Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman was an Indian physicist known mainly for his work in the field of light scattering which is known as Raman Effect. His 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 of light scattering phenomena now known as Raman Scattering. He was the first Asian to receive a Nobel Prize in any branch of Science.
• Raman was born on 7 november 1888 in Tirucirapalli, Madras Presidency to Tamil Parents.
• He was a child prodigy as he completed his secondary and higher secondary education at the ages of 11 and 13.
• He topped his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Madras with Honours in Physics from Presidency College at the age of 16.
• He published his first research paper at the age of 18 while he still was a graduate student.
• He completed his M.A. degree at the age of 19.
• He joined Indian Financial Service in Calcutta as Assistant Accountant General at the age of 19 as his father wanted him to join Financial Service.
• In Calcutta, he got acquainted with the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), the first research institute in India, which allowed him independent research.
• He married Lokasundari Ammal in 1907.
• In 1917, he got the opportunity to join University of Calcutta as the Palit Professor of Physics.
• He also became the permanent visiting professor at BHU.
• He was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society in 1924.
• In 1926, he established the Indian Journal of Physics as the first editor.
• On 28 February 1928, Raman led an experiment with K.S. Krishnan, on the scattering of light, when he discovered what is called Raman Effect.
• It gave further proof of the quantum nature of light.
• Raman Spectroscopy a new field was came to be based on this phenomenon after Raman Effect.
• He was the president of the 16th session of the Indian Science Congress in 1929.
• He won the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his Raman Scattering and for the discovery of Raman Effect.
• In 1933 he left Kolkata to join the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore as its first Indian Director which was started by donations of Maharaja of Mysore, Nizam of Hyderabad and Jamshedji Tata.
• He founded the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1934 and started publishing the proceedings of the Academy.
• In 1943, he started a company called Travancore Chemical and Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Which manufactured potassium chlorate for the match industry.
• In 1947, he became the first National Professor by the new government of Independent India.
• He retired from IISc in 1948 and established the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore in 1949.
• He was against the control of research programmes by the government such as the establishment of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
• He remained hostile of the people associated with these institutions such as Homi Bhabha, S.S.Bhatnagar.
• He died in October 1970 after a Cardiac Arrest.
WORKS AND DISCOVERY
• Raman conducted research about scattering of light in gases, liquids and solids.
• During an experiment he discovered that a small portion of the scattered light acquires other wavelengths than that of the original light.
• This inelastic scattering was a very strong confirmation of quantum theory.
• Raman showed that the energy of photons scattered inelastically serves as fingerprint for the substance the light is scattered from.
• It is used in medicine to investigate living cells and tissues, even detecting cancer without causing harm.
• It can be used to rapidly characterize the chemical composition and structure of a sample, whether solid, liquid, gas, gel, slurry or powder.
WORK ON ACOUSTICS
• Raman worked on acoustics of musical instruments.
• He was the first to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of Indian drums.
• Raman and his student Nagendra Nath provided the correct theoretical explanation for the acousto-optic effect .
• Modulators and switching systems based on this effect have enabled optical communications components based on laser systems.
• India celebrates NATIONAL SCIENCE DAY on 28 February of every year to commemorate the discovery of Raman Effect in 1928.
• He was elected as the Fellow of the Royal Society in 1924.
• He was knighted in 1929 for his discovery of the Raman Effect, becoming Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman.
• In 1930 he won Nobel Prize, in 1941 he was awarded the Franklin Medal.
• He received Bharat Ratna in 1954.
• He received Lenin Peace Prize in 1957.
• He also resigned from the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1968, the only Indian FRS to do so.