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Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose
(November 30, 1858-November 23, 1937)

Indian plant physiologist and physicist whose invention of highly sensitive instruments for the detection of minute responses by living organisms to external stimuli enabled him to anticipate the parallelism between animal and plant tissues noted by later biophysicists. Bose’s experiments on the quasi-optical properties of very short radio waves (1895) led him to make improvements on the coherer, an early form of radio detector, which have contributed to the development of solid-state Physics.

After earning a degree from the University of Cambridge (1884), Bose served as professor of Physical Science (1885–1915) at Presidency College, Calcutta, which he left to found and direct the Bose Research Institute (now Bose Institute) in Calcutta. To facilitate his research, he constructed automatic recorders capable of registering extremely slight movements; these instruments produced some striking results, such as Bose’s demonstration of an apparent power of feeling in plants, exemplified by the quivering of injured plants. His books include Response in the Living and Non-Living (1902) and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants (1926)

Indian Physicist whose work was influential in the growth of science in India. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930 for the discovery that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the light that is deflected changes in wavelength. This phenomenon is now called Raman scattering and is the result of the Raman Effect.

After earning a master’s degree in Physics he became professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta in 1917. Raman was knighted in 1929, and in 1933 he moved to the Indian Institute of Science, at Bangalore, as head of the department of physics. In 1947 he was named director of the Raman Research Institute there and in 1961 became a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science. He contributed to the building up of nearly every Indian research institution in his time, founded the Indian Journal of Physics and the Indian Academy of Sciences, and trained hundreds of students who found important posts in universities and government in India and Myanmar. He was the uncle of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who won the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics, with William Fowler.

Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman
(November 7, 1888- November 21, 1970)
Homi Jehangir Bhabha
(October 30, 1909 -January 24, 1966)

Indian physicist who was the principal architect of that country’s nuclear energy program. Born into a rich aristocratic family, Bhabha went to the University of Cambridge, England, in 1927, originally to study mechanical engineering, but once there he developed a strong interest in physics. When World War II broke out in 1939, Bhabha was in India on a holiday. With Europe in turmoil, he decided to stay, and at the behest of physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (Bengaluru), he joined the institute as a reader in physics in 1940. A Indian nuclear research began with the inception of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1945, with Bhabha at the helm. After the death of Bhabha in 1966, the institute was renamed the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). Bhabha’s contribution to the development of atomic energy made him a significant figure in international scientific circles. He served as president of the United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in 1955 and as president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from 1960 to 1963

After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology, where he received a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1960, he joined the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)—an Indian military research institute—and later the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).


Kalam played a leading role in the development of India’s missile and nuclear weapons programs. He planned a programme that produced a number of successful missiles, helping earn him the nickname “Missile Man.” Beginning in the early 1990s, he also served as scientific adviser to the government, and his prominent role in India’s 1998 nuclear weapons tests established Kalam as a national hero. In 2002 National Democratic Alliance nominated Kalam, to succeed outgoing President K.R. Narayanan. Kalam easily won the elections in 2002, and in the largely ceremonial post he sought to use science and technology to transform India into a developed country.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
(Oct. 15, 1931- July 27, 2015)
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