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Institute Seminar on Conceptual Evolution of Mechanics and the Little Known Story of F = ma

Topic: Conceptual Evolution of Mechanics and the Little Known Story of F = ma
Speaker: Professor Amitabha Ghosh, (Honorary Scientist of Indian National Science Academy)
Venue:   Community Center, Argul campus, IIT Bhubaneswar
Date/Time:  1st September 2017 6.00 PM to 7.00 PM

This talk presents the crucial steps for developing the conceptual foundations of the 'Science of Motion'. It unfurls the long and very slow conceptual evolutionary process that led to the emergence of the concept of force and its interaction with matter. The major role played by the progress in astronomy in the process is highlighted. How Kepler first grasped the existence of an entity like 'force' and how Huygens established the relation between 'force' and the crucial parameter 'acceleration' are elaborated. The talk ends with Newton's final synthesis of the concepts and some possibilities beyond Newton's mechanics.

After completing his Bachelors’, Masters’ and Doctoral programs at Bengal Engineering College under Calcutta University, Professor Amitabha Ghosh, joined as a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at B E College Shibpur in May 1965 and then taught at IIT Kanpur as Assistant Professor from January 1971 to May 1975. He became Professor of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Kanpur in June 1975 when he was 33 and ½ years old. Since then he served IIT Kanpur till his retirement in 2006. He served IIT Kanpur in many positions including the Head of Mechanical Engineering. In between he served IIT Kharagpur as the Director from 1997 to 2002. He spent 2 years at the Technical University, Aachen with Alexander von Humboldt Senior Fellowship.
After retirement from IIT Kanpur in 2006 he worked as a Senior Scientist of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi for 5 years and then as Platinum Jubilee Senior Scientist of the National Academy of Sciences, India for another 5 years. Currently he is an Honorary Scientist of Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. During these periods he is serving Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur as Honorary Distinguished Professor in the Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics department. His areas of research include Basic Mechanics, Dynamics of Machines and Manufacturing Science. He also introduced academic programs on Robotics in India in the year 1983 and founded the first Centre for Mechatronics in India in 1986 at IIT Kanpur. He has guided about 20 PhD and more than 55 M Tech theses and has written 9 books. Text books written by him are widely followed in India and abroad.

Professor Ghosh received 3 Calcutta University Gold Medals for standing First Class First in Bachelors and Masters examinations and standing first among the students of all branches of engineering of Calcutta University in 1962 and 1964. He was the first to receive the Distinguished Teacher award from IIT Kanpur and received Prof Jaikrishna Memorial Award for Research Excellence from the Indian National Academy of Engineering, New Delhi beside many other awards. Professor Ghosh has been conferred with DSc (h.c.) by Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur and The National Institute of Technology, Sikkim. He is Fellow of all the four national science and engineering academies in India.