Monday, February 28, 2011

Tribute to Sir. C.V.Raman

Today we celebrate Science day in India, rightly so on the birthday of the only Indian who lived in India and won Nobel Prize for Science (Physics) unlike other Indians who went away from India and became citizens of another country before winning the prize.

His father was a lecturer of mathematics and Physics. Sir. Chandrasekara Venkata Raman, was born in Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, India on 28th February, 1888. He studied his B.A. at Presidency College, Madras and won gold medal in physics for coming first. Later he obtained his M.A. Since jobs in science was not much those days he joined in Finance department. That did not stop him from his research and he spent his evening times in research in the lab of Association for the Cultivation of Science in Calcutta.

In 1917, he was offered professorship in Calcutta University in the department of Physics. He worked there for 15 years. He was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1924 and British government knighted him in 1929.

During his voyage to Europe, he was intrigued by the color of the sea which led him to discover the so called Raman Effect is a history many knows. In 1934 he was offered Directorship of the famous Indian Institute of Science, then known as Tata Institute. I remember when I was young I visited this institute several times. First time, when I went, I enquired many about IISc and to my surprise many answered in negative. Even when I expanded IISc, still it made no difference. Later a man explained that I should ask for "Tata Institute".

What makes a scientist if one asks, one answer could be the person's passion and the equally important one would be the keen observation. It is said when at 16 itself working with a Spectrometer in his college he observed a few diffraction rays and went on to publish his first paper. Therefore, I request the young researchers not to just look for what they are supposed to or asked to, but to go looking for unexpected things. His works were in many subjects such as acoustics, quantum property of photons, molecular scattering of X-rays, optics of colloids and physiology of vision.

Another important fact I would like to tell my young friends is, it is not very important to have great sophisticated instruments to work great things but work great things with even simple gadgets. It should be noted that even today we can construct a spectrometer with a few thousands of Rupees. It is with such simple instrument, he worked and discovered Raman Effect. For a genius, anything will become an instrument of research.

After his retirement from IISc, he established Raman Institute in 1949 where he worked till his death on November 21st, 1970. When I was yet a school boy, this news was broken to me by my father. This was one of the many inspirations for me in my career in science. It might seem crazy now, but this led me to talk of winning Nobel Prize in those childhood days. This of course made me look like a fool among my childhood friends.

Now as a mature person I know,  a scientist does not work for a Nobel Prize but it is a recognition that comes later for the contribution of great people.

This Science Day, we should remember great Indian Scientists such as him. Not just to stop at that but, to learn how we need to motivate our youngsters in science and also get motivated in doing things which will bring accolades to our Nation.

Once while addressing the youngsters he said:

"I would like to tell the young men and women before me not to lose hope and courage.  Success can only come to you by courageous devotion to the task lying in front of you and there is nothing worth in this world that can come without the sweat of our brow. I can assert without fear of contradiction that the 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 perhaps driving force which takes one anywhere. We have, I think, developed an inferiority complex. I think what is needed in India today is the destruction of that defeatist spirit. We need a spirit of victory, a spirit that will carry us to our rightful place under the sun, a spirit which will recognize that we, as inheritors of a proud civilization, are entitled to a rightful place on this planet. If that indomitable spirit were to arise, nothing can hold us from achieving our rightful destiny."

I bow my head to you, the great man on your birthday. I take this opportunity to invite youngsters who have great interest in science to do things that make our country proud and to uplift the lives of millions across the world through inventions and innovations. Please do write about your views or share your ideas here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Geomarinebiotech: A Tribute to Thomas Alva Edison

Geomarinebiotech: A Tribute to Thomas Alva Edison: "Today we remember Edison who of course does not celebrate his birthday but the world does. He was born on February 11, 1847 and thus it is 1..."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Tribute to Thomas Alva Edison

Today we remember Edison who of course does not celebrate his birthday but the world does. He was born on February 11, 1847 and thus it is 164th birthday. He had only 3 months formal education but rose up to a level that the history of science remembers. He had 1093 US patents besides many in UK, France and Germany. He started as a Newspaper boy. Who would have thought of hiring an old train coach to carry out scientific experiments at that age other than Edison? From there he rose up to become an entrepreneur who had many companies too including the present General Electricals. He is really qualified to be called an innovator because he knew how his inventions could be made into money. His invention of electric bulb, phonograph and kinetograph which is the forerunner of cinema are well known. However, he had laid his hands on many more such as fluorography, electric railway, etc. The interesting work in biology is he tried extraction of rubber from herbs and other small plants which yielded smaller amount of rubber. He has a patent on this too. though he did not succeed in finding a better substitute for rubber, his work did give an idea for people where not to look. After all he once said "If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless".

I had got inspiration from many scientists life in my childhood and Edison was one of them. I advise the youngsters who aspire to become an inventor should also know "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration" as Edison put it.

He has lighted up many people's life whether they knew him or not. Life is all about achieving and however small one's contribution is, if it makes some one happy and better placed in life, it is our happy moment. Let us all get inspiration from his life and achievements.

Dr.T.Charles John Bhaskar
Scientist & Social Activist

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

From the Desk of our MD: Forgiveness


Forgiveness is often taken as a sign of weakness by the people being forgiven. Fogiveness is a strength. The one who forgave has won a moral score over the other. It is the forgiving who is being talked about as great than the one forgiven but not repented. Recently we heard that the widow of the slain Stuart Staines, Mrs. Gladys said she forgave the killer of her husband and young sons. There are a few things anyone cannot forget in life and it might irritate one for what injustice had been done. The forgiving nature is not easy to get. It grows with one slowly and takes a shape which becomes gigantic. It can make a person a great soul just like the Mahathma the Indian Nation gave the world. 

After all the hurt one carried and after a battle that went on in the heart and mind, finally one decides to forgive instead of punishing. At the end of it, there is a great relief. However, the hurt tries to reappear when the person who hurt thinks or talks that the person who forgave is a coward or it is his weakness. This is the next weapon one needs to face. I know this from my personal experiences. Let me tell you my friend, it is finally going to be the nature you developed over the years that is going to win. 

Ultimately, the erring person will be taught by the circumstances and the society. The Society will keep watching you though it may not support you. That is why the saying goes... to err is human and to forgive is divine.

The time will make it known that the erring person one day needs to come to you to ask forgiveness. After all is it the one you are waiting for? No. It is yor moral victory which you achieved the moment you forgave. The peace you have instead of the hurt you carry all your life makes you a free and happy person. Why the person has not changed or when he will repent are not your botheration. Keep smiling and keep going! Someone too had watched you and changed and you became a role model. 

I want youngsters today to have no grudges and be forgiving. 

Dr.T.Charles John Bhaskar
Scientist & Social Activist