Dr. Jayanta Kumar Bhattacharjee (FASc, FNASc, and Formerly Director of HRI-Allahabad), a renowned theoretician in the areas of Fluid Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics and Condensed Matter Physics delivered a Distinguished Lecture on “Patterns Surrounding Us” at the University of Hyderabad on 24th August 2018.

This lecture discussed some of the myriad patterns that we see as we look around us. Dr. Bhattacharjee explained as to what characterizes a pattern? It is the repetition after a fixed interval which is the primary hallmark of a pattern. This repetition of a sequence could be in time (temporal pattern) or in space (spatial pattern). One of the obvious temporal patterns is the annual occurrence of the seasons – the onset of summer occurs at intervals of 365 days as does the onset of winter and spring. The spring tides occur every two weeks. The skin of a zebra has regularly in repeating stripes; the leopard has its spots regularly spaced. If a paint brush is dipped in paint and drawn across a wall, the thick line of paint descends in the shape of evenly spaced fingers. A sharp shower on a hot day leaves a trail of hexagons of the same size on a dusty pavement. Is there a common thread behind these diverse patterns?

“A pattern means the existence of two antagonistic effects – the pattern is a compromise resulting from the competition of the two effects. Hence if you see a new pattern somewhere, you can be sure that behind it there are at least two contrasting physical effects at work”, said Dr. Bhattacharjee.

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Dr. Jayanta Kumar Bhattacharjee (FASc, FNASc, Formerly Director of HRI-Allahabad) is a renowned theoretical physicist. He is a great researcher and wonderful teacher. He followed a canonical path, Presidency College-Calcutta for B.Sc. (Physics Honours) degree-1972 and University of Calcutta for M.Sc. (Physics) degree-1975, to get Ph.D. (Physics) degree from the University of Maryland, USA in 1979. There he worked under the supervision of Prof. Richard A Ferrell who got fame for the Ferrell-Glover-Tinkham sum rule for high-temperature superconductivity, Fulde-Ferrell-Larkin-Ovchinnikov phase for unconventional superconductors, dynamic scaling theory for critical phenomena, etc. Then he subsequently moved to the University of California (USA, 1979-’80), University of Maryland (USA, 1980-’81) and IFF der KFA (Germany, 1981-’82) for pursuing postdoctoral research before joining the Department of Physics, IIT-Kanpur as a faculty member in 1982. After getting name and fame from IIT-Kanpur, where he nurtured students like Shiraz Minwalla, Todadri Senthil, Rajesh Gopakumar, Mahan Mj, etc, he subsequently joined the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS-Kolkata) as a Professor (1995 to 2007) and the SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata as a Distinguished Professor (2008-’12) before joining the Harish-Chandra Research Institute (HRI-Allahabad) as a Director (2012- ’17). There from after his superannuation, he joined the Department of Theoretical Physics (now School of Physical Sciences), IACS, Kolkata last year as a Distinguished Emeritus Fellow.

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Dr. J. K. Bhattacharjee got reputation at the early-career for refining the dynamic scaling theory for the critical phenomena around the lambda point of liquid helium-4. His early-career work [Phys. Rev. B 25, 1683 (1982)] was once cited in Prof. Kenneth G. Wilson’s Nobel Lecture (December 8, 1982) entitled “the renormalization group and critical phenomena”. He got further reputation for his fundamental contributions to the finite-size renormalization group, critical ultrasonics, use of dynamic renormalization group for explaining dynamo effects, hydrolic jumps, critical viscosity, pattern formation in small and large (astronomical) scales, use of fictitious time in nonequilibration statistical mechanics, rotating turbulent fluids, application of renormalization group-technique to dynamical systems, etc.

Dr. J. K. Bhattacharjee works in many different areas of theoretical physics, specially in fluid mechanics, nonlinear dynamics, statistical mechanics, condensed matter physics, quantum mechanics, etc. He has authored/coauthored 5 books and more than 250 research publications in reputed international journals. Many of his theoretical predictions were already found to be in agreement with experimental data. Twenty-four scholars got Ph.D. degrees under his supervision in different areas of science. He encourages even undergraduate students to pursue fundamental research. So many undergraduate and graduate students wrote research papers with him. He remains an inspiration for the entire scientific community in the country.

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Prof. Arun Agarwal, Pro Vice Chancellor 1 presided over the lecture. Prof. Bindu A Bambah, Dean, School of Physics gave the welcome, Prof. Ashok Bhattacharjee introduced the guest while Dr. Shyamal Biswas proposed the vote of thanks.

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