Dr. C. V. Raman: Discovery, Awards, Achievements

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was an Indian physicist who made groundbreaking works in the field of light scattering. With his student K. S. Krishnan, he discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light change wavelength and amplitude. This phenomenon was a new type of scattering of light and was subsequently known as the Raman effect (Raman scattering).

His works earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics and was the first non-white, Indian or Asian person to receive a Nobel Prize in any branch of science.[

Born to Hindu Tamil Brahmin parents, Raman was a precocious child, completing his secondary and higher secondary education from St Aloysius' Anglo-Indian High School at the ages of 11 and 13, respectively.

He topped at the University of Madras in physics from Presidency College at age 16. He published his first research paper on diffraction of light in 1906 while still a graduate student. The next year he completed an M.A. degree. He was only 19 years of age when he qualified for the Indian Finance Service. Working in Calcutta (Kolkata), he became acquainted with the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), the first research institute in India. There he started independent research and made his major contributions in acoustics and optics.

In 1917, he was appointed as the first Palit Professor of Physics by Ashutosh Mukherjee at the Rajabazar Science College, University of Calcutta.

On his first trip to Europe, seeing the Mediterranean Sea motivated him to correctly describe the reason of the blue colour of sea as a phenomenon of diffraction.

He founded the Indian Journal of Physics in 1926. He and Krishnan discovered on 28 February 1928 a novel phenomenon of light scattering, which they called "modified scattering," but more famously known as the Raman effect. The day is celebrated by the Government of India as the National Science Day every year in commemoration of the discovery.

Raman moved to the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in 1933 to become its first Indian Director. There he founded the Indian Academy of Sciences the same year. He established the Raman Research Institute in 1948 where he worked to his last days.

In 1954, the Government of India honoured him with the first Bharat Ratna (along with politician C. Rajagopalachari and philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan), its highest civilian award. He later smashed the medallion in protest against Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's policies on scientific research.


Key Description:

Born: 7 November 1888, Thiruvanaikoil, Madras Presidency, British India, (Tamil Nadu, India)

Died: 21 November 1970 (aged 82), Bangalore, Mysore State, India

Full Name: Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman


  • Fellow of the Royal Society (1924)
  • Matteucci Medal (1928)
  • Knight Bachelor (1930)
  • Hughes Medal (1930)
  • Nobel Prize in Physics (1930)
  • Bharat Ratna (1954)
  • Lenin Peace Prize (1957)

Education: Presidency college(autonomous),

Parents: R. Chandrasekhar Iyer, Parvathi Ammal

Nationality: British subject, Republic of India

Alma Mater: University of Madras (M.A.)

Known For: Raman effect

Spouse(s): Lokasundari Ammal (1908–1970)

Children: Chandrasekhar Raman and Venkatraman Radhakrishnan


  • Indian Finance Department
  • Rajabazar Science College
    (University of Calcutta)
  • Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
  • Indian Institute of Science
  • Raman Research Institute

Doctoral Students: G. N. Ramachandran, Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, Shivaramakrishnan Pancharatnam

Other Notable Students: Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan, K. R. Ramanathan