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7 November: Remembering CV Raman on his birth anniversary

Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman, born on November 7, 1888 in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, was one of India’s greatest physicists. His groundbreaking research resulted in a physics revolution, none more intriguing than the one that explained why the sea appears blue.

Professor CV Raman was the first person of Asian descent to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery in 1930. The Nobel Prize was given to him for his work on light scattering and the discovery of the Raman effect, which was named after him.

Raman, the son of a schoolteacher, excelled in studies from an early age and graduated with a BA from the Presidency College at the University of Madras at the age of 16 in 1904, where he won gold medals in both English and Physics as core subjects.

At the age of 18, he published his first scientific paper, ‘Unsymmetrical diffraction-bands due to a rectangular aperture,’ in the British journal Philosophical Magazine.

Raman was appointed a full time professor at the University of Calcutta in 1917. In 1924, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1930, he was knighted by the British.

He was the first director of the Indian Institute of Science in 1933 and went on to found the Raman Research Institute in 1948 on a plot of land in Bengaluru, gifted by the Government of Mysore. The institute was funded personally by him and with donations from private sources.

On December 10, 1930, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ Committee for Physics awarded Professor CV Raman the Nobel Prize in Physics. The award was given to him for his work on light scattering and the discovery of the Raman effect.


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