Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

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Last Updated: November 21, 2011
Other Name: TIFR
Location: Mumbai, India
Subordinate To: Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
Size: Approximately 800 employees
Facility Status: Active

Founded in 1945 at the initiative of Dr. Homi Jehanger Bhabha, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai (Bombay) is primarily a training and basic science research institute. Scientists at the institute work in various disciplines grouped into three major schools: the School of Mathematics, the School of Natural Sciences, and the School of Technology and Computer Science. A number of other centers also form part of TIFR's activities including the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education at Deonar, Bombay, the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics at Pune, and the National Centre for Biological Sciences at Bangalore. TIFR has a staff of approximately 800 people under the direction of Professor S.S. Jha. In fiscal year 1997, the institute received 50.24 million rupees in Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) support. This makes TIFR the largest grantee among the DAE's autonomous research institutes. TIFR's heavy link to the DAE undoubtedly contributed to it being listed as an entity of proliferation concern by the U.S. Departments of Energy and Commerce.

Most of TIFR's research appears to have little to do with weapons applications, however. Their primary contribution to India's nuclear weapons program would likely come from work done at its Atomic and Molecular Sciences Laboratory. This TIFR-run facility includes research on nuclear fusion, which does have applications for building thermonuclear weapons. The Atomic and Molecular Sciences Laboratory's research also includes plasma physics and work on high-powered gas lasers and fusion reactors. In addition, TIFR has a 14MeV Pelletron accelerator (which is being upgraded in cooperation with BARC), a 1MeV cyclotron commissioned in 1950, and a subsidiary in Bangalore that conducts research on nuclear and high-energy physics.

[1] Andrew Koch, "Selected Indian Nuclear Facilities," Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), 1999, www.nonproliferation.org.
[2] Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, www.tifr.res.in.

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