25 Interesting C.V. Raman Facts – Nobel Laureate from India

by Sankalan Baidya
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One of the greatest Physicists of India and the world, Sir. C.V. Raman left a massive impression in the world of Physics by discovering what is known as the Raman Effect. In this article on Sir C.V. Raman facts, we will focus primarily on his early life, his education and his career.

NameChandrasekhara Venkata Raman
Born7 November, 1888
Birth PlaceMadras Presidency, British India
Death21 November, 1970
Death PlaceBangalore, Karnataka
Known ForRaman Effect
Award Won1924: Fellow of the Royal Society
1929: Knight Bachelor
1930: Hughes Medal
1930: Nobel Prize in Physics for Raman Effect
1941: Franklin Medal
1954: Bharat Ranta
1957: Lenin Peace Prize
1998: Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science and American Chemical Society recognized discovery of Raman as International Historic Chemical Landmark
Institutions Indian Finance Department University of Calcutta Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Calcutta Banaras Hindu University Indian Institute of Science Raman Research Institute
WifeLokasundari Ammal (1907 – 1970)
ChildrenSons: Venkatraman Radhakrishnan and Chandrasekhar
Commemoration28 February is National Science Day in India to remember the discovery of Raman Effect

Interesting C.V. Raman Facts: 1-5 | Birth and Education

1. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on born on November 7th, 1888 in India’s Madras Province. Presently it is known as Tamil Nadu.

2. Raman’s father was a school teacher initially. He used to teach in Thiruvanaikovil. Later, he became a Physics and Mathematics lecturer in Visakhapatnam’s Mrs. A.V. Narasimha Rao College and eventually joined in Madras’ Presidency College.

3. Because Raman’s father had to move to Visakhapatnam, Raman also moved there and was admitted to St. Aloysius Anglo-Indian High School.

4. C.V. Raman passed the matriculation from that school when he was just 11 years old. Two years later, he passed the F.A. examination with a scholarship. F.A. in those days was equivalent to today’s Intermediate exams.

5. In year 1902, C.V. Raman joined the Presidency College where his father worked as Physics and Mathematics lecturer.

Did You Know? C.V. Raman was the parental uncle of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar – another Nobel Laureate.

Interesting C.V. Raman Facts: 6-10 | Education and Career

6. Two years later in 1904, Raman earned his B.A. examination from University of Madras. He was exceptional and earned the first rank in Physics and even earned the gold medal.

7. Three years later in 1907, he earned the Masters Degree in Science from University of Madras and again earned the highest distinctions. After that, he took a competitive exam for Finance Department of colonial government of India.

8. He earned himself a government service in the post of Accountant General in Calcutta and continued for some time, only to resign in 1917 when University of Calcutta appointed him as the university’s first Palit Professor of Physics.

9. While teaching in University of Calcutta, Raman continued with his research in Calcutta’s famous IACS or Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. Later on, he became IACS’ Honorary Secretary.

10. In 1928, while working in IACS, C.V. Raman ran several experiments on February 28 on scattering of light. One of the collaborators in his works was K.S. Krishnan. The experiments they conducted together led to the discovery of what we today know as Raman Effect.

Did You Know? C.V. Raman’s son Venkatraman Radhakrishnan was a space scientist and was a member of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Interesting C.V. Raman Facts: 11-15 | Career and Work

raman facts

11. The relationship that Raman had with Krishnan is often considered very complicated. Of course, Krishnan worked in the discovery of Raman Effect but Krishnan did not share the Nobel Prize with Raman. However, C.V. Raman did clearly mentioned Krishnan’s name in Nobel Lecture.

12. The work he did with the scattering of light eventually led to the development of Raman Spectroscopy.

13. Ernest Rutherford referred to Raman Effect in 1929’s Royal Society’s Presidential address. Raman won the Knight Bachelor award in 1929. Later on, he was awarded the Fellow of the Royal Society.

14. In 1932, Suri Bhagavantam and Raman together discovered quantum photon spin, further confirming light’s quantum nature.

15. Raman did some significant work with musical instruments’ acoustics. He is the person who gave the theory of transverse vibration of bowed strings. The theory was based on superposition velocities.

Did You Know? C.V. Raman had deep interest and worked in magnetic and electrical anisotropy, human vision physiology and optics of colloids.

Interesting C.V. Raman Facts: 16-20 | Work

16. Raman also became the first person for investigating harmonic nature of mridangam and tabla – two Indian drums.

17. C.V. Raman also had keen interest in musical instruments that used forced vibrations, for instance, violin. He also did some interesting work in sound propagation in whispering galleries.

18. Actually, his work with sound a conceptual and experimental prelude to all the work he did in quantum mechanics and optics.

19. Nagendra Nath – one of the famous students of Raman – along with Raman came up with the accurate theoretical explanation of light scattering by sound waves. Technically it is known as acousto-optic effect.

20. C.V. Raman became the first Indian director of Indian Institute of Science (IIS) in 1933. It was really ironic because IIS never had an Indian director as all previous directors were British during the colonial era.

Did You Know? C.V. Raman opened a company with Dr. Krishnamurthy. The company was known as Travancore Chemical and Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and it manufactured potassium chlorate for the match industry. The company was opened in 1943 and it exists even today by the name TMC Limited.

Interesting C.V. Raman Facts: 21-25 | Work

21. Raman also carried out several other theoretical and experimental studies on light diffraction caused by ultrasonic frequency and hypersonic frequency acoustic waves.

22. He also worked on what effects X-Rays have on ordinary light exposed crystals’ infrared vibrations.

23. In 1948, Raman studied the spectroscopic behavior of crystals and took a new approach towards crystal dynamics’ fundamental problems. He deeply studied properties and structures of diamond and also studied various iridescent substances’ optical behaviors.

24. From IIS, Raman retired in year 1948 and in 1949, he started Raman Research Institute (RRI) in Bangalore. He remained as the director of RRI until his death in 1970. At the time of death, he was 82 years old.

25. In 1947, Independent India’s new government appointed C.V. Raman as first National Professor of India.

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Sources: 1, 2, 3

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