Department of Astrophysics

About Department

Pondicherry University, established under an Act of Parliament in the year 1985, has been grown from all possible ways all these years and has become a place on the  educational hub of the country. 15 Schools, 37 Departments and 10 Centres offering 175 PG & Research  Programmes.
Department of Astrophysics came into existence with the two year M.Sc. Astrophysics Programme in the year of 2012 and with the first batch as 2012-2014. Astronomy is one of the oldest fields of scientific enquiry. It is an observational science that studies celestial objects (planets, stars, neutron stars, black holes, pulsars, galaxies, Dark matter, Dark energy etc.)  Which collectively make up the Universe and phenomena that may hold the key to understand their nature, as well as the origin and evolution of the Universe. Astrophysics deals with the physics that helps to understand the nature of the Universe and applies many disciplines of physics, including mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and atomic and molecular physics, field theory etc. Indian astronomers and physicists, in ancient as well as in recent times have made important contributions to Astronomy and Astrophysics. Today, a number of institutions (IIA, IUCAA, ARIES, TIFR, PRL, OU...) and facilities (ground-based optical/infrared telescopes at VBO, Hanle, Girawali, Nainital, Mt. Abu; radio telescopes at Ooty, GMRT) for research in astronomy and astrophysics exist in the country. Also, space-based facilities like ASTROSAT, ADITYA for work in X-ray, Ultraviolet/Optical and High-Altitude facilities (HAGAR, MACE..) for work in the Gamma-ray waveband are coming up.

The importance of Astrophysics course comes through varied reasons: As we know there are plenty of astronomical research institutions are available in India to explore the opportunities. It is well known that astrophysics knowledge is essential from the University level. And there are always plenty of students who are willing to carry out their course on astronomy and astrophysics as their background from their graduation level itself.  Also, astrophysics is very vast subject to understand and to study in depth along with the required computational knowledge. Hence, it is necessary to train the students from the Post graduation level. Hence, considering the need for astrophysics course, Pondicherry University has started this course with the aim of not only in M.Sc level but also further leading into the development in a research level programme in coming days. Also, the syllabus is made in such a way that, students can survey in scientific and non-scientific industries for their employment opportunities.

COURSE STRUCTURE AND FACILITIES

The programme consists of four semesters.  The first two semesters (I year) include courses in basic physics and familiar with the computers and programmes. Since, these are very essential steps for understanding astrophysics and getting into astronomical world. For example topics include Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics, Mathematical Methods, Statistical physics, Programming in C, C++, Fortran, Matlab, and Numerical Methods etc. Also practical Laboratory facilities on General Physics, Electronics, Microprocessor, Optics and computers are available.  During the final two semesters (II year) the course specializes on physics of celestial objects, basic astronomy and astrophysics to general theory of relativity and cosmology.  Final semester includes the project work on Astronomy and Astrophysics. 

Hence, the syllabus is made for the students to fit in any category such as, in Physics, computers  programming along with the astrophysics knowledge. So, they can be fit into any requirement at the end of their course. Currently, the student intake number is as less 10-12 only considering the beginning stage of the department. Soon, planned to increase the number of seats, as the incoming applicants numbers are more. As part of educational trip we also try to organize for the visit to Astronomical Observatories every year.  In all the subjects, seminars and assignments are compulsory which helps the students to develop their skills in presentation and lecturing.  

Scheme of Courses and Credits for M.Sc. Astrophysics:

First year Odd semester Even Semester
Compulsory subjects (Physics)  4 (16) 4 (16)
Elective Subjects 1 (3)  1 (3)* 
Practical – Laboratory 1 (3) 1 (3)
Second year Odd semester Even Semester
Compulsory subjects (Astrophysics) 5 (20)  --
Elective Subjects --  2 (6)*
Practical – Laboratory 1 (3)   --
Project  -- 4

*Depending on Students choice & faculty availability all three or two Groups (A/B/C) will be offered

Entrance Examination

B.Sc. Physics/Electronics/Mathematics/Applied Physics with a minimum percentage of 55 marks in part III.

4 Year B.E/B.Tech in Electronics /ECE/Electrical/EEE/Optics/Engineering Physics/Applied Physics/Mechanical/Instrumentation/Computer Science with a minimum percentage of 55 marks in main subjects.

The selection for the M.Sc Astrophysics programme is done through the National level entrance exam. The question paper will consist of 100 objective type questions.

 The objective question paper covers all the subjects at U.G. degree with Physics as main and Mathematics and Chemistry as ancillaries.

Gallery

Department of Astrophysics
Department of Astrophysics
Department of Astrophysics
Department of Astrophysics
Department of Astrophysics
Department of Astrophysics

Infrastructure Facilities

We have well equipped Teaching Laboratory which includes General Physics, Electronics, Microprocessors with interfaces (Traffic light controller and stepper motor etc), Optics (Michelson interferometer and Laser equipments etc.)  and Computer Laboratories. The computer laboratories are installed with required softwares needed for astronomical research. The operating systems are with dual booting of Linux and Windows. Since, most astronomical softwares and work need for Linux systems (Fedora core, Ubuntu and Cent OS).

In addition, we have common well equipped Central Instrumentation Facility with the following facilities for advanced research work:  Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer, Differential Scanning Calorimeter, Impendence Analyzer, Ultrasonic Pulse Echo Interferometer, VSM (Lakeshore), UV-VIS-IR Spectrometer (Variant), Digital Nano Volt and Current Meters (Keith Ely), MMR, Scanning Electron Microscope, Virtual Instrumentation System Lab, Spectroflourimeter, etc.

ACHIEVEMENTS: (2012-2013)

During the past academic year from the beginning of the department to now, we have achieved the followings.

  • We have made 3 publications under the name of Department of Astrophysics.
Sl. No. Article Title Author’s Names Journal References
1 Higher-order nonlinear Schrödinger equation with derivative non-Kerr nonlinear terms: A model for sub-10-fs-pulse  propagation Amitava Choudhuri
and  K  Porsezian
Phys. Rev. A 88, 033808 (2013)
2 On the symmetries of the modified Emden-type equation Amitava Choudhuri arXiv:1304.5826v1 [nlin.SI] 22 Apr 2013
3 Photometric and spectroscopic studies of star-forming regions within Wolf-Rayet galaxies Chrisphin Karthick. M, Angel R.Lopez-Sanchez, D.K. Sahu, B.B. Sanwal, Shuchi Bisht arXiv:1311.7504
  • Our students visited few Astronomical research institutions/Observatories and carried out their astronomical research projects through summer/winter programmes.  Those visited Astronomical research institutions are as:

    Inter-University center for Astronomy and Astrophysics ( IUCAA), Pune. – 1 student for summer programme.

    Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore - 2 students for summer programme.

    Indian Institute of Space Technology (IIST), Trivandrum - 1 student for winter programme.

    Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital- 1 student for winter programme.

     Our students also have visited few astronomical Observatories situated at (Kavalur, IUCAA, NCRA radio observatory and Nainital).

  • Series of Guest lectures has been arranged in the topic of Fluids and Plasmas for 7 days with 3 hours/day by Dr. Arun Mangalam, Associate professor, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Banaglore. This has been held on during the period of 29th October  - 5th November 2013.
  • Dr. C. S. Stalin, Reader, IIA, Bangalore has given a talk on 30th September 2013 in the topic of "Extra-Galactic Objects" for few hours as a guest lecture on request.

FUTURE VISION:

  • We have planned to establish an Astronomical Observatory (with modern equipped computerized telescope with observing facilities) covering the southern region  of the sky. This will be better location to cover southern objects in the sky. This will be helpful for the further research projects for the students and for the Research scholars  in future.
  • We have planned to start Ph. D programme and  also participating with collaborative Astronomical research programmes  with National and International Level. As a beginning step we have already in connection with IIA (Indian Institute of Astrophysics), Bangalore for the development of department and for valuable suggestions to improve teaching/research programme in Astrophysics.
  • We have planned to arrange campus interview for the best outgoing students. This placements includes scientific and non-scientific industries also.
  • We are interested to have MOU with astronomical research institutions.

Guest Faculty

Dr. Amitava Choudhuri

      

 


Dr. Chrisphin Karthick


Dr. G. Sakthivel

      

 

Mr. T. Pazhanivel

Faculty

Co-ordinator

Contact Us

Dr. K.Porsezian, Professor & Coordinator, Dept. of Astrophysics, School of Physical, Chemical & Applied Sciences, Pondicherry University, Puducherry
2654403
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