March 19, 2007

Inspiration for the day

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Dr.K.George Thomas, scientist, Photo science and photonics wing, Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram

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It is projected that tiny Davids of the nano world would one day take on many of the Goliath-problems of the present world.  As the global research and development effort towards this end progresses, a dedicated scientist and his team in a modest lab in Kerala have been doing pioneering work in this direction.  And for his pathbreaking and devoted effort, Dr.K.George Thomas, a scientist at the photo science and photonics wing of Regional Research Laboratory at Thiruvananthapuram has been awarded the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for outstanding scientists below 45 years of age.

Among the achievements of the team is the demonstration of photosynthesis in lab by simplified chemical reactions among molecules and tissues.  Also, they demonstrated the scientific prediction of creating a nano-gold grid. Creation and manipulation of light-sensitive nano objects or ‘photo-switchable molecular systems’ and the formation of further nano-objects by harnessing the diverse properties of these building blocks is another effort of the team.  Among other important achievements of his is the discovery of the ‘back electron transfer’.

After pursuing his studies at SC School, Thiruvalla and Mar Thoma College, Thiruvalla, and Pune, Dr.George did his Ph.D from University of Kerala.  It was his guide and former professor of IIT, Kanpur, M.V.George, who channelised his attention to photochemistry. 

Despite offers of visiting professorship from different universities of Japan and USA, he continues to pursue his research from Kerala.  Already 6 scholars have completed their Ph.D under him and another 7 are working on it.  Their contributions are drawing the attention of peers worldwide.

The same objects which exhibits lethargy as large objects, behave with fluorescent flourish when they are at nano-level.  This may be similar to the Malayalee trait of making mark as shining individuals outside Kerala but being part of a smothering mass inside the homeland.

Persons like Dr.George are notable exceptions who, like David, hope to solve giant problems using tiny pebbles.


Courtesy: Varghese C.Thomas, Sree, Malayala Manorama, February 25, 2007
Contributed by: Administrator


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