Tuesday, February 28, 2012

C. R. Rao (Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao)

Dr. Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao is the famous scientist of India. Currently he is a Professor emeritus at Penn state University. He was born on 10th September 1920 in Hadagalli, in the state of Karnataka, South India. He was the son of C.D. Naidu and A. Laxmikantamma. Currently he is a Professor emeritus at Penn state University.

C. R. Rao is the son of C.D. Naidu and A. Laxmikantamma. After the retirement of his father, whole family settled down in Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. From his earliest years, Rao had an interest in mathematics and decided to meke career in mathematics. He studied in schools at Gudur, Nuzvid, Nandigama and Visakhapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh. After completion of high school, he joined the Mrs. A.V.N. College at Vishakapatnam for the Intermediate course. He completed his M.A. in Mathematics from Andhra University with first rank in 1941, and M.S. degree in statistics from Calcutta University with first class in 1943. He married Bhargavi who has two master’s degrees, one from Banaras Hindu University in History and another from the University of Illinois, USA, in Psychology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Teacher’s Training. She worked as a professor of psychology at Jadavpur University, Kolkata for a number of years.

Dr. C. R. Rao started his working career with Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) at Calcutta as a research scholar in1943. He was invited to work on a project at the Museum of Anthropology and Archeology at Cambridge University, UK, which required the statistical methodology developed by P.C. Mahalanobis,the founder of ISI. Based on the work he did, he acquired his Ph.D. in 1948 from Cambridge University with R.A. Fisher, the father of modern statistics, as his thesis advisor. After a few years, in 1965, the university awarded him the prestigious Sc.D. degree based on a peer review of his research contributions to statistics. He left ISI in 1978 and joined the University of Pittsburgh. He worked there for eight year and after that he moved to the Pennsylvania State University as Eberly Professor of Statistics, where he continues to work as the Director of the Center for Multivariate Analysis (CMA).

The C.R. Rao Awarded for statistics was instituted in his honour, to be given once in two years. In 2002, he was awarded the National Medal of Science of the U.S.A. The advance Institute of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science in the Osmania University Campus have been named after him. Times of India declared on dated 31 December 1988 that C. R. as one of the 10 top Scientist of India.

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Dr. C R Rao Photo

Dr. C R Rao and his wife with J S Rao family

Indian Scientist C R Rao wallpaper

Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao photo

C.V. Raman (Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman) 1888-1970

Dr. C.V. Raman was one of the greatest scientists of India, who was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’, which is named after him. Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman, commonly known as C.V. Raman was born on November 7, 1888 at Tiruchirapalli in Tamillandu. His mother tongue was Tamil. He was the second children of Chandrasekhar Iyer and Pravathi Ammal. His father was a lecturer in mathematics and physics. Raman was a very brilliant student right from his childhood.

At an early age, Raman moved to the city of Vishakhapatnam, which is situated in state of Andhra Pradesh, where his father accepted a position at the Mr. A V N College. Raman’s academic brilliance was established at a very young age. At the age of twelve, he finished his matriculation education and entered Mr. A V N College and two year later moved to the prestigious presidency college in Madras (Chennai). When he was the age of fifteen he finished at the head of the class too received B. A. with honours in physics and English. In those days, it was a system of government that students who did well academically were typically sent to abroad (England) for additional studies. Because of Raman’s poor health, he was not allowed to go abroad and he continued his studies at the same college. In 1907, barely seventeen, Raman received his Master degree with honors. He got first position in the University in M.A. In the same year, he married with Lokasundari Ammal and with whom he had one son, Radhakrishnan.

He completed his education in Visakhapatanam and Madras (Chennai). After getting top ranking in the Financial Civil Service competitive Exam, he was appointed as Deputy Accountant general in Calcutta. At the time of his graduation, there were few opportunities for scientists in India. This forced him to accept a position with the Indian Civil Services as an Assistant Accountant General in Calcutta. While there, he was able to sustain his interest in science by working, in his remaining time, in the laboratories of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. He studied the physics of stringed instruments and Indian drums.

In 1917, he was offered the professor of Physics at the Calcutta University, and he decided to accept this opportunity. After 15 years service at the Calcutta University, he left that job and shifted to Bangalore and became the Director of the Indian Institute of Science, where two years later he continued as a professor of physics. In 1947, the new Government of Independent India appointed him as the first National Professor. He also worked in the field of magnetic attraction and theory of musical instruments. He worked out the theory of transverse vibration of bowed strings, because of superposition velocities. This does a better job in explaining bowed string vibration over Helmholtzs approach.

Professor C V Raman was also the first to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of the Indian drums such as the tabla and the mridanga. In 1930, for the first time in its history, an Indian scholar, educated entirely in India has received highest honour in science, the ‘Nobel Prize’ in physics. In 1943, he founded ‘Raman Research Institute’, near Bangalore. His discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ made a very distinctive contribution to Physics. He was also conferred the hishest title of ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1954. The ‘Raman Effect’ was a demonstration of the ‘Collision’ effect of light bullets (Photons) passing through a transparent medium, whether solid, liquid or gaseous. Raman was also awarded the ‘Lenin Peace Prize’ in 1957. India celebrates National Science day on 28th February every year to commemorate Raman’s discovery.

He retired from the Indian Institute in 1948 and after one year, he established the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore, served as its director and remained active there until his death, at the age of eighty-two. Sir Venkata Raman died on Nevember 21, 1970 at Bangalore, India. We should proud on him.

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Professor C. V. Raman

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Aryabhatta Scientist (476- 550)

Aryabhatta is the first of the great astronomers of the classical age of India. He was born in Kerala, South India in 476 AD but later lived in Kusumapura, which his commentator Bhaskara I (629 AD) identifies with pataliputra (modern Patna) in Bihar. His first name “Arya” is hardly a south Indian name while “Bhatt” (or Bhatta) is a typical north Indian name even found today specially among the trader community.

Aryabhatta studied at the University of Nalanda. One of his major works was Aryabhatiya written in 499 AD. His book aryabhatiya covers astronomical and mathematical theories in which the earth was taken to be spinning on its axis and the periods of the planets were given with respect to the sun. Aryabhatta believes that the moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight and he also believes that the orbits of the planets are ellipses. He correctly explains the causes of eclipses of the Sun and the Moon. His value for the length of the year at 365 days 6 hours 12 minutes 30 seconds is remarkably close to the true value which is about 365 days 6 hours. In this book, the day was reckoned from one sunrise to the next, whereas in his Aryabhata-siddhanta he took the day from one midnight to another. There was also difference in some astronomical parameters.

Aryabhatta was the first to explain how the Lunar Eclipse and the Solar Eclipse happened. Aryabhatta also gave close approximation for Pi. In the Aryabhatiya, he wrote-“Add 4 to 100, multiply by 8, then add 62000 and then divided by 20000. The result is approximately the circumference of a circle of diameter twenty thousand. By this rule the relation of the circumference to diameter is given.” In other words, p ~ 62832/20000= 3.1416, correct to four rounded – off decimal places. Aryabhatta was the first astronomers to make an attempt at measuring the earth’s circumference. Aryabhata accurately calculated the earth’s circumference as 24835 miles, which was only 0.2 % smaller than the actual value of 24,902 miles. This approximation remained the most accurate for over a thousand years.

Aryabhatiya was translated into Latin in the 13th century. Through this translation, European mathematician got to know methods for calculating the areas of triangles, volumes of spheres as well as square and cube root. Aryabhatta’s ideas about eclipses and the sun being the sources of moonlight may not have caused much of an impression on European astronomers as by then they had come to know of these facts through the observations of Copernicus and Galileo. Considering that Aryabhatta discovered these facts 1500 years ago, and 1000 years before Copernicus and Galileo makes him an early pioneer of this field. Aryabhatta – Siddhanta were reliable for practical purpose of fixing the Panchanga (Hindu Calendar) . He died in India.

India's great scientists Aryabhatta

Statue of Aryabhata on the grounds of IUCAA, Pune.

Bhaskara I ( 600 - 680 )

Bhaskara was an Indian mathematician of the 7th century, who probably lived between c. 600- c.680. There is very little information about Bhaskara’s life. It is said that he was born near Saurashtra in Gujrat and died in Ashmaka, Andhra Pradesh, India. His father in astronomy educated him. Bhaskara is considered a follower of Aryabhatta I and one of the most renowned scholars of Aryabhatta’s astronomical school.

Bhaskara wrote two treatises, the Mahabhaskariya (Great book of Bhaskara ) and the Laghubhaskariya (Small book of Bhaskara). He also wrote commentaries on the work of Aryabhatta I entitled Aryabhatiyabhasya. The Mahabhaskariya comprises of eight chapters dealing with mathematical astronomy. The formula which Bhaskara gives is amazingly accurate and use of the formula leads to a maximum error of less than one percent. The formula is :

Sine x = 16x ( ð – x ) / [ 5 ð2 – 4x ( ð – x) ]

Bhaskara perpetual motion wheel.

Great scientist Subhash Mukhopadhyay

The Great scientist Subhash Mukhopadhyay was born in Calcutta in India. He was educated at the Scottish Church College and after that he joined at the Calcutta Medical College, which was then affiliated to the University of Calcutta. His life and death has been the subject of countless newspaper reviews and a Bollywood film directed Tapan Sinha entitled “Ek Doctor ki Maut” (Death of a Physician). Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay created history when he became the first physician in India and second in the world after British physician Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards to perform the procedure to produce the test tube baby “ Durga” (alias Kanupriya Agarwal ) on October 3, 1978.

Facing social ostracisation, bureaucratic negligence, reprimand, and insult instead of recognition from the Marxist West Bengal Government and refusal of the Government of India to allow him to attend International conferences, he committed suicide in his Calcutta residence in 1981. His feat has been given belated recognition as the Indian physician who in 1986 was “officially” regarded as being the first doctor to perform in-vitro fertilization in India. His reinstatement to glory is attributable to Professor T.C. Anand Kumar who is credited to be the mastermind behind India’s second (officially the first) test tube baby. Professor Kumar took the crown off his own head after reviewing personal notes of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay. Professor Sunit Mukherji, who was a one time colleague of Dr. Mukhopadhyay, ably helped him. Professor Kumar is currently active in setting up a Research Institute in reproductive biology in memory of Dr. Mukhopadhyay.

Test tube baby Kanupriya Agarwal ( Durga)

Prafulla Chandra Roy (1861 - 1944)

Prafulla Chandra Roy is one of the famous scientists of India and also founder of Bengal chemical & Pharmaceuticals. This was the first pharmaceutical company of India. Considered as one of the components of the Bengal Renaissance, Prafulla Chandra Roy was an eminent scientist, an exemplary entrepreneur, a patriot and a passionate teacher.

Prafulla Chandra Roy was born on August 2 , 1861 in Raruli- Katipara village, in the district of Khulna (Now in Bangladesh) and died on June 16, 1944. His father, Harish Chandra Roy who was a landlord with liberal views belonged to a wealthy cultured family to Calcutta so that his sons could have higher education. Here, Prafulla Chandra was admitted to the Hare School. He took a great interest in books and read a vast number of them. But a severe attack of dysentery forced him to leave the school. The disease was slowly overcome, but it permanently injured his health; he became a life-long sufferer from chronic indigestion and sleeplessness. When barely ten years old, he learnt Latin and Greek. He also studied the histories of England, Rome and Spain. Two years later, Prafulla Chandra resumed his studies and in 1874 joined the Albert School. But Prafulla Chandra suddenly left for his village, without sitting for the examinations. In the village he mixed with the simple villagers and shared their joys and sorrows. He helped them in many ways.

 Scientist Prafulla Chandra Roy

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