German Nobel laureate Prof Dr Klaus von Klitzing on Wednesday said that the Nepal government should help local scientists and provide research facilities, which, in turn, could hasten the pace of development in the country.
He also urged the state to initiate a move to bring back all Nepali researchers, who are pursuing their work abroad. Dr Klitzing, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his path-breaking work on Integer Quantum Hall Effect in 1985, is in the capital to participate in the four-day International Conference on Frontier of Physics.
He is not new to the Himalayan nation, having been here on two earlier occasions — in 1980 and 1999.
He felt that it was the responsibility of the nation to make funds available for the researchers. He cited the example of the German government, which extended him all financial help to conduct research in the High Magnetic Field Laboratory, which is located at Grenoble in France.
“I discovered the theory of new measurement units during my experiments in that laboratory,” he reminisced.
In retrospect, he said that he did not expect to win the Nobel Prize in 1985. “I was taken aback when I got the award,” he said.
He attributed the honour to his sincere work and expecting nothing in lieu of his painstaking research. He held out hope for the progress of science and technology in Nepal.
“Many science students from here are busy conducting research across the world. Unfortunately, the nation has failed to exploit their potential due to lack of conducive environment for research facilities,” he explained. Dr Klitzing had a word of caution for fellow scientists. “We need to focus on only one area. If we divert into many streams, then there will be no significant breakthrough,” he added.
Asked about Nepal’s prospect of winning a Nobel Prize for science in the near future, the ever-optimist retorted: “Why not? Anyone can win it. Nepal stands a good chance. But, it may take a tad longer since it has to develop adequate infrastructure for conducting research. “ He imparted his knowledge on the Integer Quantum Hall Effect in course of a couple of lecture sessions at the Central Department of Physics in Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, and at Kathmandu University in Kavre, today.
Dr Klitzing, who hails from a family of noble and was born in Schroda, which falls in present day Poland, will leave for his native Germany tomorrow.