Sir Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman was the first Indian scientist to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930. The award was given for his discovery of the “Scattering Effect of Light”. The British government conferred knighthood on him. Henceforth the title ‘Sir” was added to his name. He is known as Sir C.V.Raman.
Raman was born on November 7, 1888 at Tiruchhirapalli, Tamilnadu. His father, Chandrasekhara Lyer, was a Lecturer in physics, in a local college. His mother Parvathi was housewife. He was a brilliant student from the beginning and was inquisitive about ever-thing. He passed his matriculation when he was twelve years old. He joined the Presidency College, Madras. When he joined the college, He was still a boy. He was a confident student. He passed his B.A. and M.A. examinations. He had a deep interest in physics.
While doing his M.A. Raman wrote an article on the subject of Physics and he sent it to the ‘Philosophical Magazine’ and ‘Nature’ science magazine of England. On reading this article many eminent scientists in London noted the talent of this young Indian. Raman wanted to compete for the I.C.S. examination. But to write that examination, one had to go to London. As he was poor and could not afford it, he took the Indian Financial Service examination, conducted in India. He was selected and posted to Rangoon. Burma (Myanmar) which was then a part of British India. He was married to Loka Sundari.
Later, when he happened to work at Calcutta, he associated himself with an Institute called ‘Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science’ which was the only research institution in those days. While working there, his research work came to the notice of the Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University. The Vice Chancellor appointed him as Professor of Physics in Calcutta University. Sir Raman was in a good position in the financial service. He sacrificed his profession and joined the academic career. When he was working as a Professor he got an invitation from England to attend a science conference.
As the ship was sailing through the Mediterranean Sea, Roman got a doubt, as to why the waters of the sea are looking blue. This doubt initiated his research on light. He found out by experiment that the sea looks blue because of the ‘Scattering Effect of the Sunlight’. This discovery is called “the Raman Effect”. A question that was puzzling to so many other scientists was easily solved by Sir Raman, an Indian scantest. This discovery got Sir Raman the Nobel Prize for Physics for the year 1930 Raman discovered “the Raman Effect” on February 28, 1928 and that day is observed as a ‘National Science Day’ in India. Raman was the first Indian Scientist to receive the Nobel Prize. Raman went to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and personally received the award.
On return in 1933, Sir Raman joined the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, as Director. Later he relinquished the Directorship but continued to work in the Physics department. The University of Cambridge offered him a Professor’s job, which Sir C.V.Raman rejected, stating that he is an Indian and wants to serve in his own country. Dr. Homi Bhaba and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai were the student’s f Sri C.V.Raman.
Sir Raman was not only a good teacher but also a humorist. He was also a musician. All along he was asking his students to concentrate, as nothing could be achieved in science without concentration. Before two years of retirement he started the Raman Research Institute to continue his research. Raman was always aware or the need for physical fitness. He used to have daily walks. It is said that he used to go on a bicycle 12 miles a day at the age of 60. Sir C.V.Raman breathed his last on November 21, 1970.