Known as the cradle of space sciences in India, the Physical Research Laboratory was founded on 11 November 1947 by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. The laboratory had a modest beginning at his residence, with research on cosmic rays.
PRL research encompasses astrophysics, Solar System and cosmic radiation.
Astronomy and astrophysics: Current research programmes include studies on star formation, evolution of intermediate mass stars, photometric and polarimetric studies of active galaxies and BL Lac objects and high angular resolution studies by lunar occultations, study on circumstellar structure. The astronomical observations are taken through a 1.2 m telescope that is located in Mount Abu. The laboratory has also undertaken solar photospheric and chromospheric studies under the Global Oscillations Network Group project at Udaipur Solar Observatory. A 12 ft SPAR telescope is being used in this project.
Planetary sciences and Planex:study of planetary sciences and exploration
Planetary atmospheres and aeronomy: The institute has been recently investigating the electric and magnetic fields, plasma instabilities and the dynamics of the upper atmosphere are being carried out by elegant radio, optical and plasma diagnostic techniques. The role of trace gases in the chemical and radiative properties of the Earth's atmosphere and their impact on climate, ionization and electrodynamical parameters of the middle atmosphere are a few of the topics which are also being studied.
Theoretical physics: Current research programmes include neutrino physics, physics beyond standard model, standard and non-standard CP violation, Fermion masses, super-symmetry, baryogenesis, phenomenology of higher-dimensional theories, QCD and quark gluon plasma, colour superconductivity, chiral symmetry breaking, study of quantum chaos in nuclear energy levels, group theoretical models and nuclear structures, study of atomic Rydberg states, stark spectroscopy of atomic levels, stability analysis of synchronised structures in coupled map networks.
Quantum optics and quantum information: Production and characterisation of entangled states, cavity QED, realisation of quantum gates and networks, storage and retrieval of quantum information, subluminal and superluminal propagation of light, dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensates and cold Fermions, non-commutative field theory, solitons, optical resonators and optical fibres are currently studied theoretically. Experimental study of optical vortices is also pursued.
^"Physical Research Laboratory". Department of Space, Indian Space Research Organisation. 2005. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
^"Brief History". Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
^"Exoplanet find that put India in select league - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
^Williamson, Daniel (2016). "Modern Architecture and Capitalist Patronage in Ahmedabad, India 1947-1969". ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. New York University. p. 91. Retrieved 18 February 2020 – via ProQuest.