Full name: MAYANK NALINKANT VAHIA
Date of Birth: September 24, 1956
Place of Birth: Kutch, Bhuj, North Gujarat, INDIA
Present Position: Associate Professor; Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Homi Bhabha Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400 005, INDIA
- B. Sc. (Physics and Mathematics); University of Bombay, 1977
- M. Sc. (Nuclear Physics); University of Bombay, 1979
- Ph. D. (Astrophysics); University of Bombay; 1984
- Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (August 1979 till date)
- Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA. September 1984 to December 1984
- Max Planck Institut fur Physik und Astrophysik; Institut fur Extraterrestrische Physik; GERMANY, Jan 1988 to January 1989
- University of Durham, Durham, U.K. 1990 –1991 and 1998
- University of California, San Diego, July to September 1998
- Director, Nehru Planetarium, Worli, Mumbai April 2001 to June 2002
Membership of Societies:
- Member, Indian Physics Association (1979 - )
- General Secretary (2003 - )
Astronomical Society of
(1984 - ) India
Association for Science Education (1985 - ) Bombay
- Chairman (1995 - )
Union(1995 - )
of Sciences (1996) New York Academy
- Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society (2000 - )
- Member, National Association of Science Communicators. (2001 - )
- Member, Commonwealth Association for Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (2001 - )
- Member, Indian Association of Physics Teachers (2003 - )
, (2004- ) Instituteof Physics
- Member, Indian Nuclear Society (2004- )
- Fellow, World Innovation Foundation (2005 - )
(Founder), Society for South Asian Archaeology (2005 - )
- Member, Archaeological Society of
(2006 - ) India
Phenomenological and theoretical
- Solar Physics: Particle Emission from Sun, Movement of the Sun in the Galaxy,
- Origin of solar system
- Galactic Cosmic Rays, Origin and propagation,
- Stellar Physics, Magnetic fields of stars, Electromagnetic and Particle Emission from Stars
- Magnetosphere of Earth, Particle entry and release
- Computer Simulation of astrophysical environments,
- Solid State Nuclear Detectors
- Solid state and crystal detectors for X rays and gamma rays
- Detectors for charged particles, dust & X rays and Gamma Rays
Impact of Science on society
- Science education and communication
- Understanding and concept building in science
- Impact of science on the development of society
- 1979 to 1985: I worked on the problem of Particle Emission from Sun. The study involved the measurement of heavy element flux in solar cosmic rays emitted during the solar flare of August 4, 1972. This led to my Ph D. degree. I then worked on the interpretation of the results and showed that the flare particles are trapped in a flare loop in a very narrow temperature range and that betatron process may be effective in accelerating these particles.
- 1980 to 1989: I worked on the experiment to measure the charge states of solar and galactic cosmic rays through an experiment done on NASA's Space Shuttle in the Space Lab 3 mission. I was involved in all stages of the experiment. In 1987 I went to Germany to work on a similar experiment being done from the Max Planck Institute. I also studied the particle acceleration in the magnetosphere of stars
- 1985 to 1995: I worked on flare mechanisms in stars, particularly flares of interbinary proportions and showed that they can explain several properties of some gamma ray bursts also simulated the behaviour of interbinary flares in relation to the binary rotation.
- 1995 to 1997: I worked on the X-ray observations of various galactic and extragalactic objects.
- 1995 to 1997: I worked on the Indian X-ray astronomy payload (IXAE) that was launched on an Indian Satellite in 1996.
- 1998 onwards: I worked on aspect relating to the origin of cosmic rays and local features of the interstellar medium in the neighbourhood of the solar system.
- 1999 onwards: I have been investigating the scenario that the Sun may once have had a companion that exploded and from whose residue, the solar system was born.
- 1997 onwards: I am working on the Solar X-ray Spectrometer to be flown on an Indian Satellite in 2003. I am also working on a Russian project for measuring the X-ray emission from the Sun and am involved in the manufacture of instruments for the ASTROSAT project.
- 2002 onwards I have become interested in the field of Archaeo Astronomy
- I have published more than 150 research publications in the above areas in various international journals or presented at international conferences where proceedings are published.
Involvement in Specific Experiments:
- Co investigator in the Experiment Determination of ionisation States of Solar & Galactic Cosmic Rays (ANURADHA) flown on NASA's Space Shuttle Space
- Lab3 Mission, April 29 to May 7, 1985, main responsibility for the development for software for pre and post flight data analysis, detector development, instrument integration and science aspects, implementation of trajectory computation software etc.
- Member of the Principle investigator's team at Houston, USA, for monitoring ANURADHA experiment during flight. April 29 to May 7, 1985
- Member, Indian X ray Astronomy payload team (IXAS), main responsibility, manufacture of collimator and data analysis
- Gamma ray telescope to study the Sun and Stars, to be flown with Russian Collaboration in 2005. Main responsibility, execution of Project and development of low energy detectors
Educational Material created:
- EINSTEIN AND HIS UNIVERSE: Scripted and produced Nehru Planetarium Show no 27 (2001)
- OUR STAR, THE SUN: Scripted and produced Nehru Planetarium Show no 28 (2002)
- TIFR THE EVEREXPANDING QUEST: Scripted and produces a film on TIFR (2004)
- NUCLEOSYNTHESIS Proceedings of Summer Workshop held at TIFR, May 19 23, 1980 Edited by S. Biswas, S. Ramadurai and M. N. Vahia Tata Institute of Fundamental Research GB"
- Instrument and Electronics Colloquia, 1984 - 85 Edited by S. V. Damle, P. R. Apte R. Nagarajan and M. N. Vahia Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
- Fifty years at the frontiers of science Edited by S. Mukhi and M. N. Vahia Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
- Chairman, Science Popularisation and Public Outreach Committee I am responsible for creating programmes and activities to project physics and TIFR to the general public
- Chairman, and office bearer of the Bombay Association for Science Education, organised several workshops, symposia and other activities for school and college teachers & students
- National Coordinator, Indian Programmes for the World (International) year of Physics, INDIA
- Member NCSM Society. 2003 onwards
- Member Scientific Committee of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education that was awarded the National Award for Best Effort in Science Popularisation amongst Children by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication, Department of Science and Technology in 1999.
- Member Planning and Programme Committee of the Nehru Science Centre, Western Regional Centre of National Centre of Science Museums since 1995
- National Coordinator, Indian Astronomy Olympiad Programme (1999 - )
- Team Leader for Indian Team to the 4th International Astronomy Olympiad, Crimea Ukraine, September 25 to October 2, 1999. All the six participants won a medal with a total tally of 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze Medals
- Team Leader for Indian Team to the 5th International Astronomy Olympiad, SAO Russia, October 20 to 27, 2000. Five of the six participants won a medal with a total tally of 2 Gold, 3 Silver medals
- Team Leader for Indian Team to the 6th International Astronomy Olympiad, Crimea Ukraine, September 26 to October 3, 2001. Five of the six participants won a medal with a total tally of 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze Medals
- Team Leader for the Indian Team to the 8th International Astronomy Olympiad, Sweden, 2003, All 5 students got medals and India came 1st
- Team Leader for the Indian Team to the 9th International Astronomy Olympiad, Ukraine, 2004, All 4 students got GOld medals and 1 got Bronze, India came 1st for the 3rd year.
- Chairman, Scientific Review Committee (Western Zone) of the INTEL Science and Technology Fare, in 1999 to 2002
- Resource person, Mumbai University Academic Staff College: Gave lecture courses in Philosophy of Science titled Physical Science and their Implication on Human Thought, to the Orientation Course for College Teachers, Academic staff College, Mumbai University
- More than 100 popular science lectures to schools, colleges and general public
- Member, Scientific Organising Committee, Origin of Elements in the Solar System, New Orleans, August, 1999
- As Secretary of the TIFR Golden Jubilee Celebration worked extensively on presentation of various facets of TIFR and co-ordinated efforts in highlighting the Institute's activities through books, videos, public lectures & exhibition etc. (1996 - 1997)
- Member of the Organising Committee for the CASTME conference on the Role of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education, Goa, India, June 2001