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CV Raman Day – Remembering the Nobel Laureate

Team StoryWeavers|November 7, 2018|

As a kid, you must have often asked these questions:

‘Why is the sea blue?’   ‘Why do clouds appear white in colour?’

The answer to this and many similar questions lies within the realm of “Raman Theory”. Also known as the “Raman Scattering”, the theory helps in analysing the molecular behaviours of a wide range of materials, including gases, liquids and solids.

This brilliant discovery was made on 28 February 1928 by one of the greatest physicist the world has seen – Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman, popularly known as C V Raman.

Born in the year 1888 to a Tamil family, Raman’s father instilled the love for learning into him at a very young age. His constant curiosity and his unbound love for Physics bagged him the role of a physics professor in the Calcutta University. His contributions in the world of Science and the education sector along with his discovery of the Raman Theory led him to become the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize in Science.

As the Nobel committee noted in its speech,

“The Raman effect has opened new routes to our knowledge of the structure of matter and has already given most important results.”

Today, on his 130th birth anniversary, let’s look at some the of  lesser known facts about the Nobel Laureate.

Did You Know:

  • C.V. Raman passed the matriculation from St. Aloysius Anglo-Indian High School when he was just 11 years old.
  • While CV Raman was teaching at the University of Calcutta, he continued his research at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) in Calcutta. He later became an honorary scholar at the association
  • Raman went on to serve as the first Indian director of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in 1933. He retired 15 years later and established the Raman Research Institute, which he led till the end of his days.
  • In 1927, Arthur Holly Compton was awarded the Nobel for demonstrating the light scattering effect in x-rays. Raman was convinced he could show the same in visible light, and he did.
  • The father of nuclear physics, Dr Ernest Rutherford referred to Raman spectroscopy in his presidential address to the Royal Society in 1929. Raman was acknowledged by the society and was also presented with a knighthood.
  • When asked about his inspiration behind the Nobel Prize winning optical theory, Raman said he was inspired by the “wonderful blue opalescence of the Mediterranean Sea” while he was going to Europe in 1921.
  • Raman was not only an expert on light, he also experimented with acoustics. In fact, he was the first person to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of the 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.
  • Raman was conferred the country’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1954 due to his impressive work in the field of Science
  • Today, we all celebrate February 28th as the National Science Day, honouring his discovery of the Raman Effect.

Raman believed that if you ask the right questions ‘nature will open the doors to her secrets’. On this day, we hope you find the inspiration to unlock your highest potential and never quench your thirst for knowledge!

Like this story? Read similar stories at The Learning Tree.

About the Author


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Tanaya Goswami

Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at storyweavers@byjus.com if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!

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