List of Indian Scientists
For a society looking to establish itself among other societies and contribute to the betterment of the world, the intellectuals of society must always be encouraged. Among those intellectuals, the scientists are a critical part and thus play an important role in the progress of that society or the country. India has seen several extraordinary and passionate scientists, ranging from the fifth-century genius Aryabhatta to the modern missile man of India, APJ Abdul Kalam. This article attempts to present a list of some of the most notable scientists from India.
List of Indian Scientists
1. Vikram Sarabhai
India's space program was the best performer in the last decade, made several groundbreaking discoveries, and launched some of the toughest space missions at a very low cost compared to other Global space agencies. Vikram Sarabhai was one of the greatest pioneers and architects in the foundation of the Indian space program. He was scientific by mind and a patriot by heart who helped pave the path for future space missions and discoveries.
2. Homi Jahangir Bhabha
Like the great Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Jahangir Bhabha was also a great visionary. He was a nuclear physicist by profession and one of the most intelligent minds in the field of nuclear energy. Homi J Bhabha is best remembered for being the father of the Nuclear program in India. It was a result of the hard work and dedication of Homi J Bhabha that India completed the trials of its nuclear energy-powered weapons to make the country's security even stronger. The National Atomic Energy Institute is named after Homi J Bhabha as Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC).
3. APJ Abdul Kalam
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, commonly known as APJ Abdul Kalam, is among the most popular personalities of modern India. He was born in the town of Rameshwaram, located in the state of Tamil Nadu. Abdul Kalam was born in a very financially unstable family and thus started working odd jobs from a very young age. He was always interested in education and thus continued his studies and job.
After completing his school, APJ Abdul Kalam continued his further education in physics and aerospace engineering. Then, he served as an engineer in Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for more than four decades. Also, Abdul Kalam played a scientifically and politically important role in the Nuclear Tests conducted by India in 1998. Abdul Kalam was amongst the main characters involved in advancing ballistic missiles and launch vehicle technology. Due to this, APJ Abdul Kalam is also referred to as the "Missile Man of India." Later, he was elected as the President of India in 2002. Moreover, Abdul Kalam was also awarded Bharat Ratna in 1997.
4. CV Raman
The next scientist on this esteemed list of Indian scientists is the Nobel Prize winner, CV Raman. The full name of CV Raman was Chandrashekara Venkata Raman. He was a physicist who mainly worked in light scattering and discovered the Raman Effect associated with the scattering of light. Also, the day of February 28 on which CV Raman discovered the Raman Effect is annually celebrated as the National Science Day in India.
Moreover, CV Raman won the prestigious Noble Prize in Physics in 1930, and he had already been presented with a knighthood by the British Queen in 1929. Also, he was the first recipient of Bharat Ratna by the government of India, along with several other prominent personalities of that time.
5. Satyendra Nath Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose was active in the fields of Mathematics and Physics. He specialized in theoretical physics, which later helped him gain worldwide popularity. Satyendra Nath Bose got his breakthrough success in his work in quantum mechanics around the 1930s. Later, he collaborated with Albert Einstein himself to research the development of the Bose-Einstein statistics and the Bose-Einstein condensate. For his extraordinary work in Physics, Bose was awarded the prestigious award of Padma Vibhushan in 1954 by the Indian government.
When preparing a list of Indian scientists, it is a must to add Aryabhatta. He was a mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. Aryabhatta did extensive research in astronomy and was among the earliest persons to state about the earth's round shape and rotation on its axis. Moreover, Aryabhatta is famous for his innovative discovery of zero, the backbone of modern mathematics. The most work of Aryabhatta was Aryabhattiya, in which he has discussed trigonometry, geometry, algebra, and number theory.
7. Meghnad Saha
Another brilliant Indian scientist, Meghnad Saha, was born on October 6, 1893, in the Bengal Presidency during the British Rule in India. He was a globally renowned astrophysicist who contributed to astrophysics by developing the Saha Ionization equation. The Saha Ionization equation describes the physical and chemical conditions of stars. With the discovery of the Saha Ionization equation, it is now possible to relate the spectral classes of the stars to the actual temperatures.
8. Srinivasa Ramanujan
Srinivasa Ramanujan was no less than a mathematical prodigy of modern times. He was a Mathematician born in the Madras Presidency of British India. Ramanujan belonged to a lower-middle-class household and thus did not get many opportunities to get any formal training in the subject of Mathematics. Still, he solved some of the most difficult mathematical problems of that time, previously considered unsolvable. Ramanujan worked with the British mathematician G.H. Hardy for a brief time at the Trinity College, Cambridge.
Moreover, he contributed to number theory, continued fractions, mathematical analysis, and infinite series. Also, Ramanujan provided many theorems and mathematical concepts which contemporary scientists did not understand, but some of these concepts given by Ramanujan have been proven right recently. The Royal Society of London awarded Ramanujan a fellowship for his groundbreaking discoveries. After struggling with diverse diseases, Srinivasa Ramanujan died at the young age of 32.
Subrahmanyan Chandrashekhar is the next Indian scientist on this list who achieved great success and gained global recognition for his discoveries. He was an astrophysicist born in Lahore of, British India. The Chandrashekhar Limit is a unit named after him. For his excellent work involving theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars, S. Chandrashekhar received the Nobel Prize in 1983 along with fellow astrophysicist William A. Fowler.
Other than Astrophysics, S. Chandrashekhar was involved in the study of Fluid Dynamics, Quantum Theory, General Relativity, Radiation. An interesting fact about S.Chandrashekhar is that the great Indian scientist C.V. Raman was the paternal uncle of Chandrashekhar.
10. Venkataraman Radhakrishnan
Venkataraman Radhakrishnan was a space scientist known as the father of Observational Astronomy in India. He was born in 1929 in the Madra Presidency of British India. Radhakrishnan was granted membership of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Royal Swedish Academy gave the membership to him because of his contributions to Astronomy and Astrophysics. The Nobel Prize winner scientist C.V. Raman was the father of the Venkataraman Radhakrishnan. So, we can also say that the greatness and passion in science run in the family.
11. Har Gobind Khorana
Har Gobind Khorana was a Biochemist who did extensive research in decoding the genetic code of the nucleotides in nucleic acid. Khorana was born in the Punjab province of British India.
Har Gobind Khorana was the first recipient who received the Nobel Prize for Medicine from India. He won the Nobel Prize in 1968 along with Marshall W. Nirenberg and Robert W. Holley. After completing his Bachelor's and Master's in India, Khorana moved to England for research on a fellowship by the Indian government. Later, he moved to the United States to pursue further research progress and became a U.S. citizen. He died in 2011 in Massachusetts at the age of 89.
12. Asima Chatterjee
Asima Chatterjee was an Indian Chemist who paved the path for the entry of many other women scientists in the country. Asima Chatterjee was born in 1917 in the Bengal Presidency of British India. She did most of her research work in organic chemistry and phytomedicine.
The most notable contributions made by Asima Chatterjee include:
Also, after completing her Bachelor's and Master's degree, Asima Chatterjee became the first woman to receive the degree of a doctorate from an Indian University. One of the most distinguishing achievements of Asima Chatterjee includes the appointment as the first female General President of the Indian Science Congress Association. Later, Asima was also appointed as a Member of the Rajya Sabha by the President.
13. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, commonly known as P.C. Mahalanobis, was an Indian Mathematician and Statistician. He was among the few scientists who studied anthropometry in India. Mahalanobis was deeply fascinated by Statistics, and thus he published several research papers on Statistics. The biggest achievement of Mahalanobis came when he invented the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure.
Moreover, P.C. Mahalanobis was also a member of the first planning commission, which the first independent government of India set up. Also, P.C. Mahalanobis played a role of utmost importance in establishing the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) on December 17, 1931. So, P.C. Mahalanobis was honored with "Father of Modern Statistics" in India.
Charaka, also known as "Father of Indian Medicine," was an Indian scientist and among the biggest contributors to the development of Ayurveda. Charaka was the royal physician in the court of King Kanishka.
He has described digestion, metabolism, immunity, causes of diseases in his book "Charaka Samhita". This book by Charaka served as a guiding light for many physicians in the future. The book also explained several ayurvedic medicines and their uses.
One of the most brilliant minds of Ancient India, Bhaskaracharya, was a mathematician and an astronomer. He was born around 1114 AD in the present-day state of Karnataka.
He compiled some of his best works in the book known as "Siddhanta Shiromani". The book contained several advanced concepts from the field of Lilavati (Arithmetic), Beejaganit (Algebra), Goladhyaya (Sphere), Grahaganit (maths of planets). Moreover, Bhaskaracharya also made some initial progress in differential calculus.
Brahmgupta was an Indian scientist who was born in 598 CE. He studied the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and General Physics. Brahmgupta is best known for his book Brahm Sputa Siddhantika.
This book provided methods for solving linear and quadratic equations, evaluating the square root of numbers, using 0, etc. In astronomy, Brahmgupta devised an accurate method to predict a solar and lunar eclipse, the position of heavenly bodies, etc. Thus, it will be correct to say that Brahmgupta was among the most impactful and influential scientists.