Prof Hari Om Vats from Physics Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, delivered a talk on ‘Visitors of the Universe’ on popular astronomy for children at the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium.
He was awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Popularisation of Science by the Indian National Science Association. Prof Srinivasan Saidapur, vice-president of INSA, Bangalore Chapter, gave away the award. The previous recipients of the award have been Jayant Narlikar, Prof Yashpal etc.
“The award was instituted in 1986 by INSA,” said Prof Rohini Godbolo of Department of Physics, IISc.
Vats spoke about different comets that have visited earth. He said, “Writings about comets were found in 300 BC on the tombs of the Haan family in China. They were considered a ill omen for earth.”
He demonstrated a few simple experiments on basic physics so that children understood simple science by doing it practically. He also demonstrated why when water falls from a tap has a thicker flow at the top and falls as a thin stream as it reaches the floor as the area of the water falling depends on the speed with which it is falling.
Planetarium Director Dr Shailaja said she was happy to have such distinguished scientists at the planetarium.