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15 Famous Indian Scientists and Their Inventions

India’s scientific heritage boasts of individuals from various fields making significant contributions to the scientific community time and again. From physics to chemistry to biology and astronomy, Indian scientists have made outstanding contributions even at a global level. In this blog, we will talk about the inventions of fifteen famous Indian scientists who have transformed the face of science and technology.

  1. C. V. Raman (1888–1970)
  2. Raman Effect (1928): Nobel laureate, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman is known for discovering the ‘Raman Effect’, where light changes its wavelength when passing through a transparent material.

    Sir CV Raman, became the first Asian scientist to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930. Raman made significant contributions to quantum theory, acoustics and the optics of colours.

  3. Homi J. Bhabha (1909–1966) – “Father of the Indian nuclear program”
  4. Quantum Theory and Cosmic Radiation: Founder of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bombay, Homi J. Bhabha, an eminent Indian nuclear physicist, played a significant role in the field of quantum physics and nuclear energy in India. He proposed the ‘cascade theory of electron shower’ in cosmic radiation.

    Also Read: Career as Scientist – How to Become, Courses, Skills required

  5. Jagdish Chandra Bose (1858–1937)
  6. Millimetre waves: Jagdish Chandra Bose is known for his work on the response of plants to electromagnetic radiation, Bose invented the ‘Mercury Coherer,’ a radio wave receiver. He discovered a tool for examining responses brought about by external stimuli in plants, proving that plants can “feel”.

    He also worked on millimetre waves that significantly contributed to botany. His discovery of microwave optics paved the way for future advancements in wireless communication.

  7. S. Chandrasekhar (1910-1995)
  8. Chandrasekhar Limit (1930): Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s discovery of the ‘Chandrasekhar Limit,’ determines when stars become white dwarfs or supernovae. His work earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983.

  9. Har Gobind Khorana (1922-2011)
  10. Genetic Code (1968): Nobel Laureate, Har Gobind Khorana was an Indian-American biochemist in the field of genetics. Khorana’s work on the structure and function of DNA fetched him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968. The prize was shared with Robert W. Holley and Marshall W. Nirenberg.

    Khorana was instrumental in deciphering the genetic code and demonstrating how nucleotides in DNA determine a cell’s protein synthesis process.

    Also Read: India’s milestones in space exploration

  11. Raja Ramanna (1925-2004)
  12. Nuclear Physics: Raja Ramanna was a renowned physicist and nuclear scientist. Ramanna was instrumental in conducting India’s first nuclear test, Pokhran-I in 1974.

  13. APJ Abdul Kalam (1931-2015)
  14. Agni Missile (1989): Known as the ‘Missile Man of India,’ Dr Kalam played a critical role in the development of the Agni missile under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.

    Dr Kalam was awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’, India’s highest civilian honour. His work in uplifting India’s defence strategies remains highly regarded. He served as the 11th President of India.

    Also Read: Famous personalities of India

  15. Vikram Sarabhai (1919–1971)
  16. Aryabhata (1975): Vikram Sarabhai was an acclaimed Indian physicist. Sarabhai is recognized for spearheading India’s space programme. Having established the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad, Sarabhai also set up ISRO in 1969. Under his guidance, India launched its first satellite ‘Aryabhata’ in 1975.

  17. Janaki Ammal (1897-1984)
  18. Chromosomal studies: Ammal was a well-respected botanist and plant cytologist. Ammal’s work on the sweet potato and her role in creating a high-yielding strain of sugarcane remain notable.

    Ammal was one of the first women scientists in India to be honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri in 1977.

  19.  Meghnad Saha (1893-1956)
  20. Saha equation: Meghnad Saha was an Indian astrophysicist. The theory of thermal ionisation, known as the Saha Equation, was his most significant contribution.

    Some of his achievements also include his Fellowship at the Royal Society and membership in the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

  21. R. Chidambaram (1936-)
  22. Atomic Physics: R. Chidambaram led both India’s Department of Atomic Energy and the Atomic Energy Commission, and he played a big role in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.

    His expertise includes materials science and nuclear technology.

  23. G.N Ramachandran (1922 – 2001)
  24. Ramachandran Plot (1963): G.N Ramachandran’s research in the biophysical domain led to the creation of the ‘Ramachandran Plot,’ a vital tool in the study of protein structure.

    This chart picturizes possible configurations of polypeptide chains in proteins. Awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, Ramachandran’s research has helped make breakthroughs in modern biochemistry.

    Also Read: 10 things students should know about National Science Day

  25. Dr Tessy Thomas (1963-)
  26. Missile Woman of India: Dr Tessy Thomas is one of the renowned woman scientists in India and director of the Advanced Systems Laboratory in Hyderabad.

    Known as the “Missile Woman” of India, Dr Thomas was the project director for Agni-IV and Agni-V under Dr Kalam and made significant contributions.

    She is the recipient of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for her contributions to missile technology.

  27. Yellapragada Subbarow (1895-1948)
  28. ATP Fuel (1948): Known for his work in biochemistry, Subbarow developed drugs such as Methotrexate and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), contributing to the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

    His discovery also included identifying the function of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an energy source in cells and the development of a method for the synthesis of the antibiotic aureomycin.

  29. Birbal Sahni (1891-1949)
  30. Palaeobotany: Known for his work in the field of palaeobotany, Sahni founded the Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow. His work revolved around fossil plants, their evolution, and geological antiquity.

    His investigation of the fossils of the Rajmahal Hills, in India, laid the foundation of Indian palaeobotanical research. He also made notable contributions to the understanding of the Indian Gondwana flora.

    Also Read: 14 Indian Scientists Who Transformed Our Lives

These fifteen scientific minds are indeed a source of national pride that stands testament to India’s scientific and technological capabilities. At EuroSchool, our curriculum is designed to foster and promote scientific thinking among students. Renowned Indian scientists and their contributions are regularly discussed in classrooms. 

This exposure helps students understand science and its principles, inspiring them to potentially pursue careers as future scientists.


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