National Science Day: Know the man behind this celebration
India celebrates National Science Day every year on February 28, but do you know why we do that only on this date? Actually, it was on February 28, that a great Indian scientist discovered something so spectacular that it not only brought laurels to this country and him, but changed the way we looked at science. The man was Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman or CV Raman and the discovery is called Raman Effect.
- He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for doing experiments on scattering of light and the phenomenon was called Raman Effect and it eventually led to the development of Raman Spectroscopy.
- He was the first Asian (and Indian) to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- Discoverer of atomic nucleus and proton, Dr Ernest Rutherford referred to Raman’s spectroscopy in his presidential address to the Royal Society in 1929. Raman was acknowledged by the society and he was also presented with a knighthood.
- He was awarded the Franklin Medal in 1941 and in 1957, he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.
- 1947, Independent India’s new government-appointed C.V. Raman as the first National Professor of India.
- Raman was exceptional in studies; he passed the matriculation at only 11 years of age. Two years later, he passed the Intermediate-level exam and joined the Presidency College in 1902.
- In 1932, Raman along with Suri Bhagavantam discovered quantum photon spin, further confirming light’s quantum nature.
- Raman was not only an expert on light, he also experimented with acoustics. Raman was the first person to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of Indian drums such as tabla and mridangam.
- Over the years, the Raman Effect has been used in many areas, including biology, chemistry and medicine. The Raman Scanner, a device used to detect if someone is carrying illegal substances, uses this principle.
- On his first death anniversary in 1971, the Indian Postal Service published a commemorative stamp of Sir C V Raman with the reading of his spectroscopy and a diamond in the background. He was also awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954.