National Science Day 2024: "Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat"

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By ETV Bharat English Team

Published : Feb 28, 2024, 2:31 PM IST

Updated : Feb 28, 2024, 2:47 PM IST

National Science Day 2024 is celebrated on February 28 to honour the discovery of the Raman Effect by Indian scientist CV Raman.

National Science Day 2024 is celebrated on February 28 to honour the discovery of the 'Raman Effect' by Indian physicist CV Raman in 1928. The scientist was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930 for this scientific marvel.

Hyderabad: India celebrates National Science Day on February 28 every year to mark the contributions of scientists towards the development of the country. On this day in 1928, CV Raman discovered a phenomenon of the scattering of photons, which was later known as the ‘Raman Effect’ after his name.

After two years in 1930, he got the Nobel Prize for this remarkable discovery, and this was the first Nobel Prize for India in the field of science. To mark the discovery of his famous phenomenon, National Science Day is celebrated in India on this day each year.

History of National Science Day: In 1986, the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) asked the Government of India to designate February 28 as National Science Day, which the then Government of India accepted and declared the day as National Science Day in 1986. The first National Science Day was observed on February 28, 1987.

CV Raman – Early Life and Education: Raman was born into a south Indian Brahmin family, the son of R Chandrasekhara Aiyer and Parvathi Ammal. His father’s role as a lecturer in Mathematics and Physics created an academic environment at home, igniting Raman’s curiosity and passion for science from an early age.

His exceptional academic prowess shone through as he passed his matriculation at the age of 11 and completed his 12th standard on a scholarship, by the age of 13. In 1902, he joined Presidency College and remarkably, was the only student to receive a first division.

His academic journey continued with a Master’s degree in Physics, during which he set new records. In 1907, he married Lokasundari Ammal, with whom he had two sons, Chandrasekhara and Radhakrishnan.

National Science Day Significance:

  • The main objective of celebrating National Science Day is to encourage the Indian youth to develop an interest in and understand the importance of Science.
  • The day celebrates the discovery of the Raman Effect by Sir CV Raman, a significant milestone for Indian science.
  • To spread awareness of the significance of scientific applications in the daily life of people.
  • It honours the achievements of Indian scientists and their contributions to scientific progress.
  • To showcase the efforts and achievements in the field of science for the welfare of human beings.
  • The day promotes the development of a scientific mindset and encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • The day aims to empower the next generation of scientists and researchers.

Theme 2024: The NSD Theme for this year’s celebration reflects a strategic focus on promoting public appreciation for Science, Technology and Innovation and the accomplishments of Indian scientists to address challenges through home-grown technologies for overall well-being."National Science Day 2024", titled "Indigenous Technologies for Viksit Bharat".

Purpose of the Celebration of National Science Day:

  • The basic objective of the observation of National Science Day is to spread the message of the importance of science and its application among the people.
  • National Science Day is celebrated as one of the main science festivals in India every year with the following purpose
  • To widely spread a message about the significance of scientific applications in the daily lives of people.
  • To display all the activities, efforts, and achievements in the field of science for the welfare of human beings,
  • To discuss all the issues and implement new technologies for the development of science,
  • To give opportunities to scientific-minded citizens in the country.

CV Raman – Works and Discovery: Raman’s contributions to science extended beyond his groundbreaking discovery of the 'Raman Effect'. He established the Indian Journal of Physics in 1926, serving as its editor.

He was also instrumental in founding the Indian Academy of Sciences, where he played a pivotal role as its President since its inception. Additionally, he presided over the Current Science Association in Bangalore, responsible for publishing ‘Current Science’ in India.

Raman’s life-changing moment came in 1928 when he wrote an article on the theory on the theory of musical instruments, which set the stage for his ultimate discovery of the 'Raman Effect'. This discovery, made on 28 February 1928, showed that when light passes through a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes its wavelength, a phenomenon that came to be known as the 'Raman Effect'.

This groundbreaking research earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930, making him the first Indian to receive this prestigious honour. CV Raman’s research extended to various spheres, including the diffraction of light by acoustic waves of ultrasonic and hypersonic frequencies and the effects produced by X-rays on infrared vibrations in crystals exposed to ordinary light.

He also delved into the fundamental problems of crystal dynamics and conducted extensive studies on the structure and properties of diamonds, as well as the structure and optical behavior of iridescent substances such as pearls and agate. His interests ranged from the optics of colloids to electrical and magnetic anisotropy and the physiology of human vision.

Amazing facts about CV Raman:

  • CV Raman was born on November 07, 1888 in the then Madras Presidency (Tamil Nadu) in British India. His father was a professor of mathematics and physics.
  • He was just 14 years old when he started attending his B.A Class at Presidency College.
  • Raman's full name was “Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman”.
  • CV Raman was the first Asian and first non-White to receive any Nobel Prize in the sciences.
  • Raman’s father being a lecturer of Mathematics and Physics, it was ensured that he was immersed in an academic atmosphere from an early age.
  • Raman joined the Indian Finance Department in 1907 due to fewer opportunities for scientists in India. He would conduct independent research to fulfil his passion for science.
  • On a sea voyage to Europe in 1921, Raman curiously noticed the blue colour of the glaciers and the Mediterranean. He was passionate to discover the reason for the color. Once Raman returned to India, he performed several experiments regarding the scattering of light from water and transparent blocks of ice. As per the results, he established the scientific explanation for the blue colour of the sea-water and sky.
  • Not known by many but Raman had a collaborator in this experiment, KS Krishnan. Though CV Raman did not share the Nobel Prize with Krishnan due to some professional differences, the former strongly mentioned Krishnan's contributions in his Nobel acceptance speech.
  • The Nobel laurete physicist CV Raman was the first to be appointed to the post of Palit Professor of Physics in 1917 at the University of Calcutta.
  • Dr Ernest Rutherford, the discoverer of the atomic nucleus and proton, praised Raman’s spectroscopy in his 1929 presidential address to the Royal Society, which subsequently awarded Raman a knighthood in recognition of his contributions.
  • Raman is believed to have pranked Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru once. He tricked the PM into believing copper is gold using UV light rays.
  • CV Raman’s wife, Lokasundari Ammal, suggested naming their home Panchvati after the hermitage where Rama and Sita lived during their exile.
  • In 1932, Raman and Suri Bhagavantam discovered the quantum photon spin. This discovery further proved the quantum nature of light.
  • In 1933, CV Raman made history as the first Indian director of the Indian Institute of Science (IIS), a notable accomplishment during the colonial era when all IIS directors were British.
  • Raman was not only an expert on light, he also experimented with acoustics. Raman was the first person to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of Indian drums such as tabla and mridangam.
  • On his first death anniversary, the Indian Postal Service published a commemorative stamp of Sir C V Raman with the reading of his spectroscopy and a diamond in the background. He was also awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1954.
  • The Nobel laureate was distrustful of government involvement and had a strong aversion to project reports that required him to submit regular updates on the institute’s activities to funders. He firmly believed in “no-strings-attached” science and refused to accept government funding to maintain the institution’s independence.
  • The ‘Raman Effect’ is considered significant in analysing the molecular structure of chemical compounds. After a decade of its discovery, the structure of about 2,000 compounds have been studied. Thanks to the invention of the laser, the ‘Raman Effect’ has proved to be a very useful tool for scientists.
  • It is immensely surprising that Raman used equipment worth merely Rs 200 to make this discovery. The Raman Effect is now examined with the help of equipment worth almost millions of rupees.
  • After the independence of India, he was selected as the first national professor of India.
  • Raman was not only an expert on light, he also experimented with acoustics. Raman was the first person to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of Indian drums such as tabla and mridangam.
  • He retired from the IISC in 1948 and established the Raman Research Institute in Bengaluru in 1949. He was the director and remained active in the institute till his death on November, 21, 1970.

CV Raman – Awards and Honors: Raman’s exceptional contributions to the field of science were widely recognised and honoured:

  • He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1924 and Knighted in 1929.
  • He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his discovery of the Raman Effect.
  • In 1941, he was awarded the Franklin medal.
  • CV Raman received the Bharat Ratna in 1954.
  • In 1957, he was honored with the Lenin Peace Prize.
  • He was also recognised as an International Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society and the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Sciences in 1998.

CV Raman – Death and Legacy: Raman’s legacy lives on through his groundbreaking discoveries and innovative research. He passed away on November 21, 1970, but his impact on the world of physics endures.

His work continues to inspire scientists and researchers, not only in India but all over the globe. CV Raman is revered as one of India’s most respected scientific minds, a pioneer who illuminated the world through his pioneering work on the nature of light.

Last Updated :Feb 28, 2024, 2:47 PM IST
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