Know Your Scientist- Sir C.V. Raman

India is a big shining star in the world of scientific inventions due to the contribution of some great work of Indian scientists such as Sir C.V Raman.

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Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman - An Inspiration For Scientists

Modern India is an outcome of the tremendous work of Indian scientists. Many great scientific achievements have come post India achieving its Independence. The works of Indian scientists have been recognised globally leading to India getting many sanctions across the world.  Today, India is a big shining star in the world of scientific inventions due to the contribution of some great work of Indian scientists such as Sir C.V Raman.

C.V. Raman is one of the guiding forces in Indian Science. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman has made our country really proud with his immense contribution in Physics, acoustics and optics. His selection as a member of Royal Society in 1924, followed by the very prestigious Nobel Prize in 1930 and Bharat Ratna in 1954 and Lenin Peace prize in 1957 are testimonies of his great feat in the field of Science.

When C.V Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930, it marked the first time in the history of the Noble Prize that a non-white and Asian had been awarded with the Nobel Prize for Science. Incidentally, C.V Raman is also the first Indian scientist to have studied wholly in India and yet won a Nobel Prize.

Sir C.V. Raman’s work on scattering of light won him the Nobel Prize in Physics. This discovery was labelled as “Raman Effect”. In 1998, The American Chemical Society declared Raman Effect a National Historic Chemical Landmark, since it was an important ingredient for analysing the composition of different states of matter (solids, liquids and gases). Interestingly, Raman Effect was experimented and discovered using equipment worth Rs. 200 only. Today, modern day scientists examine the Raman Effect using equipment that costs millions of Rupees.

Ever wondered why the colour of the sky is blue? Or the colour of the sea, for that matter? The same curiosity struck Raman when he was travelling to Europe in 1921, by sea. In Europe, he was fascinated by the fact that the glaciers are bright blue and so is the Mediterranean. He came back to India and began experimenting on water and ice blocks. After much pondering and analysing, he was able to crack the scientific explanation for the blue sky and blue sea.

Sir C.V. Raman’s theories have helped shape the work of other scientists as well. Dr Ernest Rutherford recognizes Raman’s Spectroscopy as a major inspiration behind his discovery of the atomic nucleus and proton.

Raman is known not only for Physics, but also for his valuable research on acoustics. This led him to become the first person to successfully investigate the harmonic nature of the table and mridangam.

For his work on the ‘Scattering of Light’, C.V Raman was made a Knight of the British Empire in 1929.

C.V Raman contributed to the encouragement of science education in independent India. He founded Raman Research Institute in Bangalore, thereby contributing immensely to develop the future of science in India. He also helped set up the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bangalore, which is a premier, world-renowned institute today.

Sir C.V. Raman died on November 21, 1970. National Science day is celebrated in India, every year on 28th February, to commemorate Sir C.V. Raman and his great discovery of Raman Effect.