Sir C. V. Raman (1888-1970)
Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was born at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil
Nadu on 7 November 1888. His father was a lecturer in mathematics and
physics so from the very beginning he was immersed in an academic
atmosphere. Raman' ' 's academic brilliance was established at a very young
age. He finished his secondary school education at the tender age of thirteen
and entered the Mrs. A.V.N. College at Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Two
years later he moved to the prestigious Presidency College in Chennai.
When he was fifteen, he topped his class to receive his B.A. degree
with honours in Physics and English. Raman continued his studies at the
Presidency College and when he was barely eighteen, graduated at the top of
his class and received his M.A. degree with honours.
Raman joined the Indian Audit and Accounts Service and was appointed
the Assistant Accountant General in the Finance Department in Kolkata. In
Kolkata, he sustained his interest in science by working in the laboratory of
the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, in his spare time studying
the physics of stringed instruments and Indian drums.
In 1917, Raman gave up his government job to become the Sir
Taraknath Palit Professor of Physics at the Science College of University of
Calcutta (1917-33). He made enormous contributions to research in the areas
of vibration, sound, musical instruments, ultrasonics, diffraction,
photoelectricity, colloidal particles, X-ray diffraction, magnetron, dielectrics,
etc. In particular, his work on the scattering of light during this period brought
him world-wide recognition.
In 1924 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and a
year later was honoured with the prestigious Hughes medal from the Royal
Society. Four years later, at the joint meeting of the South Indian Science
Association and the Science Club of Central College, Bangalore, he announced
his discovery of what is now known as the Raman Effect.
He was knighted in 1929, and in 1930, became the first Asian scientist
to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discoveries relating to the
scattering of light (the Raman Effect). In 1934, he became the Director of the
newly established Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, where he remained
till his retirement. After retirement, he established the Raman Research Institute
at Bangalore, where he served as the Director. The Government of India
conferred upon him its highest award,the Bharat Ratna in 1954