Naeem Ahmad Khan

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Naeem Ahmad Khan
Born(1928-04-12)12 April 1928
DiedSeptember 29, 2013(2013-09-29) (aged 85)
CitizenshipIndia (1928–1947)
Pakistan (1947–present)
Alma materUniversity of Delhi
Sindh University
Karachi University
University of Manchester
Known forSolid-state nuclear track detector
Pakistan and weapons of mass destruction
Scientific career
FieldsNuclear physics
InstitutionsPakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH)
India Meteorological Department (IMD)
Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD)
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR)
PAF Air Force Academy (AFA)
Air University
University of Karachi
University of the Punjab

Naeem Ahmad Khan (12 April 1928 – 29 September 2013), FPAS, was a Pakistani nuclear physicist and a professor of physics who was known for his work in developing techniques using the solid-state nuclear track detector and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance.[1] Although he worked with the Government of Pakistan for most of his career, he also taught physics at a number of Pakistani universities and was the civilian scientist of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) until his death.[1]

Early life[edit]

Khan was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, British India on 12 April 1928.[2] He enrolled at the University of Delhi and attended St. Stephen's College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with honors in mathematics in 1946.: 346 [3]: 228 [4] Khan then joined the Indian Meteorological Department (Indian Met Office), transferring to the Pakistan Meteorological Department after the 1947 Independence of Pakistan.[1]

Khan left the Pakistan Meteorological Department in 1948 to attend Sindh University in Hyderabad, where he received a Master of Arts (MA) degree in mathematics in 1950.: 231 [5] He joined the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) the following year, was commissioned as a lieutenant, and was a senior instructor in Air Force education units.: 102 [6] Becoming interested in physics, Khan transferred to the Air Force Reserve to attend the physics program at Karachi University in 1953.: 102 [6]

Khan received a Master of Science (MSc) degree in physics (with research focused on mass spectroscopy) from Karachi University in 1955, and obtained funding from the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) to pursue doctoral studies in physics in the United Kingdom the following year.: 175 [7]: 231 [8][9] He attended the University of Manchester and received a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in nuclear physics in 1958.: 288 [4]: 8 [10] In 1959, he became a fellow of the Physical Society of London.[1]


Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission[edit]

Khan returned from England and joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in 1960. Promoted as a scientific officer the following year, his early research focused on low-energy nuclear reactions. Khan then returned to the United Kingdom,: 31 [11][2] where he conducted his postdoctoral research at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell (funded by the PAEC and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority).: 8 [10] He went to the United States in 1962, and was a research fellow at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 1964 and 1965.[9]: 102 [6]

Khan returned to Pakistan in 1965, and was a senior scientific officer at the PAEC Minerals Center in Lahore; he became its principal scientific officer in 1967.[2] He formed the Nuclear Physics Group, with mechanical engineer Hafeez Qureshi and physicists Bashiruddin Mahmud and Samar Mubarakmand as key members.: 2–3 [12] The Nuclear Physics Division made fundamental calculations on neutron scattering through the gas centrifuge process before it was disbanded by 1969.[13]

Khan was posted to the PAEC's administration in 1970, and was its director of training and international affairs before becoming secretary.[1] His research continued to focus on developing a solid-state nuclear track detector, and he aided work on neutron scattering; in 1968, he published an article on the subject with Qureshi.: 2 [14] Khan was appointed director of the Research Technological Department in 1975, directing the Nuclear Physics Division before becoming director of the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (Pakistan's national laboratory) in 1977.[2][15]

Academic and government work[edit]

Khan became chairman of the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in 1984, where he remained until he became technical adviser to the Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) in 1989.[1] He was a founding fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences in 1986, promoting science and technology in the Islamic world.[1] Khan left COMSTECH in 1996, and was vice-president of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) until the following year.[1]

In 1997, Khan became a professor of physics at Karachi University, Sindh University in Hyderabad, Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, Bahauddin Zakariya University in Bahawalpur, Punjab University in Lahore, and the Air University in Islamabad.[2] He supervised five doctoral candidates in physics at Punjab University who were funded by the PAEC.[2]

Khan also worked for the Ministry of Energy (MoE), and briefly served on the advisory board of the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan.[2] In 2007, he became the Pakistan Air Force's (PAF) civilian scientist, instructing its pilots on aerodynamics and meteorology at the Pakistan Air Force Academy in Risalpur.[16] Khan died in Islamabad on 29 September 2013, and is buried there.[2] Physicist N. M. Butt published a eulogy and obituary for the PAS in October 2013.[2]

Research in physics[edit]

Khan's research revolved around the biological applications of nuclear physics. He worked in fission production calculations and energy measurement through the solid-state nuclear track detector (SSNTD), which he pioneered in 1989 with "Solid State Nuclear Track Detection: A Useful Tool for Basic and Applied Science Research" (co-authored with Hameed Ahmad Khan, another PAEC scientist.[17] During the 1980s, Khan supervised the SSNTD project with CERN's Nuclear Engineering Division particle accelerators. He played key roles in the establishment of the SSTND laboratory and the development of the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology (PINSTECH)'s nuclear accelerator and particle detectors.

In 1989, Khan and his team of PINSTECH scientists studied the behaviour of 960 MeV/nucleon uranium-238 (238U) ions which passed through a stack of CR-39 (39CR) detectors. They had observed that the uranium ions underwent binary fission and broke into protons, alpha particles, and heavy ions while moving through the stack.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "IAS » Prof. Naeem Ahmad Khan" (html). iasworld. Retrieved 3 May 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Butt, PhD, N. M. (30 September 2013). "Obituary: Dr. Naeem Ahmad Khan, FPAS" (PDF). Proceedings of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences. Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Sciences Press. 50 (4): 347-348. ISSN 0377-2969. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  3. ^ Reza, S. Mohammad (1990). Persons who Shape Our Destiny: A Compendium of Bio-datas of Those Persons who are Rendering Important Services in Various Fields of National Activity. Lahore, Punj, Pakistan: Dar Publications. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b Haslett, Arthur Woods (1963). World Nuclear Directory. Harrap Research Pub. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  5. ^ International Who's who in Energy and Nuclear Sciences. Longman Group Limited, Professional and Information Publishing Division. 1983. ISBN 978-0-582-90110-0.
  6. ^ a b c Biographical Encyclopedia of Pakistan. Biographical Research Institute, Pakistan, for International Publishers (Pakistan). 1970. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  7. ^ Energy & Nuclear Sciences International Who's who. Longman. 1990. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  8. ^ International Who's who in Energy and Nuclear Sciences. Longman Group Limited, Professional and Information Publishing Division. 1983. ISBN 978-0-582-90110-0. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Khan, Naeem Ahmad". Pakistan Academy of Sciences Press Publications. Pakistan Academy of Sciences Press Publications. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007.
  10. ^ a b Commission, Pakistan Atomic Energy (1961). Pakistan's Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  11. ^ Riazuddin, PhD, Dr. (1 April 2006). Khan, PhD, Hameed A.; Qureshi, PhD, M. M.; Hussain, Tajjammul; Haye, Irfan (eds.). "50+5 Years of Physics in Pakistan" (PDF). COMSATS' Series of Publications on Science and Technology. Islamabad, Pakistan: M/s A.R. Printers. 8 (6): 217. Retrieved 3 May 2020. Fifty five years of Physics in Pakistan have been analyzed from a personal perspective. Successes and failures, together with their causes, are also discussed. The current trends in development of Physics are also mentioned.
  12. ^ Proceedings of the Pakistan Science Conference. Pakistan Association for the Advancement of Science. 1968. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  13. ^ Mahmood, Sultan Bashiruddin (15 August 2007). "Hafeez Qureshi: A great scientist passes away". The Nation, 2007. The Nation. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  14. ^ Proceedings of the Pakistan Science Conference. Pakistan Association for the Advancement of Science. 1968. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Professor Dr. Naeem Ahmed Khan".[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Naeem A. Khan". Archived from the original on 10 June 2011.
  17. ^ Khan, Hameed Ahmad. "SSTND (Ibid)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2005.
  18. ^ Khan, Hameed Ahmad; Khan, Naeem Ahmad (1989) [1989], "Solid State Nuclear Track Detection: A Useful Tool for Basic and Applied Science Research" (PDF), Journal of Islamic Academy of Sciences:IAS-Medical Journal, 2 (4): 303–312, archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2005

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