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Raman Research Institute Develops Indigenous Experimental Facility To Help Deepen Knowledge In Quantum Technologies

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Raman Research Institute Develops Indigenous Experimental Facility To Help Deepen Knowledge In Quantum Technologies


Scientists at the Raman Research Institute (RRI) have indigenously built an experimental facility to simultaneously cool and trap a large number of sodium and potassium atoms near absolute zero temperatures using laser light and magnetic fields.

With this, RRI, an autonomous institute funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has joined the handful of laboratories globally to demonstrate such efficient simultaneous production of a mixture of two species of ultra-cold neutral atoms with inter-species interactions control.

Results from this experiment can deepen the knowledge required for developing quantum technologies such as quantum computing, quantum sensing and metrology — all of which are the frontier areas of research.

Built over a period of five years, this specialised experimental facility comprises four interconnected ultra-high vacuum chambers, where atoms are trapped and cooled under a pressure to the tune of 10-11 millibar (equal to 14 orders lower than the normal atmospheric pressure). There are multiple intricate Laser systems, optical arrangements and high-resolution detections systems. Using techniques of flashing light onto the atoms, the researchers said that it was possible to manipulate properties of atoms and use it for taking various measurements that are fundamentally quantum mechanical in nature.

“Using a combination of light and magnetic field, we attempted to cool and trap a large number of sodium and potassium atoms from their mixture at near absolute zero temperature (in micro Kelvin). As the behaviour of atoms is different at such low temperatures in comparison to the atoms at room temperatures, we wanted to understand their quantum co-relations,” said Saptarishi Chaudhuri from the Quantum Mixtures Laboratory (QuMix), who led the latest experimental research.

In the absolute ground state, dipolar molecules of sodium and potassium possess high dipole moments, hence they offer high versatility to the researchers to study the many body physics, perform tests for quantum simulation, sensing and entanglement.

” The advantage of the experiment setup is that the properties of these atoms are highly controllable. We can swiftly change many parameters without the need to produce newer samples, as is the case in most condensed matter system experiments,” explained Sanjukta Roy, co-author of the study published in the journal AIP Advances, where it has bagged the distinction of being Editor’s Pick article.

Being natural qubits, both sodium and potassium can be subjected to manipulation using tailored light. These then can be excited to any desired state as required for the experiment. The sodium-potassium mixture was used primarily because they offer a perfect combination of Fermionic (heavy in weight) and Bosonic (light in weight) properties for studies under light. Resonant light was flashed to achieve the quantum state control of atoms, said Gourab Pal, a PhD student, who co-authored the article.

According to Sagar Sutradhar, a final-year PhD student and article’s lead author, the experiment setup includes another trap at the pre-cooling stage known as a cold atomic beam.

“ It is based on the idea of two-dimensional magneto-optical trapping of atoms. This vital intervention was introduced to first cool the atoms and later push them into the main experimental setup,” said Sutradhar, who designed, implemented and characterized the performance of the system.

As a result, the researchers succeeded to trap 1,000 times greater number of atoms compared to the traditional atom traps used in various laboratories worldwide. To be precise, the special experimental setup typically manages to trap 10 billion potassium atoms and about 50 million sodium atoms in the mixture.

Anirban Misra, another co-author of the paper, said, “ The simultaneous production of high-power narrow line-width laser light and frequency, intensity, polarization and phase control of these trapping lights is one of most complex yet necessary steps required for successfully cooling such large numbers of atoms.”

Sayari Majumder, who also contributed in this work, noted, “ These ultra-cold atoms, especially in the form of a mixture, are ideal candidates for quantum sensing of tiny magnetic fields. The interspecies interaction as reported in the paper is now being utilized to develop better sensitivity quantum magnetometer in the laboratory.”

On the observed behaviour near absolute zero temperatures, Chaudhuri said, “ As the atoms are inherently quantum mechanical in nature, they do not collide during their inter and intra-atomic interactions. Instead, they move at rates of a few millimetre/second, and this helps us to study light-assisted interactions between the atoms.”





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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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