Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman was an Indian physicist born in the former Madras Province in India (presently the state of Tamil Nadu), who carried out ground-breaking work in the field of light scattering, which earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics and was the first person in Asia to obtain said award for achievements in science.
Raman’s father was a lecturer who taught mathematics and physics in Mrs A.V. Narasimha Rao College in Visakhapatnam (then Vishakapatnam) in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and later joined Presidency College in Madras.
In the year 1917, Raman resigned from his government service after he was appointed the first Professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta. At the same time, he continued doing research at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) in Calcutta, where he became the Honorary Secretary. Raman referred to this period as the golden era of his career.
In 1926 Prof. Raman established the Indian Journal of Physics as the first editor.The second volume of the Journal published his famous article “A New Radiation”,reporting the discovery of the Raman Effect.
The field of Raman spectroscopy came to be based on this phenomenon, and Ernest Rutherford referred to it in his presidential address to the Royal Society in 1929. Raman was president of the 16th session of the Indian Science Congress in 1929. He was conferred a knighthood, medals and honorary doctorates by various universities.
Raman was confident that he would win the Nobel Prize in Physics as well but was disappointed when the Nobel Prize went to Owen Richardson in 1928 and to Louis de Broglie in 1929. He was so confident of winning the prize in 1930 that he booked tickets in July, even though the awards were to be announced in November, and would scan each day’s newspaper for announcement of the prize, tossing it away if it did not carry the news.
In 1933, Venkatraman became the first Indian director of the Indian Institute of Science. In 1954 he was awarded the Bharat Ratna.
At end of October 1970, Raman collapsed in his laboratory; the valves of his heart had given away.