QL Summer Physics 2o
15 July 2018
Physicist Research Project
Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Sir CV Raman for short, is an Indian born
Physicist. He was born in the South Indian town of Tiruchirapalli, on November 7th 1888. Sir Raman’s father, Chandrasekaran Ramanathan Iyer was a student teacher in the fields of Mathematics and Physics. Mr. Iyer taught Sir Raman’s mom how to read and write. Mr. Iyer and his family were in a very bad financial situation at the time of Raman’s birth. Raman had eight siblings and he was second of the eight. Mr. Iyer had to relocate to a new city to take up a job as a lecturer when Raman was four years old. This helped Raman pursue an interest in the field of science. As Raman started to become more and more interest in the science and math, he used to borrow books from his father’s college library and read them.
When Raman was fourteen years old, he joined the Presidency College in Chennai, India. At age 15, he received his bachelor’s degree in physics. As a student he researched on the topics of Optics and Acoustics. He published his first academic paper called Unsymmetrical diffraction-bands due to a rectangular aperture, which was about the behavior of light, at age 18. After his second publication, he got a letter from Lord Rayleigh, an eminent Nobel Prize Physicist, congratulating him on his accomplishment. The highlight of this letter was that Lord Rayleigh thought that this 18 year old Raman was a professor and addressed him as Professor Raman in his letter. He earned his master’s degree in physics when he was only 18 years old.
Though Raman earned a master’s degree in physics, he took the financial civil service exam and went to work for the government as an Assistant Accountant General. This was largely because he didn’t find a lot of career opportunities as a physicist and scientist in India. However, his love for science didn’t stop him from completely avoiding physics and he did carry out experiments and research at the laboratory in the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science at Calcutta, India. His research was on the physics of Violin, stringed Indian musical instrument and Indian Drums. He later accepted a full time job as a Physics Professorship in the University of Calcutta at age 28. Though this meant less monthly income, Raman sacrificed his higher paying job for devoting his time in his beloved physics.
In 1921, while on a ship returning from Great Britain after meeting with distinguished physicists, Raman contemplated the deep blue color of the Mediterranean Sea. Lord Rayleigh had long before explained that the blue color of the sky, which was caused due to elastic scattering of light by molecules in the atmosphere, gives a reflection on the water, thus making the sea look blue in color. Raman was skeptical about this theory. Raman had carried some simple optical equipment, including a pocket- sized spectroscope and a prism abo...