C. V. Raman

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Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (Tamil:சந்திரசேகர வேங்கட ராமன் ) 7 November 1888 – 21 November 1970) was an Indian physicist born in the former Madras Province in India presently the state of Tamil Nadu, who carried out ground-breaking work in the field of light scattering, which earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics. He discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes wavelength. This phenomenon, subsequently known as Raman scattering, results from the Raman effect. In 1954, India honoured him with its highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.


  • Looking around and sizing the situation, it seems to me that the real danger before our country is the crushing down of individual freedom and initiative by the steamroller of government authority. Already we see indications of this in the . . . legislative measures having an expropriatory [sic] character and the passage of taxation and other bills calculated to kill private enterprise in the field of industrial development . . . Democracy without freedom for the individual is a sham and a delusion.
  • Look at the resplendent colours on the soap bubbles!
    Why is the sea blue?
    What makes diamond glitter!
    What makes Hubli So Special
    Ask the right questions, and nature will open the doors to her secrets
  • The most important, the most fundamental and the deepest investigations are those that affect human life and activities most profoundly. Only those scientists who have laboured, not with the aim of producing this or that, but with the sole desire to advance knowledge ultimately prove to be the greatest benefactors of humanity.
  • Success can come to you by courageous Devotion to the task lying in front of you I can assert with out fear of contradiction that quality of the Indian mind is equal to the quality of any Teutonic, Nordic, or Anglo-Saxon mind. What we lack is perhaps courage, what we lack is driving force which takes one any where. We have I think, developed an inferiority complex. I think what is needed in India today is the destruction of that defeatist spirit.
  • Man of science seeks to resolve the links between art, aesthetics, and the science. The man of science …seeks to resolve [nature’s] infinite complexities in to a few simple principles or elements of action which he calls the laws of nature. In doing this , like the exponents of other forms of art, subjects himself to a rigorous discipline, the rules of which he had laid down for himself and which he calls logic …. Science… Is a fusion of man’s aesthetic and intellectual functions devoted to the representations of nature. It is therefore the highest form of creative art.
  • Purposeful life needs an axis or hinge to which it is firmly fixed and yet around which it can freely revolve. As I see it, this axis or hinge has been, in my own case, strongly enough, not the love of science, not even the love of Nature but a certain abstract idealism or belief in the value of the human spirit and the virtue of human endeavour and achievement. The nearest point to which I can trace this source of idealism in my recollection of reading Edwin Arnold's great book, The Light of Asia. I remember being powerfully moved by the story of Siddhartah's great renunciation, of his search for truth and of his final enlightenment.
  • The pages of Euclid are like the opening bars of the music of the Grand Opera of Nature's great drama. So to say, they lift the veil and show to our vision a glimpse of a vast world of natural knowledge awaiting study.
  • When the Nobel award was announced I saw it as a personal triumph, an achievement for me and my collaborators -- a recognition for a very remarkable discovery, for reaching the goal I had pursued for 7 years. But when I sat in that crowded hall and I saw the sea of western faces surrounding me, and I, the only Indian, in my turban and closed coat, it dawned on me that I was really representing my people and my country. I felt truly humble when I received the Prize from King Gustav; it was a moment of great emotion but I could restrain myself.
  • Then I turned round and saw the British Union Jack under which I had been sitting and it was then that I realised that my poor country, India, did not even have a flag of her own - and it was this that triggered off my complete breakdown.
  • Each textbook must contain as frontispiece a portrait of Gandhiji and there must be lessons containing the sermons of Gandhiji from Sabarmati to Birla House. This would be the best and the most potent way of offering homage to the memory of the world's greatest man and the Father of the Indian Nation, and is better than building memorials and erecting statues....His (Gandhiji's) teachings stressed the supreme virtue of the human spirit, utterly indestructible and unconquerable. India can never hope to find a place in the sun, unless it upholds the value of the human spirit.
  • I strongly believe that fundamental science cannot be driven by instructional, industrial and government or military pressures. This was the reason why I decided, as far as possible, not to accept money from the to run of grow a good institution without funds....I therefore will not put it as a condition that no government funds should be accepted by the Institute.
  • I have a feeling that if the women of India take to science and interest themselves in the progress and advance of science as well, they will achieve what even men have failed to do. Women have one quality--the quality of devotion. It is one of the most important passports to success in science. Let us therefore not imagine that intellect is a sole prerogative of males only in science.
  • The true wealth of a nation consists not in the stored- up gold but in the intellectual and physical strength of its people.

About C. V. Raman[edit]

  • For the Chair of Physics created by Sir Taraknath Palit, we have been fortunate enough to secure the services of Mr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, who has greatly distinguished himself and acquired a European fame by his brilliant research in the domain of Physical Science, assiduously carried on under the most adverse circumstances amidst the distraction of pressing official duties. I rejoice to think that many of these valuable researches have been carried on in the laboratory of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, founded by our late illustrious colleague, Dr. Mahandra Lal Sircar, who devoted a lifetime to the foundation of an institution for the cultivation and advancement of science in this country. I should fail in my duty if I were to restrain myself in my expression of genuine admiration I feel for the courage and spirit of self-sacrifice with which Mr. Raman had decided to exchange a lucrative official appointment with attractive prospects, for a University Professorship, which, I regret to say, does not carry even liberal emoluments. This one instance encourages me to entertain the hope that there will be no lack of seeker after truth in the Temple of Knowledge which it is our ambition to erect.
  • C.V. Raman was the first to recognize and demonstrate that the energy of photon can undergo partial transformation within matter. I still recall vividly the deep impression that this discovery made on all of us…."
  • Physics by its very nature requires extreme specialization on the part of its students. Its conclusions, which must eventually predict numbers for the results of actual measurements, are best expressed in mathematical formulae. This has the disadvantage of making the subject well-nigh unintelligible to the layman. There are unfortunately few teachers who are able to surmount this handicap. Professor Raman has written a book which avoids this pitfall and thus should give the lay reader an opportunity of penetrating at least part of the way into the mysteries of this interesting and important science.
    • Francis Low, a distinguished theoretical physicist then working at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, wrote in the introduction to this book quoted in . Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman:A Legend of Modern Indian Science. Official Government of India's website Vigyan Prasar. Retrieved on 22 November 2013.
  • Dr. C.V. Raman was the greatest scientist of modern India and one of the greatest intellects our country has produced in its long history. His mind was like the diamond, which he studied and explained. His life’s work consisted in throwing light upon the nature of lights, and the world honoured him in many ways for the new knowledge which he won for science.
  • On his achievement in spectrophotometry , it is said “In 1928, the Indian physicist (later the first Indian Noble Prize winner) reported the discovery of frequency-shifted lines in the scattered light of transparent substances. The shifted lines, Raman announced, were independent of the exciting radiation and characteristic of the sample itself.
  • Sir, in the morning you entertained us by demonstrating “Raman Effect” on alcohol. Why don’t you provide us further entertainment by demonstrating the effect of alcohol on Raman.
    • An observation made in jest by a scientist attending the dinner hosted in honour of Raman who had won the Noble Prize and had demonstrated the Raman Effect before the assembled guests with alcohol as the medium, but he himself was a non-drinker.Iyer, Kolar Krishna. 108 Anecdotes. Sura Books. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-81-7478-533-6. 

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