Dr.Homi Jehangir Bhabha

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Writing about this great scientist fills my heart with pride and I am sure dear friends that his name itself is enough to give each one of us strength and motivation to do something good for Mother India. To read more about the Father of Indian Nuclear Programme, read on!  

On 30 October 1909, Jehangir Bhabha and Meheren were blessed with a son who brought them the laurels any parent in the world would be proud of. Homi Bhabha showed his interest in Mathematics and Physics and was always supported by his parents and his Uncle Dorabji Tata in his pursuit of education. He did his schooling from Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay and his junior college studies at Elphinstone College. He then entered into Royal Institute of Science after which he finally went to Caius College of Cambridge University. He then showed interest in pursuing studies in Mathematics for which his father asked him to first clear the Mechanical Sciences Tripos Exam in first class.  Homi Bhabha cleared the exam in 1930. He then went on to clear his Mathematics Tripos as well which earned him the Rouse Ball traveling studentship in Mathematics. Homi Bhabha received his doctorate in nuclear physics after publishing his first scientific paper, "The Absorption of Cosmic radiation" in 1933. This paper helped him to win the coveted Isaac Newton Studentship in 1934. In 1935, he completed his doctoral studies in theoretical Physics. He then published a paper in which he performed the first calculation to determine the cross section of electron-positron scattering. Electron-positron scattering was later named “Bhabha scattering” to honor him for his contributions in this field. He published many papers thereafter.

As per http://www.vigyanprasar.gov.in/scientists/bhabha/BHABHANEW.HTM , the important contributions made by Bhabha while working at Cambridge have been summarised by G. Venkataraman (in his book, Bhabha and His Magnificent Obsessions, Universities Press, Hyderabad, 1994) as :

- The explanation of relativistic exchange scattering (Bhabha Scattering).

- The theory of production of electron and positron showers in cosmic rays (Bhabha-Heitler theory).

- Speculation about the Yukawa particle related to which was his suggestion of the name meson.

- Prediction of relativistic time dilatation effects in the decay of the meson.

About the importance of Bhabha's research work Nobel Laureate in Physics, Cecil Frank wrote: "Homi Bhabha made decisive contributions to our understanding of how they (the showers) developed in terms of electromagnetic processes. He was also well-known at this time for his attempts to account for those elementary particles then known to exist by a method using group theory. He was thus a very early exponent of those methods used many years later for a similar purpose by Gell-Mann and others. My friend, Leopold Infeld says that he was a distinguished and elegant theorist and his papers were always written in the best of taste".

At the onset of World War II, Dr. Homi Bhabha returned to India and joined Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru under the supervision of Nobel laureate Dr.C.V.Raman. He established the Cosmic Ray Research Unit at the Institute. Further with the help of JRD Tata he established the “Tata Institute of Fundamental Research” in Bombay (now Mumbai). Under the aegis of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr.Bhabha established the Atomic Energy Commission in 1948 serving as its first Chairman thus leading the way for nuclear programme in India. He was known as the “Father of the Indian Nuclear Programme.” He worked incessantly in the field of Nuclear Physics. The Indian Government proudly decorated him with the much deserved “Padma Bhushan” in 1954. After his death on 24th January 1966, the Atomic Energy Establishment at Bombay was renamed as the “Bhabha Atomic Research Centre” to honour him.

I am so fortunate to be born in the land of stalwarts of the stature of Dr.Homi Jehangir Bhabha and I pledge my entire life to the service of my motherland.


Shreenabh Agrawal

Class IX A

The Chanda Devi Saraf School, Nagpur.

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Very nice

Posted on : 25-02-2018 12:08:35

Raya Karmakar

Just science

Posted on : 13-03-2018 10:55:53