Siddhartha Sen (fourth from right) interned at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Kolkata, and shares how his internship was aligned with his dream of contributing to solve the power crisis in India with nuclear science. Siddhartha is a student at Amity Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology. Here’s his internship story.
An opportunity to intern, learn and grow!
I am Siddhartha Sen, a third year student of B.Tech in Nuclear Science and Technology from Amity Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh, Noida. I joined this course with the sole aim and objective of eradicating the power crisis situation in our country, India. This stream has helped me in understanding a lot about Nuclear Science and Technology, Nuclear Physics and a bit about the elementary particles as well.
Apart from all this, after completion of my second year, I was chosen as one of the successful candidates to undergo a summer internship at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Kolkata in the State of West Bengal. Three of my other batch mates were also selected by our Head of Institution at the Amity Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Dr. Alpana Goel, for this summer internship program at SINP, Kolkata. The day we got to know about our selection at this prestigious Institute and got our recommendation letters, we were extremely awestruck. Apart from getting an eight-pointer in the college examinations, an internship in such a renowned institution meant nothing more than joy.
We left for the city of Kolkata – also known as ‘City of Joy’, on the 1st of May 2014; I, by Duronto Express, and my friends Jeet, Priyankar and Abhishek by Indigo flight. All of us reached on the 2nd of May, one after another. After reaching Kolkata, we had to report at SINP, Kolkata on the same day along with the bonafide certificate and our college identity cards. On the very first day, I reported to our mentor and guide, Professor Maitreyee Saha Sarkar, at SINP, Kolkata. To my amazement, she was not strict to even a bit and spoke very politely to me, asking about my college performance and my previous years’ academic records etc. She also enquired about the other three students, i.e. Jeet, Priyankar and Abhishek and asked me as to when they would be arriving to Kolkata and reporting to her. The next day, as soon as I reached the institute, I found my batch mates standing there without any confirmation. On being enquired they said that they would be staying at a PG accommodation.
That very day, our summer internship commenced. Professor Maitreyee Saha Sarkar was very impressed with all four of us and she made us to see the different laboratories and facilities where research work was being carried out by trained scientists, professionals and research scholars. I was very much impressed by the way we were made to do our summer internship. Students from different colleges of the country and from abroad came to Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata for their summer internship or research work. There were also a number of professors and scientists under whose guidance the different departments came into form.
On the very first day of our internship, we saw all the departments starting from the ground floor till the fourth. Prof. Maitreyee was of great help to us while we were performing our summer internship. On the subsequent days, we all came together but left separately.
THE LEARNING PORTION
My professor assigned summer projects to all four of us after getting to know about our interests in the areas of Nuclear Science and Nuclear Physics. I was assigned the work of designing a term paper on ‘Nuclear and Atomic Batteries’, while they were asked to make an experimental project on the same topic. Completion of all this work, along with visiting the institute almost completed our internship term. At SINP, every day I spent most of the day either at the canteen having lunch with my friends or in the library reading books and discussing various things regarding our summer internship term.
As part of our project, we were shown a lot of demonstration experiments like the spontaneous fission of Californium-244, measurement of the radioactivity of various nuclides, usage of the personal dosimeters and the determination of the graphs from the radiation meters. This internship was remarkable and an exceptionally valuable experience to get to learn much important things. My prof assisted us a lot, starting from guiding us to complete the assigned project work within time to showing us all the various other facilities to be used. Some of the fellow interns have become my friends ans we all used to help each other with our work. Experiments done on nuclear physics, and most significantly, on astronomy were suiting my interest to a great extent. I had become very much keen in knowing about all the principles and techniques involved in doing all such kind of experiments. From the very first day, we all were involved in the Nuclear Physics division, where I, along with my colleagues was completing research work on atomic and nuclear batteries assigned to us.
The environment there was highly disciplined and calm, and it happened sometimes, that we were were caught guilty of demonstrating some un-professional behavior there. There was no chit-chat anywhere and students always rode about in a purposeful manner. Students and mostly professors had formed small groups as if they were on a ‘mission’ to do some very important job. Seeing all this, I was highly fascinated and thought that how did students manage to keep such a peaceful environment here at SINP. Similar situations were also faced by my friends too. They were even fascinated by the regulations in the canteen and laboratories.
The summer internship became a fond experience for me, and to a certain point, proved my mettle as to how much capable I am in performing, explaining and completing the assigned tasks. I raised my confidence that whenever I get the similar opportunity of internship next time, I will definitely be able to make a good impression on whoever my mentor would be. SINP comes under the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. It has thousands of students’ working and studying under it who come there every year. This institution also offers scholarships to students who to wish to pursue their further higher studies.
Personally, I visited a number of professors and students there who helped me providing a lot of information about the various research areas under which the institute was working. Apart from a thousand students and a hundred trained professional scientists and professors, a working brain and my two hands were all I needed to accomplish most of the work which was due and pending, if I was supposed to do it very lavishly. The academic rigor of the summer internship took a long time to end as I also had to attend 3-4 seminars every fortnight, listen to other students’ academic work and performance done there, and sometimes listen to short lectures by our mentor. The students whom I met then were of immense help to me and assisted me from time to time in using different systems and software which were totally new to me. We sometimes went for movies, ate together in restaurants and clicked pictures together. The summer internship at an institute, where so many students from across the country come to pursue their higher education, formed a very memorable experience for me to share it with anyone. It gave me a lot of hands-on training experience and expertise which is required by any professional engineering student.
To conclude, I would say that I had very successfully accomplished my summer internship at Kolkata and came back to New Delhi immediately after the internship was over. For this, I would very sincerely thank to all the department staff, teachers and students who assisted me with my work. All of us were then given the certificates where our praiseworthy performance was mentioned along with a complete copy of our summer internship projects. I consider it a very remarkable and memorable experience for being a summer intern. In one single word, my internship can be described as ‘AWESOME!’
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