GUWAHATI, Jan 30: Cotton University recently organised a daylong national workshop to make the formal announcement of a mega research project on developing a ‘discovery class particle accelerator facility’ at the Bongra campus of the university, according to a press release issued here today.

Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal expressed confidence that the initiative would be a new launch pad for turning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for the region into a reality.

The three-phase project is estimated at Rs 300 crore. In the first phase the Positive Ion Mass Spectrometry (PIMS) facility will be developed and it will be the first of its kind in the country, according to the organisers of the workshop. PIMS will aid archaeologists and geologists in understanding chronological timeframe in a very efficient and precise way up to about 60,000 years.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Education Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma appreciated the efforts made by the university to develop a particle accelerator in the State.

In his welcome address, Prof BC Goswami, Vice Chancellor of Cotton University highlighted the significance of the project christened CUPAC-NE Collaboration Accelerator Facility.

Prof AC Pandey, Director of Inter-University Accelerator Centre (IUAC), New Delhi endorsed the project and gave his assurance to share the beam time proposals with the new facility.

B Kalyan Chakravarthy, Principal Secretary of Education, Government of Assam assured of a supportive role of the State government.

Dr SR Santra, head of Nuclear Astrophysics Programme at the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), announced the technical review of the proposal.

Distinguished nuclear scientist from BARC Dr BK Nayak stated the unique capability of the particle accelerator to provide beam species which is currently not available in the country.

The workshop was the culmination of a year-long effort of a large group of dedicated scientists and faculties led by Prof GC Wary, Dean, Research and Development, Cotton University along with members from various institutions of the NE states, BARC, IUAC, Saha National Institute of Nuclear Physics (SNIP) and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).