Sukumar Biswas obtained his BSc (Physics) and joined MSc class of the Calcutta University where he was taught by MN Saha, SN Bose and SK Mitra. MN Saha was his research guide in the Institute of Nuclear Physics of Calcutta University where he was awarded DPhil degree in 1950. Biswas received UNESCO Fellowship awarded by Australian Government and worked in a new field, namely, nuclear interactions of high-energy cosmic rays in balloon borne detectors. Biswas was awarded PhD degree of the Melbourne University in 1952.
Academic and Research Achievements: In 1952, Biswas joined the Cosmic Ray Group of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and soon made a number of important discoveries, e.g. Constant Saggitta Scattering and the Mass of K-mesons. In 1959, he took up a new branch of research of energetic particles from the sun during large solar flares at the University of Minnesota. Following this, Biswas was invited to join the Solar Cosmic Ray Group of NASA Goddard Spaced Flight where, during large solar flares, the composition of solar cosmic rays (from helium to neon) was measured directly for the first time. This was a major discovery in Solar Physics. On his return to TIFR, Biswas and his team were engaged in front-ranking projects and obtained strikingly new results.
Other Contributions: A new component of cosmic ray called Anomalous Cosmic Rays (ACR) was discovered by Biswas in the Skylab orbit and ionization states of ACR were directly measured as +1. The Anuradha experiment of TIFR-PRL-ISRO in which he was involved was the only Asian experiment selected globally by NASA.
Awards and Honours: Biswas received CV Raman Award (1984) the Public Service Group Architect Award from NASA (1986) and Gold Medal for outstanding achievements (1999) by the Prime Minister of India.