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Remembering Sir CV Raman On His Birthday

Remembering Sir CV Raman On His Birthday

Today is the birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman or CV Raman. Born at Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu on 7 November 1888, Sir CV Raman received Nobel Prize in 1930 "for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him".  Being brought up under the aegis of his father a physics lecturer, CV Raman was well immersed in the subject since his childhood. However, opting for a career in science was the choice and he decided to quit his lucrative job at Indian Finance Department which he had joined in 1907.

In 1954 he received the highest civilian award from his home country, the Bharat Ratna.

He completed his intermediate exam (known as FA exam, then) at the age of 13 and joined the Presidency College, Madras in 1902. Five years later he got his MSc degree from the University of Madras with the highest distinctions.

In 1917 he joined the Palit Chair of Physics at University of Calcutta at the age of 28. In 1933 he became Professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1924 and was knighted in 1929.

Sir CV Raman began his experiments for studying the scattering of light; and thus came the Raman Spectroscopy for observing the vibrational, rotational and other low frequency modes in a system. This is commonly used in chemical laboratories and serves as the 'fingerprint' for the substance from which the light is scattered.

He also worked on the acoustics of musical instruments. In 1932 he along with one of his students discovered that photons of light exhibit angular momentum.

S Chandrasekhar - who won Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 "for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars" - was the nephew of Sir CV Raman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930.

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