C V Raman, the first Nobel Laureate from Asia
Today is C V Raman’s birthday, the Indian physicist who got Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for the discovery that “when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes in wave length”. This effect is now better known as “Raman Effect”.
Raman Effect – An illustration
He did this research when he was working at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in Kolkata (IACS). He is the first Asian to get a Nobel Prize in the field of science.
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in Kolkata (IACS)
In those days, i.e. in the year 1930, air travel was not common, especially from India. So, for him to travel from India to Stockholm by ship to receive the Nobel Prize would take 3 months. The Nobel Prize was announced only 2 months before the event. He was so confident of receiving the prize that he set sail for Stockholm even before the Nobel committee decided his name. Such was his confidence in his research.
Later when he met his aunt in his village, she asked him what the research and award was all about. He explained to her in simple terms in a way his old aunt could understand. She wondered how for such a simple research he was given an international recognition.
Thus we see how he could explain even an advanced research in simple terms to a simple lady.
There are many such interesting episodes in the life of Nobel laureate C V Raman.
In the later part of his life, he settled down in Bangalore to start the C V Raman Research Institute to further the scientific research field in India.
C V Raman Research Institute