28 Feb, National Science Day – Remembering Sir Raman

Every year February 28 is celebrated as National Science Day. On February 28 we remember a great scientist Sir C.V. Raman. His discovery placed India on the world Science map. He was the first person from Asia to be awarded a Nobel Prize in any field of science.

It was on this day years ago (February 28, 1928) that Sir C.V. Raman made a discovery that later came to be known as the Raman Effect. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1930.

In 1986, the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) asked the Government of India to designate February 28 as National Science Day to commemorate the legacy and discovery of the Raman Effect. The theme of the year 2014 would be “Fostering Scientific Temper”.

Objectives of Celebrating National Science Day

  • To spread a message about the significance of scientific applications in the daily life.
  • To display the all the activities, efforts & achievements in the field of science for human welfare.
  • To discuss all the issues & implement new technologies for the development of the science.
  • To give an opportunity to the scientific minded citizens in the country.
  • To encourage the people as well as popularize the Science and Technology.

Raman Effect

While working as professor at the University of Calcutta Raman started experiments to study how light behaved when it passed through various substances. On February 28, 1928, he found that light of only one colour was passed through a liquid emerged out with small traces of another colour. This meant that the molecules in the liquid were changing the colour of some of the light passing through it. The discovery created a sensation around the world and was named the Raman Effect. In 1930, C.V. Raman became the first person from Asia to be awarded a Nobel Prize in any field of science. The date of the discovery, February 28, is now celebrated as National Science Day in India.

The Raman Effect has been very useful in many areas of science. It was found that when light was passed through a substance, a series of colours were seen that could be specific for a substance and thought of as a fingerprint of the substance. This idea has been used in chemistry, medicine, biology and many other areas of science to find out what a substance’s material composition.

Raman spectroscopy employs the Raman effect for materials analysis. It is used to analyze a wide range of materials, including gases, liquids, and solids. Highly complex materials such as biological organisms and human tissue can also be analyzed by Raman spectroscopy.