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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…

Biography of Guglielmo Marconi (1874 – 1937)

Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian scientist and inventor, known for his development of Marconi’s law and a radio telegraph system, which served as the foundation for the establishment of numerous affiliated companies worldwide. He was born on April 25, 1874 in Bologna, Italy. He belonged to an affluent and cultured family, which provided him with the best of education. Marconi was a talented and polite child. Right since school days he carried out experiments and he preferred electrical experiments the most. He was allotted a room in his house which he converted into a laboratory. The room was scattered with…

Biography of Scientist Galileo Galilei (15th Feb. 1564 – 6th Jan. 1642)

Eminent astronomer, physicist and seeker of truth – Galileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564, in Pisa, a town in Italy. His father Vincenjio Galilei was a wool trader. Galileo belonged to a upper-class family, but their economic condition was not so good. He was the eldest in the family of seven brothers and sisters. His father studied music and was a music lover. Galileo inherited this trait. Since childhood he played the flute very well and was a good hand at drawing. He was an intelligent child, who designed various toys. This artistic streak made him popular among…

Biography of Enrico Fermi (1901- 1954)

Enrico Fermi was a famous Italian physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics. He was awarded with Nobel Prize in 1938 for “his discovery of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for the discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons.” Enrico Alberto Fermi was born in Rome, the capital of Italy, on September 29, 1901. His father, Alberto Fermi had no formal education, but with sheer hard work and sincerity…

Biography of Dmitri Mendeleev (1834-1907)

Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev was a Russian Chemist & inventor. He is credited as being the creator of the first version of the periodic table of elements. Using the table, he predicted the properties of elements yet to be discovered. He was born on February, 1834 at Tobolsk in Siberia, in the eastern part of Russia. The Cazar was then ruling over Russia. His father was a director of the local school. Dmitri was the fourteenth and the youngest of the siblings. Theirs was one of the leading families of Tobolsk. In 1787, Mendeleev’s grandfather has set up a printing press….

Biography of Arthur Compton (1892 – 1962)

Arthur Holly Compton was born on September 10, 1892, at Wooster, Ohio, USA. His father Elias Compton was professor of Philosophy at Wooster College, Oxford, in Ohio, and also served as priest in the church there. Arthur, the youngest of three brothers and a sister, was brought up in religious atmosphere at home. His sister Mary married a missionary. They worked and settled in Allahabad, India. Arthur’s eldest brother Karl Compton was a physicist, who had written many papers. Besides, he had done considerable research on photo electricity and the crystal structure. He was appointed president of the Massachusetts Institute…

Biography of Archimedes (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC)

Archimedes was a great mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer of his age. But generally, he is considered to be the greatest mathematician of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time. His contributions in geometry revolutionised the subject and his methods anticipated the integral calculus 2,000 years before Newton and Leibniz. He was also a thoroughly practical man who invented a wide variety of machines including pulleys and the Archimidean screw pumping device. He was born 287 BC in the seaport city of Syracuse, Sicily. He was the son of Phidias who was an astronomer. Though he had…

Biography of Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974)

Satyendra Nath Bose was a Bengali Indian physicist, specializing in mathematical physics. He was well-known for his work “Quantum mechanics” in the early 1920s, providing the foundation for Bose-Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose-Einstein condensate. He was born on January 1, 1894 in Calcutta. He was the eldest son of Surendranath and Amodini Devi. His father was employed in the Engineering Department of the East India Railway. He knew many languages and also could play Esraj (a musical instrument similar to violin) very well. Sateyendra nath Bose began his education at an elementary school and after that he…

Biography of Salim Ali (1896-1987)

Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali was an Indian ornithologist and naturalist and also Known as the “birdman of India”. He was born on November 12, 1896, in a big Muslim family of Khetwadi in Mumbai. He had five brothers and four sisters. His mother’s name was Jijat-un-nissa. His father Moizuddin died when he was just one year old & mother died when he was three year old. His uncle Amiruddin Taiyabji aroused in him a curiosity towards bird. After the death of his parents, uncle Amiruddin and Aunt Begum Hamida raised all the children. It was a time when interest in…

Biography of Robert Millikan (1868 – 1953)

Every graduate student of physics learns about the classic experiment- Millikan oil-drop experiment to determine the electronic charge. The inventor of the experiment, the world renowned scientist Robert Andrews Millikan, was born on March 22, 1868 at Morrison, Illinois, USA. He came from a family of less means, finance and a large family. Since childhood, he had to do odd jobs to help supplement the family income. The family condition forced all the six siblings in the house to contribute their mite or little earnings, before they could get any formal education. In 1875, the Millikans moved to Maquoketa, in…

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