Today, unlike many celebrations, we celebrated the national science day without much of pomp or show! Today marks the day when the famous Raman effect was discovered by Sir CV Raman. Looking back at the second half of the 1920s, this Discovery was of immense importance. It proved the quantum nature of light and it also explained a major question about the color of the sea water. Now people get clear that it wasn’t about the sea reflecting the skies, but having its own characteristic of being blue!
This Discovery put India on the science map of the world. The name ‘Raman’ Had become an overnight worldwide household utterance. Kolkata, which was yet another city in the British Colony of India, was now beginning to make waves in the science circle of the world. The Indian Association for Cultivation of Sciences, which was a quaint building in the streets of Calcutta was now talked about a lot in the scientific community. In short, India had suddenly risen to prominence in the world of Physics. Every scientist knew that the Nobel Prize was imminent.
Let us now talk about three cities that give us this wonderful man Sir CV Raman.
His study at Chennai:
For some inexplicable reason, all the Nobel Laureates in physics from India have been associated with the city of Chennai, and Madras University in particular. Raman graduated in Masters of Arts in Physics. This might sound strange but it was the order of the day that every subject was studied under arts, including Sciences. Raman had the distinction to be listed as one of the candidates for ICS. In today’s parlance, ICS is considered to be even bigger than IAS. Because of some medical misfit, Raman was rejected in the Civil Services examinations. Raman, in one of his interviews, quoted that he would forever be grateful to the doctor Who disqualified him for Indian Civil Services.
The city that gave him the essential education was not able to give him the right opportunities for him to grow further. However, he did not miss out on being on the East Coast and by the sea. Raman migrated from Chennai to Calcutta for his initial research.
His research in Calcutta:
Today, we all call Mumbai as the city of Dreams. Shift to the early 1920, and it was Calcutta which had this claim to Fame. Calcutta has always been known for producing intellectuals, including but not limited to Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha. One such visionary was Dr. Mahendra Lal Sarkar who went on to create the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Sciences. It was the first Research Institute in India, but it never saw its light, literally. When Raman moved to Calcutta to become a pilot professor of Physics, he decided to utilize this Research Institute for his researches on light, Spectroscopy, crystallography, and acoustics.
On this day in the year 1928 come on this institution would go on to make history. This was the day when the Raman effect or the scattering of light because of molecular properties was reported by CV Raman and KS Krishnan. The Raman effect was discovered proving the quantum nature of light!
The developments in Bangalore:
Raman didn’t want his research to stop with just him. He wanted scientific research to be a mainstream choice of a career in India. With this purpose, he moved to Bangalore and headed the research at IISc – Indian Institute of Science, which was the brainchild of Tata. He went on to increase the quality of research in this Institute, and to this day, The Legacy that was created by Sir CV Raman lives on. This Institute produces some of the world-class scientists who are into path-breaking research on both practical and theoretical lines.
Not contented with a proficient Institute of Research, Rahman also went on to create his own Research Institute in Bangalore, called the Raman Research Institute. This might not be as massive as the Indian Institute of Science, but it does have a niche of its own and it also produces amazing research articles and scientists.
It is a thing of great joy and Pride that the life of this amazing person has come full circle, from being inspired to being an inspiration. It is even great that this person’s awesomeness has traveled all across the country, and his Fame has traveled all across the world! Let us all remember this man today and reflect on his contributions to science, and to science in India.