Ocean, Okinawa and OIST…

I had a memorable visit to Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology – OIST (27th and 28th April 2023). Prof. Mahesh Bandi was my host, I had a fabulous time interacting with him and a few other groups. Below are some (of many) highlights.

First, the geography : located in the midst of the ocean(s), away from the mainland Japan, Okinawa is the southern most part of Japan. I took a 2.5 hrs. flight from Tokyo and reached the destination when it was dark.

In the morning, I woke up and opened the window to be pleasantly surprised to see the beautiful ocean in my field of view. Below is a photo I took from the balcony of the room.

At the outset, I had a fabulous discussion. Mahesh and I had a excellent free-wheeling discussion on various topics including science, arts and history. Also, I visited his lab to see very creative experiments on non-equilibrium physics including some fascinating experimental designs to probe dynamics at liquid-air interface. He has a fabulous set of students working on interesting problems. It was both refreshing and stimulating.

with Mahesh Bandi

In the afternoon, I gave my seminar and below is an interesting announcement (because it spells out my full name :-)). I discussed about some non-equilibrium aspects of our work, and towards the end emphasized some interesting prospects of statistical optics in an optothermal-assembly.

After my talk, I had illuminating discussion with Prof. Pinaki Chakraborty on thermal diffusion, fluid dynamics and history of science. I enjoyed visiting his lab, in which they have built one of the biggest Taylor-Couette flow set up I have ever seen (see the frame behind Pinaki in the picture below).

with Pinaki

Next day, I had an elaborate lab tour of Prof. Sile Nic Chormaic, who is an expert in various topics related to optics/photonics including optical trapping. As she was travelling, her post-doc Dr. Souvik Sil, hosted me and took me around to show various aspects of their lab. It was a great learning experience.

with Souvik

On the same day, I visited the cutting-edge lab of Prof. Keshav Dani. Since he was travelling, his team members gave me a brief tour and I was amazed by some of their experiments.

Another major highlight of my trip was to meet many IISER students. Specifically, I met Amit Bhunia (post-doc) and Saurav Raj (PhD student) who are IISER Pune alumnus. I also met many IISER Kolkata students (Souvik being one of them).

Overall, I was mighty impressed by the research infrastructure at OIST and the people working there. It is quite remarkable how they have been able to build such a great facility in such a short time (their campus started around 2010).

a corridor in OIST

Today, I have reached Osaka, and on Monday will be giving a talk and visiting a few groups at Osaka Unviersity. Prof. Hajime Ishihara is my host, and I look forward to plenty of interaction on optical manipulation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s