Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman

 

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, FRS (7 November 1888 – 21 November 1970) was an Indian physicist whose work was influential in the growth of science in India. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930 for the discovery that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the light that is deflected changes in wavelength. This phenomenon is now called Raman scattering and is the result of the Raman effect.

In 1917, Raman resigned from his government service and took up the newly created Palit Professorship in Physics at the University of Calcutta. At the same time, he continued doing research at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Calcutta, where he became the Honorary Secretary. Raman used to refer to this period as the golden era of his career. Many students gathered around him at the IACS and the University of Calcutta.

On February 28, 1928, through his experiments on the scattering of light, he discovered the Raman effect. It was instantly clear that this discovery was of huge value. It gave further proof of the quantum nature of light. Raman spectroscopy came to be based on this phenomenon, and Ernest Rutherford referred to it in his presidential address to the Royal Society in 1929. Raman was president of the 16th session of the Indian Science Congress in 1929. He was conferred a knighthood, and medals and honorary doctorates by various universities. Raman was confident of winning the Nobel Prize in Physics as well, and was disappointed when the Nobel Prize went to Richardson in 1928 and to de Broglie in 1929. He was so confident of winning the prize in 1930 that he booked tickets in July, even though the awards were to be announced in November, and would scan each day's newspaper for announcement of the prize, tossing it away if it did not carry the news. He did eventually win the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him". He was the first Asian and first non-White to receive any Nobel Prize in the sciences. Before him Rabindranath Tagore (also Indian) had received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.

Raman and Bhagavantam discovered the quantum photon spin in 1932, which further confirmed the quantum nature of light.

Raman was honoured with a large number of honorary doctorates and memberships of scientific societies. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society early in his career (1924) and knighted in 1929. In 1930 he won the Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1941 he was awarded the Franklin Medal. In 1954 he was awarded the Bharat Ratna. He was also awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1957.

 
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