Laxmi Chand Gupta received his BSc (Hons), Physics, from Delhi University in 1959. After a year of training at the AEET (now BARC) Training School, he joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1960. He obtained his PhD from Bombay University in 1975. He has held visiting positions at the Polytechnic Institute of New York, Brooklyn (1980 – 1982) and at the University of California at Riverside (1982 – 1983). Later, as a recipient of the Humboldt Foundation Research Award (2002), he was a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPIPKS), Dresden, GERMANY, during the period Sept. 2002 – June 2003. He retired from TIFR in Dec. 2003 as a Senior Professor (I).
Academic and Research Achievements: Initially Gupta got strongly motivated to learn and apply the powerful resonance techniques NMR and NQR. Later on, he used Mossbauer and Mu-SR techniques in his research in condensed matter physics. His studies of quadrupole interactions in single crystals of hydrogen-bonded ferroelectrics MH2XO4 (M = Rb, Cs; X = P, As) were significant. In intermetallics, he investigated extensively valence fluctuations (VF) in rare earths. This work resulted in (i) the deeper insight into the VF phenomenon through the studies of EuCu2Si2, (ii) revelation of the exciting and unique VF properties of EuPd2Si2 and EuNi2P2 and (iii) Kondo lattice (heavy fermion) behaviour of CeRu2Si2. In the well known spin-glass system Ag-Mn, power-law spin correlation decay was studied through the Mu-SR technique. He contributed significantly in high-Tc superconductivity also. Pioneering studies of Gupta and his co-workers in YNi4B (nominal composition) led to their path-breaking discovery of the superconducting multi-phase system quaternary Y-Ni-B-C (Tc ~ 12 K). The quaternary borocarbides RNi2B2C (R = rare earths, Y) are special and unique in that they exhibit exotic phenomena in superconductivity and its interplay/coexistence with long range magnetism. Several of these phenomena had never been observed before. He has published over 290 research papers and supervised several PhD works.
Prof. Cupta’s current work (since 2014): During the last more than two years, he has been a visiting scientist at the laboratory of Prof. A. K. Ganguli at IIT, New Delhi. Prof. Gupta’s current interests are superconductivity, magnetism and multiferroicity.
Superconductivity: In Ce0.5Sr0.5FBiS1.5Se0.5, below ~ 3 K, a remarkable dual hysteresis loop- displaying simultaneously both bulk superconductivity and ferromagnetism- is observed for the first time. Interplay of mixed valence and superconductivity is under investigation in new Eu-containing materials. Several superconducting materials should emerge from this work. Magnetism: A new Heusler alloy CuMnNiSb, a high temperature soft ferromagnet, and a new 111-type material CuFeAs (TN ~ 10 K) have been synthesized and investigated. Weak Fe-moment in CuFeAs has been probed using Mu-SR and neutron diffraction techniques. A high degree of transport spin polarization is observed in CuFeSb, a new RT soft ferromagnet. Multiferroics: Two new ferroelectrics have been identified and are under investigation.
Other Contributions: Prof. Gupta was the Indian Principal Collaborator of two Indo-French (CEFIPRA) Research Projects (i) Project 0509-1: Magnetic, Mixed Valence, Superconducting Properties of Rare Earth and Transition Metal Compounds (1992 -1995) and (ii) Project 1808- 1: Superconductivity and Magnetism in the New Family of Quaternary Borocarbide Superconductors (1998 – 2001). He was a member of the International Advisory Committees of a number of major International Conferences related to condensed matter physics: International Conference on Materials and Mechanisms of Superconductivity-High-Tc Superconductivity M2S-HTSC, July 2006, Germany AND M2S-HTSC, May 2003, Brazil; International Conference on Strongly Correlated Electron Systems, SCES, August 1999, Japan, AND SCES July 1998, France. He has co-edited several books and Conference Proceedings. He was Associate Editor of the Journal Philosophical Magazine B (Taylor and Francis, U.K.) 1996 – 2006.
Awards and Honours: Prof. Gupta received the MRSI-ICSC Prize (1995); Humboldt Foundation Research Award (Germany) (2002); DAE - Senior Scientist (now called Raja Ramanna) Fellowship (2004); The TIFR-Alumni Association Excellence Award (2009).
Prof. Gupta is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Trieste, ITALY. He is a member of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Materials.
He has been a NASI-Council member 1999-2000.