C.V. Raman

Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman was born at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu on 7th November 1888.

 Raman’s father was Chandrasekaran Ramanathan Iyer,  a teacher of mathematics and physics. His mother was Parvathi Ammal, who was taught to read and write by her husband. Hailing from a family of modest means Raman was the second of eight children.They were Brahmins but  his father paid little attention to religious matters: There was an academic atmosphere at home.  .

When Raman was four years old his father got a job as a lecturer and the family moved to Waltair (now Visakhapatnam).Raman was greatly interested in science. On vacations he would demonstrate experiments to his younger brothers and sisters.

He was awarded a scholarship and  studied at Presidency College for his master’s degree.  In November 1906, aged 18, Raman had his first academic paper published in the Philosophical Magazine .  When his second paper  was published he received a letter from Lord Rayleigh, the eminent British physicist who was unaware that Raman was just a teenage student .The letter was sent to “Professor Raman.”

 Although Raman was intent upon a scientific career, his family was in debt and  his brother persuaded him to  join the civil service. For 10 years Raman worked as a civil servant in the Indian Finance Department in Calcutta (now Kolkata ) In his free time he carried out research into the physics of stringed instruments and drums. He did this work at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS).  He also gave public lectures in Calcutta popularizing science.

He then got into full  time research .He did not take any government funds . With basic resources and great passion he and his students did great research. He was awarded the Nobel Prize  in Physics  and many other awards ,including the Bharat Ratna. He was the first Indian to be awarded the Nobel Prize.

In 1933 Raman became the first Indian director of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. In 1947 he became independent India’s first National Professor. In 1948 he founded the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore, where he worked until the end of his life.


“It appears to me that this very beautiful discovery which resulted from Raman’s long and patient study of the phenomenon of light scattering is one of the best convincing proofs of the quantum theory.”

Homi .J. Bhabha


Homi Jehangir Bhabha   — The architect of India’s nuclear energy program.

He was a multifaceted personality   a scientist, visionary and institution builder.

Homi Bhabha’s father and uncle wanted him to become an engineer, so he could eventually join the Tata Iron and Steel Company in Jamshedpur. At Cambridge, his interest shifted to theoretical physics and in a letter to his father, he wrote –

I seriously say to you that business or job as an engineer is not the thing for me…… I am burning with a desire to do physics. I will and must do it sometime. It is my only ambition….”It is this realisation that has given India a  great scientist and visionary  .

In 1939, he came to India for a brief holiday in India and was unable to go back as World War II had started.

He took up  the post of Reader in Theoretical Physics at the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bangalore under Nobel laureate Sir C.V. Raman. Here he established the Cosmic Ray Research Unit.

He founded two world-class research institutions He played a big role in the establishment of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai.

A significant factor that contributed for the growth of nuclear sciences and its applications was Bhabha’s rapport with the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who reposed complete confidence in him. There was a great synergy in thinking between Nehru and Bhabha with respect to industrialization and scientific research, evolving hand-in-hand. He advocated  the peaceful use of atomic energy and was against manufacturing atomic bombs.

Bhabha was a person of perfection, purpose and excellence. He ensured these qualities in all his endeavours  -research, management, buildings and environment.

His total conviction, never-accepting mediocrity, never compromising on excellence, meeting the challenges head-on with confidence made him a unique personality. Bhabha was a great scientific manager and followed the mantra of the right man for the right job

His life  is an example for all of us, which stood for three concepts – deserve, desire and demonstrate.

Bhabha was also a painter and a classical music and opera enthusiast and an amateur botanist.