Homi Jehangir Bhabha

Homi Jehangir Bhabha  (1906-1966) 

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Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha 

Homi Jehangir Bhabha was born in an aristocratic family in Bombay in 1909. He passed the Senior Cambridge Examination when he was 16 and went to Cambridge to study mechanical engineering. He was influenced by his mathematics teacher Paul Dirac, who initiated him into mathematics and theoretical physics. Bhabha was in India when war broke out in Europe. In 1940, at the behest of C.V. Raman, director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Bhabha joined the institute as a reader in physics. When Bhabha began the study of cosmic rays, he realised the need for an institute devoted to fundamental research. Helped with funds from JRD Tata, he established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay in 1945. Bhabha with Hitler,rpoposed the cascade theory which explains why electrons are found in cosmic rays at sea level.Electrons from outer space can't penetrate the atmosphere to reach sea level. Bhabhba proposed that high energy electrons passing through matter produce gamma rays,which subsequently produce pairs of electrons and positrons.They,in turn would emit gamma rays, creating a huge shower .This goes on until the energy is exhausted.Bhabha also calculated the cross section (probability)of scattering of electrons and positrons in a material medium (habha scattering).He said the measured lifetime of meson in flight is affected by the time dilation predicted by Einstein's thoery of relativity.Bhabha was soon a force to reckon with in international science circles. His research in atomic energy is of great importance. He is considered as the founder and architect of India's atomic energy programme. He served as the president of the UN conference on peaceful uses of atomic energy in 1955 and as president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from 1960 to 63. He passed away in a plane crash on Mont Blanc on January 24, 1966. 

 

Vikram A Sarabhai 

Vikram Sarabhai (1919-1971)

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Dr. Vikram A Sarabhai 

Vikram Sarabhai was born on 12 August 1919 at Ahmedabad. After passing Inter-Science from Gujarat College in Ahmedabad, he joined St. John's College, Cambridge (UK) where he took his Tripos in Natural Sciences in 1939. The outbreak of World War-II necessitated his return to India where he took up Cosmic-ray research under the guidance of the Nobel Laureate Sir C. V. Raman at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. In 1947, he was awarded doctorate by Cambridge University for his thesis, "Cosmic Ray Investigations in Tropical Latitudes". On his return to India, Dr.Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in November 1947 at Ahmedabad where he continued his scientific activities. Realising the need for professional management education in India, he founded Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in 1962 and directed it until 1965. In 1962, he took over the responsibility of organising space research in India as Chairman of Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR). He directed setting up of the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station(TERLS) at Trivandrum and initiated a programme to fabricate sounding rockets in India. In 1966, he was appointed the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He drew up plans to take education to remote villages through satellite communication, implemented under the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE). Sarabhai was awarded the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award for Physics in 1962 and was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1966. Padma Vibhushan was awarded to him posthumously. He was also a member and Chairperson of several national and international committees. This great scientist widely recognised internationally in space and nuclear research expired prematurely in his sleep on 30 December 1971, while visiting Thumba Equatorial Rocket Lunching Station (TERLS) Trivandrum.
 
Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar

Prof. S. S. Bhatnagar (1894-1958)

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Prof. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar
 
Born in Bhera, West Punjab on 21st February 1894, Bhatanagar grew up with an interest in science and engineering. After earning his M.Sc. from Punjab University and went to London University for his D.Sc. While studying for the D.Sc. he did excellent research on emulsions and colloids. Following this, he was privileged to work under the guidance of Prof. Haber at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin and later, with Prof. Freundlich, an expert on Colloids. Returning to India, he became a Professor of Chemistry at the Banaras Hindu University from 1921-24, after which he worked as the Director of the University Chemical Laboratories in Lahore from 1924-40. During this period, his research and efforts enabled him to make significant contributions in physical chemistry, with a special focus on Magneto-chemistry. From contributions range from his theories on emulsions and colloids to research on industrial chemistry (making wax colourless, refining kerosene to increase the flame height and utilising petroleum waste) to magneto-chemistry, to installing oil refineries, plants to produce newer metals such as titanium and zirconium and planning surveys for atomic minerals and petroleum deposits. Some of his posts include becoming the first Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research from 1940 till his death and Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1943. In 1946, Dr. Bhatnagar introduced Pt. Nehru, then the head of the Interim Government, to his own ideas about science development in India, in the hope of making them a reality. With the help of industrialists and his own research work, he was successful in opening a chain of National Research Laboratories in India. After his death on 1st January 1955, the Bhatanagar Memorial Award for instituted in 1958. 
 
P. C. Ray

P. C. Ray (1861-1944)

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Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray 

Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray was born on 2nd August 1861 in Raruli-Katipara, a village in the District of Khulna (now in Bangla Desh). Prafulla Chandra Ray is respected as the father of the Indian chemical industry. He succeeded in isolating mercurous nitrite, which brought him fame and recognition.Later,Ray and his co-workers stuidied compounds of metallic elements with organic sulphur derivatives,particularly mercaptans and sulphides.IN, addition they suceeded in preparing and characterising various compounds of zinc,cadmium,mercuric iodide,etc. He worked hard to set up,at a surprisingly low cost,'The bengal Chemicals And Pharmaciutical Works Ltd.'using locally available materials. Equally importantly,he inspired a generation of young chemists in India thereby biulding up an Indian school of chemistry. Ray strove for the development of the state of bengal.THe monumental work "History of Hindu Chemistry"bears testimony to his knowledge of history and science and love of literature.Ray rightly earned the title 'Acharya' for his service and sacrifice for science,society and chemical industry in India. Ray's popular book is "Life and Experince OF A Bengali Chemist".He was an embodiment of Indian culture and wanted to re-born only in India to complete the unfinished services to his countrymen. Ray passed away on 16th June 1944.

 

Hargovind Khorana

Dr. Hargovind Khorana (1922-)

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Dr. Hargovind Khorana

Dr. Hargovind Khorana was born on 9 January 1922 at Raipur, Punjab (now in Pakistan). He obtained his M.Sc. Honours in Organic Chemistry from the Punjab University in 1945 and later received his Ph. D. from the University of Liverpool in England. The most fruitful and creative decade of Dr. Khorana’s career began in 1960 when he joined the University of Wisconsin as Professor and co-Director of the Institute of Enzyme Research and Professor of Biochemistry (1962-70). In 1970 he was appointed Professor of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1971 he became a foreign member of USSR Academy of Sciences and in 1974 an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Chemical Society. He won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1968 sharing it with M.W. Nuremberg and R.W. Holley for interpreting the genetic code and analysing its function in protein synthesis. The other awards conferred on him include Distinguished Service Awards. Watumull Foundation, Honolulu, Hawaii (1968); American Academy of Achievement Award, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1971); Padma Vibushan, Presidential Award, India (1972); J.C.Bose Medal, Bose Institute, Calcutta (1972) and Willard Gibbs medal of the Chicago Section of American Chemical Society (1973-74). His researches embrace many fields and have gone a long way in answering one of the most critical and controversial issues of biology, i.e., the role of heredity and environment. His work, which is an important scientific landmark of the twentieth century, has brought closer the day when synthetic DNA may be introduced into the defective human tissues to bring about their repair or treat mentally retarded people and change them into more intelligent and healthy human beings. His synthesis of RNA, capable of replication in laboratory, is a step towards the creation of life artificially. 

 
   Indian Mathematicians

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