Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Zahid Husain Khan

In the early 80's, Prof. Zahid Husain Khan spent one year as DAAD Fellow at the Department of Physics.

Alumnus Zahid Husain Khan is working as Professor of Physics in New Delhi, India.

Alumnus Zahid Husain Khan is working as Professor of Physics in New Delhi, India.
Bildquelle: Privat

What special memories do you have from your time at Freie Universität?

I joined the research group of Prof. Dr. Klaus Möbius at the Institute of Molecular Physics in the beginning of April 1981. The Institute was located in an old building where the labs were very crowded due to a large number of research equipment and shortage of space. Klaus had several research projects and with each project a few researchers were working. All the scientists and the research fellows were provided with separate desks in a large room, which had the facility for making tea and coffee.

The tea and coffee time was around 11 am. Quite often, Klaus entered the room silently, boiled some water and gave a clap that tea is ready. On other days, the same was done by other members as well. During tea time there were lively discussions on general topics. For lunch, the entire group went to the mensa and had a short walk in the park nearby.

In my field of interest, which is Molecular Physics, I was associated with a group that was working on a very interesting problem, viz. ”Optical Detection of Magnetic Resonance of Chromium (III) Acetylacetonate {Cr(acac)3}”. The members of the research group included Dr. RA Fields, Dr. E Haindl, Dr. CJ Winscom, and Dr. M Plato apart from the group leader Prof. Dr. K. Möbius. As they were working on the experimental part of the problem, they suggested me to work out the theory to compute the energy levels of Cr(acac)3 crystals when it is frozen to the low temperature of 1.6 K and subjected to a magnetic field of 8 Tesla. First, I conducted research on particular books and papers in the relevant areas. Second, I worked out the theory, developed a computer programe to compute the energies of the splitted doublet and quartet states, and finally Zeeman transition energies from the doublet states to the quartet states of Cr (acac3) were computed. By the end of the year the experiment was ready and we all got very excited when it was successfully performed.

What is the most important thing you learned here?

The most important thing that I learned at FU Berlin is that in order to conduct good research, you need to create a congenial environment and to work in a group, where the capabilities of the researchers are best channelized.

What advice would you give your younger self today?

I would give the following advice to my younger self today:

  1. Get to know the culture of the place where you are going to study.
  2. Work in a group as it makes you a better human being.
  3. Learn what you can apply in the future and share your knowledge with others.

If I could give my university a present …

...it would be my future book that I will dedicate to Freie Universität Berlin.