World’s Super Scientists – Bhabha, Homi Jehangir

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A cute scientist of  ‘atomic energy’  fame –  Bhabha, Homi Jehangir

Scientist Homi Jehangir Bhabha (1909 to 1966), father of Indian nuclear programme, key person behind the establishment of atomic energy plants in India was born in 1909 in Bombay in a rich Parsi family.

Besides his scientific skill, he had keen interest in painting, poetry and Western music.

Scientist Homi Jehangir Bhabha was proud to be a product of Elphinstone College, Bombay. Later he went to Cambridge and took his Ph.D. in 1934.

Scientist Homi Jehangir Bhabha had the good fortune of working with Niels Bohr, Enrico Fermi. In 1937 Bhabha’s specialized study was in cosmic rays, by which he became world famous.

Scientist Homi Jehangir Bhabha did work on ‘mesons’ which are subatomic elementary particles more massive than electrons but lighter than protons and neutrons.

Scientist Bhabha returned to India in 1940.

Scientist Homi Jehangir Bhabha Further Bio-data and Achievements

1941 Fellow Royal Society of London. Fellow, Indian National Science Academy.

1941-42 Reader and later Professor of physics at the Indian Institute of Science. Bangalore.General Studies Question Bank CD

1942 Recipient of Adams Prize.

Professor, Cosmic Ray Research Unit.

1945 he founded the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, later renamed as Bhabha Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore.

1948 First Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.

1951 President, Indian Science Congress, 1951.

1954 Padma Bhushan.

1955 Chairman, First United Nations’ Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, Geneva.

Hon. D.Sc. by some universities.

1956 Apsara, the first atomic reactor built at Trombay, Bombay); Later Cirus and Zerlina added. Purnima-II uses Uranium (233) fuel. Dhruva, nuclear reactor installed.

Neutron reactor Kamini built at Kalpakkam, Madras.

1957 Hon. Fellow, Royal Society, Edinburgh.

1959 Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Scientific Adviser to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

First atomic power station established at Tarapur.

Plutonium plant instituted.

May 1974 First underground nuclear device exploded at Pokhran, India [code: “Lord Buddha has smiled”].

May 11, 1998 on Buddha Purnima Day three nuclear devices blasted in Pokhran, India [Lord Buddha smiled for the second time].

Two more nuclear tests were conducted on May 13, 1998 at Pokhran.

Chairman, Commission for the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Power. He advocated constructive benefit of atomic energy to humankind but not its destructive torture.

Nuclear hazard: Hitherto man had to live with the idea of death as an individual; from now on mankind will have to live with the idea of its death as a species.

Arthur Koestler

Scientist Dr. Bhabha died in an air crash on January 24, 1966, just two days before the Republic Day, Angel of Fate knocked away this life-time bachelor when he was to attend an International conference, making the nation mourn his loss.

Scientist Homi Jehangir Bhabha was a cute person. One newspaper described him, “He is clean and beautiful. He looks like a film director or actor.”

Do you know? India’s atomic energy establishment at Trombay, Mumbai, inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on January 20, 1957 was renamed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre on January 22, 1967.
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