Famous Indian Physicists

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 1 
C.V. Raman
(Physicist)
C.V. Raman
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Birthdate: November 7, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tiruchirappalli, Madras Province
Died: November 21, 1970
Indian physicist C.V. Raman earned the Nobel Prize in Physics after discovering the Raman effect. He was the first director of the IISc and founded the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Raman Research Institute. He destroyed his Bharat Ratna medal in protest against Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies on science.
 2 
Jagadish Chandra Bose
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Birthdate: November 30, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bikrampur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh)
Died: November 23, 1937

Indian physicist, biologist, and plant physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose revolutionized science with his research on how plants and animals react to external stimuli. He founded the Bose Institute, made pioneering contribution to the field of radio and microwave optics, and also penned one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

 3 
Homi Bhabha
(Indian physicist)
Homi Bhabha
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Birthdate: October 30, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Died: January 24, 1966

Padma Bhushan-winning physicist Homi Bhabha revolutionized the Indian nuclear program singlehandedly. Born into an affluent family, he was educated at Cambridge. Initially geared toward a career in mechanical engineering, he later drifted to physics, eventually contributing to the formation of TIFR. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is named after him.

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 4 
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
(Astrophysicist Known for his 'Theoritical Studies of the Physical processes of importance to the Structure and Evolution of the Stars')
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
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Birthdate: October 19, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Died: August 21, 1995

Remembered for his varied contribution to astrophysics, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is perhaps best known for his work on the evolution of massive stars. Today known as Chandrasekhar limit, it contributed to final understanding of supernovas, neutron stars, and black holes. A prolific writer, he also did significant work on energy transfer by radiation in stellar atmospheres and convection on solar surface.

Satyendra Nath Bose
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Birthdate: January 1, 1894
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: February 4, 1974

Best known for working with Albert Einstein to form Bose–Einstein statistics, Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose was a master of quantum mechanics. He played the esraj, loved poetry, and had mastered quite a few languages. The Padma Vibhushan winner was also made a Fellow of The Royal Society.

 6 
Meghnad Saha
(Astrophysicist)
Meghnad Saha
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Birthdate: October 6, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kaliakair Upazila, Bangladesh
Died: February 16, 1956

Indian astrophysicist Meghnad Saha is best remembered for developing the thermal ionization equation. A grocer’s son, he relied on merit alone to excel in academics and eventually became a professor at the universities of Allahabad and Calcutta. He was also a Lok Sabha MP and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 7 
Vikram Sarabhai
(Scientist)
Vikram Sarabhai
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Birthdate: August 12, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ahmedabad, India
Died: December 30, 1971

Padma Bhushan- and Padma Vibhushan-winning Indian scientist Vikram Sarabhai was born into the famous Sarabhai family of industrialists who were associated with the Indian Independence Movement. He made major contributions to India’s nuclear power and space research initiatives, developed textile research in India, and helped set up IIM-Ahmedabad.

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 8 
Abdul Qadeer Khan
(Nuclear Physicist, Metallurgical Engineer)
Abdul Qadeer Khan
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Birthdate: April 1, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: October 10, 2021

Pakistani engineer Abdul Qadeer Khan was a major figure in the development of his country’s nuclear plans. His research also focused on uranium enrichment. He was later apparently involved in transfer of nuclear technology to Iran, among other countries, but was pardoned by then-president Pervez Musharraf.

 9 
Rajnath Singh
(Politician)
Rajnath Singh
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Birthdate: July 10, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chandauli district

The current Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh has previously held other important portfolios, such as home affairs and agriculture. He has also been a BJP president and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Born into a farmer’s family, he worked as a physics lecturer before he joined the RSS.

 10 
Jayant Narlikar
(Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Scientist, University teacher, Science fiction writer)
Jayant Narlikar
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Birthdate: July 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolhapur

Born to a math professor father and a Sanskrit scholar mother, Astrophysicist and IUCAA professor Jayant Narlikar grew up to collaborate with Sir Fred Hoyle, leading to the conformal gravity theory, also known as the Hoyle-Narlikar theory. He has won the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan and penned sci-fi novels, too.

 11 
Narinder Singh Kapany
(Former physicist best known for his work on fiber optics)
Narinder Singh Kapany
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Birthdate: October 31, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moga, Punjab, India
Died: December 4, 2020

The pioneer of fiber optics, Indian-American physicist Narinder Singh Kapany had over 100 patents in his name. He was the first to send images through fiber optics and also worked on areas such as laser technology and solar energy. He and his wife also established the California-based Sikh Foundation.

 12 
E. C. George Sudarshan
(Physicist, University teacher)
E. C. George Sudarshan
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Birthdate: September 16, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kottayam district

Padma Vibhushan winner and nine-time Nobel Prize nominee theoretical physicist E. C. George Sudarshan was born in India but moved to the U.S. to study at the University of Rochester. He later joined Harvard and made ground-breaking discoveries in topics such as quantum optics, tachyons, and the quantum Zeno effect.

 13 
Udupi Ramachandra Rao
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Birthdate: March 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Udupi district, Karnataka, India
Died: July 24, 2017
 14 
Raja Ramanna
(Former physicist who is best known for his role in India's nuclear program during its early stages)
Raja Ramanna
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Birthdate: January 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mysore, Karnataka, India
Died: September 24, 2004

Raja Ramanna was an Indian nuclear physicist, remembered for his role in the development of India’s nuclear weapons program. Beginning his career under Homi Bhabha, he eventually served as the director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, overseeing India’s first nuclear weapons test in 1974.  Meanwhile he also served as the secretary for defense research and later headed Atomic Energy Commission.

 15 
Ashoke Sen
(Physicist)
Ashoke Sen
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Birthdate: July 15, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolkata

Ashoke Sen is an Indian theoretical physicist whose immense contribution to string theory has earned him accolades and respect around the world. The recipient of several prestigious awards like the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, Sen also serves as a professor at several prestigious institutions like the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Korea Institute for Advanced Study.

 16 
Tathagat Avatar Tulsi
(Physicist and a child prodigy.)
Tathagat Avatar Tulsi
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Birthdate: September 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Patna, Bihar

Considered as a child prodigy, Tathagat Avatar Tulsi is an Indian physicist, who finished high school at the age nine, earned his B.Sc. at eleven and M.Sc. at twelve. At twenty-one, he earned his PhD and in the following year joined IIT Mumbai as Assistant Professor on contract, where he worked until he lost his job due to bad health.  

 17 
Yash Pal
(Scientist)
Yash Pal
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Birthdate: November 26, 1926
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Punjab, Pakistan
Died: July 24, 2017
 18 
Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri
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Birthdate: September 14, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Barisal
Died: June 18, 2005

Indian physicist Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri laid down the Raychaudhuri equation, named after him. The celebrated Presidency College professor was a made a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences. He would always be dressed in his simple attire of white dhoti-kurta, even when he taught in the U.S. universities.

 19 
G. N. Ramachandran
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Birthdate: October 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ernakulam
Died: April 7, 2001

G. N. Ramachandran was an Indian physicist. His creation of the Ramachandran plot to better understand peptide structure has been playing a significant role in the field of protein conformation. He is also credited with founding the Molecular Biophysics Unit which is currently situated at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). 

 20 
Sekhar Basu
(Scientist)
Sekhar Basu
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Birthdate: September 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India
Died: September 24, 2020

Sekhar Basu was an Indian nuclear scientist credited with playing a major role in building the nuclear reactor for INS Arihant, India's first nuclear-powered submarine. He is also credited with building the Indian Neutrino Observatory in Theni and nuclear waste recycling plants in Kalpakkam and Tarapur. In 2014, he was honored with the Padma Shri award.

 21 
Abhas Mitra
(physicist, astronomer)
Abhas Mitra
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Birthdate: June 3, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: India

Abhas Mitra is an Indian astrophysicist who has gained popularity for challenging several cosmological concepts related to black holes and the Big Bang by popular physicists and cosmologists including Stephen Hawking. His article on black holes, which was published in 2000, challenged Hawking's theory. Hawking would later accept his blunder almost 13 years later.   

How would have life been without the invention of the mobile phone? Would communication be as rapid and rampant as it is today? What if light bulb was never invented? Would you have known the universe like you do today had scientists not researched on it? From the humble light bulb to the magnanimous space explorations, scientists have given us numerous gifts of life which we often take for granted. Had it not been for the great minds, life wouldn’t have been this easy and technology this advanced! It is to these inordinate and prodigious talents that we owe much of our existence. This segment commemorates the offerings by great Indian physicists whose contribution is simply immeasurable. CV Raman was a pioneer of light effect. He was the first to discover that light changes its wavelength after traversing from a transparent material. It is for his work on scattering of light that he was bestowed with a Nobel Prize. Homi J Bhabha was yet another noted physicist who played an important role in Quantum Theory. Venkatraman Radhakrishnan was a globally renowned astrophysicist and was famous for designing ultra-light aircraft and sailboats. Other prominent Indian physicists include Jagdish Chandra Bose, Meghnad Saha, SN Bose, S Chandrashekhar, APJ Abdul Kalam and so on. Read further to get updated information on the life and works of Indian physicists.