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Biography of Vikram A Sarabhai (1919-1971)

Vikram Sarabhai was the main personality behind the launching of India’s first satellite, ‘Aryabhatta’. He is considered as the ‘father of the Indian Space Programme’. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was among the few scientists who devoted their entire life to the progress of science in our country. Vikram Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919 at Ahmedabad, Gujarat to Shri Ambalal Sarabhai and Smt. Sarladevi Sarabhai, in a family of Industrialists. His father Ambalal Sarabhai was an affluent industrialist and owned many mills in Gujarat. Vikram Sarabhai was one of the eight children of Ambalal and Sarla Devi. He had his…

Biography of Upendranath Brahmachari

Upendranath was a famous Indian scientist and a leading medical practitioner of his time. He was a remarkable personality. He worked from 1915 on a cure of Kala-azar, a dreaded killer in Bengal and Assam. The traditional treatment by antimony (stibium in Latin) was long, tedious and painful, and therefore impracticable. In 1920, Brahmachari discovered and organic compound of antimony, which he called Urea Stibamine. It had no painful effects and determined an effective substitute for the other antimony containing compounds in the treatment of Kala-azar (Visceral Leishmaniasis ), which is caused by a protozoon, leishmania donovani. It was used…

Biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920 )

Srinivasa Ramanujan was one of the India’s greatest mathematical geniuses. He made substantial contributions to the analytical theory of numbers and worked on ‘elliptic functions’, ‘continued fractions’, and ‘infinite series’. Srinivasa Ramanujan was a great Mathematician, who became world famous at the age of twenty-six. He was born on December 22, 1887 in his grandmother’s house in Erode, a small village of Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. He was the son of K. Srinivasa Iyengar & Komalatammal. His father worked in Kumbakonam as a clerk in a cloth merchant’s shop and his mother was a housewife and also sang at local temple….

Biography of Sisir Kumar Mitra (1890 – 1963)

Sisir Kumar Mitra was an Indian physicist. He is the doyen of radio science in India. He is known for his seminal work on ionosphere. The ionosphere, which extends from about 60 km to several thousand kilometers high in the atmosphere, plays a major role in long distance radio communications. The air in the ionosphere is ionized. Sisir Kumar Mitra was born at Konnagar, a suburb of Calcutta, on 24 October 1890. He was the third son of Joy Krishna Mitra & Sarat Kumari. His father was a school teacher and mother was a doctor in Lady Dufferin Hospital at…

Biography of Sir M. Visvesvaraya (1888-1970)

Sir M. Visvesvaraya was an eminent engineer and statesman and played a key role in building of modern India. Architect of Krishnaraja Sagar Dam; devised steel doors to stop the wasteful flow of water in dams. Today perhaps many people know Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya as one of the ablest engineers of India and creator of the Vrindavan Garden but very few really know his role as one of the builders of modern India, his role in industrializing India, his views on education and planning and so on. He was a real Karmayogi. Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, popularly known as Sir M.V., was…

Biography of Sir J J Thomson (1856- 1940)

Sir Joseph John Thomson was a British physicist and Nobel laureate. He is well known for the discovery of the electron and of isotopes and also the invention of the mass spectrometer. He was awarded with Nobel Prize in Physics in 1906 for the discovery of the electron and for his work on the conduction of electricity in gases. Thomson was born on December 18, 1856 at Cheetham Hill near the industrial city of Manchester in England. His father sold rare books as a bookseller. This was their traditional family business. There was no scientific background at home, except his…

Biography of Sir James Chadwick (1891-1974)

James Chadwick, the discoverer of neutron, a constituent of the nucleus of an atom, was born in Manchester, England on October 20, 1891. He was the eldest son of J J Chadwick. After completing his schooling from the local school he joined the famed Victoria University in Manchester. He acquired his post-graduate degree in 1911. He received a scholarship and went to Charlotenberg, Germany for further study in 1913. Chadwick studied under Hans Geiger at the Technische Hochschule, Berlin. When the World War I broke out in 1914, the Germans captured him and sent him to a labour camp. There…

Biography of Sir Humphry Davy (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829)

Humphry Davy was born in Penzance village, Cornwall, South Western part of England, On December 17, 1778. His poor father would make a living out of wood crafting, carpentry and farming. Humphry had his scholling in Penzance and later, he had higher education from nearby Truro. Soon after completion of his primary education, Davy went to a local chemist Thomas Beddoes of Bristol, who trained him in making drugs. Beddoes had a personal library where Davy would spend his free time, reading books. He cultivated great interest in reading here and specifically, in chemistry. He also experimented on the basis…

Biography of Sir Edward Jenner (1749 – 1823)

Dr. Edward Jenner was the inventor of the smallpox vaccine. He was born on May 17, 1749 in Gloucestershire, England. His father was a vicar. Edward was admitted to the local primary school, where he turned out to be a good student especially interest in biology. Gradually, He began studying to become a doctor. At that time it was customary for a medical student to assist an experienced doctor and seek his guidance. He sought training under the experienced surgeon Dr Daniel Ludlow. At 21, Jenner Joined the St. George Hospital in London to undergo training under the great surgeon…

Biography of Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar (1894 – 1955 )

Dr. Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was a great Scientist of India. He was known as “The Father of Research Laboratories”. He is remembered for having established various chemical laboratories like central Food Processing Technological Institute at Mysore, National chemical laboratory at Pune (Maharastra), the National Metallurgical Laboratory at Jamshedpur and many others. Bhatnagar was born on February 21, 1894 in Shahpur, now in Pakistan. His father, Parmeshwari Sahai Bhatnagar passed away when he was only eight months old. He spent his childhood in the house of his maternal grandfather, who was an engineer, where he developed an interest in science and…

Biography of Thomas Alva Edison ( 11th Feb 1847 – 18 Oct 1931 )

The great scientist who invented the electric light bulb and many other important devices – Thomas Alva Edison, was born on February 11, 1847, at Milan, Ohio, in the United State of America. He came from a poor family. His parents admitted him to the local primary school. This inquisitive child always posed questions to his teachers. But his teachers instead of providing him with answers considered him stupid and rejected him. Finally, his self-respecting mother stopped his schooling and took upon herself the task of teaching him. Coupled with this, Edison loved to experiment. He would experiment with any…

Biography of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910-1995)

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, a ‘Nobel Laureate’ in physics and one of the greatest astrophysicists of modern times was born on October 19, 1910 in Lahore, Punjab, British India (now in Pakistan). He was the son of Mr. C.S. Ayer and Sita Balkrishnan. His father was a civil servant, attaining a high position with the Indian railways. The Ayer had three sons and five daughters of whom Chandra was the oldest son. In 1916, the family moved to Madras where Chandra grew up. Chandrasekhar came from a highly educated South Indian family. He was the nephew of Indian Nobel Laureate Sir C.V.Raman….

Biography of Sir Isaac Newton (25th Dec. 1642 – 20th Mar. 1727)

World famous scientist Sir Isaac Newton was born at woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, England, on Christmas day in 1642. As a baby Isaac was a weakling. Having lost his father before his birth, he was born prematurely. The widowed mother lost all hope of the baby’s survival. She never had the faintest idea that this baby would one day not only become one of the world’s greatest scientists, but also live long. When Newton was two years old, his mother remarried. He was then shifted to his grandmother’s house and she raised him. This young boy engaged himself in some…

Biography of Scientist Raja Ramanna (1925-2004)

Raja Ramanna was a talented personality – an eminent nuclear physicist, a highly accomplished technologist, an able administrator, an inspiring leader, a gifted musician, a scholar of Sanskrit literature and philosophy, and above all a completed human being. He is well known for his work in “Indian Nuclear Program”. He was born on January 28, 1925 in Tumkur, Karnataka. He was the son of B. Ramanna and Rukminiamma. His father was in the judicial service of the Mysore state and earned the reputation of being a kind-hearted judge. Raja Ramanna started his studies at “Bishop Cotton Boy’s School, Bangalore. After…

Biography of Scientist Niels Bohr (1885 – 1962)

The man to present the first ever model of an atom, the fount of knowledge, Niels Henrik David Bohr was born on October 7, 1885 in Copenhagen, Denmark. His father Christian Bohr was a professor of physiology at Copenhagen University. His mother Ellen Adler Bohr came from a wealthy Jewish family prominent in Danish banking and parliamentary circles. Niels was born in his maternal family home in ‘King Georg’s Palace’, considered to be one of the prominent and majestic private homes of Copenhagen. Niels Bohr had primary, secondary and university education in Copenhagen. He was a brilliant and industrious student….

Biography of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543)

Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer who proposed that the sun was stationary in the center of the universe and the earth revolved around it. He was born on February 19, 1473, in Torun city of Poland in Europe. His was the son of Copernide and Barbara. Nicolaus was the youngest among two sons and two daughters. Torun was a big and prosperous trade centre at the time of the birth of this great scientist. His father was a scholarly magistrate of the city. Besides, he was a rich, cultured, distinguished social worker and a well-wisher of society. When…

Biography of Max Planck (1858 – 1917)

Max Planck was a German physicist and considered as the founder of the quantum theory, and thus one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century. He was a man of strong spirit and great will power Planck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918. Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck was born on April 23, 1858, in the Baltic seaport city of Kiel, Germany. Kiel was then ruled by Denmark. Max was the sixth child of a distinguished professor of law at kiel. Soon, Kiel was freed from Denmark with the German army’s help. His father then…

Biography of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)

Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and biologist. He is renowned for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and preventions of diseases. His discoveries reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and he created the first vaccine for rabies and anthrax. He was born on December 27, 1822 in the town of Dole in Eastern France. His father was in the army. After defeat of Napoleon’s army, he returned to dole. He opened a tannery there. After the birth of Louis the family moved to Arbois in the grapes growing region. His father Jean Joseph was very strong and hardworking. Even though…

Biography of Henry Cavendish (1731 – 1810)

Henry Cavendish was a British scientist & well known for the discovery of hydrogen. He was born in Nice in France on October 10, 1731. He was the son of Lord Charles Cavendish & Lady Anne Grey. He was a rich man in his time. But his lifestyle and dressing remained that of a common man. He wore mended clothes and worn out shoes. He was a happy, carefree and reserved person. In the 14th century, his grandfather and great grandmother held important positions. He was a nobleman from an aristocratic family. His ancestors included a Lord and a Chief…

Biography of Antoine Henri Becquerel (15 Dec.1852 – 25 Aug.1908)

Antoine Henri Becquerel was born in one of the world’s most beautiful city, Paris, On December 15, 1852. His father, Alexandre Edmond Becquerel (1820-91), his grandfather, Antoine Cesar Becquerel (1788-1878) and his son Jean Becquerel (1878-1953) too, were all scientists. Thus, Henri was born in a well-educated and cultured family of scientists. After his early schooling at the Lycee Louis-Le-Grand, Henri received his formal scientific education at the Ecole Polytechnique (1872-74) and had engineering training at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees (Bridges and Highways School 1874-77). In addition to his teaching and research posts, Becquerel worked as an engineer…

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