Shyam Sunder Kapoor, after his MSc (1958) in Physics from Agra University, joined the Atomic Energy Establishment [now Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)], Trombay in 1959. He obtained his PhD degree (1963) from Bombay University in Nuclear Physics under the guidance of Raja Ramanna. He carried out post-doctoral research (1964-66) in nuclear fission at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley and was a Visiting scientist (1980-81) at the Physikalische Institute, University of Heidelberg. At BARC, he rose to become Head, Nuclear Physics Division and also Project Director of the Pelletron Accelerator facility at TIFR, and Director of the Physics Group and Electronics and Instrumentation Group at BARC (1990-2000). He was DAE-Homi Bhabha Chair Professor (2000-05).
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Kapoor has made important research contributions in the areas of nuclear fission, nuclear shell effects, nuclear dynamics of heavy-ion fusion-fission reactions, super-heavy nuclei, nuclear radiation detectors and particle accelerators. His research programme has involved utilizing reactors at Trombay, the cyclotron at LBL, Berkeley, UNILAC accelerator at Darmstadt, BARC-TIFR heavy ion accelerator at TIFR, and the tandem-LINAC at LNL, Legnaro. He has made pioneering research contributions on the emission of prompt neutrons, gamma rays, K X-rays, occasionally emitted light charged particles and on the fragment angular distributions in the fission process. Kapoor has led experimental programme utilizing the heavy-ion accelerators and innovative particles detector systems in the country as well as abroad, which have revealed several new nuclear phenomena. He also led the Indian team from BARC, participating in the PHENIX collaboration for the study of relativistic heavy-ion collisions at RHIC Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Other Contributions: Kapoor was responsible for setting up of the BARC-TIFR pelletron accelerator facility at TIFR, Mumbai. He was a member of International Nuclear Data Committee (INDC) of the IAEA (1985-2000) and Chairman, INDC (1994-97). In the recent years, he has worked towards shaping Indian efforts in the area of accelerator driven sub-critical reactor systems (ADS). In 2007, he served as a member of an international expert team for a cost review of the design of the proposed International Linear Collider (ILC). He has served as a Member of the Council of INSA (1996-98).
Awards and Honours: Professor Kapoor is a recipient of SS Bhatnagar Prize (1983), Goyal Prize for Physics (1996) and RD Birla Award for Physics (2006). He is an also Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and Institute of Physics, UK; President of Indian Society for Radiation Physics (1995-97) and Indian Physics Association (1997-99). He was President, Physics Section of Indian Sciences Congress (1994).