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19 May 2014

டாக்டர் ஸர்.சி.வி. இராமன் (1888-1970),

(Inventor of Raman effect)
Probably there is no one in the field of science who is not acquainted with the name of C.V.Raman. He was the first indian Scientist to win the Nobel Prize for his famous discovery named after him as 'RAMAN EFFECT' in 1930. The most surprising thing is that the he made this discovery with an equipment worth hardly Rs200.Today the Raman effect is studied with the aid of equipment worth millions of rupees.

Chandraseekhara Venkata Raman was born on the 7th November 1888, at Trichinopoli (now called Tiruchirapalli) in Tamilnadu. His father was a physics teacher in a colleage. Raman was an exceptionally brilliant student from the very beginning . when he passed his matriculation at the age of 12, his parents were keen to send him abroad for higher studies. But on medical grounds, a British surgeon advised them not to send him abroad. Therefore Raman stayed in the country and was admitted in Presidency College,Madras. In 1904, he did his graduation and , in 1907, he did his M.Sc. in Physics, and topped in the University. While he was a student in the Presidency College he carried out many remarkable researches in the field of physics. He worked on different of light and his first research paper on  this subject was published in 1906.

In 1907, after passing a Civil service competitive examination , he became the Deputy Accountant General in Calcutta. Though he was very busy at this position, he used to spare his evenings for scientific research,He would spend his time after the office hours at the laboratory of the Indian Association for Cultivation of Sciences. Some times, he worked throughout the whole night. He got inspiration from Aushootosh Mukherjee who was the secretary of the Indian Sciene Association. He was so interested in the scientific research that in 1917 he resigned from his job and became the Professor of Physis at Calcutta University.
During a sea voyage to Europe in 1921 , he observed with wonder the blue colour of the Mediterraneam and of glaciers. He became anxious to find out the reason of this blue colour. After returning to India, he did many experiments related to the scattering of light from water and transparent blocks of ice. On the basis of these experiments, he gave the scientific explanation for the blue colour of sea water and sky.

There is an interesting incident regarding the inspiration for the disover of the Raman effect. On a December evening in1927. Raman was showing a visitor some instruments in his laboratory . At that time, one of his young students.K.S.Krishnan , rushed to him and announced. ;Professor Compton has own the Nobel Prize on scattering of X-rays.' (He was the same K.S.Krishnan who later became the Director of the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi.) Raman was equally delighted , but he was lost in some thoughts. He told Krishnan that if the Compton effect
was true for X-rays, it must be true for light too. He started experiments to verify his belief. He used monochromatic light from a mercury arc which was passed through transparent materials, and was allowed to fall on a spectrograph to record its spectrum. In these experiments, he observed some new lines in the spectrum which were later called 'Rama Lines' Four months later, on March 16, 1928, Raman announced his discovery of 'Raman Effect' to an assembly of scientists at Bangalore. For the discovery of Raman Effect, he won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1930.

Many experiments have since been conducted throughout the World on Raman Effect' It has been proved of utmost importance in understanding the molecular structure of chemical compounds. In fact within a decade of its discovery, the structure of about 2000 compounds were studied. With the invention of the Laser , the Raman effect' has become a powerful tool for scientists.

In 1924, Sir C.V.Raman was elected the Fellow of the Royal Society of London . He did a lot work on magnetism and musical instruments. In 1943, he founded Raman Research Institute near Bangalore. Here he continued the scientific research till his death in 1970. His advice to young scientists was that scientific research needed indepemdent thinking and hard work rather than sophisticated equipments. The apparatus used for the discovery of the Raman effect did not cost him much.

Throughout his life, Sir.C.V.Raman gave lectures on science in different universities and institutions. He was received everywhere with great honour. He never aspired for any high position. His ambition instead, was to serve science.