© 2020-23 BizApprise. All rights reserved.
When it comes to science and technology, India is a nation that has made significant contributions over the years. Indians have been responsible for some of the most innovative ideas and discoveries in the fields of physics, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, and engineering.
14 Most Famous Indian Scientists
In this article, we will be exploring some of the most influential and famous Indian scientists in history. From medical researchers to astrophysicists, geologists to chemists, their groundbreaking discoveries have shaped the course of science in India and beyond the nation’s borders. We will explore their inspiring stories and their lasting legacies. Let’s know the accomplishments and contributions of these remarkable scientists.
1. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is perhaps one of the most well-known names among famous Indian scientists. He was an aerospace engineer and scientist, who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. During his tenure, he was popularly known as the ‘People’s President’. He was also called the Missile Man of India, as he played a key role in the development of ballistic missiles and launch vehicle technology.
Dr. Kalam was a recipient of various awards and titles like the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri. He was awarded the UNESCO Peace Prize in 2006 and received honorary doctorates from 44 universities. His autobiography, ‘Wings of Fire’ became one of the best-selling books in India.
His inspiring life story proves that with hard work and dedication, nothing is impossible. Dr. Kalam will always be remembered as one of the greatest sons of India and his legacy will continue to be followed for generations to come.
2. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose is an eminent scientist who was responsible for inventing the modern radio. He is also considered the father of biophysics, as he laid the foundation for research on plant biology. He was the first person to modernize the science of microwave optics and establish the fact that plants do respond to stimuli.
Born in 1858 in Bengal Province, British India, Jagadish Chandra Bose was a brilliant student. He studied natural science at University College London, specializing in physics and chemistry. After graduating, he returned to India and joined Presidency College, Calcutta, as a professor of physics.
In 1901, he became the first person to send a wireless signal over long distances, preceding Guglielmo Marconi’s experiments for several years. He also made advances in the study of the structure of matter, and he invented a unique alloy now known as the Bose-Einstein condensate.
3. Dr. C V Raman
Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman is one of India’s most renowned scientists and a Nobel Prize Winner in Physics. He was born on November 7, 1888, in Tiruchirapalli, located in Southern India. He obtained his Doctorate in Physics in 1917 from Calcutta University and began his career at the Indian Financial Service and later joined the Indian Academy of Sciences as a professor of Physics at the age of 32.
The most renowned work of Dr. C V Raman was the discovery of ‘The Raman Effect’. This effect explains how light propagates through molecules and their interaction with matter. This phenomenon led to the foundation of ‘Raman Spectroscopy’ which has been used extensively in chemical and medical sciences.
Along with this, he developed various theories about the behavior of crystals and electromagnetic radiation. Further, he invented various instruments and devices such as the polarimeter, spectrograph, and other optical instruments.
4. Dr. Srinivasa Ramanujan
Dr. Srinivasa Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician who made significant contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions. He is recognized as one of the most influential mathematicians of the 20th century and an inspiration to many aspiring mathematicians.
Ramanujan was born in 1887 in Erode, South India. He showed keen interest and aptitude for mathematics from an early age.
In 1913, Ramanujan published the first of his groundbreaking mathematical papers. G. H. Hardy a mathematician at the University of Cambridge got impressed with his contributions and invited him to study at Cambridge. At Cambridge, Ramanujan made further significant contributions to mathematics, including the development of modular forms, elliptic functions, and prime number theory.
Despite his considerable successes, Ramanujan’s health deteriorated due to his lack of a proper diet and he passed away in 1920 at the age of 32. In recognition of his tremendous achievements, mathematicians around the world celebrate “Ramanujan Day” annually on December 22nd in his memory.
5. Homi J. Bhabha
Homi J. Bhabha is a renowned physicist and influential scholar, best known for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of nuclear energy, particle physics, and quantum mechanics.
Born in Bombay, India in 1909, Bhabha spent much of his life studying in Europe and the United States before settling in England after World War II. During his career, Bhabha made groundbreaking advances in the field of atomic energy and won numerous awards, including the Padma Bhushan in 1954 and the Royal Society’s Hughes Medal in 1959.
Throughout his life, Homi J. Bhabha made invaluable contributions to the fields of physics and nuclear energy. His work had a lasting impact on the scientific community, his country, and the world. He is remembered as one of India’s most important scientists, and his legacy lives on to this day.
6. Satyendra Nath Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose is an Indian scientist best known for his contributions to quantum mechanics in the early 20th century. Born in 1894 in Calcutta, India, he was educated at the University of Calcutta and Cambridge University in England. After earning his doctoral degree, Bose moved to Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he studied and conducted research at the University of Dhaka.
Bose’s most significant scientific contribution was the “Bose-Einstein Statistics,” developed in 1924. This revolutionary statistical model explained the behavior of particles at a subatomic level and was a foundation for modern quantum mechanics. The Bose-Einstein Statistics are used extensively today in nanotechnology and particle physics fields.
Throughout his career, Bose was honored with several awards and honors, including the Padma Vibhushan and the Nobel Prize nomination in 1954. In recognition of his lifelong achievements, he was posthumously awarded the “Father of Modern Science” by the Government of India in 2020.
Satyendra Nath Bose was an exemplary scientist and humanitarian whose discoveries and advocacy continue to inspire generations of innovators. His legacy will live on for many years to come.
7. Har Gobind Khorana
Har Gobind Khorana was an Indian-born American biochemist and Nobel laureate. He made major contributions to understanding the genetic code and protein synthesis, which led to him being jointly awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with two other scientists for their work in explaining the genetic code.
He was also the recipient of numerous other awards, including the prestigious Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1970 and the National Medal of Science from the United States in 1990.
His achievements have greatly impacted the scientific world, and he is highly respected as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century.
Sir M. Visvesvaraya is one of India’s most celebrated engineers and an iconic figure in Indian history. He was born on 15 September 1860 at Muddenahalli, Kolar district of Karnataka. He made remarkable contributions to the development of India and is fondly remembered as the “Architect of Modern India”.
His education began at home, where his father, a scholar of Sanskrit and Kannada, taught him. He went on to join the Central College, Bangalore, and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from the college. He then obtained a Doctorate in engineering from the University of Bombay and was knighted by the British Crown in 1915.
Sir Visvesvaraya’s legacy lives on in several departments of engineering and technology in India. The 15th of September is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in India in his honor. A variety of scholarships, medals, and awards have been instituted in his name to recognize and encourage the achievements of engineers across the country. The Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, was conferred upon him in 1955 in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the nation.
9. Birbal Sahni
Birbal Sahni was an Indian palaeobotanist who is renowned for his contributions to the field of botany. He is best known for his work on the fossil plants of India, which established the country as a major center for palaeobotanical research.
He was the founder of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow and held several prestigious positions in the Indian scientific community. He is credited with providing the first comprehensive review of the plant fossil record in India.
10. Venkatraman Radhakrishnan
Venkatraman Radhakrishnan (V.R.) is an Indian computer scientist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the founder and chairman of Infosys, one of India’s leading information technology companies.
Born in a small village near Thiruchi, India, into an agriculturist family in 1945, V.R. was an average student during his school and college days. He studied electrical engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, where he obtained a first-class honors degree.
In 1981, V.R. co-founded Infosys and went on to transform it into a global IT giant. Under his watch, the company became the first Indian software services provider to list on the NASDAQ exchange in 1999. He also established a mentoring program at Infosys which has earned him international acclaim and recognition.
V.R. has also been awarded several prestigious awards. In 2009, he was conferred with the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India. He was also awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest honor for civil merit, in 2010.
V.R.’s visionary leadership and unyielding commitment to giving back make him an inspirational role model for aspiring entrepreneurs. He is an embodiment of hard work, resilience, and philanthropy. His story continues to be an inspiration for many.
11. S. Chandrashekar
S. Chandrashekar is a legendary Indian scientist whose contributions to astrophysics and space exploration remain invaluable. Born on October 19, 1910, in Lahore in British India (now in Pakistan), he initially studied at the prestigious Presidency College in Madras before leaving for Cambridge University in England in 1931 where he completed his Ph.D. in 1933.
Chandrashekar went on to become one of the first scientists to measure the pressure of interstellar hydrogen and conduct extensive research on the irregularities of star formation.
Throughout his career, Chandrashekar was the recipient of numerous awards. He was honored with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his work on the theoretical structure and evolution of stars. In addition, he earned two prestigious honorary doctorates from Cambridge University and the Indian Institute of Science.
The contributions and legacy of S. Chandrashekar will remain invaluable for years to come. He stands as an example of excellence and dedication in science, and his discoveries have shaped our current understanding of space, stars, and stellar evolution.
12. Meghnad Saha
Meghnad Saha was an Indian astrophysicist best known for developing the Saha equation, which describes the thermal ionization of elements in stellar atmospheres. The Saha equation plays an essential role in our understanding of how stars form and evolve.
Born on October 6, 1893, in Seoratali, Bengal Presidency (now in Bangladesh), Meghnad Saha had a difficult childhood. His father died when he was four, and he had to start working to support his family. Despite this adversity, he managed to pursue higher education and ultimately obtained a degree in mathematics from Presidency College, Calcutta. In 1916, Saha joined the University of Allahabad as a research student and it was here that he developed his most famous equation.
In 1920, Saha received a scholarship from the Indian Science Congress to study at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University. Here, he worked under Ernest Rutherford and J. J. Thompson, studying radiations in what would eventually become known as X-ray astronomy. He also started to think about the behavior of gases under different temperatures and pressures, leading him to develop the Saha equation in 1922.
Meghnad Saha passed away on February 16, 1956, leaving behind a major legacy in the field of astrophysics. To honor his contribution, the Indian government instituted the Meghnad Saha award for excellence in research in astrophysics, geophysics, and atmospheric science.
13. Vikram Sarabhai
Vikram Sarabhai was an Indian scientist and innovator who is considered to be the father of the Indian space program. Born in 1919 in Gujarat, India, Sarabhai was a leading figure in the development of India’s space industry.
Through his efforts, India launched its first satellite Aryabhatta in 1975 and joined the elite group of countries that had achieved success in space exploration. He set up several other research institutions like the Physical Research Laboratory, Space Applications Center, and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He also founded the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR).
He received numerous awards including Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize. He passed away on December 30, 1971, due to a heart attack.
14. Salim Ali
Salim Ali, born in 1896 in Mumbai, was an Indian ornithologist and naturalist widely recognized as the “father of Indian ornithology”. He studied and wrote extensively about the birds of India and Pakistan, making a significant contribution to the knowledge of these birds. His groundbreaking work helped spark an interest in bird watching across the subcontinent and inspired generations of ornithologists.
Today, Salim Ali’s legacy lives on in the numerous books, articles, and scientific papers he wrote, as well as the many conservation efforts he initiated.
He got awarded Padma Bhushan (1958) and Padma Vibhudhan (1976).
These are some of the most famous Indian scientists whose contributions to science and technology have made the world a much better place. Their work has inspired many to follow in their footsteps and strive to achieve greatness.