This, he said, would only be possible when India became an associate member. Alluding to India’s pending application for membership, he said: “We are getting closer to that, as India is very eager.”

This step, he added, would allow for more fellowships and research collaborations.

Landmark discovery

Prof. Heuer spoke to reporters after delivering the C.V. Raman Memorial Lecture on ‘The search of a deeper understanding of our universe at the world’s largest particle accelerator’, here. A packed audience at the Indian Institute of Science hung on to every word as the 64-year-old scientist took them through a detailed presentation on the work that led to the landmark discovery of the Higgs Boson particle at the large hadron collider (LHC).

The audience got a rare ringside view of the gargantuan facility, including the LHC, which was shut down this Thursday and will remain closed for maintenance till 2015.

Underlining the significance of the “historic discovery” last July, he said the data collected over the past two years, and the project ahead, would answer fundamental questions on dark matter and dark energy, phenomena that have baffled scientists for centuries.

“We are just now at the beginning of exploring 93 per cent of the universe — and let’s say the future is bright in the dark universe.”