Scientists of India: 10 Greatest Names You Must Know About!

Read along to find out the 10 scientists of India who have immensely contributed to the fields of science, medicine and other specialised areas.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  10 Dec 2021 5:48 AM GMT
Scientists of India: 10 Greatest Names You Must Know About!

In the words of the famous scientist Albert Einstein – "We owe a lot to the ancient Indians, teaching us how to count. Without which most modern scientific discoveries would have been impossible". It is no exaggeration that Indians have made significant contributions to the world of science, which have shaped our modern civilization. While ancient Indians laid the foundation stone for scientific development in India, many 19th and 20th Century Indian scientists put our country on the global map with their awe-inspiring inventions.
In this article, we shall talk about 10 Greatest Indian Scientists who have made ground-breaking contributions to modern science and technology in the world.

Top 10 Famous Scientists of India:

Let us now look into the list of the 10 best scientists in India and details about their inventions:

1. Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray (1861- 1944):

Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray is an eminent Indian scientist who founded the Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, the first Pharmaceutical company of India. Ray was born in 1861 in Bengal Presidency of British India and developed keen interest in the area of Chemistry during his college days. He was later awarded a fellowship in the University of Edinburgh where a finished in BS and PhD. Ray specialised in inorganic chemistry and discovered a new compound called mercurous nitrate in 1896. He was also anointed as the Father of Chemical Science in India and spearheaded the establishment of first modern Indian research school in Chemistry.

2. Sir C.V. Raman (1888-1970):

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman or C.V. Raman is one of the famous Indian scientists who made major contributions in the field of Physics. Born in 1888, C.V. Raman made important discoveries in the field of light scattering, which was later known as Raman Scattering. He also made another discovery on the scattering of light particles which was called the Raman Effect. Raman won a Nobel Prize in 1930 for both these discoveries which were of fundamental significance to physics. Infact, he was the first Asian and the first non-white to win this award in science. Raman also became the first Indian director of the Indian Institute of Science and also India's first independent National Professor.

3. Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920):

Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar is a famous Indian mathematician who made huge contributions to the field of mathematics in his 32-year lifespan. Born in 1887 to a Brahmin family in the then Madras Presidency, Ramanujan developed important theories like number theory, infinite series, continued fractions etc. He also compiled novel mathematical results like the Ramanujan Prime, Ramanujan theta function, partition formulae and mock theta functions. He published in first paper in 1911 on "Some Properties of Bernoulli's Numbers" which demonstrated his exceptional knowledge in maths at such an early age. Interesting part is that Ramanujan never got any formal training in mathematics and all his discoveries were made by sheer intuition.

4. Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974):

Satyendra Nath Bose is an iconic Indian scientist and a polymath who has expertise in multiple fields like physics, maths, chemistry, biology and even literature and music. Bose was born in 1894 in Calcutta of the then Bengal Presidency. He is best known for his collaboration with the world-famous scientist Albert Einstein in the area of Quantum Mechanism which resulted in the development of two theories – Bose-Einstein Statistics and Bose-Einstein Condensate. Renowned physicist Paul Direc coined the term "Boson' for a class of elementary subatomic particles who adhere to Bose-Einstein statistics. However, Bose did not receive a Nobel Prize even after making tremendous contributions to science.

5. Homi J. Bhaba (1909-1966):

Homi Jehengir Bhaba is one of the greatest scientists India has even produced. Homi, also known as the father of Indian Nuclear programme was born in 1909 in Bombay Presidency of the then British India. He went against his father's wishes of seeing Homi as a mechanical engineering and chased his dreams of studying Physics, particularly nuclear physics. Home published his first scientific paper on "The Absorption of Cosmic Radiation" in 1933, for which he received a doctorate. After his course in Cambridge, he joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, where he established a Cosmic Ray Research Unit. Homi was also instrumental in convincing the then government to establish a nuclear programme in India which was named the Atomic Energy Commission.

6. Subramanya Chandrasekhar (1910-1995):

Subramanya Chandrasekhar is a renowned astrophysicist who spent most of professional life the US. He was born in 1910 into a Tamil Brahmin family who resided in Lahore at the time of this birth. Chandrasekhar is the nephew of the Nobel Prize Laureate, Sir CV Raman. After finishing his college, he moved to England to pursue his higher studies, where he researched on the statistical mechanics of degenerate electron gas in white dwarf stars. In 1983, Chandrasekhar was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his studies on the "physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of stars".

7. Asima Chatterjee (1917-2006):

Asima Chatterjee is one of the renowned female scientists of India who made significant contributions in the fields of organic chemistry and phytomedicine. She was born in 1917 in British India and became the first Indian women to earn doctorate degree in Science by an Indian University. Asima shifted her focus towards natural products chemistry and developed anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs like Ayush-56 using compounds from Indian medicinal herbs. She also researched on alkaloids for 40 long years which are now used in patented drugs for prevention of cell multiplication in Cancer patients. Asima won the C.V Raman award, P.C Ray Award, and the S.S Bhatnagar award for her invaluable contributions to medical science.

8. Vikram Sarabhai (1919-1971):

Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai is one of India's most admired scientists who established the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Born into the wealthy Sarabhai family, Vikram studied in the Gujarat College in Ahmedabad and later continued his studies in the University of Cambridge, England. After earning a doctorate for his studies in "Cosmic Ray Investigations in Tropical Latitudes". The launch of Russia's Sputnik Satellite persuaded him to set up a space agency in India which led to the birth of ISRO. Vikram also assisted Homi J. Bhaba in setting up the first rocket-launching station in India and even fronted the establishment of IIM-A.

9. Salim Ali (1896-1987):

Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, popularly known as the "Bird Man of India" is an eminent ornithologist of India. Ali was the first Indian scientist to have conducted systematic surveys on birds and carried out taxonomic documentation on species of India and abroad. His interest in birds developed after accidentally discovering the rare yellow throated sparrow when he was 10 years old. During the later part of his life, Salim published many books on birds which popularised ornithology in India. He used his influence as the member of Bombay National History Society to create the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Ali was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1958 and Padma Vibhushan in 1976 for his services to the department of ornithology.

10. A.P.J Kalam (1931-2015):

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, popularly known as A.P.J. Kalam is one of the greatest scientists India has ever produced. Kalam was born in 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in Rameswaram of Tamil Nādu. He was an eminent aerospace scientist who worked at the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and ISRO. Kalam was also involved in the India's civilian space programme and made key contributions to military missile development, earning him the name "Missile Man of India". Kalam served as the 11th President of India and earned the Bharat Ratna, India's highest Civilian honour.

When we talk of famous scientists of India, it's hard to stop at these 10 distinguished personalities. There are many more scientists who made key contributions in their specialised areas and made the country proud. Who do you think is the greatest ever Indian scientist? Is it even possible to pinpoint just one?

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