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Rare “Astronomical” honor for Dr. Mani Bhaumik Dr. Mani

Dr. Mani Bhaumik

Dr. Mani Bhaumik, a worldrenowned physicist has been chosen as the sole patron for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) 2009; a rare honor for an India born, Los Angeles resident. Dr. Mani Bhaumik is the co-inventor of the laser technology that made LASIK surgery possible.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), in their announcement, said, “It is proud to have Dr. Mani Bhaumik as dedicated supporter of IYA2009’s global activities.’’

The IAU and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are observing 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s astronomical telescope.

The announcement further said, “Dr. Mani Bhuamik is a physicist, internationally bestselling author, celebrated lecturer, entrepreneur and a philanthropist. He is a laser physicist who announced the successful demonstration of the world’s first efficient excimer laser at the Denver, Colorado meeting of the Optical Society of America in May 1973.

“This is the class of laser that would eventually eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses in many cases requiring vision correction. The procedure popularly known as Lasik takes less than a minute and has helped over fifteen million people worldwide.’’

His early contributions to laser technology has found extensive use as the type of laser that made possible the immensely popular Lasik eye surgery, eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses in many cases requiring vision correction. In recognition of his pioneering research in high energy lasers and new laser systems, he was elected by his peers as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as well as of the American Physical Society.

Born in an impoverished family in the Indian state of West Bengal, Dr. Mani Bhaumik became a scientist and invented the laser technology that made LASIK surgery possible. Upon realizing that fame and fortune could not provide him with the abiding happiness that we all seek, Dr. Bhaumik began the search for a deeper understanding of spirituality. His book, Code Name God, which has been a bestseller in the United States and India, chronicles the amazing life of this world-renowned physician who is from both the East and the West and who finally discovers that “happiness is an inside job.

Eventually he immersed himself in study of the hidden relationship between science and spirituality and the integration of mind and matter. He has published over fifty papers in professional journals and maintains a lively correspondence with other physicists around the world.

Bhaumik was the first person in India to receive a Ph.D from the IIT system in 1958 which secured him a Sloan Foundation fellowship to the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). He went on to become a multi-millionaire through his invention of the excimer laser for eyesight correction and hundreds of other patents.

Bhaumik said: “I am thrilled by this rare honor. I am happy that the UN has recognized my work on astronomy and cosmology. I have been appointed not only as a patron but also media partner for yearlong celebrations to promote understanding of the cosmos.”

Bhaumik, who has specialized in quantum physics and cosmology, said: “The celebrations would not have come at a better time. The year marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s telescope and his pioneering work. Astronomer Johannes Kelper also published two laws the same year - 1609.”

“The world should know that what we are celebrating is the beginning of the modern scientific era - kicked off by Galileo and Kepler.” He said he will travel to different parts of the world and join the finale in Florence where Galileo was jailed.

Dr. Bhaumik’s current interest is in sharing with the public the astounding advances in quantum physics and cosmology and their implications for our lives, work, technology, and spiritual development. This he endeavors to do through books, articles, lectures, and TV programs. He is also keenly interested in research on the origin and the nature of consciousness and how that knowledge can be utilized in improving the quality of our existence. Dr. Bhaumik is the recipient of the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award for his contributions to science and humanity and is the creator and executive producer of a new animated series geared toward inspiring children’s interest in science.

Bhaumik’s, best-seller book `The Cosmic Detective’ has also been chosen as the official book for the year-long celebrations. The book was released by MOIA Minister Vayalar Ravi at the GOPIO Awards banquet on Jan 6, 2009 in Chennai.

The Indian-born scientist, who has produced the famous Cosmotoons serial for TV to popularize cosmology among children, said: “Only awareness about cosmology can lead to enlightenment. It tells that we all come from the same source. If people understand cosmology, you won’t see what happened in Mumbai in November.”