K Rangadhama Rao received DSc from the universities of Madras, and London, UK. He was Professor in Physics, Andhra University; and also Principal, Andhra University College, Waltair.
Academic and Research Achievements: Professor Rao started from simple atoms, then passing on to ionized atoms using different experimental techniques for various types of excitations using different spectrographs, glass, quartz and finally vacuum UV spectrographs to range the spectral investigations from photographic (10,000Ao) infrared upto the vacuum UV (300Ao). He opened a branch of his own design on atomic, ionic and high resolution vacuum spectrograph. While these investigations were going on, he simultaneously developed diatomic molecular spectroscopy laboratory, first aiming at a high resolution vibrational structure in electronic transitions and later on proceeded to high resolution rotational structural investigations in diatomic molecules. At the same time, he concentrated on polyatomic molecular spectroscopy dealing with UV absorption, infrared absorption, Raman scattering, fluorescence and phosphorescence and crystal spectra. While the two fields so developed were left to senior members, Professor Rao switched on to the three new fields, in spectroscopy, namely NQR, NMR and ESR spectroscopy. Another field which he developed simultaneously was dielectrics. Starting from scrap, he reached the level of construction of microwave test benches and using these techniques, he opened different lines of investigations in dielectrics. Professor Rao encouraged theoretical investigations in all branches with a strong belief that both experimental and theoretical work should go together for a more comprehensive and complete understanding of the problem. Finally, he entered into developing radio frequency spectroscopy which branched into three different lines, namely, NQR, NMR and ESR. He constructed various electronic accessories and designed different systems and cells which formed the components of the concerned spectrographs. Professor Rao evinced interest in spectral investigations of molecules by preparing them synthetically. His readiness for constructing the various components required for experimental investigations to self-reliance. He made his own Schumann plate for the vacuum grating spectrography and studied the spectrum of selenium and resonance spectrum of hydrogen.
The Indian National Science Academy has instituted ‘Professor K Rangadhama Rao Memorial Lecture’ in his honour.