School Of Environmental Radiation and Archaeological Sciences
A brief statement of the aims and purposes of the School:
C14 dating is regarded as one of the most ingenious methods of nuclear process application. Its importance goes far beyond the dating of archaeological remains or fossils. The improved counting techniques enable us to quantitatively estblish the amount of similar weakly beta-active nuclei present in the earth and its environment such as Kr85 and Ar37. Each of these reveals interesting aspects of the ral or man-made processes in whih they are inherent.
It is proposed that the radio carbon dating system may be suitably augmented with a mass spectrometer for isotope studies and a gas chromatograph for identification of the gaseous components and for determining the purity of a sample. A study of the isotopes of various gaseous elements, particularly the inert gases, reveals valuable clues to the evolutionary history of the area.
Geologically, India is mobile and highly heterogeneous in its composition. Although certain large research laboratories are studying the features consequent on this geological nature, much work remains undone. It was therefore felt necessary to establish a composite dating laboratory in the University. It should be borne in mind that pioneering work in radio carbon dating in India was carried out in Kolkata. The School attempts to carry on from the pioneering efforts of the late Professor S. D. Chatterjee.
A brief history of the School
Initial support to set up the School came from a generous grant of over Rs.5 lakhs by the late Dr. Biren Roy, Chairman of the Biren Roy Trust. He also promised to set up a two-storied building for the School. After his demise, Sm. Meghamala Roy, Trustee of the Biren Roy Trust, has continued to support the work of the School by donating a further Rs.9.5 lakhs for construction of the building. It is coming up with the active collaboration of reputed institutions at national and international level.
The immediate objective of the School is to develop the Radio Carbon Dating facility and later extend it to other methods of archaeological dating. To fulfil this objective, Dr Haradhan De, Biren Roy Scientist, visited the Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR, Berlin. The School also procured from the Akademie a Oeschager-Houtermann type Counter and the associated Electronic Counting equipment for the Radio Carbon Dating Unit. With the technical support of Dr G. Rajagopal, Deputy Director, Birbal Sahani Institute, Lucknow, and Dr Debasis Ghosh of the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Kolkata, this Unit will soon be fully operational as a major national research facility.
Further, to initiate fission track dating techniques, a Solid State Nuclear Track Detector facility has been developed in this laboratory. Shri Debasis Paul, on leave from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission on an ICCR-Commonwealth Fellowship Programme, has participated in this effort.
Director Of School :
Dr. Argha Deb, Director Ph: 2414-6666 (O) Extn.2352