Category Archives: Indian Scientists

28 Feb, National Science Day – Remembering Sir Raman

CV_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.

Prof. A. G. Paulraj

Paulraj

Tamil Nadu-born scientist, Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj, has become the first Indian (NRI) to be awarded the Marconi Society Prize-2014, widely considered to be the equivalent to the Nobel Prize for the technology industry.

The award recognises his pioneering work on developing wireless technology to transmit and receive data at high speeds. Paulraj is credited with invention and advancement of Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology, a key enabler of WiFi and 4G mobile systems.

Sixty-nine-year-old Paulraj is Emeritus Professor at the Stanford University and served for 25 years in the Indian Navy. He has also received the Padma Bhusan in 2010.

His idea for using multiple antennas at both the transmitting and receiving stations – which is at the heart of the current high speed WiFi and 4G mobile systems – has revolutionised high speed wireless delivery of multimedia services for billions of people, said the Marconi Society in a release said.

“Paul has made profound contributions to wireless technology, and the resulting benefit to mankind is indisputable. Every WiFi router and 4G phone today uses MIMO technology pioneered by him,” chairman of the Marconi Society Professor Sir David Payne said in a statement.

By winning the award, Paulraj joins a very select group of top information technology (IT) pioneers such as Tim Berners-Lee (World Wide Web), Vint Cerf (Internet), Larry Page (Google Search), Marty Hellman (Public Key Cryptography) and Martin Cooper (Cell Phone).

Before Paulraj migrated to the US in the early 1990s, he was well known for pioneering the development of sonars for the Navy, which detect objects under water by emitting sound pulses and detecting their return. Paulraj is also the founding director of three major labs – Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Bangalore and the Central Research Labs (CRL) of Bharat Electronics.

After moving to Stanford University he built the world’s leading research group in MIMO, and founded two landmark companies in the US Silicon Valley to develop MIMO wireless systems. While global chip maker Intel acquired one company for an unspecified amount in 2003, Broadcom Corporation bought another one later.

Paulraj has also been a strong proponent for reviving India’s telecom technology manufacturing industry noting the high cost to the nation for its near total dependence on imports.

Named after Nobel laureate Guglielmo Marconi, who invented radio, and set up in 1974 by his daughter Gioia Marconi Braga through an endowment, the Marconi Society annually awards an outstanding individual whose scope of work and influence emulate the principle of “creativity in service to humanity” that inspired Marconi.

The Marconi Prize comes three years after Paulraj was honoured with the other major telecom technology award – the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for his work on theoretical foundations of MIMO. The prestigious Marconi prize includes $100,000 honourarium and a sculpture. Its honourees become Marconi Fellows.

[Based on news appeared in – The Hindu, Business Standard, TOI]