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CHANDRASEKHARA VENKATA RAMAN – AN INSPIRATION FOR SCIENTISTS

The National Science Day in India is celebrated in the loving memory of Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (C. V. Raman) who was responsible for the discovery of Raman Effect on 28th February 1928. He was the first Indian and Asian to ever win a Nobel Prize in the field of Physics.

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman - An Inspiration For Scientists

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (C. V. Raman) was born on 7th November 1888 in Tiruchirappalli, Madras Presidency, British India and died on 21st November 1970 in Bangalore, India. The fact that his father was a lecturer in physics and mathematics, led him to develop a liking towards the subject.

CAREER AND WORK

He was a bright student who won a gold medal in physic during his B. A. Exams in 1904. Even in 1907, after completing his M. A. Degree, he maintained highest distinctions. He dedicated his entire life toward light and sound. He was a mere student when he started investigating about the two fields. In 1907, Raman joined the Indian Finance Department for earning his livelihood.

Despite working meticulously, Raman found time to carry out his investigations and experiments in Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science Laboratory in Calcutta. When he became the Palit Chair of Physics in 1917 at Calcutta University, his love for physics deepened.

In 1922, he wrote an article on ‘Molecular Diffraction of Light’ which was a series which consisted of various investigations on the matter which later led to his successful discovery. He also founded and became the editor of Indian Journal of Physics in 1926. He got a Nobel Prize in 1930 for discovering the Raman Effect.

Raman Effect was inspired by the blue colour of the glaciers and the sea. He investigated and experimented to establish that the blue colour occurs due to scattering of light by the water and transparent ice. He took mercury arc lamp and used its monochromatic light. The light penetrated the transparent material while a spectrograph measured the spectrum. The outcome was the Raman lines or the detected spectral lines.

From 1933 to 1948, he served as the Professor of physics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Raman Institute of Research, Bangalore was established by him where he became the Director in 1948. He achieved a lot of honorary doctorates along with varied memberships of the scientific societies.

AWARDS

  1.  1929- Knighted by the Royal Society.
  2.  1930- Nobel Prize in Physics.
  3.  1941- Franklin Medal.
  4.   1954- The Bharat Ratna Award.
  5.   1957- Lenin Peace Prize.

FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CV RAMAN

  1.     Since his father was a lecturer of Physics and Mathematics, he developed love towards the field of science.
  2.     In 1917, he served as the first Palit Professor of Physics in University of Calcutta.
  3.     Side by side, while teaching, he conducted his research work in Calcutta at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Sciences. He managed to attain the position of an honorary scholar at the association.
  4.     On 28th February 1928, he was honoured with a Nobel Prize in Physics for his revolutionary experiment. The day was later celebrated as the National Science Day in India to honour his achievement. Through his observation of scattering of light, his experiment established the quantum nature of light. This effect was later acknowledged as the Raman Effect. K S Krishnan was his partner in the experiment, however, owing to mutual differences; the two had a falling out. But C V Raman paid a contribution to his work in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize.
  5.     C V Raman was presented with a knighthood in the Royal Society after Dr Ernest Rutherford included C V Raman’s spectroscopy in 1929 in his speech to the Royal Society. Dr Ernest Rutherford is the one who is given credit for discovering atomic nucleus and proton.
  6.     C. V. Raman is the first Indian or non-white individual or Asian to ever get a Nobel Prize in science.
  7.     C. V. Raman collaborated with Suri Bhagavantam in 1932 for the discovery of quantum photon spin. The discovery was instrumental in gathering evidence for the quantum nature of light.
  8.     While travelling to Europe in 1921, C. V. Raman felt entranced by the Mediterranean Sea’s blue opalescence. This was cited as his inspiration behind his optical theory that went on to win a Nobel Prize.
  9.     His talent simply did not limit to light and its properties. C.V. Raman played and experimented with acoustics (sound) even. He is cited to be the first person for investigating the tabla and mridangam ( a form of Indian drums) to find out harmonic nature of the produced sound.
  10.  He achieved India’s most prestigious award- The Bharat Ratna- in 1954.
  11.  To honour him, the Indian Postal Service paid tribute to his first death anniversary by publishing a stamp of C. V. Raman along with a diamond and spectroscopy in the background.

Know Your Scientist- Sir C.V. Raman