Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
Seal of IACS
|Director||Santanu Bhattacharya |
|Location||Kolkata, West Bengal, India|
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) is an institute of higher learning in Kolkata, India. Established in 1876 by Mahendra Lal Sircar, a private medical practitioner, it focuses on fundamental research in basic sciences. It is India's oldest research institute.
The institute is engaged in fundamental research in various fields of physics, chemistry and chemical biology. It is one of the most active research institutes in India and publishes on an average ~ 500 research articles in peer reviewed journals including top journals like Physical Review Letters, Journal of American Chemical Society and Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Recent interests include research in energy, fuel cells, nano materials like graphene and carbon nanotubes. The institute emphasizes PhD programmes, the degree being provided either by Jadavpur University or by University of Calcutta. There is also full fledged Integrated PhD programme for post-Bachelor's students. From academic year 2005-2006 it started an integrated PhD programme in chemistry. There are 8 departments in IACS, 3 units and 2 centres namely Materials Science, Solid state physics, Theoretical physics, Spectroscopy, Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biological Chemistry, Polymer Science unit, energy research unit, Raman centre for atomic and molecular sciences, centre for advanced materials and MLS Professor's unit. There are about 70 working scientists in IACS. One important distinctive aspect of IACS is the presence of a majority of young scientist who are bringing new research areas and directions to IACS.
Apart from the works of C. V. Raman and K. S. Krishanan in Optics, IACS has produced several important paradigms in modern science. IACS has a very strong group in theoretical chemistry and quantum chemistry. Debashis Mukherjee developed the Mk-MRCC method to account for electron correlations in molecular systems which is considered as a "gold-standard" in computational chemistry. Another important discovery has been in the area of solvation dynamics of molecules and particular the dynamics of water molecules around the surfaces of membranes. These experiments performed by Professor Kankan Bhattacharyya have provided a fundamental insights into the behavior of water near biological surfaces and led to the coining of the word "biological water" in the physical chemistry community.
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