Feature Article with Endowments from J.R.D
SEEMIN RUBAB Feature
HE announcement of the discovery stamp brought out to honour Meghnad of the Higgs boson created a bang Saha, it becomes obvious that he Trecently. The fact that one of the most specialized in astrophysics. Vikram remarkable scientific discoveries in recent Sarabhai was a space pioneer is evident times had an Indian name associated with from his stamps. That S.S. Bhatnagar, Homi it – ‘boson’ – was indeed heart warming. Bhabha and P.C. Mahalanobis were But how many of us really know which of institution builders is testified by the buildings the two scientists the term relates to – depicted in the background in the Jagadis Chandra Bose or Satyendranath postage stamps brought out to honour Innumerable Bose? Well, ‘boson’ was named in them. recognition of Satyendranath Bose’s Postage stamps, due to the visual postage stamps significant contribution to quantum appeal they carry, can offer a very good have been issued mechanics. Jagadis Chandra Bose, on the medium to communicate science in an other hand, pioneered the investigation interesting and creative manner. over the years of radio and microwave optics, and was Innumerable postage stamps have been even named by IEEE as one of the fathers issued over the years depicting scientists depicting of radio science. and their contributions and also institutions scientists and their Newly independent India was of excellence they helped set up or that privileged to have Homi Jahangir Bhabha, were named after them. All of which the contributions and P.C. Mahalanobis, S.S. Bhatnagar, Birbal country could be truly proud of. Exciting also institutions of Sahni, Vikram Sarabhai and many others stories can be woven around many who were not only great scientists but also scientific themes using these postal excellence they remarkable visionaries and institution stamps. These stories can be helped set up or builders. It is a pity that Indian masses in communicated through the print medium, general and students in particular are audiovisual medium such as PowerPoint that were named hardly aware about the achievements of presentations or even through after them. All of Indian scientists. It is one of the documentaries. recommendations of the National It cannot be denied that the process which the country Knowledge Commission to launch a of communication of ideas becomes could be truly massive science outreach and extension more delightful through visuals depicted programme. on stamps and brief write-ups. Famous proud of. Exciting Biographies of scientists have great Physicist Ernest Rutherford had aptly said: stories can be motivating values for youngsters. Acharya ‘All science is either physics or stamp P.C. Ray became interested in science collecting’. woven around after reading Benjamin Franklin’s biography Here is a random collection of stamps many scientific and his famous Kite experiment. depicting some renowned Indian Biographies of Indian scientists should be scientists, their contributions to Indian themes using these an integral part of the school curriculum. science and the institutions they helped postal stamps. Biographies may also be build. As one can see, a collection of supplemented with stamps instead of usual stamps could be linked up and used to photographs as stamps carry additional tell exciting stories about Indian science information. For example, if one looks at a that could motivate today’s youngsters. SCIENCE REPORTER, SEPTEMBER 2012 28 Feature Article With endowments from J.R.D. Tata, Bhabha established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1945. The TIFR is recognized by the Government of India as the National Centre for Nuclear Science and Mathematics. S.N. Bose Institute, a deemed university and the Homi the cosmic ray research unit at the IISc, Satyendra Nath Bose was a physicist, Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Nobel laureate C.V. Raman who headed specializing in mathematical physics and Mumbai. the unit, the Maharaja of Mysore, Shri has been in the news recently after the Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, and Lord Curzon, discovery of the Higgs boson was Radio Telescope, Ooty the Viceroy of India, whose first task on announced. He is best known for his work The famed radio telescope at Ooty was arrival on 31 December 1898 was to on quantum mechanics providing the Bhabha’s initiative and it became a reality receive a draft proposal prepared by the foundation for Bose-Einstein statistics and Provisional Committee set up to plan the the theory of the Bose-Einstein establishment of the Institute. The stamp condensate. A group of particles obeying was released at the centenary of the IISc. Bose Einstein statistics are known as Bosons. Bosons are like Indians, accommodating Dr S.S. Bhatnagar and NPL and friendly. Many Bosons can live Dr Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, who founded together as opposed to Fermions, which the Council of Scientific & Industrial are a group of particles preferring to live Research (CSIR), is seen in the backdrop alone. The S.N. Bose National Centre for of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Basic Sciences is an autonomous research a premier laboratory in the field of institute under the Department of Science Physical Sciences and one of the many and Technology, Government of India, in 1970. This telescope is in the form of a laboratories of CSIR scattered throughout established in 1986 to honour S.N. Bose. parabolic cylinder and operates at 327 the country. Bhatnagar’s research MHz. It is one of the largest telescopes in Homi Jehangir Bhabha the world operating at meter wavelength. Homi Jehangir The concept, design and fabrication of Bhabha was a nuclear this telescope are indigenous. It is operated physicist who played by the TIFR. a major role in the development of the Indian Institute of Science Indian atomic energy The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was programme and is conceived by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, considered to be the in the final years of the 19th century and father of India’s finally set up on 27 May 1909. The stamp nuclear programme. above shows several eminent dignitaries interests included emulsions, colloids, and After his death, the of the time including the founder J.N. Tata, industrial chemistry, but his fundamental Atomic Energy Swami Vivekananda, whom J.N. Tata contributions were in the field of Establishment was befriended on his famous voyage to the magneto-chemistry. Jointly with K.N. renamed as the United States, Dr Bhabha who established Mathur, Dr Bhatnagar invented an Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in his honour. Bhabha also encouraged research in electronics, space science, radio astronomy and microbiology.
TIFR With endowments from J.R.D. Tata, Bhabha established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1945. The TIFR is recognized by the Government of India as the National Centre for Nuclear Science and Mathematics. Other noted institutions in his name are the Homi Bhabha National 29 SCIENCE REPORTER, SEPTEMBER 2012 Feature Article Dr S. S. Bhatnagar became the Sir JC Bose, was an outstanding first director-general of the polymath: a CSIR. He established a total of physicist, 12 national research laboratories biologist, botanist, in India.CSIR established the archaeologist, and Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize a writer of science for honouring young scientists. fiction. India is the Indian Statistical Institute instrument called the Bhatnagar-Mathur J.C. Bose founded the Bose Institute in founded by none other than Prof. Magnetic Interference Balance. The 1917. Bose Institute is a premier research Mahalanobis in Kolkata. He contributed to balance was one of the most sensitive institute in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Anthropometric studies in India. His most instruments for measuring magnetic Botany, Microbiology, Biochemistry, important contributions are related to properties. Biophysics, Plant Molecular and Cellular large scale sample surveys. He introduced He became the first Director-General Genetics, Animal physiology, the concept of pilot surveys and of the CSIR. He established a total of 12 Immunotechnology and Environmental advocated the usefulness of sampling national laboratories such as the Central science. methods. Mahalanobis was a member of Food Technological Research Institute the planning commission and contributed (Mysore), National Chemical Laboratory Sir C.V. Raman immensely to the second five-year plan. (Pune), National Physical Laboratory (New Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was Delhi), National Metallurgical Laboratory Vikram A. Sarabhai a Nobel laureate in physics recognized for (Jamshedpur), and Central Fuel Research his work on the molecular scattering of light Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was also a Institute (Dhanbad), just to name a few. and for the discovery of the Raman effect. physicist. He is considered to be the father After his death, CSIR established the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize for honouring young scientists.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was set up under the chairmanship of Dr. Bhatnagar in 1942 with the primary objective of advancement of scientific knowledge of the Indian space programme. Vikram and sustained industrial Raman made significant contributions to Sarabhai founded the Physical Research development of the the quantum photon spin, acousto-optic Laboratory in Ahmedabad. The country. Over the years, effect, and acoustics of Indian musical establishment of the Indian Space CSIR has developed into instruments. We celebrate the National Research Organization (ISRO) was one of one of the largest Science Day on 28 February every year to his greatest achievements. Dr. Sarabhai chains of laboratories commemorate the discovery of the was also a pioneer in science around the world – it is Raman effect in 1928. After two years of communication; he founded a Community today a well knit and this discovery, Sir C.V. Raman brought the Science Centre at Ahmedabad. action-oriented first Nobel Award for the country in 1930. network of 38 Sir J.C. Bose Raman Effect has continuously impacted laboratories spread every field of science. Researchers across Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose, was an throughout the country with activities the world are still extracting exciting new outstanding polymath: a physicist, biologist, ranging from molecular biology to mining, results from his discoveries. Its role in botanist, archaeologist, as well as an early medicinal plants to mechanical spectroscopy, medical diagnostics and writer of science fiction. He pioneered the engineering, mathematical modelling to material characterization had been investigation of radio and microwave metrology, chemicals to coal and so on. phenomenal. optics, made very significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations Indian Statistical Institute and of experimental science in the Indian Meghnad Saha P.C. Mahalanobis subcontinent. IEEE named him as one of Meghnad Saha was an astrophysicist best Professor P.C. Mahalnobis was the pioneer the fathers of radio science. He was far known for his development of the Saha of statistical methods in India. Basically a ahead of his time. He had an American equation, used to describe chemical and physicist, he was introduced to statistics by patent at a time when the majority of physical conditions in stars. Saha and S.N. W.H. Macaulay through Biometric tables. people in the subcontinent were unaware Bose proposed an equation of state for The most prestigious institute of statistics in of either the term or its significance. Sir real gases. Prof. Saha founded the Institute SCIENCE REPORTER, SEPTEMBER 2012 30 Feature Article
Saha and S.N. Bose proposed an equation of state for real gases.
of Nuclear Physics in 1950, which was inaugurated by Nobel laureate Irene Joliot-Curie to initiate research in Nuclear Physics. The institute later diversified its research areas and was renamed as the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics. S. Chandrasekhar was an Indian American astrophysicist. His bust D.D. Kosambi is shown on the first day cover along with Bhabha and S.N. Bose to Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi was a commemorate the International Year of Physics in 2005. mathematician, statistician, historian, and renamed the Wadia Instituate of Himalayan S. Ramanujan Geology. Ramanujan was one of the greatest Indian mathematicians. He was a self-taught Acharya P.C. Ray person. He is known for the Ramanujan Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray was an prime and Ramanujan theta function. He academician, a chemist and an entrepreneur. In fact he was among the first techno-entrepreneurs of India. He was
Acharya Ray was among the polymath who contributed to genetics by first introducing Kosambi’s map function. He is techno- well known for his work in numismatics and entrepreneurs was also a Marxist historian specializing in Ramanujan made substantial ancient India. of India. contributions to mathematical D.N. Wadia the founder of Bengal Chemicals & analysis etc. Darashaw Nosherwan Wadia was a Pharmaceuticals, India’s first geologist working for the Geological pharmaceutical company. He was a made substantial contributions to Survey of India. He helped establish contemporary and friend of Sir J.C. Bose. mathematical analysis, number theory, geological studies and investigations in infinite series and continued fractions. India including the Institute of Himalayan International Year of Physics Ramanujan’s work has profound Geology in Dehradun, which was later Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was an significance in physics as well. His formulas Indian American astrophysicist. His bust is have applications in crystallography and shown on the first day cover along with string theory. Bhabha and S.N. Bose to commemorate the International Year of Physics in 2005. Dr Seemin Rubab, a doctorate in Renewable He was a Nobel laureate in physics along Energy from IIT Delhi, teaches Physics at the with William Alfred Fowler for their work in National Institute of Technology, Srinagar. She is the theoretical structure and evolution of an avid philatelist and has won gold medals at stars. The Chandrasekhar limit is named state level philatelic competitions. Address: AP, after him. Chandrasekhar was the nephew Physics, NIT Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir- Fern of Sir C.V. Raman. 190006; Email: [email protected] 31 SCIENCE REPORTER, SEPTEMBER 2012