Why in news

  • European XFEL, the world’s biggest X-ray laser has generated its first beam of light.

About XFEL

  • The European XFEL is the largest and most powerful of the five X-ray lasers worldwide, with the ability to generate the short pulses of hard X-ray light.
  • It is 3.4-kilometre-long and most of it is located in underground tunnels in Germany and kept at a temperature of just 2 degrees above absolute zero.
  • The X-ray light has a wavelength of 0.8 nanometre – about 500 times shorter than that of visible light.
  • LASER: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
  • It is device that generates an intense beam of coherent monochromatic light (or other electromagnetic radiation).
  • It means unlike the conventional light, LASER has radiation of only one wavelength
  • (Monochromatic) and they are always in same phase in space and time (Coherent).

Free-electron lasers

  • They create coherent light by constantly accelerating a beam of electrons. Free-electron lasers can produce radiation with a very short-wavelength, down to just a few tenths of a nanometre i.e. to the level of an atom.


Why in News?

  • SOHUM, an indigenously developed newborn hearing screening device has been launched by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

More about Sohum

  •  It has been developed by School of International Biodesign (SIB).
  •  It measures auditory brain waves via three electrodes placed on the baby’s head. When stimulated, electrodes detect electrical responses generated by the brain’s auditory system. If there is no response, it indicates child cannot hear.
  • If detected at early age, other problems such as impaired communication skills and even possible mental illness can be prevented.

School of International Biodesign

  • SIB is a flagship Program of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) aimed to develop innovative and affordable medical devices as per India’s unmet clinical needs and to train the next generation of medical technology innovators in India.
  • It is implemented jointly at AIIMS and IIT Delhi in collaboration with International partners.
  • Under this programme, Department has authorized Biotech Consortium India Limited for management of its Intellectual Property and other techno-legal activities.

Noxeno (Developed under SIB)

  • It is the first dedicated tool for anterior nasal foreign body (NFB) removal that allows doctors in any setting to quickly and safely remove objects that people (mostly children aged 2-10) put into their noses.
  • Noxeno has been 100% invented, designed, engineered and manufactured in India.


Why in news?

Researchers have proven the existence of the new form of matter ‘excitonium’ which exhibits microscopic quantum phenomenon like a super conductor and is formed of excitons.


  • When an electron which is seated at the edge of the crowded electron valence band gets excited and jumps over the energy gap into an empty conduction band, its leaves behind a hole in the valence band.
  • The hole in the valence band acts as a positively charged particle and attracts the escaped electron.
  • When the escaped electron with negative charge pairs with the hole, a composite bosonic particle – exciton is formed.


Why in news?

  • Australian scientists have created the world’s thinnest hologram that can be seen without 3D goggles.

Applications of Holographic Technology

  • In medicine – Holographic imaging is used in the field of medicine to create a 3D image of a certain interior part of a patient’s body (such as the heart) and project it in real time.
  • Tradeshows – It is highly useful in
  • tradeshows as a holographic display can help launch and present a product without bearing transporting costs.
  • Holographic Telepresence – Prominent personalities have used it to address people at different places simultaneously keeping the personal connect intact through telepresence.
  • Engineering and Architecture – Displaying 3D holographic models of buildings and engineering designs gives a real time experience.


Why in News?

  • Recently, National Science Day was celebrated on February 28, to commemorate the invention of the Raman Effect by the Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on February 28, 1928. He has been honored with Bharat Ratna and the Lenin Peace Prize.

What is Raman Effect

  •  For molecules, two types of scattering can occur
  •  Rayleigh scattering, an elastic scattering process in which a photon emerges with the same energy as it entered.
  •  Raman scattering, an inelastic scattering process in which the light scattered by a molecule emerges having an energy that is slightly different (more or less) than the incident light. This energy difference is generally dependent on the chemical structure of the molecules involved in the scattering process.
  • When light is scattered by matter, almost all of the scattering is an elastic process. Only a very small percentage of scattering is an inelastic process
  •  Raman Effect tendency is shown strongest in solid material and weakest in gaseos molecule.

Application of Raman Effect: As it helps in understanding molecular properties better it has applications in:

  • Studying catalysts, monitoring chemical purity etc. in chemical industry
  • Studying nanoparticle and developing microelectronic devices
  •  Conducting Invivo studies of the skin, identification of cancer, bone studies etc. in medical field
  •  detecting narcotics and explosives such as TNT, RDX
  •  It can be used to create a database of every substance for easy identification.

Achievements of Indians in the Field of Modern S&T Physics

  • S Chandrashekhar: He was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics for his mathematical theory of black holes and on the basis of this Chandrashekhar Limit was defined.
  • Tessy Thomas: She is also called the missile woman of India who spearheaded the programme on the Agni IV missile.
  • Jagdish Chandra Bose: He is a noted scientist who invented microwave components like waveguides, horn antennas etc.


  •  Praffula Chandra Ray – He was a noted chemist who set up the first chemical factory of India – Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works 1901
  • Har Gobind Khurana – He was an Indian American who shared the Nobel Prize of Medicine of 1968 for the research on cell’s synthesis of proteins.


  •  S. Ramanujam: He was the second Indian to become Fellow of Royal Society of London. December 22 is celebrated as National Mathematics Day after him.


Why in news?

  • For the first time, wireless transmission of electrical energy has been achieved using tribo electric nanogenrator

About Tribo electric nanogenerator

  • It is based on organic material to convert mechanical energy into electricity. It is a sensor that directly converts a mechanical triggering into a self-generated electric signal for detection of motion, vibration,mechanical stimuli, physical touching, and biological movement.
  • It can be applied to harvest all kinds of mechanical energy available in our daily life, like motion, walking, rotation, wind, automobile, flowing water, etc.
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