Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman obtained MA (1907) from University of Madras; also received PhD (hc) and DSc (hc) from several universities. He held numerous key positions and was Palit Professor of Physics, University of Calcutta (1917-33); Director, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (1933-43); Founder Director, Raman Research Institute, Bangalore (1943-70); and National Professor (1948-70).
Academic and Research Achievements: Raman’s works essentially covered: (i) molecular diffraction of light; (ii) mechanical theory of bowed strings and diffraction of X-rays; (iii) theory of musical instruments; and (iv) physics of crystals. His discovery, the Raman effect, made it possible to map out the levels of possible energy gains of the molecules and atoms of a substance and uncover the molecular and atomic structure. By substituting measurement of colour modifications of visible X-rays, the alternative to infrared spectroscopy, viz. Raman spectroscopy, provided a superbly easy experimental technique. Raman also made notable contributions to the physics of musical instruments like violin, cello, pianoforte, veena, tanpura and mridangam.
Other Contributions: One of Raman’s gifts to India is the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, or the Academy as it is often called. The Raman Research Institute at Bangalore is another of his many gifts to Indian Science.
Awards and Honours: Raman won the Nobel Prize in 1930. He was recipient of numerous prestigious awards: President, Indian Science Congress (1928); Knighted (1929); Mateuchi Medal, Rome (1929); Hughes Medal by Royal Society of London (1930); Franklin Medal by Franklin Institute, Philadelphia (1951); International Lenin Prize (1957); Rajasabha Bushana (Decoration by the Maharajah of Mysore) (1935); and Bharat Ratna (1954). He was Fellow of the Royal Society of London; President, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1934-70); Foreign Associate, Paris Academy of Sciences; and Corresponding Member, Soviet Academy of Sciences.
The Indian National Science Academy has instituted ‘Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman Medal’ and ‘Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman Research Professorship’ in his honour.