Bachalli Venkatesachar received MSc (1900) from University of Madras. He was Professor of Physics, University of Mysore; Acting Director, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore (1937-39); Principal, Central College, Bangalore (1930) and Vijaya College, Bangalore (1945-51); and Vice-Chancellor, Purna Prajna Vidyapeeth.
Academic and Research Achievements:Venkatesachar was an experimental spectroscopist whose work centred, however, on the theoretical ideas of Bohr’s old quantum theory. His work comprised essentially: (i) analysis of atomic spectra, (ii) Raman effect and (iii) hyperfine structure of spectral line in relation to nuclear structure. He determined the isotopic contribution and the nuclear spins of the elements platinum, iridium and gold, which had for a long time resisted the attempts of Aston and others to obtain their isotopic contribution by means of a mass spectrograph.
Other Contributions: Venkatesachar was not just a scientist. He was a philosopher of the Renaissance times. An exponent of both monistic and dualistic doctrines, he made intensive studies in Vedanta. He headed IISc during its turbulent times. He founded an undergraduate college in Bangalore, where he taught not physics but trigonometry and Sanskrit.
Awards and Honours:Venkatesachar was conferred the title Rao Bahadur (1930). He was elected President of the Physics Section, Indian Science Congress (1930), and Fellow of the Institute of Physics, London.