His achievements may not be so well known outside the scientific community, but his contributions are highly significant. ‘The Father of Indian Nuclear Program’, as he is known, Homi Jehangir Bhabha played a key role in India’s first Nuclear Program, through the institutions that he established.
Homi Jehangir Bhabha
Beginning of Nuclear Research
Bhabha started his career in Britain, but returned to India just prior to World War 2 in 1939. He then joined the Indian Institute of Science, under Sir C V Raman. He soon started the Cosmic Ray Research Unit in 1944 as a part of the Indian Institute of Science and conducted his researches in nuclear field.
Founding TIFR & TAEE
In 1945, Bhabha established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai and later the Trombay Atomic Energy Establishment (TAEE) in 1954.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Manufacturing Nuclear Weapons
Post-Independence, Bhabha let known his Nuclear Interests to the Congress Leaders and managed to convince the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru to invest in his Nuclear Programme.
Homi Bhabha with Jawahar Lal Nehru
Nehru appointed Bhabha as the director of India’s Nuclear Programme. Bhabha through his institutions soon revealed India’s nuclear capability to the outside world.
Apart from being a Nuclear Physicist that he was, there are other aspects to Bhabha’s life such as him being a painter and his passion for classical music.
Homi Jehangir Bhabha died in a plane crash near Mont Blanc on his way to Vienna on 24th January 1966.
After his death, Trombay Atomic Energy Establishment was renamed as Bhabha Atomic Energy Establishment. Many other institutions came up in his name such as Homi Bhabha National Institute and Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education in Mumbai.
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science and Education
A commemorative stamp on Homi Bhabha, was issued by India Post in 1966.
First Day Cover & a commemorative postage stamp issued by India Post on father of Indian Nuclear Programme ‘Homi Jehangir Bhabha’ in 1966.
As one of India’s greatest physicists, Bhabha inspired many scientists to undertake further research in the nuclear field and also in other streams like astronomy and electronics, which he had encouraged throughout his career. Today, for all the achievements that we have in the Nuclear Power, both in civil and defense, we owe our gratitude to Homi Bhabha who set India on the path of Nuclear self-prowess.
Fabulous rare pic of Einstein, Yukawa(1st Japanese Nobel), Wheeler India’s own Homi Bhabha on a walk in the woods.