for electricity and water needs no emphasis. Rapid industrialization, population growth coupled with human failures in managing the scenario have led to severe power and water stress. Fossil fuels are known to be depleting and new sources of power are being explored. Another important factor to look for in new sustainable energy sources is linked with the impending disaster of climate change and global warming. While solar, wind, biomass and other forms are already being tapped across the globe, energies which can be harnessed from the vast ocean have yet to move from the research arena. The oceans offer huge opportunities to try new technologies without affecting human settlements or the environment. The current efforts are therefore directed in developing technologies for harnessing marine renewable energies. In particular, ocean energy can be harnessed in the form of waves, currents, tides and temperature gradient. The other prime need today is for water. While purification, storage, distribution of the water are all part of the scenario, in order to increase water availability, desalination in coastal areas is a possible solution. Various methods of desalination are being used although some may not be environmentally friendly when brine formation results or disposal of used components like membranes becomes necessary. Further, the difference in temperature between the sea surface and at a greater depth can be utilized to harness energy. This is called Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion or OTEC. Thermal desalination is a spin-off from the OTEC cycle. Today NIOT has developed expertise in the design, assembly and running of low temperature thermal desalination (LTTD) plant in islands, coastal power plants and offshore in deep waters. The thermal desalination technology developed by NIOT has improved the health of the islanders and six more plants are now being installed. Scaling up of this technology in coastal power plants is being taken up with a project underway for the Tuticorin Thermal Power Station. Another flagship project is an OTEC powered LTTD plant being set up in Kavaratti, Lakshadweep which will be self- powered and will not require to use diesel generators. The need of the hour is to develop and scale up viable environmentally friendly renewable ocean energy forms and power thermal desalination systems with clean and green renewable energy.

Date : 08-09-2021
Time : 16:00:00
Speaker : Prof. Alok Dhawan
Area : DEAN'S OFFICE
Venue : ONLINE (YouTube)

Abstract

Nanotoxicology is a study of the toxicity of nanomaterials. Nanomaterials, even when made of inert elements, at times become highly active at the nanometer dimension due to their altered physical and chemical properties. The toxicology studies are intended to determine whether and to what extent these properties may pose a threat to the environment and to human beings. The same novel properties making nanoparticles attractive could make them potentially toxic too. Exposure to nanomaterials can be due to contact via skin, inhalation and oral ingestion. However, it could also happen indirectly through the environment or food chain. The former can be controlled and mitigated, while assessment of the latter is very difficult both to ascertain as well as to mitigate. While assessing the toxicity of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), several things need to be accounted for, such as, size, shape, surface area, coatings, stability, dispersion, uptake, excretion of ENMs. Depending on the materials and its intended use, the appropriate model needs to be identified to assess the toxicity of the ENMs. Initial toxicity of ENMs is done in vitro and subsequently in vivo using various animal and alternate animal models. This allows for hazard identification as well as an appropriate risk assessment. Hazard identification of ENMs can be done in vitro and in vivo, using various models by assessing cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, hepatic toxicity, renal toxicity, cardiotoxicity etc. For assessing the environmental impact of ENMs, several models at different trophic levels have been used such as E. coli, Drosophila, Zebrafish, Daphnia, plants. Globally, an effort is being made to develop ENMs through “safe by design approach” and employ the precautionary principal for their usage. In India, guidelines have now been published both for the safety assessment of nanopharmaceuticals as well as for the nano-based agri-input and food products.

Date : 01-09-2021
Time : 16:00:00
Speaker : Prof. P P Mujumdar
Area : DEAN'S OFFICE
Venue : ONLINE (YouTube)

Abstract

With an increased climate variability under climate change, the risk of hydrologic extremes of floods is known to be increasing globally. The recently released IPCC report provides clear pointers to enhanced risk of floods in South Asia. While, with the current scientific knowledge, it is not possible to attribute a given extreme event to climate change, recurring patterns and increased frequencies of floods are clearly visible both at larger global scales and at smaller regional scales. The recent (Feb 2021) floods in the Himayalan river basin of Alaknanda induced purportedly by avalanche fall, the Kerala floods of 2018, Chennai floods of 2015 and the Uttarakhand floods of 2013 are the recent Indian examples of devastating floods that claimed hundreds of lives and resulted in huge economic losses. Such recurring floods point to the need of a better scientific understanding of the events. The magnitudes of precipitation induced floods depend on precipitation intensity, volume, timing, antecedent conditions of rivers and hydrologic response the drainage basins. Projecting the flood magnitude and frequency under climate change must therefore consider these critical aspects. Projections with currently available methodologies are however burdened with a high uncertainty, as the climate models typically do not capture the events at the time and space scales at which floods occur. In this talk, a brief overview of the recent work related to hydro-meteorologic aspects of floods in a changing climate is provided. Specifically, the following key issues are addressed : increase in extreme precipitation at a range of spatio-temporal scales and the associated non-stationarity in the process, hydrologic modelling of floods in the face of limited ground observations, detecting human signatures in the extremes and quantifying uncertainties in projections of the extremes.