Ghulam Dastagir Alam

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Ghulam Dastagir Alam
Dr- G-D Alam (right) 2014-06-25 02-40.jpg
Dr. G.D Alam (right)
Born 1937
Faridabad, Haryana
Died 5 December 2000
Nilore, ICT
Residence Pakistan, United Kingdom
Citizenship Pakistan
Nationality Pakistan
Fields Theoretical physics
Institutions Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission
National Centre for Physics
International Centre for Theoretical Physics
Institute of Theoretical Physics
Imperial College London
Quaid-e-Azam University
Alma mater Government College University
University of London
Academic advisors Dr. Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry
Abdus Salam
Known for Ultracentrifuge development
Quantum Mechanics
Ion Scattering
Published work in Calculus and vector calculus
Notable awards Hilal-e-Imtiaz (1983)

Ghulam Dastigar Alam Qasmi (Urdu: غلام دستگیر الم قسمى; popularly known as G.D. Alam; HI, PhD), was a Pakistani theoretical physicist and professor of mathematics at the Quaid-e-Azam University. Alam is best known for conceiving and embarking the research on gas centrifuge project during the timeline of Pakistan's integrated atomic bomb project in the 1970s, and also conceived the research on Gauge theory and Gamma ray bursts throughout his career.

After the atomic bomb project, Alam joined the Department of Mathematics at the Quaid-e-Azam University as well as serving as visiting faculty at the Institute of Physics, and co-authored papers on variation calculus and fission isomer. He was one of the notable theoretical physicist in PAEC and Qau, and at one point, his fellow theorist, Munir Ahmad Khan, called Allam, as "the problem solving brain of the PAEC."[1]


Alam attended and graduated from Government College University (GCU) with a BSc in Mathematics under the supervision of renowned theoretical physicist Abdus Salam, with an specialisation in Quantum Mechanics in 1954.[citation needed] In 1955, he enrolled in the Physics Department of the GCU where he obtained MSc in Physics in 1957.[2] His master's thesis were supervised under watchful supervision of dr. R. M. Chaudhry that had contained the thorough research in Electromagnetic radiation and their emission from heavy metals to particles.[citation needed] After his degree in physics, Alam taught elementary physics laboratory courses in his alma mater before joining the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in 1958.[citation needed]


In 1964, Alam went on to joined doctoral programme at the University of London with a UGC scholarship. In 1967, Alam was awarded PhD in Theoretical Physics after he submitted and published his doctoral thesis, jointly written by J.B. Hasted, P.P. Ong and D.K. Bohme, from the University of London.[3][4] His thesis covered the comprehensive studies on Charge-crossing involving Curve crossing, a concept in Quantum Mechanics.[5]

In 1967, he became fellow at the Institute of Physics where he continued his publications on theoretical nuclear physics. There, he pioneered his research in nuclear isomer, nuclear fission and the gamma rays.[6] In 1970, Alam performed an experiment in isomer and gamma rays and proposed that, in the isomer state, the average kinetic energy is associated with the decay process of Isomer state is about the same as the fission in the ground state of fission.[7] In 1970, he presented his papers on radiocluster, examining the graphs and functional behaviour of the fission products with respected experimental and calculated potential energies.[7]

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission[edit]

In 1970, Alam joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH). He initially joined the Computer department but moved to Physics Division at there.[8] In 1974, Alam joined the Theoretical Physics Group under the directorship of his old mentor Abdus Salam (TPG). However, in 1975, Alam took the transferred at the Nuclear Physics Division to demonstrate research in high-speed rotationally fixed axis machine separation of the uranium isotope U-235 from other isotopes.[8]

1971 war and atomic bomb project[edit]

In 1976, Dr. Alam was the director of a team compromising Anwar Ali, Dr. Fakhr Hashmi, Javed Arshad Mirza, Eqbal Ahmad Khokhar, assisted by the members of Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.[8] In Spring of 1976, Abdul Qadeer Khan joined this gas centrifuge programme as he replaced dr. Alam.[8] While research in United Kingdom, Dr. Alam had never seen a gas-centrifuge, yet he was the director of the Gas centrifuge programme, and had only a rudimentary.[8] Dr. Alam had only knowledge based on the literature on Manhattan Project and Jesse Beams work brought by Abdus Salam in 1972.[8] Dr. Alam reviewed the blueprints of a gas-centrifuge brought by Abdul Qadeer Khan and later identified as incorrect and uncompleted.[8] Not wanting to give up, Dr. Khan continued to work on the gas centrifuge, meanwhile, Alam paid a visit to Quaid-e-Azam University to deliver the lecture on Mathematical physics. It was here, dr. Alam met with Tasneem Shah, a mathematician educated at Oxford, and delegated Dr. Shah to join the gas-centrifuge programme. Together with Shah, Hashmi, Mirza, Khokhar, Ali, Alam formed the Directorate of Industrial Liaison, a codename of electromagnetic isotope separation project. Allam and his team had established the approximation and reasonable percent error for the actual value for the weapon-grade uranium.[1] The electric vector equation problems, after applying the Stokes' law, in the centrifuges were learned and mastered in Kahuta, and temperature difference in UF6 to flow from top to bottom; it was here a team of GD Alam and A.Q. Khan had done tremendous amount of scientific research on complex and dynamical problems in the uranium enrichment.[1] According to the reference written in Eating Grass, it was Alam, Fakhar Hashmi, Anwar Ali, and A.Q. Khan's research group that helped achieved the first enrichment into weapon-grade uranium, in a record timelime.[1]

In April 1976, Dr. Alam succeeded in rotating the first centrifuge to 30,000rpm ; and on 4 June 1978 at 2:00 am at Chaklala Science Laboratories (SCL), Dr. G.D. Alam and Anwar Ali succeeded in separating the 235U and 238U isotopes in an experiment dr. A.Q Khan also witnessed.[8] Commenting on the success, GD Alam famously quoted: "Boys, we have achieved enrichment in Pakistan.".[1] At the same time, GD Alam and among other of his colleagues signed and quickly published a paper on the differential methods of the centrifuges.[1] After this success of this centrifuge project, the differences and tensions with Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan began to arise over his suspected atomic proliferation issues.[8] In 1981, Dr. G.D. Alam was transferred back to PAEC after the matter was taken to the Government. Alam associated with the atomic bomb project while he continued to publish his articles in theoretical physics. In 1998, Alam summed his thought as he said:

Even until today, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan apart from the basics knows nothing about (Theoretical) physics and even today he is not able to talk on technical issues.... And perhaps, he may be a good manager and an expert at turning the situation and circumstances in his own favor and to this end he knows the best way to use money, but now he has created such an image about himself that if such things are said, the people [of Pakistan] will throw stones at us but this nation should be made used to facing such realities.......

— Ghulam Dastigar Alam,[citation needed]

Though Alam remained a vital member in the TPG, where he continued his research on partial differential equations, and joined Mathematics Department at the Quaid-e-Azam University. Alam briefly taught courses on Beltrami equation, Multivariable calculus and Mathematical physics. At Department of Mathematics, Dr. Alam pioneered a paper in Gamma-ray burst using the mathematical descriptions to analyse the energy released by the gamma rays.[9] Dr. Alam died on 5 December 2000 in his residence in Islamabad.


  • Alam, Ghulam Dastigar Alam (April 1996) [1996], Calculus: An Approach to Engineering Mathematics, 1 1 (1 ed.), Department of Mathematics, Quaid-e-Azam University: Punjab Text Board, p. 390 

Science articles[edit]

  • Fission fragment mass distributions and kinetic energies for spontaneous fission isomers, by R.L. Ferguson, F. Plasil, G.D. Alam†, H.W. Schmitt.
  • Gamma Ray Transitions in the de-excitation Californium-253 spontenous fission pragments, by G.D. Alam, Department of Mathematics.


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  1. ^ a b c d e f Khan, Feroz Hassan. "Cascade to Enriching". Eating grass : the making of the Pakistani bomb. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804776011. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Allam, Ghulam Dastigar (1957). The Emission of Electromagnetic Radiations from metals by high energy particles (MSc). High Tension Laboratories at the Department of Physics of Government College University (GCU). 
  3. ^ Hasted, J.B. Physics of atomic collisions. J.B. Hasted. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Theses and Dissertations Accepted for Higher Degrees". 1967. University of London. 
  5. ^ W. Benjamin., 1967, United States. Dept. of Defense. "Charge Transfer Involving Curve Crossin". W. Benjamin., 1967. United States. Dept. of Defense. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Bates, David Robert (1967). Advances in Atomic and Molecular Physics. Uk. Usa: Academic Press Inc. pp. 243–247. 
  7. ^ a b Hooshyar, M. Ali; Irwin Reichstein; F. B. Malik (2005). Nuclear Fission and Cluster Radioactivity: An Energy-Density Functional Approach. Berlin; New York: Springer. pp. 136–151. ISBN 3-540-23302-4. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shahid-Ur Rehman (1999). "The Gas-centriguce controversy". Long Road to Chagai: §The Gas centrifuge controversy. Pakistan, UK,: Printwise publications. pp. 8, 53–60. ISBN 978-969-8500-00-9. 
  9. ^ Alam, Ghulam Dastigar. "Gamma Ray Transitions in the de-excitation Californium-253 spontenous fission pragments". Dr. Ghulam Dastigar Alam, Department of Mathematics, Quaid-e-Azam University. Institution of Electrical. Retrieved 27 December 2011.