A series of public talks, being organised by the University of Göttingen, Germany, will bring different experts from Göttingen and India on a single platform to provoke thought that foster ideas on diverse subjects. Students across schools and colleges will benefit from experiences of those who the experts at Goettingen India Forum at Conference Pavilion, YMCA Grounds, Nandanam.
The schedule for Göttingen India Forum:
(I) A chemical gallery walk through German and Indian supermarkets
2 pm-4 pm
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Waitz, Jun Prof, Department of Chemistry Didactics
The lecture concerns a chemical tour through a typical German supermarket. Cultural aspects, as well as typical German lifestyle and eating habits will be connected with chemical issues and experiments. In Germany, a large quantity of the daily consumed food and drugstore articles are purchased in supermarkets, in most cases without a detailed knowledge of the chemical composition or the properties of the ingredients. Thus, the lecture concerns a variety of products from everyday life in India and Germany by analyzing them with simple chemical experiments in order to provide a more profound understanding of the substance properties. The participants will gain knowledge of simple analysis methods, which can be applied to identify the presented groups of substances also in local supermarket products. Thus the topics are of particular interest for chemistry teachers and pupils that carry out experiments at home or in school. In addition to the chemical aspects, social and cultural facets concerning the utilization of the products are presented to gain an impression of typical German lifestyle and eating habits.
(II) Exploding stars the composition of the universe
Speaker: L Sriramkumar, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
In this talk, aimed at students and non-experts, Dr. Sriramkumar will outline how certain exploding stars can be utilised to determine distances to far away galaxies, which, in turn, allows us to conclude that the universe is currently accelerating. He will also discuss the remarkable implication of this discovery for the composition of matter in the universe.
(I)String theory for the layman
Speaker: Dr. Suresh Govindarajan, String TheoristIndian Institute of Technology, Madras
String theory is an attempt at reconciling gravity with quantum mechanics. In this talk, the historical development of string theory pointing out its salient features along the way will be discussed. We shall also discuss how string theory has changed our approach to quantum field theory, which provides the framework for the enormously successful standard model of particle physics.
(II) Biology to Biotechnology
Speaker: T. S. Suryanarayanan, Vivekananda Institute of Tropical Mycology (VINSTROM)
Biology as a science has moved from the realm of discoveries to inventions in the last 30 years. This shift is due to the discovery that DNA is the common denomination of living organisms and the current advancement in the field of molecular biology. Thus was born Biotechnology, the method of utilising the desirable traits or qualities of living organisms to enhance the quality of our food and medicine as well as to reduce or even prevent environmental pollution. Since it deals with tinkering with living organisms, Biotechnology also involves ethical issues. This basic level lecture is aimed at stimulating students to ruminate about the various facets of this rapidly advancing science.