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Introduction to Blog

This Blog is the collection of short biographies and photo of the scientists, from different centuries, and many of them are unknown to the present generation. The valuable contributions of the scientist are the backbone of the development and the modern world is the result of their brainwork. We just utilize what they discovered and gifted to us. This Blog has been prepared as an authoritative and stimulating reference source. Compact detail about scientists, who amazingly changed this world, provides essential information on different discoveries they made in the field of science.

In fact, reading about the life-sketch of a scientist and his achievements, has great infotainment value. Besides, the lives of great men and women provide us inspiration to do things differently, and more importance than any other motivational factors. In this respect the importance of this Blog, especially for children, can hardly be underestimated. Rather it could even be a part of the curriculum-as at times the biographies can prove so inspiring and do motivate a person in such a way, that they change the entire course of the life of that person.

Written in simple and lucid language, these biographical photos of great scientists have been put together for ready reference. The Blog can also prove to be an ideal I.Q. upgrader.

P.C. Mahalanobis (1893 - 1972 )

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was a great scientist and applied statistician. He is famous for the ‘Mahalanobis Distance’, a statistical measure. He did pioneering work on anthropometric variation in India. Professor Mahalanobis made valuable contributions to the development of statistical science in India. He founded the Indian Statistical Institute, and contributed to large-scale sample surveys.

Scientist P.C. Mahalanobis was born on June 29, 1893. He was the son of Prabodh Chandra & Nirodbasini. His father was an active member of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. He started education from Brahmo Boys School in Calcutta. Then he completed graduation in physics from the Presidency College, Kolkata in 1912. He also completed Tripos at king’s college, Cambridge. After that he came back to Calcutta, India, and here he was introduced to the Principal of Presidency College and was invited to take classes in physics.

In later life, he contributed prominently to newly independent India’s five year plans starting from the second. His variant of Wassily Leontief’s input-output model was employed in the second and later plans to work towards rapid industrialization of India and with his colleague at his institute; he played a key role in developing the required statistical infrastructure. He also had an abiding interest in cultural pursuits and served, as secretary to Robindranath Tagore, particularly during the latter is foreign travels, and also his alma mater Viswa Bharati University, for some time. He received one of the highest civilian awards Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India for his contribution to science and services to the country. He died on June 28, 1972, a day before his seventy- ninth birthday. Even at this age, he was still active doing research work and discharging his duties as Institute and as the Honorary Statistical Advisor to the cabinet of the Government of India. He had Weldon medal from Oxford University in 1944 and Padma Vibhushan in 1968. He was also elected a fellow of the Royal Society, London in 1945 and Honorary President of International Statistical Institute in 1957.

P.C. Mahalanobis Photo

Scientist P.C. Mahalanobis wallpaper

Indian Statistical Institute, Photo

MEGHNAD SAHA (1893 – 1956 )

MEGHNAD SAHA was a great Indian scientist. He made remarkable contribution to the field of Astrophysics. He put forward an “ionization formula” which explained the presence of the spectral lines. Meghnad Saha belonged to a poor family and struggled to rise in life. He was born in Seoratali, Dacca district, now in Bangladesh, on October 6, 1893. He was the fifth child of his parents, Sri Jagannath Saha and Smt. Bhubneshwari Devi. His father was a petty grocer who barely managed to keep his large family from starvation. Meghnad Saha started his education in the primary school of the village. The nearest such school was in another village about 10 kilometers away. He was lucky in that one Dr. Anantha Kumar Das took an interest in him and offered free board and lodging, so the young Meghnad could go to school. Later in life, he took every opportunity to express his gratitude to Anantha Kumar Das for this timely help at such a crucial stage, without which his education may never have continued.

Meghnad Saha took admission in the Kishorilal Jubilee School and passed the Entrance examination of the Calcutta University in 1909, standing first among the student from East Bengal obtaining the highest marks in languages (English, Bengali and Sanskrit combined) and in Mathematics. In 1911, he ranked third in the ISc exam while the first position went to another great scientist Satyendranath Bose. After that he took admission in Presidency College Calcutta. In 1913, he graduated from Presidency College with Mathematics major and got the second rank in the first one. In 1915, both S. N. Bose and Meghnad Saha ranked first in M.Sc. exam, Meghnad Saha in Applied Mathematics and S.N. Bose in Pure Mathematics.

In 1917, He started his professional career and joined as lecturer at the newly opened University College of Science in Calcutta. He taught Quantum Physics. Along with S.N. Bose, He translated the papers published in German by Einstein and Hermann Minkowski on relativity into English versions. In 1919, American Astrophysical Journal published – “On Selective Radiation Pressure and its Application” – a research paper by Meghnad Saha. He put forward an “onization formula” which explained the presence of the spectral lines. The formula proved to be a breakthrough in astrophysics. He went abroad and stayed for two years. He spent time in research at Imperial College, London and at a research at Imperial College, London and at a research laboratory in Germany. In 1927, Meghnad Saha was elected as a fellow of ‘London’s Royal Society’.

In 1932, Meghnad Saha moved to Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh Academy of Science was established. He returned to Science College, Calcutta in 1938. During this time, Saha got interested in Nuclear physics, which later was named after him as Saha Institute of Nuclear physics in the curriculum of higher studies of science. Having seen cyclotrons used for research in nuclear physics abroad, he ordered one to be installed in the institute. In 1950, India had its first cyclotron in operation. He invented an instrument to measure the weight and pressure of solar rays. He produced the famous equation, which he called ‘equation of the reaction-isobar for ionization’, which later became known as Saha’s “Thermo-Ionization Equation”.

Saha was the leading spirit in organizing the scientific societies like the ‘National Academy of Science’ (1930), ‘Indian Institute of Science’ (1935), and the ‘ Indian Association for the Cultivation of science’ (1944). The lasting memorial to him is the ‘Saha Institute of Nuclear physics’ founded in 1943 in Calcutta. He was the chief architect of river planning in India. He prepared the original plan for Damodar Valley Project. Meghnad Saha was an Indian astrophysicist who nominated for the ‘Nobel prize’ in physics in 1935-36. In 1952, he was elected as a Member of Parliament for the North-West Calcutta constituency. He was an advocate for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and instrumental in the reformation of the Indian calendar. He died on February 16, 1956 due to a heart attack.

Meghnad Saha Photo

Scientist Meghnad Saha Images

M.K. VAINU BAPPU ( 1927-1982 )

Manali Kallat VAINU BAPPU was a great astronomer and president of the International Astronomical Union. Being one of the greatest astronomers of India, Vainu has contributed much to the revival of optical astronomy in Independent India. Vainu was born on August 10, 1927 to a senior astronomer in the Nizamiah Observatory, Hyderabad. He was the only child of Manali Kukuzhi and Sunanna Bappu. Vainu Bappu was not only excelled in studies but took active part in debates, sports and other extra curricular activities. However astronomy to which he was exposed from an early age became his passion. Being a keen amateur astronomer, even as an undergraduate, he had published papers on variable star observations. After getting his Masters degree in physics from Madras University, Vainu Bappu joined the prestigious Harvard University on a scholarship.

Within a few months of his arrival at Harvard University, Bappu discovered a comet and it was named Bappu-Bok-Newkirk after him and his colleagues Bart Bok and Gordon Newkirk. He completed his Ph D in 1952 and joined the fellowship. He and Colin Wilson made an important observation about the luminosity of particular kind of stars. This important observation came to known as the Bappu-Wilson effect and is used to determine the luminosity and distance of these kinds of stars. He came back to India in 1953 and played a major role in building the Uttar Pradesh State Observatory in Nainital. In 1960, he look over a as the director of the kodaikanal observatory and contributed a lot in the modernization of it. In 1986, he established the observatory with a powerful telescope in Kavalur, Tamilnadu.

He was awarded the "Donhoe Comet Medal" by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1949. He was elected as the President of the International Astronomical Union in 1979. He was also elected as the Honorary Foreign Fellow of the Belgium Academy of Sciences and was an Honorary Member of the American Astronomical Society. He died on 19 August 1982 but his name will always be remembered in the history of modern indian astronomy. He was the first indian astronomer whose name had tagged to a comet bappu-bok-new kirk. He succeeded to establish indian institute of astrophysics at bangalore. His ambition of setting up a powerful 2.34m telescope was materialized in 1986, four years after his death.

M. K. Vainu Bappu Photo

Scientist M. K. Vainu Bappu Images

Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar (1894 – 1955 )

Dr. Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was a great Scientist of India. He was known as “The Father of Research Laboratories”. He is remembered for having established various chemical laboratories like central Food Processing Technological Institute at Mysore, National chemical laboratory at Pune (Maharastra), the National Metallurgical Laboratory at Jamshedpur and many others.

Bhatnagar was born on February 21, 1894 in Shahpur, now in Pakistan. His father, Parmeshwari Sahai Bhatnagar passed away when he was only eight months old. He spent his childhood in the house of his maternal grandfather, who was an engineer, where he developed an interest in science and engineering. He used to enjoy building mechanical toys, electronic batteries, and string telephones. From his maternal family he also inherited a gift of poetry, and his Urdu one-act play “Karamati” won the first prize in a competition. After completing his M. Sc. in India, he went to England on a fellowship. He got his D. Sc. degree from the London University in the year 1921, under the guidance of chemistry professor Frederick G. Donna. When he came back, Bhatnagar was presented with proposal of professorship at the renowned Banaras Hindu University.

Bhatnagar used to spend all his spare time in his laboratory doing research. Dr. Bhatnagar was knighted by the British Government in the year 1941 as an award for his research in science, whereas, on March 18, 1943 he was selected as fellow of the Royal Society. Though his area of interest included emulsions, colloids, and industrial chemistry, but his primary contributions were in the spheres of magneto- chemistry. He also made a melodious kulgeet i.e. University song, which is still sung with great pride before any function in his University.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru himself was an activist of scientific development. After India gained freedom from British rule in 1947, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research were established under the leadership of Dr. Bhatnagar, who was appointed its first director-general. Later he was awarded ‘Padma Bhushan’. He became the first director-general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 1940. He died on 1 January 1955. After his death, ASIR established a Bhatnager Memorial award for eminent scientists in his honour.

Scientist Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar photo

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