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Unveiling the Raman Effect: Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman’s Legacy

India has seen the rise of many scientists and intelligent minds that has gone far beyond their comfort zone and gifted fellow citizens with remarkable works and inventions. In Indian history, Bharat Ratna, Dr. C.V Raman is considered one of the most prominent names.

Dr. C.V Raman, or Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, was born in Chennai, formerly Madras, in 1888. His groundbreaking contribution to the world of physics fetched him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930. The discovery made by this scientist is popularly known to the entire world as the “Raman effect” or the “Raman scattering”. As per his discovery, light, while traversing a material transparent in nature, experiences a change in wavelength in some of the light waves.

Right from childhood, the sparks of his intelligent mind have been noticed. Coming from his father, a Physics teacher, C.V Raman was a very well performing talented student.

After passing his matriculation examination at twelve, he desired to go for higher studies outside India. But, a British surgeon advised him not to, so he returned to complete his graduation from the Presidency College in Madras.

By undergoing graduation and then master’s in Physics, this individual made many important pieces of research in this field. His research paper related to the diffraction of light even got published and earned great recognition.

In 1921, while he was on a sea voyage toward Europe on the Mediterranean Sea, his observant eyes caught a glimpse of the blue color of the glaciers.

Although a visual treat, his mind went deeper, and he kept wondering why this blue color was on the ice. On returning from his trip and after conducting various experiments, he presented to the world the reason for the blue color we see in oceans and sky.

This event was a precursor to the world-famous “Raman effect”. It was on an evening in the year 1927 December month, when he received news that Professor Compton found X-rays and won Nobel Prize for this amazing invention. The thought made Dr. Raman debate within himself that if Compton Effect is applied to X-rays, the same can even be applied to light.

To solidify his speculation, Dr. Raman used monochromatic light from an arc with mercury and made it pass through a transparent material on a spectrograph as it recorded the spectrum of light. He noticed new lines on the spectrum and termed them “Raman Lines”. This discovery gifted him the prestigious Nobel Prize in the year 1930. This discovery helped scientists understand the structure of molecules in chemical compounds.

It was during the year 1934 when Dr. Raman set up his scientific research unit in Bangalore, known as the Raman Research Institute. Until he took his last breath on the 21st of November, 1970, he immersed himself in the world of scientific research and works.

From time to time, the resolve of Indian scientists has been proved to the entire scientific world. Salute this legendary scientist for his great invention, which helped the world understand and perceive things differently.

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