World-Renowned Scientists Discuss Physics in Everyday Life at Shiv Nadar School's Physics Conclave

World-Renowned Scientists Discuss Physics in Everyday Life at Shiv Nadar School's Physics Conclave

Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon, recently held a day-long Physics Conclave under the mentorship of Dr. Archana Sharma, Principal Staff Scientist at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, in collaboration with the Life Lab Foundation, a non-profit organisation connecting students and teachers to world's leading scientific organisations. The theme of the event was "Bridging the Gap: Particle Physics and its Relevance in our Everyday Lives". The conclave was held to foster interdisciplinary dialogue on physics and explore the practical applications of particle physics in various aspects of society. It was attended by approximately 350 students from 21 schools across Delhi-NCR. 

The programme helped students understand the key considerations in the ongoing debate between allocating resources to fundamental research in particle physics and addressing immediate real-world challenges such as poverty, disease, and climate change. It included keynote speeches, panel discussions, a unique opportunity for interactive online visits to CMS (CERN), and art presentations. It also provided a platform for researchers, industry professionals, educators, and young adults to share their insights, research and engage in fruitful discussions. The conclave continued the next day at the Noida campus and focused on research and discussions where university students and students from the Shiv Nadar School participated. 

Delivering an impactful lecture, Dr. Archana Sharma spoke about 'Particles unleashed- unravelling the secrets that shape our everyday experiences'. She said, "As a passionate Particle Physicist, I firmly believe that the mysteries of the universe are not meant to remain confined within the walls of laboratories and academic institutions. By unravelling the secrets of particles, we uncover the very essence of our existence and the forces that shape our everyday experiences. My mission is to bridge the gap between cutting-edge scientific discoveries and the broader public, empowering everyone to appreciate the profound relevance of Particle Physics in our daily lives." She advised students, "It is your job to expose yourself to as much as you can, so you can discover your calling."

Dr. Jahnavi Phalkey, Founding Director of Science Gallery, Bengaluru, filmmaker, and a Science Historian, said in her address, "Science and technology are ingrained in everyday life in ways in which it wasn't earlier, for example, today we can access the world right through our fingertips. Nowadays, pursuing careers that are not necessarily about science is very difficult. For example, to understand electoral politics, one needs to understand technology and social media both. As information flows in abundance and is converted into data, it can be difficult to determine the credibility of the sources." Speaking about her journey, she touched upon how public engagement with science and research is important. 

Ms. Monica Sagar, the Director Principal of Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon, reflecting on the significance of Particle Physics, said, "The purpose of the Physics Conclave is to bridge the gap between eminent scientists and school students by encouraging interdisciplinary discussions while examining how Particle Physics can be applied practically in different aspects of society." Ms. Vinita Sharat, Central Programme Coordinator, STEAM, at Shiv Nadar School, shared her views on how the convergence of knowledge and inspiration at the Physics Conclave opened new horizons for the students, cultivating a deeper appreciation for the marvels of physics in their minds.

During the conclave, a project-based student competition themed "Cosmic Horizons: Unveiling the Universe's Marvels, Technology, and Their Impact on Society and UNSDGs" was organised. The aim of the competition was to grant participants the opportunity to develop comprehensive projects that highlight the beauty of the universe, the significance of technological advancements and their potential to address global challenges.