Summer Internship at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics – Abhishek Saha from Amity University

Abhishek Saha interned at Saha Institute Of Nuclear Physics and shares how this internship helped him to explore the dream of his life. Abhishek is a student at Amity University. Read on to discover about the passion his internship has induced in him.

“Who knows but the world may end tonight”- Robert Browning ‘The Last Ride Together’

Time flows on with the steady speed of a brook but on its way leaves a patina of changes on its surroundings. But the thing that remains engraved are the experiences done, the memories cherished and the lessons learnt each day through our greatest teacher-‘Life’. And we all are nothing but just a physical embodiment of these characteristics.

Well, my internship this time was a similar story. I am a student of Nuclear Science & Technology in Amity University Noida. After hunting for an internship which will be beneficial to me in terms of learning and my future goals, I finally landed at an internship in Saha Institute Of Nuclear Physics (SINP). Well, never did I know that my entire perspective about life, as I know it, would change during the course of that internship. I started out for Kolkata after my exams. Kolkata is supposed to be my home city but I’ve never stayed there apart from visiting it a few times. From sweltering heat of Delhi to the sticky heat of Kolkata, it was a subtle change. But the environment of friendliness, the rich culture of Kolkata, the amazing bengali food and the best sweets in the world seeped in and made me love the city in no time.

I started my internship in SINP where I got to learn about the graphs and different variations in the oscilloscope. I got to know the different peaks generated by various radiaoactive substances and the way to measure them. We also visited the particle accelerator in Variable Energy Cyclotron where particle testing takes place and was amazed by the high technology used there. But all these things didn’t interest me beyond a point because there was something lacking in all of them, and that was- ‘Innovation’. Innovation is the only food my brain seeks for. I want the society to benefit from my activities for that is the sole purpose of each of our lives. I want the society to benefit from Nuclear Science as people already have faced a lot of negative consequences for it and they have a wrong conception in mind regarding it that nuclear energy is synonymous with destruction and death. After the nuclear accidents of Chenobyl, 3 Mile Island and Fukushima, people are wary of producing Nuclear Energy. But that’s not true, for even electricity, when touched with naked hands, is fatal to life but that doesn’t diminish its positive uses which benefits we all get day by day.

Nuclear Energy, if produced, can solve all the power issues in the country and, at the same time, is clean and eco-friendly energy. But unfortunately, it is tabooed due to the nuclear testings and the catastrophic explosions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which will be shame to humanity for as long as the human race exists. But I had always thought of tapping the huge potential of a radioisotope in something small, something compact, something used in day to day life so that nuclear energy could also be a part of our everyday life like how we can’t imagine our life without electricity in this age and bring about a revolution.

While staying there, I noticed that the work culture in a government facility and in Kolkata in general is very easy-going and slow paced with no real rush in life. People are mostly fun loving and satisfied. I enjoyed watching matches in Eden Gardens, visiting Victoria Memorial, enjoying the puchkas and the street foods. I, along with my friends, also visited the Dakhineshwar Temple, Kalighat Temple and the ghats of Ganges. The lush green of the city and the peaceful atmosphere helped me contemplate and think and bring my creativity to the fore. I finally struck upon a plan to make a nuclear battery the first of its kind which can power a sensor module, a mobile and even a car. I informed my other friends working with me over there about the idea and the three of us set off in the pursuit of the new. We informed our guide about our plan and though she was apprehensive about the chances but ultimately succumbed to our superb persuasion powers.

After a week of hard work, we delivered a presentation of our design in front of an elite group of professors who admired our creativity and made some changes according to their knowledge. They all joined hands and each one of them made an effort to help us in our mission to achieve the next step in Science & Technology. This invention would not only change the technology as we know it but also the society and economy as petrol and diesel would no longer be required to run a car and the nuclear industry will be flooded with jobs.

We attended to conferences while there in which we learnt about heavy atoms and cryogenics. We used those principles as well and in a month and a half were ready with our prototype. But sadly due to the restrictions of using a radioisotope of only microcurie level in nuclear facilities we could not proceed any further with our testing and our research got shelved for a later period as our internship drew to a close. But that experience while making it, the fun we had, the teamwork we did, the failures we faced and the creativity we employed made us learn that in life ‘impossible is nothing.’ I also got in the culture of Kokata and lead a disciplined life for the first time, I meditated everyday for an hour, ran 10 kilometres everyday, exercised everyday, prayed to God everyday and ate healthy.

There was an instance towards the close of our internship when we in a light mood wrote a few jazzy names in the entry register. We were heavily condemned for it and were punished by being banned from the facility for a week. This gave us more hardship as we couldn’t use the facility and its equipments for our fabrication. But this incident made us more resilient, more motivated and more goal-oriented. It taught us that to accomplish anything in life discipline is the primary criteria. We let go of our casual attitude and finally when we presented our prototype on our final day everybody applauded us and wished us luck so that with time we better our design and with the availability of better materials and sources we complete our device and make an impact in the society. We spent the last day in Kolkata by watching a movie, eating bengali food in Oh Calcutta and boating down the Hooghly reflecting on the eventful 2 months of our life during which we learnt so much, became faster, fitter, physically and mentally stronger, sharper and disciplined. We saw life in a totally different light and became focused and razor sharp in life.

I had always idolised people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as they change the entire society with their innovations and help lift the economy by creating so many jobs. They have created something which will stay on even years after they die. Through this internship,  I also got my plans of innovation and entrepreneurship.

I took a resolution that each day- I’ll work closer towards my goal with no distraction so that the dreams I see are fulfilled when I wake up in the morning, for success comes with 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, and that 1% inspiration was all I needed which was the biggest stipend of my internship and I will cherish that forever…of course, till I do my next internship–for life is too long to predict, ain’t it?

FYI! You can view the latest Internships in Kolkata here.

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