Madhusudana obtained his BSc and PhD (Physics) degrees from the University of Mysore, and taught physics in Sarada Vilas College, Mysore (1964-65), Then he joined the Department of Physics, University of Mysore (1971) and subsequently moved to the Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bangalore as Scientist C. He served as Head, Liquid Crystal Laboratory at RRI (1990-2000). He was a Visiting Scientist in the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, University Paris-Sub at Orsay, France (1983-84), and a Visiting Associate Professor in Centre de Recharche Paul Pascal, University de Boradaux-I, (1984-85). He superannuated in 2006 as the Dean of Research. Since then, he is continuing his research work first as an INSA Senior Scientist,and subsequently as an emeritus scientist.
Academic and Research Achievements: Madhusudana developed molecular theories of unusual liquid crystal phases exhibited by highly polar compounds and of molecular tilting in smectic C phase; discovered a strong effect of flexoelectricity on electrohydrodynamic instabilities; developed theoretical models for various phases exhibited by antiferroelectric liquid crystals and those made of bent-core molecules; predicted the possibility of new phases between smectic C and nematic, and nematic and isotropic phases; initiated multi-line addressing schemes for multiplexed liquid crystal displays; developed new techniques to measure elastic constants, to study electric field phase diagrams in highly polar compounds, to discover a strong influence of director fluctuations, and polar short range order, etc. He also discovered (i) high strength defects in nematics doped with impurities, (ii) cylindrical growth phenomena in smectic A and smectic C liquid crystals, (iii) a new liquid crystal named UTGBC establishing its structure with helical windings in all 3 dimensions and many other properties of liquied crystal phases. He has published over 200 papers and guided 16 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Madhusudana along with S Chandrasekaran was involved in establishing the Liquid Crystal Laboratory of the Raman Research Institute, and with engineers of Bharat Electronics in developing an indigenous know-how for the manufacture of LCDs. He was co-Director of a spring College on 'Soft condensed matter' held in Trieste, and was a member of the Editorial Boards of Liquid Crystals and International Journal of Engineering Science. Currently he is an Associate Editor of Pramana and on the Editorial Boards of Indian Journal of Physics.
Awards and Honours: Madhusudana is a recipient of the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1989), Savadatti Endowment Lecture of Karantak University Teachers Forum (1999), Annual Lecture Award of the Royal Chemical Society, Bangalore Chapter (1999), Superconductivity and Materials Science Prize (2000), Professor Kishore Memorial Lecture of IPC Department, IISc (2003) and Raja Ramanna Endowment Prize Lectureship of JNCASR, Bangalore (2003). He was elected a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1974).