C. V. Raman

C. V. Raman was an Indian physicist born in the former Madras Province in India.

Updated: July 17, 2020

Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman was an Indian physicist born in the former Madras Province in India (presently the state of Tamil Nadu). He carried out ground-breaking work in the field of light scattering, which earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics. He discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes wavelength and amplitude. This phenomenon, subsequently known as Raman scattering, results from the Raman effect.

C. V. Raman was born on 7th November 1888 and died on 21st November 1970.

Childhood of C. V. Raman:

C. V. Raman was born in Trichy, Tamil Nadu to Brahmin parents, Chandrashekaran Ramanathan Iyer and Parvathi Ammal. Raman's father was a lecturer who taught mathematics and physics in Mrs A.V. Narasimha Rao College in Visakhapatnam (then Vishakapatnam) in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and later joined Presidency College in Madras.


Education of C. V. Raman:

At an early age, C. V. Raman moved to the city of Visakhapatnam and studied at St Aloysius Anglo-Indian High School. Raman passed matriculation at age 11 and the FA examination (equivalent to today's Intermediate exam, PUCPDC and +2) with a scholarship at age 13. In 1902,Raman joined Presidency College in Madras where his father was a Lecturer in Mathematics and Physics. In 1904 he obtained a BA degree from the University of Madras, where he stood first and won the gold medal in Physics. In 1907 he completed an MSc degree at the University of Madras with highest distinction.


Family of C. V. Raman:

C. V. Raman was married on 6 May 1907 to Lokasundari Ammal (1892-1980). They had two sons, Chandrashekhar and radio-astronomer Radhakrishnan.


Some facts about C. V. Raman:

  • In the year 1917, Raman resigned from his government service after he was appointed the first Palit Professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta.
  • At the same time, he continued doing research at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) in Calcutta, where he became the Honorary Secretary.
  • In 1926 Prof. Raman established the Indian Journal of Physics as the first editor.
  • On 28th February 1928, Raman led an experiment with K. S. Krishnan, on the scattering of light, when he discovered what now is called the Raman effect.
  • C. V. Raman was president of the 16th session of the Indian Science Congress in 1929. He was conferred a knighthood, medals and honorary doctorates by various universities.
  • In 1930 Raman got Nobel Prize in Physics "for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the Raman effect".
  • He was the first Asian and first non-white to receive any Nobel Prize in the sciences.
  • C. V. Raman and Suri Bhagavantam determined the spin of photons in 1932, which further confirmed the quantum nature of light.
  • Raman had association with the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. He held the position of permanent visiting professor at BHU.
  • Raman and his student, Nagendra Nath, provided the correct theoretical explanation for the acousto-optic effect (light scattering by sound waves), in a series of articles resulting in the celebrated Raman-Nath theory.
  • In 1933, Raman left IACS to join Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore as its first Indian director.
  • C. V. Raman also started a company called Travancore Chemical and Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (now known as TCM Limited) which manufactured potassium chlorate for the match industry in 1943 along with Dr. Krishnamurthy.
  • In 1947, he was appointed as the first National Professor by the new government of Independent India.
  • C. V. Raman retired from the Indian Institute of Science in 1948 and established the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore a year later. He served as its director and remained active there until his death in 1970, in Bangalore, at the age of 82.
  • In 1954, the Indian government honoured him with India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.
  • C. V. Raman was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1957. In 1998, the American Chemical Society and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science recognised Raman's discovery as an International Historic Chemical Landmark.[37]
  • At the end of October 1970, Raman collapsed in his laboratory; the valves of his heart had given way.
  • C. V. Raman died from natural causes early morning on 21st November 1970.
  • India celebrates National Science Day on 28 February of every year to commemorate the discovery of the Raman effect in 1928.
  • Postal stamps featuring Raman were issued in 1971 and 2009.


Related Articles

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was an Indian American astrophysicist who spent his professional life in the United States.

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was an Indian Bengali scientist and applied statistician.

Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose was an Indian physicist specializing in theoretical physics.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an Indian statesman who served three terms as the Prime Minister of India.

Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar

Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar

Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was an Indian colloid chemist, academic and scientific administrator.

Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi was an Indian politician, stateswoman and a central figure of the Indian National Congress.

Prafulla Chandra Ray

Prafulla Chandra Ray

Prafulla Chandra Ray was an Indian chemist, educationist, historian, industrialist and philanthropist.

Chandra Shekhar Azad

Chandra Shekhar Azad

Chandra Shekhar Azad was an Indian revolutionary who joined the radical Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) at the age of 15.