Indian Institute of Astrophysics

Overview

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics is one of the top institutes that is totally dedicated to research in astrophysics, astronomy, and related physics. The first observatory was set up in 1786 at madras and then moved to Kodaikanal. The headquarters was later shifted to Bengaluru in 1975.

Kodaikanal Observatory has been the principal center of activity in the area of observational solar as well as atmospheric physics. The VainuBappu Observatory at Kavalur has been the primary optical observatory of the setup for nighttime astronomy since the late 1960s. In addition to these, there are many other telescopes in operation here. The most important among those are the 2.34m long VainuBappu Telescope. The Gauribidanur Radio Observatory has equipped with a decameter wave radio telescope array and a radioheliograph.

Academic Performance

The IIA operates a wonderful program of graduate studies that creates a vital role in research and training as well. The program is monitored by the BOARD OF GRADUATE STUDIES that looks after the entire academic and related activities of the Ph.D. students and the students visiting IIA for various training programs.

IIA conducts the Integrated M.Tech.-Ph.D. program with astronomical Instrumentation specialization in collaboration with the Department of Applied Optics and Photonics, Calcutta University. There is also a full-time research program where the students look towards their Ph.D. degree under the guidance of an IIA faculty.

Research & Development

Studies about Sun and solar system have been the longest ever discipline at IIA. The team conducts numerical modeling, theoretical, and observational research on the Sun: the structure and dynamics of its interior, its chromosphere, photosphere, and the corona part.

Research in the area of stars and stellar systems and galaxies covers a broad range of topics. Some of them being star formation, the study of the interstellar medium and dynamics of the Milky Way, exoplanets, and study of neighboring galaxies such as the Magellanic Clouds etc. Theoretical studies include developing efficient iterative techniques to solve the concerned polarized radiative transfer equation including the scattering matrix, developing numerical programs to compute the resulting scattering matrix, formulating the quantum and classical theory of light scattering on atomic or molecular model etc.

Notable Alumni

G.C. Anupama having done her thesis on “Studies of Classical and Recurrent Novae” from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, is the President of the Astronomical Society of India, the first woman head of this organization of professional astronomers in India. Sudip Mandal having gotten his education from Indian Institute if Astrophysics, is researching on MHD Waves, Historical Solar Data and Long-Term Solar Variability in affiliation with Max Planck Institute of Solar System Research. Annapurni Subramaniam, the director of IIA now, has completed her Ph. D. on “Studies of star clusters and stellar evolution” from IIA in 1996. Blesson Mathew, the researcher in Stellar Astrophysics is one of the eminent alumni of IIA (2004-2010).

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