Rakesh SharmaBorn: January 13, 1949 (age 63), PatialaWing Commander Rakesh Sharma, AC (Ashok Chakra Award), Hero of the SovietUnion, is a former Indian Air Force test pilot who flew aboard Soyuz T-11 as partof the Intercosmos program.Sharma was the first Indian to travel in space.The Intercosmos Research Team was a program that was conducted by theSoviet Union and included active participation from allied countries such asIndia, Syria and France. Rakesh Sharma was chosen for this assignment andever since, he has been an inspiration to upcoming cosmonauts.Early Life:On January 13th 1949, Rakesh Sharma was born in the well-known district of Patiala located in the stateof Punjab. As a young boy, he enrolled at St. Georges Grammar School in Hyderabad and received hisearly education from there.Sharma joined the Indian Air Force in 1970 as a pilot officer after joining the NDA as an IAF cadet in1966.Career:In 1970, after joining the Indian Air Force as a test pilot, his passion for flying opened up severalopportunities such as being a part of war operations against Pakistan.He flew various Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG) aircrafts starting from 1971. Rakesh swiftly progressedthrough many levels and in 1984 he was appointed as the Squadron Leader and pilot of the Indian AirForce.He was a squadron leader with the Indian Air Force, when he flew into space in 1984 as part of a jointprogramme between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Soviet Intercosmos spaceprogram.He spent eight days journeying around the Earths orbit in a space station called Salyut 7. He joined twoother Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz T-11 spacecraft which blasted off on April 2, 1984.Spaceflight:Sharma joined the Indian Air Force and progressed rapidly through the ranks.Sharma, then a Squadron Leader and pilot with the Indian Air Force embarked on a historic mission in1984 as part of a joint space program between the Indian Space Research Organisation andFirst Indian totravel into Space
the Soviet Intercosmos space program, and spent eight days in space aboard the Salyut7 spacestation.Launched along with two Soviet cosmonauts aboard Soyuz T-11on the 3 April 1984.On 3rd April 1984 when the space flight took off, Rakesh had made history by being the first Indian totravel in space.Sharma was 35-year-old.Rakesh along with the Soviet Cosmonauts spend 7 days, 21 hours and 40minutes (Appx. Eight days) in space and board the Salyut 7 space station, a low earth orbit space station,conducting an earth observation programme concentrating on India. He also did life sciences andmaterials processing experiments, including silicium fusing tests. He is also reported to haveexperimented with practicing Yoga to deal with the effects of prolonged orbital spaceflight.While Rakesh was in space, he was asked by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on a famousconversation, who asked him how does India looks from space, Rakesh replied"Saare Jahan se Achcha Hindustan Hamara"Meaning Our land of Hindustan, is the Best in the world.A few years later he retired from the Indian Army as a Wing Commander.He joined the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in 1987 and served as Chief Test Pilot in the HAL NashikDivision until 1992.He then shifted to National Flight Test Center (NFTC) in Bangalore and began to work on Light CombatAircraft program, along with a few others.He retired from test flying in 2001.In 2006, Sharma took part in a conference involving a gathering of the best scientists of ISRO, who wereresponsible for one of Indias space missions. Currently, he has retired from his services and is now thechairperson for the Automated Workflow.Honors:He was conferred with the honor of Hero of Soviet Union upon his return from space.The Government of India conferred its highest gallantry award (during peace time), the AshokaChakra on him and the other two Soviet members of his mission.Timeline:1949: Rakesh Sharma was born in Patalia into a Punjabi family.1966: He joined the National Defense Academy as an Air Force trainee.1970: Appointed as a test pilot by Indian Air Force.1971: Rakesh Sharma flew the Mikoyan-Gurevich, a Russian jet.1984: He was a part of a space mission owing to which he became the first man to travel to space.2006: He took part in a space conference held by ISRO.
Kalpana ChawlaBorn: July 1, 1961, KarnalDied: February 1, 2003, TexasKalpana Chawla was an Indian-American astronaut who, was a missionspecialist on the space shuttle Columbia.She first flew on the space shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialistand primary robotic arm operator. Chawla was one of seven crew memberskilled in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.Kalpana Chawla was Indias first women aeronautical engineer to travel intospace. She has been a role model to several women in terms of achievementand contributions to the field of aeronautics.Early Life:Kalpana Chawla was born on the 1st of July, 1961 in a small town in Karnal located in the state ofHaryana. Her parents, Banarasi Lal Chawla and Sanjyothi had two other daughters named Sunita andDeepa and a son named Sanjay.Kalpana was the youngest in her family and hence, she was the most pampered too.She got educated at the Tagore Public School and later enrolled into Punjab Engineering College tocomplete her Aeronautical Engineering Degree in 1982. In the same year, she moved to the US. She gotmarried to Jean-Pierre Harrison in 1983. He was her flying instructor and an aviation author.In 1984, she completed her M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas in Arlington. In1988, she obtained a Ph.D. in the same subject from the University of Colorado at Boulder.Career:Kalpana Chawla was a certified flight instructor who rated aircrafts and gilders. She also held acommercial pilot license for single and multi-engine airplanes, hydroplanes and gliders. Kalpana was alicensed Technician Class Amateur Radio person certified by the Federal Communication commission.Owing to her multiple degrees in Aerospace, she got a job in NASA as the Vice President of the OversetMethods, Inc. in 1993. She was extensively involved in computational fluid dynamics research onVertical/Short Takeoff and LandingChawla joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in March 1995 and was selected for her first flight in 1996.She spoke the following words while traveling in the weightlessness of space, "You are just yourintelligence". She had traveled 10.4 million km, as many as 252 times around the Earth.First Indian Womanto Travel intoSpace
First Space Mission:Her first space mission began on November 19, 1997 as part of the six-astronaut crew that flewthe Space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-87.Chawla was the first Indian-born woman and the second Indian person to fly in space, followingcosmonaut Rakesh Sharma who flew in 1984 in a spacecraft.On her first mission Chawla traveled over 10.4 million miles in 252 orbits of the earth, logging more than372 hours in space. During STS-87, she was responsible for deploying the Spartan Satellite whichmalfunctioned, necessitating a spacewalk by Winston Scott and Takao Doi to capture the satellite.A five-month NASA investigation fully exonerated Chawla by identifying errors in software interfacesand the defined procedures of flight crew and ground control.After the completion of STS-87 post-flight activities, Chawla was assigned to technical positions in theastronaut office to work on the space station, her performance in which was recognized with a specialaward from her peers.Next Space Mission:In 2000, she was again assigned on her second flight mission as a part of Flight STS-107. Kalpanasresponsibility included microgravity experiments. Along with her team members, she undertook adetailed research on advanced technology development, astronaut health & safety, the study of Earthand space science. During the course of this mission, there were several mishaps and cracks weredetected in the shuttle engine flow liners.On January 16, 2003, Chawla finally returned to space aboard Columbia on the ill-fated STS-107mission.Death:It was on February 1st 2003 that the space shuttle, STS-107, collapsed over the Texas region when it re-entered the Earths atmosphere. This unfortunate event ended the lives of seven crew membersincluding Kalpana.Awards:She was the first Indian woman to travel in a space shuttle for 372 hours and complete 252 rotationsaround the Earths atmosphere. Her achievements have been an inspiration to many others in India andabroad. There are many science institutions named after her.Posthumously awarded:Congressional Space Medal of HonorNASA Space Flight MedalNASA Distinguished Service Medal
Memorials:Asteroid 51826 Kalpanachawla, one of seven named after the Columbias crew.On February 5, 2003, Indias Prime Minister announced that the meteorological series ofsatellites, "METSAT", will be renamed as "KALPANA". The first satellite of the series, "METSAT-1", launched by India on September 12, 2002 will be now known as "KALPANA-1". "KALPANA-2"is expected to be launched by 2007.74th Street in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City has been renamed 74th Street KalpanaChawla Way in her honor.The University of Texas at Arlington (where Chawla obtained a Master of Science degree inAerospace Engineering in 1984) opened a dormitory named in her honor, Kalpana Chawla Hall,in 2004.Kalpana Chawla Award was instituted by the government of Karnataka in 2004 for youngwomen scientists.NASA Mars Exploration Rover mission has named seven peaks in a chain of hills, namedthe Columbia Hills, after each of the seven astronauts lost in the Columbia shuttle disaster,including Chawla Hill after Kalpana Chawla.Her brother, Sanjay Chawla, remarked:"To me, my sister is not dead. She is immortal. Isnt that what a star is? She isa permanent star in the sky. She will always be up there where she belongs."Novelist Peter David named a shuttlecraft, the Chawla, after the astronaut in his 2007 StarTreknovel, Star Trek: The Next Generation: Before Dishonor.Government of Haryana has made a Planetarium after her name called as Kalpana ChawlaPlanetarium in Jyotisar, Kurukshetra.Timeline:1961: She was born on 1st July in Karnal.1982: She moved to the United States to complete her education.1983: Married a flying instructor and aviation author, Jean-Pierre Harrison.1984: got an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas in Arlington.1988: She received a Ph.D. in the same field and began to work for NASA.1993: Joined Overset Methods Inc. as Vice President and Research Scientist.1995: She joined the NASA Astronaut Corps.1996: Kalpana was the mission specialist for prime robotic arm operator on STS-87.1997: Her first mission on Flight STS-87 took place.2000: Assigned on her second mission as part of Flight STS-107.2003: Chawla got a second chance for the mission on Flight STS-107. On February 1st, she died when thespace shuttle broke down.
Vikram SarabhaiBorn: August 12, 1919, AhmedabadDied: December 31, 1971, KovalamVikram Ambalal Sarabhai was an Indian physicist.He is considered to be the “father of the Indian space program”Early Years & Education:Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919 at Ahmedabad in anaffluent family of progressive industrialists. He was one of eight children ofAmbalal and Sarla Devi. He had his early education in a private school,“Retreat” run by his parents on Montessori lines.Marriage and children:In September, 1942, Vikram Sarabhai married Mrinalini Sarabhai, a celebrated classical dancer. Thewedding was held in Chennai without anyone from Vikrams side of the family attending the weddingceremony because of the ongoing Quit India movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.Vikram and Mrinalini had two children - Kartikeya and Mallika. Vikram Sarabhai had a troubledmarriage and was in a long term relationship with Dr.Kamala Choudhary.His daughter Mallika Sarabhai was awarded the Padma Bhushan, Indias third highest civilian honor forthe year 2010 and his son Kartikeya Sarabhai was awarded the Padma Shri in 2012.After his matriculation, Vikram Sarabhai proceeded to Cambridge for his college education and took thetripods degree from St. Johns college in 1940. When World War II began, he returned home and joinedas a research scholar under Sir C. V. Raman at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore His interest insolar physics and cosmic ray led him to set up many observation stations around the country. He builtthe necessary equipment with which he took measurements at Bangalore, Poona and the Himalayas. Hereturned to Cambridge in 1945 and completed his Ph.D in 1947.Physical Research Laboratory:Vikram Sarabhai was instrumental in establishing the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabadin November 1947. The laboratory was established in a few rooms in M.G. Science Institute of theAhmedabad Education Society, which was founded by his parents. Subsequently, it got support from theCouncil of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Atomic Energy.At the young age of 28, he was asked to organise and create the ATIRA, the Ahmedabad TextileIndustry’s Research Association and was its Honorary Director during 1949-56. He also helped build anddirect the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad from 1962-1965.Father of the IndianSpace Program
Indian Space Programme:Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, widely regarded as the father of Indias nuclear science program, supportedDr. Sarabhai in setting up the first rocket launching station in India (TERLS)at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on the coast of the Arabian Sea, primarily because of its proximityto the equator. After a remarkable effort in setting up the infrastructure, personnel, communicationlinks, and launch pads, the inaugural flight was launched on November 21, 1963 with a sodium vapourpayload.As a result of Dr. Sarabhais dialogue with NASA in 1966, the Satellite Instructional TelevisionExperiment (SITE) was launched during July 1975 – July 1976 (when Dr.Sarabhai was no more).Dr. Sarabhai started a project for the fabrication and launch of an Indian satellite. As a result, the firstIndian satellite, Aryabhata, was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.Dr. Sarabhai was very interested in science education and founded a Community Science Centre atAhmedabad in 1966. Today, the centre is called the Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre.After the sudden death of Homi Bhabha in an air crash, Vikram Sarabhai was appointed Chairman,Atomic Energy Commission in May 1966. He wanted the practical application of science to reach thecommon man. He decided to acquire competence in advance technology for the solution of country’sproblems based on technical and economic evaluation of its real resources. He initiated India’s spaceprogramme, which today is renowned all over the world.Death:Sarabhai died on 30 December 1971 at Halcyon Castle, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was visitingThiruvananthapuram to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Thumba railway stationbeing built to service the newly created Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station.Awards:Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (1962)Padma Bhushan (1966)Padma Vibhushan, posthumous (after-death) (1972)Distinguished Positions:President of the Physics section, Indian Science Congress (1962),He was the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1966,President of the General Conference of the I.A.E.A., Verína (1970),Vice-President, Fourth U.N. Conference on Peaceful uses of Atomic Energy (1971)
Honours:The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, (VSSC), which is the Indian Space Research Organizations leadfacility for launch vehicle development located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), capital of Keralastate, is named in his memory.Along with other Ahmedabad-based industrialists, he played a major role in setting up of the IndianInstitute of Management, Ahmedabad.In 1974, the International Astronomical Union at Sydney decided that a Moon Crater BESSEL in the Seaof Serenity will be known as the Dr. Sarabhai Crater.
C V RamanBorn: November 7, 1888, TiruchirapalliDied: November 21, 1970, BangaloreSir Chandrasekhara Venkata Rāman, FRS, was an Indian physicist whosework was influential in the growth of science in India.He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930 for thediscovery that when light traverses a transparent material, some of thelight that is deflected changes in wavelength. This phenomenon is nowcalled Raman scattering and is the result of the Raman Effect.Early Life:Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman was born on November 7, 1888 inTiruchinapalli, Tamil Nadu. He was the second child of Chandrasekhar Iyer and Parvathi Amma. Hisfather was a lecturer in mathematics and physics, so he had an academic atmosphere at home. Heentered Presidency College, Madras, in 1902, and in 1904 passed his B.A. examination, winning the firstplace and the gold medal in physics. In 1907, C.V. Raman passed his M.A. obtaining the highestdistinctions.Career:During those times there were not many opportunities for scientists in India.Therefore, Raman joined the Indian Finance Department in 1907. After his office hours, he carried outhis experimental research in the laboratory of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science atCalcutta. He carried out research in acoustics and opticsIn 1917, Raman resigned from his government service and took up the newly created Palit Professorshipin Physics at the University of Calcutta. At the same time, he continued doing research at the IndianAssociation for the Cultivation of Science, Calcutta, where he became the Honorary Secretary.He was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1924 and the British made him a knight of the BritishEmpire in 1929.On February 28, 1928, Raman led experiments at the Indian Association for Cultivation of Science withcollaborators, including K. S. Krishan, on the scattering of light, when he discovered the Raman effectthat tells when light traverses a transparent material, some of the light that is deflected changes inwavelength.Raman spectroscopy came to be based on this phenomenon, and Ernest Rutherford referred to it in hispresidential address to the Royal Society in 1929.Raman was president of the 16th session of the Indian Science Congress in 1929. He was conferreda knighthood, and medals and honorary doctorates by various universities.Second Indian & FirstIndian Scientist to Receivethe Nobel Prize
Raman was confident of winning the Nobel Prize in Physics as well, and was disappointed when theNobel Prize went to Richardson in 1928 and to de Broglie in 1929.He was so confident of winning the prize in 1930 that he booked tickets in July, even though the awardswere to be announced in November, and would scan each days newspaper for announcement of theprize, tossing it away if it did not carry the news. He did eventually win the 1930 Nobel Prize inPhysics "for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him".He was the first Asian and first non-White to receive any Nobel Prize in the sciences.Before him Rabindranath Tagore (also Indian) had received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.During his tenure at IISc, he recruited the then talented electrical engineering student, G. N.Ramachandran, who later was a distinguished X-ray crystallographer himself.Raman also worked on the acoustics of musical instruments. He worked out the theoryof transverse vibration of bowed strings, on the basis of superposition velocities.He was also the first to investigate the harmonic nature of the sound of the Indian drums such asthe tabla and the mridangam.Raman and his student, Nagendra Nath, of Mim high school, provided the correct theoreticalexplanation for the acousto-optic effect (light scattering by sound waves), in a series of articles resultingin the celebrated Raman-Nath theory.In 1934, Raman became the assistant director of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, wheretwo years later he continued as a professor of physicsHe also started a company called cv Chemical and Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in 1943 along with Dr.Krishnamurthy. The Company during its sixty year history established four factories in Southern India.In 1947, he was appointed as the first National Professor by the new government of IndependentIndia.He retired from the Indian Institute in 1948 and a year later he established the Raman Research Institutein Bangalore, where he worked till his death.Sir C.V. Raman died on November 21, 1970.Personal life:He was married on 6 May 1907 to Lokasundari Ammal (1892–1980) with whom he had two sons,Chandrasekhar and Radhakrishnan.On his religious views, he was said to be an agnostic.C.V. Raman was the paternal uncle of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who later won the Nobel Prize inPhysics (1983) for his discovery of the Chandrasekhar limit in 1931 and for his subsequent work on thenuclear reactions necessary for stellar evolution.
Honours and Awards:Raman was honored with a large number of honorary doctorates and memberships of scientificsocieties.• He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society early in his career (1924)• The British made him a knight of the British Empire in 1929.• In 1930 he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.• In 1941 he was awarded the Franklin Medal.• In 1954 he was awarded the Bharat Ratna.• He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1957.• In 1998, the American Chemical Society and Indian Association for the Cultivation ofScience recognized Ramans discovery as an International Historic Chemical Landmark.National Science Day:India celebrates National Science Day on 28 February of every year to commemorate the discovery ofthe Raman Effect in 1928.
Subrahmanyam ChandrashekarBorn: October 19, 1910, LahoreDied: August 21, 1995, ChicagoSubrahmanyan Chandrasekharastrophysicist who, with William A. FowlerPhysics for key discoveries that led to the currently accepted theory on thelater evolutionary stages of massive stars.after him.Chandrasekhar was the nephew ofwho won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930.Chandrasekhar served on the University of Chicagohis death in 1995 at the age of 84. He became athe United States in 1953.He did commendable work in astrophysics, physics and applied mathematicsEarly life:Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born on October 19, 1910 inHis father, Chandrasekhara Subrahmanya AyyarAudits and Accounts Department.His mother Sita was a woman of high intellectual attainments.C.V. Raman, the first Indian to get Nobel Prize in science was the younger brother of Chandrasekharsfather.Till the age of 12, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar had his education at home under his parents and privatetutors. In 1922, at the age of 12, he attended the Hindu High School. He joined the Madras PresidencyCollege in 1925. Subrahmanyan Chandrashekhar passed his Bachelors degree, B.Sc. (Hon.), in physics inJune 1930. In July 1930, he was awarded a Government of IndiaCambridge, England.Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar completed his Ph.D. degree at Cambridge in the summer of 1933. InOctober 1933, Chandrasekhar was elected to a Prize Fellowship at Trinity College for the period 193337. In 1936, while on a short visit to Harvard University, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, was offered aposition as a Research Associate at the University of Chicago and remained there ever since. InSeptember 1936, Subrahmanyan Chandra Shekhar married Lomita Doraithe Presidency College in Madras.His first scientific paper, Compton Scattering and the New Statisticsof the Royal Society in 1928. On the basis of this paper he was accepted as a research stFowler at the University of Cambridge. On the voyage to England, he developed the theory of whiteSubrahmanyam ChandrashekarSubrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, FRS was an Indian-AmericanWilliam A. Fowler, won the 1983 Nobel Prize forthat led to the currently accepted theory on thelater evolutionary stages of massive stars. The Chandrasekhar limit is namednephew of Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman,who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930.University of Chicago faculty from 1937 untilhis death in 1995 at the age of 84. He became a naturalized citizen ofHe did commendable work in astrophysics, physics and applied mathematicsSubrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was born on October 19, 1910 in Lahore.Chandrasekhara Subrahmanya Ayyar was an officer in Government Service in the Indianhigh intellectual attainments.C.V. Raman, the first Indian to get Nobel Prize in science was the younger brother of ChandrasekharsTill the age of 12, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar had his education at home under his parents and private1922, at the age of 12, he attended the Hindu High School. He joined the Madras PresidencyCollege in 1925. Subrahmanyan Chandrashekhar passed his Bachelors degree, B.Sc. (Hon.), in physics inJune 1930. In July 1930, he was awarded a Government of India scholarship for graduate studies inSubrahmanyan Chandrasekhar completed his Ph.D. degree at Cambridge in the summer of 1933. InOctober 1933, Chandrasekhar was elected to a Prize Fellowship at Trinity College for the period 19331936, while on a short visit to Harvard University, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, was offered aposition as a Research Associate at the University of Chicago and remained there ever since. InSeptember 1936, Subrahmanyan Chandra Shekhar married Lomita Doraiswamy. She was her junior atCompton Scattering and the New Statistics, was published in the Proceedingsof the Royal Society in 1928. On the basis of this paper he was accepted as a research stFowler at the University of Cambridge. On the voyage to England, he developed the theory of whiteSecondScientist to win Nobelwas an officer in Government Service in the IndianC.V. Raman, the first Indian to get Nobel Prize in science was the younger brother of ChandrasekharsTill the age of 12, Subramanyan Chandrasekhar had his education at home under his parents and private1922, at the age of 12, he attended the Hindu High School. He joined the Madras PresidencyCollege in 1925. Subrahmanyan Chandrashekhar passed his Bachelors degree, B.Sc. (Hon.), in physics inscholarship for graduate studies inSubrahmanyan Chandrasekhar completed his Ph.D. degree at Cambridge in the summer of 1933. InOctober 1933, Chandrasekhar was elected to a Prize Fellowship at Trinity College for the period 1933-1936, while on a short visit to Harvard University, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, was offered aposition as a Research Associate at the University of Chicago and remained there ever since. Inswamy. She was her junior at, was published in the Proceedingsof the Royal Society in 1928. On the basis of this paper he was accepted as a research student by R.H.Fowler at the University of Cambridge. On the voyage to England, he developed the theory of whiteSecond IndianScientist to win NobelPrize
dwarf stars, showing that a star of mass greater than 1.45 times themass of the sun could not become awhite dwarf. This limit is now known as the Chandrasekhar limit.He obtained his doctorate in 1933. Soon after receiving his doctorate, Chandrasekhar was awarded thePrize Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1937, he accepted the position of Research Associateat the University of Chicago. Chandrasekhar stayed at University of Chicago throughout his career,becoming the Morton D. Hall Distinguished ServiceProfessor in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1952. In1952 he established the Astrophysical Journal and was its editor for 19 years, transforming it from alocalpublication of the University of Chicago into the national journal of the American Astronomical Society.He became a US citizen in 1958.Career:Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is best known for his discovery of Chandrasekhar Limit. He showed thatthere is a maximum mass which can be supported against gravity by pressure made up of electrons andatomic nuclei.The value of this limit is about 1.44 times a solar mass. The Chandrasekhar Limit plays a crucial role inunderstanding the stellar evolution. If the mass of a star exceeded this limit, the star would not becomea white dwarf. It would continue to collapse under the extreme pressure of gravitational forces. Theformulation of the Chandrasekhar Limit led to the discovery of neutron stars and black holes. Dependingon the mass there are three possible final stages of a star - white dwarf, neutron star and black hole.Apart from discovery of Chandrasekhar Limit, major work done by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekharincludes:• Theory of Brownian motion (1938-1943)• Theory of the illumination and the polarization of the sunlit sky (1943-1950)• Theory of the illumination and the polarization of the sunlit sky (1943-1950)• The equilibrium and the stability of ellipsoidal figures of equilibrium, partly in collaboration withNorman R. Lebovitz (1961-1968)• The general theory of relativity and relativistic astrophysics (1962-1971) and• The mathematical theory of black holes (1974- 1983).Nobel Prize:Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was awarded (jointly with the nuclear astrophysicist W.A. Fowler) theNobel Prize in Physics in 1983. He died on August 21, 1995.Legacy:• In 1999, NASA named the third of its four "Great Observatories" after Chandrasekhar. Thisfollowed a naming contest which attracted 6,000 entries from fifty states and sixty-one
countries. The Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched and deployed by SpaceShuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999.• The Chandrasekhar number, an important dimensionless number of magneto hydrodynamics, isnamed after him.• The asteroid 1958 Chandra is also named after Chandrasekhar.• American astronomer Carl Sagan, who studied Mathematics under Chandrasekhar, at theUniversity of Chicago, praised him in the book The Demon-Haunted World:“I discovered what true mathematical elegance is from SubrahmanyanChandrasekhar.”Awards:Fellow of the Royal Society (1944)Henry Norris Russell Lectureship (1949)Bruce Medal (1952)Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1953)Rumford Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1957)National Medal of Science, USA (1966)Padma Vibhushan (1968)Henry Draper Medal of the National Academy of Sciences (1971)Nobel Prize in Physics (1983)Copley Medal of the Royal Society (1984)Honorary Fellow of the International Academy of Science (1988)Gordon J. Laing Award (1989)Humboldt Prize
Homi J BhabhaBorn: October 30, 1909, MumbaiDied: January 24, 1966, Mont BlancHomi Bhabha, whose full name was Homi Jehnagir Bhabha, was a famousIndian atomic scientist.In Independent India, Homi Jehnagir Bhabha, with the support of JawaharlalNehru, laid the foundation of a scientific establishment and was responsiblefor the creation of two premier institutions, Tata Institute of FundamentalResearch and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre(former name is the TrombayAtomic Energy Establishment).Homi Bhabha was the first chairman of Indias Atomic Energy Commission.Colloquially known as “father of Indian nuclear programme”Early life:Homi Jehangir Bhabha was born on October 30, 1909, in Bombay in a rich Parsi family. He received hisearly education at Bombays Cathedral Grammar School and entered Elphinstone College at age 15 afterpassing his Senior Cambridge Examination with Honors.His name, Jahangir (Jehangir), is from Persian meaning “conqueror of the world.”He then attended the Royal Institute of Science until 1927 before joining Caius College of CambridgeUniversity. This was due to the insistence of his father and his uncle Dorab Tata, who planned forBhabha to obtain a degree in Mechanical engineering from Cambridge and then return to India, wherehe would join the Tata Steel Mills in Jamshedpur as a metallurgist.Research in Nuclear physics:In January 1933, Bhabha received his doctorate in nuclear physics after publishing his first scientificpaper, "The Absorption of Cosmic radiation".In the publication, Bhabha offered an explanation of the absorption features and electron showerproduction in cosmic rays. The paper helped him win the Isaac Newton Studentship in 1934, which heheld for the next three years. The following year, he completed his doctoral studies in theoreticalphysics under Ralph H. Fowler.During his studentship, he split his time working at Cambridge and with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. In1935, Bhabha published a paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series A, in which performedthe first calculation to determine the cross section of electron-positron scattering. Electron-positronscattering was later named Bhabha scattering, in honor of his contributions in the field.First chairman ofIndias Atomic EnergyCommission
Return to India:Due to outbreak of Second World War, Homi Jehangir Bhabha, returned to India in 1939.He set up the Cosmic Ray Research Unit at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore under C. V. Ramanin 1939.With the help of J.R.D. Tata, he established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at Mumbai.In 1945, he became director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.Apart from being a great scientist, Homi Bhabha, was also a skilled administrator. After independence hereceived the blessings of Jawaharlal Nehru for peaceful development of atomic energy.He established the Atomic Energy Commission of India in 1948 and was its chairman.Under his guidance Indian scientists worked on the development of atomic energy, and the first atomicreactor in Asia went into operation at Trombay, near Bombay, in 1956.Under his guidance, nuclear reactors like the Apsara, Cirus and Zerlina were built.Homi Bhabha was chairman of the first United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of AtomicEnergy, held in Geneva in 1955.He advocated international control of nuclear energy and the outlawing of atomic bombs by allcountries. He wanted nuclear energy to be used for alleviating poverty and misery of people.He was the President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from 1960 to 1963.Death:Homi Bhabha died in an aeroplane crash in Switzerland on January 24, 1966.Legacy:After his death, the Atomic Energy Establishment at Trombay was renamed as the Bhabha AtomicResearch Centre in his honour.In addition to being an able scientist and administrator, Bhabha was also a painter and a classical musicand opera enthusiast, besides being an amateur botanistThe Homi Bhabha Fellowship Council has been giving the Homi Bhabha Fellowships since 1967 Othernoted institutions in his name are the Homi Bhabha National Institute, an Indian deemed university andthe Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai, India.He is the recipient of the Adam’s Award, Padma Bhushan, an Honorary Fellow of the American Academyof Arts and Sciences and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.
Jagadish Chandra BoseBorn: November 30, 1858, BikrampurDied: November 23, 1937, GiridihAcharya Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, CSI, CIE, FRS was an Indian Bengalipolymath: a physicist, biologist, botanist, archaeologist, as well as an earlywriter of science fiction.He pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made verysignificant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundationsof experimental science in the Indian subcontinent.He was the first to prove that plants too have feelings. He inventedwireless telegraphy a year before Marconi patented his invention.IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) named him one ofthe fathers of radio science.He is also considered the father of Bengali science fiction.He was the first person from the Indian subcontinent to receive a US patent, in 1904.He also invented the crescograph (A crescograph is a device for measuring growth in plants. It wasinvented in the early 20th century by Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, an Indian scientist)Early Life:Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was born in Bikrampur, Bengal, (now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh) on30 November 1858.His father Bhagabanchandra Bose was a Deputy Magistrate. Jagadish Chandra Bose had his earlyeducation in village school in Bengal medium. In 1869, Jagadish Chandra Bose was sent to Calcutta tolearn English and was educated at St.Xaviers School and College. He was a brilliant student. He passedthe B.A. in physical sciences in 1879.In 1880, Jagdishchandra Bose went to England. He studied medicine at London University, England, for ayear but gave it up because of his own ill health. Within a year he moved to Cambridge to take up ascholarship to study Natural Science at Christs College Cambridge. In 1885, he returned from abroadwith a B.Sc. degree and Natural Science Tripos (a special course of study at Cambridge).Joining Presidency CollegeBose returned to India in 1885, carrying a letter from Fawcett, the economist to Lord Ripon, Viceroy ofIndia.Father of the BengaliScience Fiction &Inventor of Cresco graph
On Lord Ripon’s request Sir Alfred Croft, the Director of Public Instruction, appointed Bose officiatingprofessor of physics in Presidency College. The principal, C. H. Tawney, protested against theappointment but had to accept it.Bose was not provided with facilities for research. On the contrary, he was a ‘victim of racialism’ withregard to his salary.In those days, an Indian professor was paid Rs. 200 per month, while his European counterpart receivedRs. 300 per month. Since Bose was officiating, he was offered a salary of only Rs. 100 per month. Withremarkable sense of self respect and national pride he decided on a new form of protest.Bose refused to accept the salary cheque. In fact, he continued his teaching assignment for three yearswithout accepting any salary.Finally both the Director of Public Instruction and the Principal of the Presidency College fully realizedthe value of Bose’s skill in teaching and also his lofty character. As a result his appointment was madepermanent with retrospective effect. He was given the full salary for the previous three years in a lumpsum.As a teacher Jagdish Chandra Bose was very popular and engaged the interest of his students by makingextensive use of scientific demonstrations. Many of his students at the Presidency College were destinedto become famous in their own right. These included Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha.Radio Research:In 1894, Jagadish Chandra Bose decided to devote himself to pure research. He converted a smallenclosure adjoining a bathroom in the Presidency College into a laboratory. He carried out experimentsinvolving refraction, diffraction and polarization. It would not be wrong to call him as the inventor ofwireless telegraphy.In 1895, a year before Guglielmo Marconi patented this invention, he had demonstrated its functioningin public.Bose wrote in a Bengali essay, Adrisya Alok (Invisible Light), “The invisible light can easily pass throughbrick walls, buildings etc. Therefore, messages can be transmitted by means of it without the mediationof wires.”Jagdish Chandra Bose later switched from physics to the study of metals and then plants. He fabricated ahighly sensitive "coherer", the device that detects radio waves. He found that the sensitivity of thecoherer decreased when it was used continuously for a long period and it regained its sensitivity whenhe gave the device some rest. He thus concluded that metals have feelings and memory.In May 1897, two years after Boses public demonstration in Kolkata, Guglielmo Marconi conducted hiswireless signaling experiment on Salisbury Plain.In 1899, Bose announced the development of a "iron-mercury-iron coherer with telephone detector" ina paper presented at the Royal Society, London.Sir Nevill Mott, Nobel Laureate in 1977 for his own contributions to solid-state electronics, remarkedthat:
"J.C. Bose was at least 60 years ahead of his time" and "In fact, he had anticipated theexistence of P-type and N-type semiconductors."Plants research:Jagdish Chandra Bose showed experimentally plants too have life. He invented an instrument to recordthe pulse of plants and connected it to a plant. The plant, with its roots, was carefully picked up anddipped up to its stem in a vessel containing bromide, a poison. The plants pulse beat, which theinstrument recorded as a steady to-and-fro movement like the pendulum of a clock, began to growunsteady. Soon, the spot vibrated violently and then came to a sudden stop. The plant had died becauseof poison.He founded the Bose Institute at Calcutta, devoted mainly to the study of plants. Today, the Institutecarries research on other fields too.Science Fiction:In 1896, Bose wrote Niruddesher Kahini, the first major work in Bengali science fiction. Later, he addedthe story in the Abyakta book as Palatak Tuphan.He was the first science fiction writer in the Bengali language.Legacy:To commemorate his birth centenary in 1958, the JBNSTS scholarship programme was started in WestBengal. In the same year, India issued a postage stamp bearing his portrait.On September 14, 2012, Boses experimental work in millimeter-band radio was recognized as an IEEEMilestone in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the first such recognition of a discovery in India.Books:Response in the Living and Non-living , 1902Plant response as a means of physiological investigation, 1906Comparative Electro-physiology : A Physico-physiological Study, 1907Researches on Irritability of Plants , 1913Physiology of the Ascent of Sap, 1923The physiology of photosynthesis, 1924The Nervous Mechanisms of Plants, 1926Plant Autographs and Their Revelations, 1927Growth and tropic movements of plants, 1928Motor mechanism of plants, 1928
Honours:Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE, 1903)Companion of the Order of the Star of India (CSI, 1912)Knight Bachelor (1917)Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS, 1920)Member of the Vienna Academy of Sciences, 1928President of the 14th session of the Indian Science Congress in 1927.Member of Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters in 1929.Member of the League of Nations Committee for Intellectual CooperationFounding fellow of the National Institute of Sciences of India (now renamed as the Indian NationalScience Academy)The Indian Botanic Garden was renamed as the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian BotanicGarden on 25 June 2009 in honor of Jagadish Chandra Bose.
Meghnad SahaBorn: October 6, 1893, Dhaka DistrictDied: February 16, 1956, DelhiMeghnad Saha FRS was an Indian Bengali astrophysicist best known for hisdevelopment of the Saha equation ("ionization formula), used to describechemical and physical conditions in stars.He was the first director of Indian Association for the Cultivation ofScience (IACS), the oldest research institute in India.Early Life:Meghnad Saha was born on October 6, 1893 in Sheoratali, a village in theDistrict of Dacca, now in Bangladesh. He was the fifth child of his parents,Sri Jagannath Saha and Smt. Bhubaneshwari Devi.His father was a grocer in the village. Meghnad Saha had his early schooling in the primary school of thevillage. As his family could hardly able to make both ends meet, Meghnad Saha managed to pursue hisschooling only due to the generosity of a local medical practitioner, Ananta Kumar Das, who providedhim with boarding and lodging in his house.In 1905, he joined the Dhaka Collegiate School. Here he not only received a free studentship, but also astipend. However he lost both his free studentship and stipend when he participated in a boycottagainst the then British Governor of Bengal Sir Bampfylde Fuller when he came on a visit to Dacca.He took admission in the Kishorilal Jubili School and passed the Entrance Examination of the CalcuttaUniversity in 1909, standing first among the student from East Bengal obtaining the highest marks inlanguages (English, Bengali and Sanskrit combined) and in Mathematics.In 1911, he ranked third in the ISc exam while the first position went to another great scientistSatyendranath Bose.Meghnad Saha took admission in Presidency College Calcutta. In 1913 he graduated from PresidencyCollege with Mathematics major and got the second rank in the University of Calcutta while the first onewas taken by S.N. Bose.In 1915, both S.N.Bose and Meghnad Saha ranked first in M.Sc. exam, Meghnad Saha in AppliedMathematics and S.N. Bose in Pure Mathematics.While studying in Presidency College, Meghnad got involved with Anushilan Samiti to take part infreedom fighting movement. He also came in contact with nationalists like Subhash Chandra Bose andRajendra Prasad.First director of IndianAssociation for theCultivation of Science
Scientific CareerIn 1917, Meghnad Saha joined as lecturer at the newly opened University College of Science in Calcutta.He taught Quantum Physics. Along with S.N. Bose, he translated the papers published in German byEinstein and Minkowski on relativity into English versions.In 1919, American Astrophysical Journal published - "On Selective Radiation Pressure and itsapplication" - a research paper by Meghnad Saha.He put forward an "ionization formula" which explained the presence of the spectral lines. The formulaproved to be a breakthrough in astrophysics. He went abroad and stayed for two years. He spent time inresearch at Imperial College, London and at a research laboratory in Germany.In 1927, Meghnad Saha was elected as a fellow of Londons Royal Society.Back to IndiaMeghnad Saha moved to Allahabad and in 1932 Uttar Pradesh Academy of Science was established. Hereturned to Science College, Calcutta in 1938. During this time Saha got interested in Nuclear Physics.In 1947 he established the Indian Institute of Nuclear Physics (now known as the Saha Institute ofNuclear Physics).He took the first effort to include Nuclear Physics in the curriculum of higher studies of science. Havingseen cyclotrons used for research in nuclear physics abroad, he ordered one to be installed in theinstitute. In 1950, India had its first cyclotron in operation.He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics four times- 1930, 1937, 1939, and 1940."In 1952 he stood as an independent candidate for Parliament and was elected by a wide margin. Hedied on February 16, 1956 due to a heart attack.
M VisvesvarayaBorn: September 15, 1860, ChikballapurDied: April 12, 1962, BangaloreSir Mokshagundam Visveswaraiah, KCIE was a notable Indian engineer,scholar, statesman and the Diwan of Mysore during 1912 to 1918.He was a recipient of the Indian Republics highest honour, the BharatRatna, in 1955.He was knighted as a Commander of the British Indian Empire by KingGeorge V for his myriad contributions to the public good.Every year, 15 September is celebrated as Engineers Day in India in hismemory.He was the chief designer of the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad, as well as the chiefengineer responsible for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagara dam in Mysore.Early Life:Sir M. Visvesvaraya was born on September 15, 1860 in Muddenahalli village in the Kolar district of theerstwhile princely state of Mysore (present day Karnataka). His father Srinivasa Sastry was a Sanskritscholar and Ayurvedic practitioner. His mother Venkachamma was a religious lady. He lost his fatherwhen he was only 15 years old.Visvesvaraya completed his early education in Chikkaballapur and then went to Bangalore for highereducation. He cleared his B.A. Examination in 1881. He got some assistance from the Government ofMysore and joined the Science College in Poona to study Engineering. In 1883 he ranked first in theL.C.E. and the F.C.E. Examinations (equivalent to B.E. Examination of today).Career as an EngineerUpon graduating as an engineer, Visvesvaraya took up a job with the Public Works Department (PWD)of Mumbai and was later invited to join the Indian Irrigation Commission.He also designed and patented a system of automatic weir water floodgates that were first installed in1903 at the Khadakvasla Reservoir near Pune. These gates were employed to raise the flood supplylevel of storage in the reservoir to the highest level likely to be attained by a flood without causing anydamage to the dam.Based on the success of these gates, the same system was installed at the Tigra Dam in Gwalior andthe Krishnaraja Sagara (KRS) Dam in Mandya/ Mysore,Karnataka.Visvesvaraya achieved celebrity status when he designed a flood protection system for the cityof Hyderabad.Father of the ModernMysore State
Visvesvaraya supervised the construction of the KRS Dam across the Cauvery River from concept toinauguration. This dam created the biggest reservoir in Asia when it was built.Diwan of Mysore (1912-1918)After opting for voluntary retirement in 1908, he took a foreign tour to study industrialized nations andafter, for a short period he worked for the Nizam of Hyderabad, India.He suggested flood relief measures for Hyderabad town, which was under constant threat of floods byMoosi river.Later, during November 1909, Visvesvaraya was appointed as Chief Engineer of Mysore State.Further, during the year, 1912, he was appointed as Diwan (First Minister) of the princely stateof Mysore. He was Diwan for 7 years.He was rightly called the "Father of modern Mysore state" (now Karnataka).During his period of service with the Government of Mysore state, he was responsible for the foundingof, (under the Patronage of Mysore Government), the Mysore Soap Factory, the Parasitoide Laboratory,the Mysore Iron & Steel Works (now known as Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited) in Bhadravathi, theSri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic Institute, the Bangalore Agricultural University, the State Bank ofMysore, The Century Club, Mysore Chambers of Commerce and numerous other industrial ventures.Sir M. Visvesvaraya voluntarily retired as Dewan of Mysore in 1918. He worked actively even after hisretirement.Awards & Honours:• 1904: Honorary Membership of London Institution of Civil Engineers for an unbroken period of50 years• 1906: "Kaisar-i-Hind" in recognition of his services• 1911: C.I.E. (Companion of the order of the Indian Empire) at the Delhi Darbar• 1915: K.C.I.E. (Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire)• 1921: D.Sc. - Calcutta University• 1931: LLD - Bombay University• 1937: D.Litt - Benaras Hindu University• 1943: Elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Institution of Engineers (India)• 1944: D.Sc. - Allahabad University• 1948: Doctorate - LLD., Mysore University• 1953: D.Litt - Andhra University• 1953: Awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Town Planners, India• 1955: Conferred BHARATH RATNA• 1958: Durga Prasad Khaitan Memorial Gold Medal by the Royal Asiatic Society Council ofBengal• 1959: Fellowship of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore• He was president of the 1923 Session of the Indian Science Congress.
• He was the most popular person from Karnataka, in a newspaper survey conducted by PrajaVaniRecognitionThe Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, a museum in Bangalore is named in his honor.BooksReconstructing IndiaPlanned economy for IndiaMemories of my working lifeUnemployment in India, its causes and cureSpeeches
Satyendra Nath BoseBorn: January 1, 1894, KolkataDied: February 4, 1974, KolkataSatyendra Nath Bose was an outstanding Indian physicist. He is known for hiswork in Quantum Physics. He is famous for "Bose-Einstein Theory" and a kindof particle in atom has been named after his name as Boson.A Fellow of the Royal Society, he was awarded Indias second highest civilianaward, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954 by the Government of India.Early LifeSatyendranath Bose was born on January 1, 1894 in Calcutta. His father Surendranath Bose wasemployed in the Engineering Department of the East India Railway. Satyendranath was the eldest of hisseven children.Satyendra Nath Bose had his schooling from Hindu High School in Calcutta. He was a brilliant student.He passed the ISc in 1911 from the Presidency College, Calcutta securing the first position. SatyendraNath Bose did his BSc in Mathematics from the Presidency College in 1913 and MSc in MixedMathematics in 1915 from the same college. He topped the university in BSc. and MSc. Exams.CareerIn 1916, the Calcutta University started M.Sc. classes in Modern Mathematics and Modern Physics. S.N.Bose started his career in 1916 as a Lecturer in Physics in Calcutta University. He served here from 1916to 1921.In 1921, he joined as Reader of the department of Physics of the then recently founded University ofDhaka (now in Bangladesh) by the then Vice Chancellor of University of Calcutta Sir AshutoshMukherjee,In 1924, Satyendra Nath Bose published an article titled Max Plancks Law and Light QuantumHypothesis. This article was sent to Albert Einstein. Einstein appreciated it so much that he himselftranslated it into German and sent it for publication to a famous periodical in Germany - Zeitschrift furPhysik.The hypothesis received a great attention and was highly appreciated by the scientists. It becamefamous to the scientists as Bose-Einstein Theory.Indian physicist
In 1926, Satyendra Nath Bose became a Professor of Physics in Dhaka University. Though he had notcompleted his doctorate till then, he was appointed as professor on Einsteins recommendation.In 1929 Satyendranath Bose was elected chairman of the Physics of the Indian Science Congress and in1944 elected full chairman of the Congress. In 1945, he was appointed as Khaira Professor of Physics inCalcutta University. He retired from Calcutta University in 1956. The University honored him on hisretirement by appointing him as Emeritus Professor. Later he became the Vice Chancellor of theViswabharati University.In 1958, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, London.Although several Nobel Prizes were awarded for research related to the concepts of the boson, Bose–Einstein statistics and Bose–Einstein condensate—the latest being the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics givenfor advancing the theory of Bose–Einstein condensates—Bose himself was not awarded the Nobel Prize.HonoursIn 1937, Rabindranath Tagore dedicated his only book on science, Visva-Parichay, to Satyendra NathBose.Bose was honored with title Padma Vibhushan by the Indian Government in 1954.In 1959, he was appointed as the National Professor, the highest honor in the country for a scholar, aposition he held for 15 years.In 1986, S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences was established by an act of Parliament,Government of India, in Salt Lake, Calcutta in honor of the world-renowned Indian scientist.Bose became an adviser to then newly-formed Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. He was thePresident of Indian Physical Society and the National Institute of Science.He was elected General President of the Indian Science Congress. He was the Vice President and thenthe President of Indian Statistical Institute.He was nominated as member of Rajya Sabha.
Anil KakodkarBorn: November 11, 1943 (age 68), BarwaniAnil Kakodkar is an eminent Indian nuclear scientist and mechanicalengineer.He is the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and theSecretary to the Government of India, he was the Director of the BhabhaAtomic Research Centre, Trombay from 1996-2000.He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, Indias second highest civilianhonour, on January 26, 2009.Early LifeKakodkar was born in 1943 (November 11, 1943), in Barwani Princely State (present day MadhyaPradesh state) to Mrs. Kamala Kakodkar & Mr. Purushottam Kakodkar, both Gandhian Freedom Fighters.He had his early education at Barwani and at Khargone, until moving to Mumbai for post-matriculationstudies.Kakodkar graduated from Ruparel College, then from VJTI, University of Mumbai with a degreein Mechanical Engineering in 1963. He joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in 1964. Heobtained a masters degree in experimental stress analysis from the University of Nottingham in 1969.Career in BARCHe joined the Reactor Engineering Division of the BARC and played a key role in design and constructionof the Dhruva reactor, a completely original but high-tech project.Anil Kakodkar also has the credit of being a member of the core team of architects of Indias PeacefulNuclear Tests that were conducted during the years 1974 and 1998.He also led the indigenous development of the countrys Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor Technology.Anil Kakodkars efforts in the rehabilitation of the two reactors at Kalpakkam and the first unit atRawatbhatta is noteworthy as it were about to close down.In the year 1996, Anil Kakodkar became the youngest Director of the BARC after Homi Bhabha himself.From the year 2000 onwards, he has been leading the Atomic Energy Commission of India and playingsecretary to the Department of Atomic Energy.Dr Anil Kakodkar has been playing a crucial part in demanding sovereignty for Indias nuclear tests. Infact, he is known for being a strong advocate of Indias self-reliance by employing Thorium as a fuel fornuclear energy.Indian nuclear scientist
Awards:National AwardsPadma Shri in 1998.Padma Bhushan in 1999.Padma Vibhushan in 2009.Other AwardsHighest civilian award of the Maharashtra state-Maharashtra Bhushan Award(2012)Highest civilian award of the Goa state-Gomant Vibhushan Award(2010)Hari Om Ashram Prerit Vikram Sarabhai Award (1988)H. K. Firodia Award for Excellence in Science and Technology (1997)Rockwell Medal for Excellence in Technology (1997)FICCI Award for outstanding contribution to Nuclear Science and Technology (1997-98)ANACON - 1998 Life Time Achievement Award for Nuclear SciencesIndian Science Congress Associations H. J. Bhabha Memorial Award (1999-2000)Godavari Gaurav Award (2000)Dr. Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award (2002)Chemtech Foundations Achiever of the Year Award for Energy (2002)Gujar Mal Modi Innovative Science and Technology Award in 2004.Homi Bhabha Lifetime Achievement Award 2010.Acharya Varahmihir Award (2004) by Varahmihir Institute of Scientific Heritage and Research, Ujjain(M.P.), India
APJ Abdul KalamBorn: October 15, 1931 (age 81), DhanushkodiAvul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam is an Indian scientist andadministrator who served as the 11th President of India.He is a man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the developmentof the country and is also often also referred to as the ‘Missile Man ofIndia’ for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launchvehicle technology.People loved and respected Dr APJ Abdul Kalam so much during his tenureas President that was popularly called the Peoples President.Kalam was elected the President of India in 2002, defeating LakshmiSahgal and was supported by both the Indian National Congress andthe Bharatiya Janata Party, the major political parties of India.He is the first Indian person to win the Hoover Prize.Early Life & EducationKalam was born on 15 October 1931 to Jainulabdeen, a boat owner and Ashiamma, a housewife,at Rameswaram, located in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.He came from a poor background and started working at an early age to supplement his familysincome. He was brought up in a multi-religious environment but did follow a religious routine.After completing school, Kalam distributed newspapers in order to financially contribute to his fathersincome.In his school years, he had average grades, but was described as a bright and hardworking student whohad a strong desire to learn and spend hours on his studies, especially mathematics."I inherited honesty and self-discipline from my father; from my mother, I inherited faith in goodnessand deep kindness as did my three brothers and sisters."—A quote from Kalams autobiographyAfter completing his school education at the Rameswaram Elementary School, Kalam went on toattend Saint Josephs College, Tiruchirappalli where he graduated in physics in 1954. He then movedto Madras in 1955 to study aerospace engineering at the MIT Madras, India.While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with the lack of progressand threatened revoking his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next two days. Heworked tirelessly on his project and met the deadline, impressing the Dean who later said:"I [Dean] was putting you [Kalam] under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline".Missile Man of India
Career as a ScientistAfter graduating from Madras Institute of Technology (MIT – Chennai) in 1960, Kalamjoined Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and DevelopmentOrganization (DRDO) as a chief scientist.Kalam started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, but remained unconvincedwith the choice of his job at DRDO.Kalam was also part of the INCOSPAR committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned spacescientist.In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)where he was theproject director of Indias first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployedthe Rohini satellite in near earth orbit in July 1980.Joining ISRO was one of Kalams biggest achievements in life and he is said to have found himself whenhe started to work on the SLV project.Kalam first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969,Kalam received the governments approval and expanded the program to include more engineers.In 1963–64, he visited Nasas Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia, Goddard Space FlightCenter in Greenbelt, Maryland and Wallops Flight Facility situated at Eastern Shore of Virginia.During the period between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar SLV andSLV-III projects, both of which proved to be success.Kalam was invited by Raja Ramanna to witness the countrys first nuclear test Smiling Buddha as therepresentative of TBRL(Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory), even though he had not participated inthe development, test site preparation and weapon designing.In the 1970s, a landmark was achieved by ISRO when the locally built Rohini-1 was launched into space,using the SLV rocket.In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects, namely, Project Devil and Project Valiant , which soughtto develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme.Kalam and Dr. V. S. Arunachalam, metallurgist and scientific adviser to the Defense Minister, worked onthe suggestion by the then Defense Minister, R. Venkataraman on a proposal for simulataneousdevelopment of a quiver of missiles instead of taking planned missiles one by one.R Venkatraman was instrumental in getting the cabinet approval for allocating 388 crore rupees for themission, named Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (I.G.M.D.P) and appointed Kalam asthe Chief Executive.He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of Defence Research andDevelopment Organisation from July 1992 to December 1999.The Pokhran-II nuclear tests were conducted during this period where he played an intensive politicaland technological role. Kalam served as the Chief Project Coordinator, along with R.Chidambaram during the testing phase.
In 1998, along with cardiologist Dr.Soma Raju, Kalam developed a low cost Coronary stent. It wasnamed as "Kalam-Raju Stent" honouring them.In 2012, the duo, designed a rugged tablet PC for health care in rural areas, which was named as "Kalam-Raju Tablet".Tenure as President (2002-2007)Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K. R. Narayanan. He won the 2002presidential election defeating Lakshmi Sahgal. He served from 25 July 2002 to 25 July 2007.Kalam was the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna, Indias highestcivilian honour, before becoming the President. Dr. Sarvapali Radhakrishnan(1954) and Dr. ZakirHussain (1963) were the earlier recipients of Bharat Ratna who later became the President of India.He was also the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhawan.During his term as President, he was affectionately known as the Peoples President.In his words, signing the Office of Profit Bill was the toughest decision he had taken during his tenure.Article 72 of the Constitution of India empowers the President of India to grant pardon, suspend andremit death sentences and commute the death sentence of convicts on death row.Kalam acted on only one mercy plea in his 5 year tenure as a President, rejecting the plea of rapistDhananjoy Chatterjee, who was hanged thereafter. The most important of the 20 pleas is thought to bethat of Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri terrorist who was convicted of conspiracy in the December 2001 attack onthe Indian Parliament and was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of India in 2004. While thesentence was scheduled to be carried out on 20 October 2006, the pending action on the mercy plearesulted in him continuing in the death row.Frisking by American security authoritiesAbdul Kalam was frisked at the JFK Airport (John F. Kennedy International Airport) in New York, whileboarding a plane on 29 September 2011. He was subjected to "private screening" as he does not comeunder the category of dignitaries exempt from security screening procedures under Americanguidelines.He was frisked again after boarding the Air India aircraft with the US security officials asking for hisjacket and shoes, claiming that these items were not checked according to the prescribed proceduresduring the "private screening", despite protests from the airline crew confirming him as Indiaspresident.India threatened retaliatory action as there was a "general sense of outrage" around the country. TheIndian Ministry of External Affairs protested over this incident and a statement by the ministry said thatthe US Government had written a letter to Kalam, expressing its deep regret for the inconvenience.Kalam was previously frisked by the ground staff of the Continental Airlines at the Indira GandhiInternational Airport, New Delhi in July 2009 and was treated like an ordinary passenger, despite himbeing on the Bureau of Civil Aviation Securitys list of people exempted from security screening in India.
Popular CultureIn May 2011, Kalam launched his mission for the youth of the nation called the What Can I GiveMovement with a central theme to defeat corruption. He also has interests in writing Tamil poetry andin playing veenai, a South Indian string instrument.He was nominated for the MTV Youth Icon of the Year award in 2003 and in 2006.In the 2011 Hindi film I Am Kalam, Kalam is portrayed as an extremely positive influence to a poor butbright Rajasthani boy named Chhotu (role played by Harsh Mayar), who renames himself Kalam inhonour of his idol.Awards & HonoursA. P. J. Abdul Kalams 79th birthday was recognized as World Students Day by United Nations.He has also received honorary doctorates from 40 universities.The Government of India has honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the PadmaVibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to theGovernment.In 1997, Kalam received Indias highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, for his immense and valuablecontribution to the scientific research and modernization of defence technology in India.Year of Award Name of the Award Awarding Organization2012 Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) Simon Fraser University2011 IEEE Honorary Membership IEEE2010 Doctor of Engineering University of Waterloo2009 Hoover Medal ASME Foundation, USA2009 International von Kármán Wings Award California Institute of Technology, U.S.A2008 Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa)Nanyang Technological University,Singapore2007 King Charles II Medal Royal Society, U.K2007 Honorary Doctorate of Science University of Wolverhampton, U.K2000 Ramanujan Award Alwars Research Centre, Chennai[1998 Veer Savarkar Award Government of India1997 Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration Government of India1997 Bharat Ratna Government of India1990 Padma Vibhushan Government of India1981 Padma bhushan Government of India
Books & DocumentariesKalams writingsTurning Points: A journey through challenges by A. P. J Abdul Kalam is a sequel of wings of Fire,2012.Wings of Fire: An Autobiography by A. P. J Abdul Kalam, 1999.India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium by A. P. J Abdul Kalam, 1998.Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, 2002.The Luminous Sparks by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, 2004.Mission India by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, 2005Inspiring Thoughts by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, 2007Developments in Fluid Mechanics and Space Technology by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and RoddamNarasimha; Indian Academy of Sciences, 1988BiographiesEternal Quest: Life and Times of Dr. Kalam by S. Chandra, 2002.President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam by R. K. Pruthi, 2002.A. P. J. Abdul Kalam: The Visionary of India by K. Bhushan, G. Katyal, 2002.A Little Dream (documentary film) by P. Dhanapal, 2008.The Kalam Effect: My Years with the President by P.M. Nair, 2008.My Days with Mahatma Abdul Kalam by Fr.A.K. George, 2009.
Hargobind KhoranaBorn: January 9, 1922, RaipurDied: November 9, 2011, ConcordHar Gobind Khorana is an American molecular biologist.For his work on the interpretation of the genetic code and its function inprotein synthesis, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in the year 1968. Thisaward was, however, also shared by Robert W. Holley and MarshallWarren Nirenberg.The very same year, he received another award ‘Louisa Gross HorwitzPrize’ along with Nirenberg that was presented to them by the ColumbiaUniversity.He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1966 and subsequently received the NationalMedal of Science.He served as MITs Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Biology and Chemistry, Emeritus and was a member ofthe Board of Scientific Governors at The Scripps Research Institute.Khorana was born to Hindu parents in Raipur village in West Punjab, British India, currently Pakistan. Hisfather was the village "patwari" (or taxation official).He was home schooled by his father until high school. He earned his B.Sc from Punjab University,Lahore, in 1943, and his M.Sc from Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan in 1945. In 1945, he beganstudying at the University of Liverpool. After earning a Ph.D in 1948, he continuedhis postdoctoral studies in Zürich (1948–1949). Subsequently, he spent two years at CambridgeUniversity. In 1952 he went to the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and in 1960 moved tothe University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 1970 Khorana became the Alfred Sloan Professor of Biologyand Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he worked until retiring in 2007.Khorana married Esther Elizabeth Sibler, of Swiss origin, in 1952.They had three children: Julia Elizabeth (born May 4, 1953), Emily Anne (born October 18, 1954; died1979), and Dave Roy (born July 26, 1958).DeathKhorana died of natural causes on November 9, 2011 in Concord, Massachusetts, aged 89. A widower,he was survived by his children Julia and Dave.Nobel laureate,Medicine, 1968
Verghese KurienBorn: November 26, 1921, KozhikodeDied: September 9, 2012, NadiadVerghese Kurien was an Indian engineer and renowned socialentrepreneur, best known as the "Father of the White Revolution", forhis billion-litre idea or Operation Flood — the worlds biggestagricultural development programme.The operation took India from being a milk-deficient nation, to thelargest milk producer in the world, surpassing the USA in 1998, withabout 17 percent of global output in 2010–11, which in 30 years doubledthe milk available to every person.He founded around 30 institutions of excellence (like AMUL, GCMMF, IRMA, NDDB) which are owned,managed by farmers and run by professionals.As the founding chairman of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Kurien wasresponsible for the creation and success of the Amul brand of dairy products. A key achievement atAmul was the invention of milk powder processed from buffalo milk (abundant in India), as opposed tothat made from cow-milk, in the then major milk producing nations.His achievements with the Amul dairy led Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri to appoint him founder-chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in 1965, to replicate Amuls "Anand model"nationwide.He was also known as the "Milkman of India".Personal life:Born on 26 November 1921 at Calicut, Madras Presidency, British India (now Kozhikode, Kerala) intoa Syrian Christian family, he would later turn an Atheist. His father was a civil surgeon in Cochin (Kochi,Kerala). He went on to marry Molly, the daughter of a friend of his father.He graduated in Physics from Loyola College, Madras in 1940 and then obtained his Bachelors inmechanical engineering from the University of Madras. After completing his degree, he joined the TataSteel Technical Institute, Jamshedpur from where he graduated in 1946.He did however train for dairy technology later on, on a government sponsorship to New Zealand, abastion of cooperative dairying then, when he had to learn to set up the Amul dairy.Father of White Revolution& Milkman of India
Career:Kurien arrived back on 13 May 1949, after his masters degree, and was quickly deputed to theGovernment of Indias experimental creamery, at Anand in Gujarats Kheda district by the governmentand rather half-heartedly served out his bond period against the scholarship given by them. He hadalready made up his mind to quit mid-way, but was persuaded to stay back at Anand by TribhuvandasPatel (who would later share the Magsaysay with him) who had brought together Khedas farmers as acooperative union to process and sell their milk, a pioneering concept at the time.Patels sincere and earnest efforts inspired Kurien to dedicate himself to the challenging task beforethem, so much so, that when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was to visit Anand later, toinaugurate Amuls plant, he embraced Kurien for his groundbreaking work. Meanwhile, Kuriens buddyand dairy expert H. M. Dalaya, invented the process of making skim milk powder and condensed milkfrom buffalo milk instead of from cow milk.This was the reason Amul would compete successfully and well against Nestle which only usedcow milk to make them. In India, buffalo milk is the main raw material unlike Europe where cow milk isabundant.The Amul pattern of cooperatives became so successful, that in 1965 Prime Minister LalBahadur Shastri, created the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to replicate the programnationwide citing Kuriens "extraordinary and dynamic leadership" upon naming him chairman.As the Amul dairy experiment was replicated in Gujarats districts in the neighbourhood ofAnand, Kurien set all of them up under GCMMF in 1973 to sell the combined produce of the dairiesunder a single Amul brand.Today GCMMF sells Amul products not only in India but also overseas.He quit the post of GCMMF Chairman in 2006 following disagreement with the GCMMF management.When the National Dairy Development Board expanded the scope of Operation Flood to cover theentire country in its Phase 2 program in 1979: Kurien founded the Institute of Rural ManagementAnand (IRMA).Kuriens life story is chronicled in his memoir I Too Had a Dream.Interestingly Kurien, the person who revolutionized the availability of milk in India did not drink milkhimself.Film and its use in enlarging movement:Veteran film-maker Shyam Benegal, then an advertising executive whoed Manthan (the churning of themilk ocean).Not able to finance it, Benegal was helped by Kurien who hit upon an idea of getting each of his half amillion farmers to contribute a token two rupees for the making of the movie.
Manthan hit a chord with the audience immediately when it was shown in Gujarat in 1976, whichimpressed distributors to release it before audiences, nationwide.The movies success gave Kurien another idea. Like shown in the film, a vet, a milk technician and afodder specialist who could explain the value of cross-breeding of milch cattle would tour other parts ofthe country along with the films prints, to woo farmers there to create cooperatives of their own.UNDP would use the movie to start similar cooperatives in Latin America.Books:1. I Too Had A Dream, co-authored with Gouri Salvi2. An Unfinished DreamAwards and honours:YEARNAME OF AWARD AWARDING ORGANISATION1999 Padma Vibhushan Government of India1993 International Person of the YearAwardWorld Dairy Expo1989 World Food Prize World Food Prize, USA1986 Wateler Peace Prize Award Carnegie Foundation, TheNetherlands1986 Krushi Ratna Award Government of India1966 Padma Bhushan Government of India1965 Padma Shri Government of India1963 Ramon Magsaysay Award Ramon Magsaysay AwardFoundation
Birbal SahniBorn: November 14, 1891, PorbandarDied: April 10, 1949, Aga Khan PalaceBirbal Sahni was an Indian paleobotanist who studied the fossils of the Indiansubcontinent, was also a geologist who took an interest in archaeology.He founded the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany in Lucknow (U.P), India.His greatest contributions lie in the study of botany of the plants of India aswell as paleobotanyApart from writing numerous influential papers on these topics he alsoserved as the President, National Academy of Sciences, India and as anHonorary President of the International Botanical Congress, Stockholm.Early LifeThe third son of Ishwar Devi and Lala Ruchi Ram Sahani, Birbal Sahni was born in Behra, SaharanpurDistrict, West Punjab, on 14 November 1891. Among the frequent guests of his parents were MotilalNehru, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Sarojini Naidu, and Madan Mohan Malaviya.He was also influenced into science by his grandfather who owned a banking business at Dera IsmailKhan and conducted amateur research in chemistry. He got his early education in India at GovernmentCollege University, Lahore (where his father worked) and Punjab University (1911). He learnt botanyunder S. R. Kashyap. He graduated fromEmmanuel College, Cambridge in 1914. He later studiedunder Professor A. C. Seward, and was awarded the D.Sc. degree of the University of London in 1919.In 1920 he married Savitri Suri, daughter of Sunder Das Suri who was an Inspector of Schools in Punjab.Savitri took an interest in his work and was a constant companion.CareerBirbal Sahni then came back to his native country India to work as the professor of Botany at the highlyesteemed Banaras Hindu University at the holy city of Varanasi.Sahni returned to India and served as Professor of Botany at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasiand Punjab University for about a year.He was appointed the first Professor and Head of the Botany Department of the LucknowUniversity in 1921. The University of Cambridge recognized his researches by the award of the degree ofSc. D. in 1929. In 1932 Palaeontologica Indica included his account of the Bennettitalean plant that hePioneer ofpalaeobotany
named Williamsonia Sewardi, and another description of a new type of petrified wood, Homoxylon,bearing resemblance to the wood of a living homoxylous angiosperm, but from the Jurassic age.Sahni maintained close relations with researchers around the globe, being a friend of Chester A. Arnold,noted American paleobotanist who later served his year in residence from 1958-1959 at the institute.He was a founder of The Paleobotanical Society which established the Institute of Palaeobotany on 10September 1946 which initially functioned in the Botany Department of Lucknow University but latermoved to its present premises at 53 University Road, Lucknow in 1949.On 3 April 1949 the Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone of the newbuilding of the Institute. A week later, on 10 April 1949, Sahni succumbed to a heart attack.HonoursSahni was recognized by several academies and institutions in India and abroad for his research.He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS) in 1936, the highest British scientifichonor, awarded for the first time to an Indian botanist.He was elected Vice-President, Palaeobotany section, of the 5th and 6th International BotanicalCongresses of 1930 and 1935, respectively; General President of the Indian Science Congress for 1940;President, National Academy of Sciences, India, 1937–1939 and 1943-1944. In 1948 he was elected anHonorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Another high honor which came tohim was his election as an Honorary President of the International Botanical Congress, Stockholm in1950, but he died before he could serve.Contributions & InfluencesIn their book Historical perspective of early twentieth century Carboniferous paleobotany in NorthAmerica, William Darrah et al have mentioned multiple interactions of scientists with Birbal Shaniregarding fieldwork.In his speeches, former President of India Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan has mentioned Birbal Sahni inseveral contexts including science, religion etc.In the English Newspaper The Hindu, Dr. Sahni has been called Pioneer of palaeobotany (in India).In their paper "New interpretations of the earliest conifers", Rothwell have cited from Revision ofIndian fossil plants: Part III. Monocotyledons by Dr. Sahni.In their paper Seed plant phylogeny and the origin of angiosperms: An experimental cladisticapproach, Dayle and Donohogue have included sections from A petrified Williamsonia by Dr. Sahni.
Srinivasa RamanujanBorn: December 22, 1887, ErodeDied: April 26, 1920, ChetputSrinivasa Ramanujan was a mathematician par excellence. He is widelybelieved to be the greatest mathematician of the 20th Century. SrinivasaRamanujan made significant contribution to the analytical theory ofnumbers and worked on elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infiniteseries.Ramanujan was said to be a natural genius by the Englishmathematician G.H. Hardy, in the same league as mathematicianslike Euler and Gauss.Early LifeSrinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan was born on December 22, 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu.His father worked in Kumbakonam as a clerk in a cloth merchants shop. At the of five Ramanujan wentto primary school in Kumbakonam. In 1898 at age 10, he entered the Town High School in Kumbakonam.At the age of eleven he was lent books on advanced trigonometry written by S. L. Loney by two lodgersat his home who studied at the Government college. He mastered them by the age of thirteen.Ramanujan was a bright student, winning academic prizes in high school.At age of 16 his life took a decisive turn after he obtained a book titled "A Synopsis of ElementaryResults in Pure and Applied Mathematics" by G. S. Carr. The book was simply a compilation ofthousands of mathematical results, most set down with little or no indication of proof. The bookgenerated Ramanujans interest in mathematics and he worked through the books results and beyond.By 1904 Ramanujan had begun to undertake deep research. He investigated the series (1/n) andcalculated Eulers constant to 15 decimal places. He began to study the Bernoulli numbers, although thiswas entirely his own independent discovery. He was given a scholarship to the Government College inKumbakonam which he entered in 1904. But he neglected his other subjects at the cost of mathematicsand failed in college examination. He dropped out of the college.Ramanujan lived off the charity of friends, filling notebooks with mathematical discoveries and seekingpatrons to support his work. In 1906 Ramanujan went to Madras where he entered PachaiyappasCollege. His aim was to pass the First Arts examination which would allow him to be admitted to theUniversity of Madras. Continuing his mathematical work Ramanujan studied continued fractions anddivergent series in 1908. At this stage he became seriously ill again and underwent an operation in April1909 after which he took him some considerable time to recover.Indian Mathematician
On 14 July 1909 Ramanujan marry a ten year old girl S Janaki Ammal.During this period Ramanujan had his first paper published, a 17-page work on Bernoulli numbers thatappeared in 1911 in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. In 1911 Ramanujan approached thefounder of the Indian Mathematical Society for advice on a job. He got the job of clerk at the MadrasPort Trust with the help of Indian mathematician Ramachandra Rao.The professor of civil engineering at the Madras Engineering College C L T Griffith was interested inRamanujans abilities and, having been educated at University College London, knew the professor ofmathematics there, namely M J M Hill. He wrote to Hill on 12 November 1912 sending some ofRamanujans work and a copy of his 1911 paper on Bernoulli numbers. Hill replied in a fairly encouragingway but showed that he had failed to understand Ramanujans results on divergent series. In January1913 Ramanujan wrote to G H Hardy having seen a copy of his 1910 book Orders of infinity.Hardy, together with Littlewood, studied the long list of unproved theorems which Ramanujan enclosedwith his letter. Hardy wrote back to Ramanujan and evinced interest in his work.University of Madras gave Ramanujan a scholarship in May 1913 for two years and, in 1914, Hardybrought Ramanujan to Trinity College, Cambridge, to begin an extraordinary collaboration. Right fromthe start Ramanujans collaboration with Hardy led to important results. In a joint paper with Hardy,Ramanujan gave an asymptotic formula for p(n). It had the remarkable property that it appeared to givethe correct value of p(n), and this was later proved by Rademacher.Ramanujan had problems settling in London. He was an orthodox Brahmin and right from the beginninghe had problems with his diet. The outbreak of World War I made obtaining special items of food harderand it was not long before Ramanujan had health problems.On 16 March 1916 Ramanujan graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Science by Research. Hehad been allowed to enrol in June 1914 despite not having the proper qualifications. Ramanujansdissertation was on Highly composite numbers and consisted of seven of his papers published inEngland.Illness & Return to IndiaRamanujan fell seriously ill in 1917 and his doctors feared that he would die. He did improve a little bySeptember but spent most of his time in various nursing homes. On February 18, 1918 Ramanujan waselected a fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society and later he was also elected as a fellow of theRoyal Society of London. By the end of November 1918 Ramanujans health had greatly improved.Ramanujan sailed to India on 27 February 1919 arriving on 13 March. However his health was very poorand, despite medical treatment, he died on April 6, 1920.In 1918, Hardy and Ramanujan studied the partition function P(n) extensively and gave a non-convergent asymptotic series that permits exact computation of the number of partitions of aninteger. Hans Rademacher, in 1937, was able to refine their formula to find an exact convergent series
solution to this problem. Ramanujan and Hardys work in this area gave rise to a powerful new methodfor finding asymptotic formulae, called the circle method.He discovered mock theta functions in the last year of his life. For many years these functions were amystery, but they are now known to be the holomorphic parts of harmonic weak Maass forms.Ramanujan’s NotebookWhile still in Madras, Ramanujan recorded the bulk of his results in four notebooks of loose leaf paper.These results were mostly written up without any derivations.Mathematician Bruce C. Berndt, in his review of these notebooks and Ramanujans work, says thatRamanujan most certainly was able to make the proofs of most of his results, but chose not to.The first notebook has 351 pages with 16 somewhat organized chapters and some unorganized material.The second notebook has 256 pages in 21 chapters and 100 unorganised pages, with the third notebookcontaining 33 unorganised pages. The results in his notebooks inspired numerous papers by latermathematicians trying to prove what he had found. Hardy himself created papers exploring materialfrom Ramanujans work as did G. N. Watson, B. M. Wilson, and Bruce Berndt. A fourth notebook with 87unorganised pages, the so-called "lost notebook", was rediscovered in 1976 by George Andrews.Ramanujan – Hardy Number 1729The number 1729 is known as the Hardy–Ramanujan number after a famous anecdote of the Britishmathematician G. H. Hardy regarding a visit to the hospital to see Ramanujan. In Hardys words:“ I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it wasnot an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallestnumber expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways. ”The two different ways are1729 = 13+ 123= 93+ 103.Generalizations of this idea have created the notion of "taxicab numbers". Coincidentally, 1729 isalso a Carmichael number.RecognitionRamanujans home state of Tamil Nadu celebrates 22 December (Ramanujans birthday) as State ITDay, memorializing both the man and his achievements, as a native of Tamil Nadu.A stamp picturing Ramanujan was released by the Government of India in 1962 – the 75th anniversaryof Ramanujans birth – commemorating his achievements in the field of number theory, and a newdesign was issued on December 26, 2011, by the India Post.
Since the Centennial year of Ramanujan, every year 22 Dec, is celebrated as Ramanujan Day bythe Government Arts College, Kumbakonam where he had studied and later dropped out.On the 125th anniversary of his birth, India declared the birthday of Ramanujan, December 22, asNational Mathematics Day. The declaration was made by Dr. Manmohan Singh in Chennai onDecember 26, 2011. Dr Manmohan Singh also declared that the year 2012 would be celebrated asthe National Mathematics Year.In popular CultureA film, based on the book The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by RobertKanigel, is being made by Edward Pressman and Matthew Brown with R. Madhavan playingRamanujan.Another international feature film on Ramanujans life was announced in 2006 as due to beginshooting in 2007. It was to be shot in Tamil Nadu state and Cambridge and be produced by an Indo-British collaboration and co-directed by Stephen Fry and Dev Benegal. A play, First Class Man byAlter Ego Productions, was based on David Freemans First Class Man. On 16 October 2011, it wasannounced that Roger Spottiswoode, best known for his James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, isworking on the film version, starring actor Siddharth. Like the book and play it is also titled The FirstClass Man; the films scripting has been completed and shooting is being planned from 2012.A Disappearing Number is a recent British stage production by the company Complicite thatexplores the relationship between Hardy and Ramanujan.The novel The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt explores in fiction the events following Ramanujansletter to Hardy.On 22 March 1988, the PBS Series Nova aired a documentary about Ramanujan, "The Man WhoLoved Numbers"Ramanujan is mentioned in the Hollywood Blockbuster Good Will Hunting starring Matt Damon afilm based on an orphan genius living in the rough part of South Boston.
Ganapathi ThanikaimoniBorn: January 1, 1938, ChennaiDied: September 5, 1986, KarachiGanapathi Thanikaimoni, a successful botanist of his days, is remembered tilldate for his widespread contribution in the field of palynology. His researchesand projects not only helped India to make its presence felt on the world stageof botany, it also furthered public relations between two countries. GanapathiThanikaimoni gradually established himself in the role of Indias ambassador toother countries to promote the research made in botany in our country. Thani, as he fondly came to beknown as, specialized in the research of pollen morphology and phylogeny of the palm tree. Aftercompleting his preliminary education in Madras, Ganapathi Thanikaimoni visited Pondicherry to earn hisdoctorate degree. His research work is still held in high regard. A project that he had started and whichhad to be put on hold because of his untimely demise is still being pursued by the French Institute inPondicherry.Early Life & EducationGanapathi Thanikaimoni was born on New Years Day in the year 1938 in Madras. He spent his entirechildhood in the city of Madras and passed his school and college years from the same. Madras, at thattime, was very important geographically, because of the proximity of ports. He earned a Masters ofScience degree in Botany from the University of Madras in the year 1962. Ganapathi Thanikaimoni wastaking lessons under Professor B G L Swamy, a famous plant morphologist during that time in theUniversity of Madras. It was in the same year that he received the Fyson Prize for his contribution in thefield of natural science. It was after his college years that Ganapathi Thanikaimoni started work on hisresearch paper that eventually earned him a doctorate degree from the University of Montpellier. In1970, the University authorities decided to grant him the doctorate degree because of his research inpollen morphology and the classification of the evolutionary stages of the palm tree.CareerArmed with a doctorate degree from the University of Montpellier and the Fyson Prize, GanapathiThanikaimoni went ahead to establish himself as a botanist. He joined as a scientist at the FrenchInstitute of Pondicherry, joining the palynology laboratory that was set up inside the institute in the year1960.Thani worked in Pondicherry under the guidance of Dr Professor Guinet. His hard work and dedicationwere soon identified by the teachers at the institute, who did not waste time to promote Thani to thepost of director of the palynology laboratory. Reports claim that Ganapathi Thanikaimoni was not onlyscientifically sound, but also very organized in his work. It was his administrative capabilities coupled
with his huge store of learning that drew the attention of all his seniors and teachers at the FrenchInstitute of Pondicherry.During his initial years at the French Institute of Pondicherry, Thani worked on the Clusiaceae, Araceae,Mimosaceae, Menispermaceae and Sonnera species of plants. His researches with the enlisted specieswere published in journals that were brought out by the French Institute of Pondicherry from time totime. Though Ganapathi Thanikaimoni worked on a particular set of species within the plant kingdomand based his research on the pollen morphology of this species, he did not flinch from working on allother plants from the large collection in the plant kingdom as well. Thani insisted that all species mustbe studied if accurate results are to be achieved for a particular set of plants because behavioralpatterns of different species are interrelated.Thani never believed in limiting his research work to only the modern flora. Although pollen morphologyas done by him chiefly dealt with the pollen of modern flora, he made it a point to extend his researchto fossil pollen as well. It was on the insistence of Thani that a tertiary pollen study was organized at the7th IPC held in Brisbane, Australia. In the year 1972, he received worldwide recognition when hiscompilation of morphology of angiosperm pollen was published as the Index Bibliographique sur laMorphologic des Pollens dAngiospermes. This introduced his studies to a worldwide audience. In theyear 1983, as a representative of the French Institute of Pondicherry, Ganapati Thanikaimoni becamethe head of a workshop that was held in Pondicherry to share botany concepts and pollen morphologyideas with Indian and French palynologists. Thani studied the pollen of plants derived from regions inAfrica and India. He had a collection of about 20,000 slides of tropical palynomorphs, which were usedfor further research work.Role in SocietyDr Ganapathi Thanikaimoni was not only involved in the study of pollen, but also tried his best tocontribute to the wellbeing of the society. Thani tried his best to educate government authorities totake proper care of coastlines and to rehabilitate arid areas across India. It is well known that mangrovesplay a very important role in balancing the eco system; therefore Thani took steps to educate the societyand the government on the necessity of a mangrove. He was also one of the masterminds in theUNESCO developed Asia and Pacific Mangrove Project. There is hardly any doubt about the fact thatGanapathi Thanikaimonis contribution to the field of pollen studies is immense and all his contributionis recorded in the book Palynology Manual that was printed after his death.DeathIt is sad that Dr Ganapathi Thanikaimoni had to die a sudden and unexpected death. Reports claim thathe was on his way to the United States to attend a lecture organized by UNESCO when disaster struckhim in the form of a plane hijack. The Pan Am Flight that he was in was hijacked midway in Karachi onSeptember 5, 1986. The Pakistan government had sent commandos on the site to bomb the plane andthe terrorists inside and it was reportedly one of the bullets fired by these commandos on duty caused afatal injury to Thani. The doctor was taken unawares by bullets and shrapnel from a grenade when he
was busy helping a child into the covers of safety. Dr Ganapathi Thanikaimoni was supposed to attendthe Second International Conference on Paleo-oceanography that took place in Massachusetts, USAfrom the 6th to the 12th of September, 1986. His studies and unfinished research work are still stored atthe French Institute of Pondicherry and further research on his theories is to take place.Timeline1938: Ganapathi Thanikaimoni was born on January 1.1962: Earned a Master of Science degree in Botany from University of Madras.1962: Won the Fyson Prize.1970: Earned doctorate degree from University of Montpellier.1972: Received worldwide recognition for his compilation of morphology of angiosperm pollen.1983: Convened workshop for Indian and French palynologists at French Institute of Pondicherry.1986: Died on September 5 in a plane hijack
Harish ChandraBorn: October 11, 1923, KanpurDied: October 16, 1983, PrincetonFor those who quiver at the thought of calculations and numericaldeductions, unless when counting money, mathematics can be theequivalent of hell on earth. And for such math atheists a mathematicianlike Harish Chandra can very well seem like a mirage. Harish Chandra is oneamongst those few people who often change tracks in their career and yetreach a glorious destination. Yes, he was a genius who studied theoreticalphysics but decided to build a career pursuing higher mathematics as hefelt that he didnt have the "mysterious sixth sense which one needs inorder to succeed in physics". And higher mathematics, as anyone will tell, is that jumble of confusionwhere alphabets are used more than numbers, X and Y being particularly favorite. In a career spanningto three decades, Harish Chandra had worked with some of the best mathematical minds of this age andwhose work in representation theory brought it from the periphery of mathematics to its center stage.Unarguably, he is the second greatest modern mathematician, after Ramanujan, of India.ChildhoodHarish Chandra Mehrotra was born in Kanpur, then known as Cawnpore in British India, toChandrakishore Mehrotra, a civil engineer and Satyagati Seth, the daughter of a wealthy lawyer. Hespent most of his childhood at his maternal grandfathers house where he received his early schooling athome from a tutor. He also learnt dancing and music. He was brilliant in his studies, but was prone tofrequent illness and both these aspect of his childhood continued throughout his life. At the age of nine,Harish Chandra was enrolled in a private school and then completed his intermediate schooling from theScindia School. He joined the University of Allahabad to study theoretical physics in which he proved tobe a brilliant student. According to an interesting anecdote when C.V Raman was an examiner at theUniversity, Harish Chandra solved the only question of the acoustic paper, which was on the theory ofvibration of the mridangam, on the spot. He was given 100% marks by a highly impressed C.V Raman.Harish Chandra was influenced to study physics after reading the Principles of Quantum Mechanics byPaul Dirac. In 1941, he completed his B. Sc and received his Masters Degree in 1943. He then moved tothe Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore as a postgraduate research fellow under Homi Bhabhato work on problems in theoretical physics. As a research fellow, Harish Chandra published severalresearch papers along with Bhabha, the first being On the Theory of Point Particles in 1944.Early WorkIn 1945, Harish Chandra was selected as a research student under Paul Dirac and so moved to theUniversity of Cambridge. In Cambridge, he became a lifelong friend of Wolfgang Pauli when during alecture by the famous physicist, he pointed out a mistake. It was at Cambridge that Harish Chandrabecame more and more interested in Mathematics. In 1947, after obtaining his Ph. D he moved to theUSA, where Dirac was teaching in the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton University. At
Princeton, he worked as Diracs assistant. His early influence in mathematics was triggered by the worksof Hermann Weyl, Emil Artin and Claude Chevalley who were working at Princeton and subsequently,moved over to mathematics.As A MathematicianIn 1949, Harish Chandra moved to Harvard and in 1950 he shifted to Colombia University, where heworked as a faculty member. It was in Colombia University during the period 1950 to 1963 that hecarried out research on semisimple lie groups which were considered to be his best research. It wasalso during this period that he studied the discrete series representations of semisimple Lie groups ashis special area. He also worked with Armand Borel with whom he founded the theory of arithmeticgroups and collaborated numerous papers on finite group analogues. Harish Chandra is also known forenunciating a precursor of the Langlands Philosophy known as Philosophy of Cusp Forms. While stillaffiliated to Cambridge, he worked at the Tata Institute in Bombay from 1952 to 1953 and then at theInstitute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 1955 to 1956 and as a Guggenheim Fellow in Paris in1957 to 1958. In 1961, he awarded the Sloan Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study and workedthere till 1963. Thereafter, he went back to the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton till he wasappointed the IBM von Neumann professor in 1968 and served till his death.Awards and Legacy♦ Harsh Chandra received many prestigious awards during his lifetime. In 1951, he publishedseveral papers on representations of semisimple Lie algebras and groups for which, in 1954, hereceived the AMS Cole prize from the American Mathematical Society.♦ In 1973, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. The same year, he was awarded with anhonorary degree from Delhi University.♦ The Indian National Science Academy in 1974 awarded Harish Chandra the Ramanujan Medalfor his work in mathematics.♦ In 1975, he was made a fellow of the Indian Academy of Science and a fellow of the IndianNational Science Academy.♦ In 1981, he was made a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States and wasalso bestowed with an honorary degree from Yale University. A bust of Harish Chandra wasunveiled at the Mehta Institute in his memory.Personal Life & DeathIn 1952, he married Lalitha Kale the daughter of Dr. Kale a botanist when he was serving a stint at theTata Institute. He had two daughters Premala and Devaki. In 1983, Harish Chandra was attending aconference to in honor of Armand Borels 60th Birthday in Princeton when he had a heart attack andpassed away. He had suffered three heart attacks before. He died before he could attend a similarconference in his honor and so the scheduled event became a memorial conference.
Timeline1923: Harish Chandra was born1932: Enrolled in a private school1941: Completed his B. Sc1943: Received his Masters Degree; moved to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore as apostgraduate research fellow under Homi Bhabha1944: Published several research papers along with Bhabha, the first being On the Theory of PointParticles1945: Was selected as a research student under Paul Dirac and so moved to the University ofCambridge.1947: Obtained his Ph. D and moved to USA1949: Moved to Harvard1950: shifted to Colombia University1950-53: Carried out research on semisimple lie groups1952-53: Worked at the Tata Institute in Bombay from1954: Received the AMS Cole prize from the American Mathematical Society for his research onsemisimple lie groups1955-56: Worked at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton1957-58: Worked as a Guggenheim Fellow in Paris1961: Was awarded the Sloan Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study1963: Went back to the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton1968: Was appointed the IBM von Neumann professor1973: Became a Fellow of the Royal Society; awarded with an honorary degree from Delhi University1974: Indian National Science Academy awarded him the Ramanujan Medal for his work in mathematics1975: Was made a fellow of the Indian Academy of Science and a fellow of the Indian National ScienceAcademy.1981: Was made a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States; was also bestowedwith an honorary degree from Yale University.
Shanti Swaroop BhatnagarBorn: February 21, 1984, ShahpurDied: January 1, 1955, NewdelhiA noted scientist of India, Dr Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar was appointedthe first director-general of the prestigious Council of Scientific andIndustrial Research. He also holds the credit of building 12 nationallaboratories like Central Food Processing Technological Institute atMysore, National Chemical Laboratory at Pune and so on.Early LifeBhatnagar was born in Shahpur,Punjab, British India( now in Pakistan), in a Hindu PunjabiBrahmo family. His father, Parmeshwari Sahai Bhatnagar, died when he was eight months old and hespent his childhood in the house of his maternal grandfather, an engineer, where he developed a likingfor science and engineering. He used to enjoy building mechanical toys, electronic batteries, stringtelephones. From his maternal family he also inherited a gift of poetry, and his Urdu one-actplay Karamati won the first prize in a competition.After completing his masters in India, Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar headed to England for a researchfellowship. Here he got his D. Sc degree from the London University in the year 1921. When he cameback to his native country, Bhatnagar was presented with a proposal of professorship at the renownedBenaras Hindu University.In 1911, Shanti published a letter to the editor, in The Leader, Allahabad, on how to make a substitutefor carbon electrodes in a battery using molasses and carbonaceous matter under pressure and heat.Dr Bhatnagar was knighted by the British Government in the year 1941 as an award for his research inscience, whereas, on 18 March 1943 he was selected as fellow of the Royal Society. Though his area ofinterest included emulsions, colloids, and industrial chemistry, but his primary contributions were in thespheres of magneto-chemistry. He also made a melodious kulgeet i.e. University song (BHU), which isstill sung with great pride before any function in his university.Work in IndiaPrime Minister Nehru was a proponent of scientific development, and after Indias independence in1947, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was set up under the chairmanship of Dr.Bhatnagar. He was named the first Director General of the CSIR. He became known as "the Father ofResearch Laboratories" and is largely remembered for having established various chemical laboratoriesin India. He established a total twelve national laboratories such as Central Food ProcessingTechnological Institute, Mysore, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, the National Physical
Laboratory, New Delhi, the National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, the Central FuelInstitute, Dhanbad, just to name a few.He was the first Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).He was Secretary, Ministry of Education and Educational Adviser to Government. Bhatnagar played animportant role both in the constitution and deliberations of the Scientific Manpower Committee Reportof 1948. ‘It may be pointed out that this was the first-ever systematic assessment of the scientificmanpower needs of the country in all aspects which served as an important policy document for thegovernment to plan the post-independent S&T infrastructure.’ Bhatnagar was a University Professor for19 years (1921–40) first at the Banaras Hindu University and then at the Punjab University and he had areputation as a very inspiring teacher and it was as a teacher that he himself was most happy.On returning to India in August 1921 he joined the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) as Professor ofChemistry. It may be noted that the BHU was founded by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in 1916.Bhatnagar stayed for three years in BHU and during this short span of time he was able to create anactive school of physico-chemical research. Bhatnagar wrote the ‘Kulgeet’ (University song) of theUniversity.Awards♦ The British Government conferred on him the Order of the British Empire♦ In 1941, he was made the Knight Bachelor♦ In 1943 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society♦ Received the Padma Vibhushan (1954) from the Government of India.
Kotcherlakota Rangadhama RaoBorn: September 9, 1898, VizianagaramDied: June 20, 1972, VisakhapatnamKotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was one of the greatest physicists of 20thcentury India. His work in spectroscopy led to the development of theNuclear Quadrupole Resonance in Physics. Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Raois also known for his long association with the Andhra University in whichhe served as professor of Physics and subsequently, became the Principalof all the colleges under the institution. Apart from his role as physicist,Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao has always been known as a nationalist forhis simple tastes in lifestyle and clothing. In spite of being professionally successfully, family was the firstpriority for Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao. He always wore khaddar and loved the company of people.And this is why Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao is known not only as a physicist but also a delightfulcompanion.Early LifeKotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was born on September 9, 1898 in a Hindu Brahmin family residing inthe small town of Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh. His father was a post master in various cities acrossthe state of Andhra Pradesh. He was a very devout Hindu who followed religious rites with the utmostcare. Being a Brahmin, Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was deeply influenced by religion and had topractice vegetarianism. Young Rao attended the Maharaja High School in Vizianagaram till he completedhis fifth standard studies in the year 1906. His subsequent years of schooling till the completion of hisintermediate examinations in the twelfth standard took place in a number of schools including theLondon Mission High School, the Hindu High School, the C B M High School and the A V N College.The family was settled in Tamil Nadu and Rao was forced to undertake the B A degree in Physics in theyear 1920 in college as a B. Sc degree was unheard of in Madras University during his college days. Raocompleted his masters in Physics in 1923 from Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, in the sameyear, when Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was a 25 year old, his mother Ramayamma passed away.Once Rao earned a D. Sc degree after completing his research paper from Madras University, he wasselected as part of a group of students to be sent abroad to complete their studies by the AndhraUniversity in the year 1928. The opportunity to travel abroad for completion of his studies opened newdoors in the career of Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao.
CareerIn the year 1924, when Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was completing his research to earn the D. Scdegree from Madras University, he joined hands with research scholar A L Narayan to set up a highquality spectroscopic laboratory in India. Dr Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Raos aim was to build such alaboratory which would be equipped to conduct the most effective researches in the field ofspectroscopy in the future. However, he and his partner had very low dispersion and low resolvingpower of constant deviation, small quartz and medium quartz spectrographs. There were no funds topurchase the alternative. Therefore, it was Dr Rao who took the initiative to travel to Calcutta. Hearrived at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in Calcutta and continued his research onspectra in visible and ultraviolet regions.In the year 1928, Dr Rao was sponsored to be sent to England for further studies by the AndhraUniversity. From 1930 to 1932, he conducted a research on atomic spectra at the Imperial College ofScience and Technology in London under the guidance of Professor A Fowler. He was awarded a D. Scdegree from London University at the end of two years. In the year 1930, Dr Rao also traveled toEuropean countries Germany and Sweden to explore the possibilities of research in spectroscopy in thecountries. He worked under Professor F Paschen of the Physikalische Technische Reichsanstalt in Berlin,Germany for six months. Rao then visited Upsala, Sweden to study vacuum spectroscopy under theguidance of Professor Manne Seigbahn.It is said that his interest in the field of spectroscopy was so high that Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Raobuilt a vacuum spectrograph spending his own money and had it installed in Potsdam, Germany. DrKotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao subsequently returned to India to start research work on the nuclearquadrupole resonance in the laboratories of the Andhra University. He was appointed the Principal ofthe Andhra University colleges in the year 1949, a post that he held till the year 1957. He was also thespecial officer managing the establishment of the Sri Venkateswara University in Tirupathi in 1954. Helater became the Emeritus Professor of Physics at the Andhra University from 1966 to 1972.ContributionsProfessor Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Raos contribution to the world of physics in general andspectroscopy in particular is immense. He remains one of the most respected physicists in India andaround the world. Some of the notable contributions made by Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao are:• Development of diatomic and polyatomic molecular spectroscopy laboratory which deals withhigh resolution vibrational structure in electronic transitions.• Crystal spectra• U V Absorption• Raman scattering• Infrared absorption• Fluorescence and Phosphorescence• Construction of microwave test benches to further investigations in dielectrics.
• Development of radio frequency spectroscopy.• Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance• Electron Spin Resonance• Nuclear Magnetic Resonance• Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao also established scholarships in the name of his father to aidtalented economically backward classes of the society study Physics. The Kotcherlakota VenkataNarasinga Rao Research Scholarship allowed a stipend of rs 30 per month for a period of twoyears, which could be extended to two more successive years.• Dr Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was one of the founding members of the A P Akademi ofSciences in Andhra Pradesh, established in 1963.DistinctionsBeing an imminent name in the history of physics in the country, Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao isremembered through awards and honors named after him. The Indian National Science Academydistributes the Memorial Lecture Award in honor of Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao since 1979. TheProfessor Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao Memorial Lecture Award is distributed to celebrateoutstanding contribution in the field of spectroscopy in Physics. Well known publications both in Indiaand abroad had articles on the research work of Dr Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao during the days heconducted important research in the field of spectroscopy. These publications may still be available inlibrary archives.Personal LifeKotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao married Vaddadi Perramma in a Hindu ceremony on December 6, 1925and two years later the couple saw the birth of their first child Ramakrishna Rao. Over the 18 years oftheir marriage, Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao and his wife had seven more children, four sons andthree daughters. Records claim that Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was a very jovial person by natureand hardly ever lost his temper. He loved the company of his friends and spent hours laughing andtalking to them. Though his first love was physics and he loved working in his laboratory for hours,Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao never ignored the well being of his family. His greatness as a physicistgoes unquestioned, but Rao never lost an opportunity to praise even the minor efforts of his colleaguesand friends. He also willingly helped many of his juniors with ideas and suggestions in a research workbut refused to take any credit in the form of reference to his name in the published work.DeathThe eminent physicist and Professor Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao breathed his last on June 20, 1972
Timeline1898: Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao was born on September 9.1920: Earned a B A in Physics degree from Madras University.1923: Earned masters in Physics degree from Madras University.1923: His mother Ramayamma passed away.1924: Joined Madras University as research scholar.1925: Married Vaddadi Perramma on December 6.1927: His wife gave birth to their first child Ramakrishna Rao.1928: Selected by Andhra University for further studies abroad.1930: Started research in atomic spectra in London.1930: Visited Germany and Sweden for research and study.1949: Joined as Principal of Andhra University colleges.1954: Appointed special officer for establishment of Sri Venkateswara University.1963: Founded the A P Akademi of Sciences in Andhra Pradesh.1966: Appointed the Emeritus Professor of Physics of Andhra University.1972: Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao died on June 20.1979: The Memorial Lecture Award is instituted in his honor.
Salim Moizuddin Abdul AliBorn: November 12, 1896, MumbaiDied: July 27, 1987, MumbaiSalim Moizuddin Abdul Ali was an Indian ornithologist and naturalist.Known as the "birdman of India", Salim Ali was among the first Indiansto conduct systematic bird surveys across India and his bird books helpeddevelop ornithology.He became the key figure behind the Bombay Natural HistorySociety after 1947 and used his personal influence to garner governmentsupport for the organization, create the Bharatpur bird sanctuary(Keoladeo National Park) and prevent the destruction of what is nowthe Silent Valley National Park. He was awarded Indias second highestcivilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 1976.Early LifeSalim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, or Salim Ali as he is better known as, was born as the ninth and youngestchild in a Sulaimani Bohra Muslim family. He was born in Mumbai to Moizuddin and Zeenat-un-nissa.Losing his father at the age of one and mother at three, Salim Ali and other kids were brought up by hismaternal uncle, Amiruddin Tyabji, and childless aunt, Hamida Begum. He was also surrounded byanother maternal uncle, Abbas Tyabji, a prominent Indian freedom fighter. He attended primary schoolat Zanana Bible Medical Mission Girls High School at Girgaum and was later admitted to St. XaviersCollege at Mumbai.However, due to his frequent chronic headaches, he was forced to drop out of school every now andthen since he was 13 years old. He was sent to Sind to stay with his uncle with hopes of the dry airmaking an improvement in his health. Thus, on returning, he just managed to clear his matriculationexamination from Bombay University in 1913. Since childhood, Salim Ali gained an interest in observingbirds closely and had a hobby of shooting birds with his toy air gun. With the help of W.S. Millard,secretary of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), the bird was identified as Yellow-throated Sparrow,which further increased his seriousness towards ornithology.Life in Burma and GermanyAfter spending a difficult first year in Xaviers College, Mumbai, Salim Ali dropped out of college andwent to Tavoy, Burma to care of his familys Wolfram mining and timber business. The forestssurrounding the area helped him further develop his naturalist and hunting skills. He developed goodrelations with J.C. Hopwood and Berthold Ribbentrop who worked with the Forest Service. On returningto India in 1917, he decided to complete his studies. Hence, he studied commercial law and accountancyBirdman of India
from Davars College of Commerce. He used to attend morning classes at Davars College and go to St.Xaviers College to attend zoology classes to complete his course in zoology. Apart from his interest inbirds, Salim Ali was also fascinated by motorcycles and hence, owned his first motorcycle, 3.5 HP NSUwhile he was in Tavoy.He later went on to possess Sunbeam, Harley-Davidson (three models), Douglas, Scott, New Hudson,and Zenith, amongst other models. He went further to get his Sunbeam shipped to Europe on beinginvited to the 1950 Ornithological Congress at Uppsala, Sweden. While touring France, he even injuredhimself in a minor accident and cobbled several times in Germany. He was rumored to have ridden onhis bike all the way from India, when he finally reached Uppsala. Coming back to his interest inornithology, he was rejected a position at the Zoological Survey of India due to lack of a formaluniversity degree. With this, he began studying further when he was hired as a guide lecturer in thenewly opened natural history section at Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai in 1926 with a salary of Rs.350 per month.Being fed up with the monotony of the job, he decided to go on a break and went to Germany in 1928on a study leave. He worked under Professor Erwin Stresemann at Zoological Museum of BerlinUniversity. He was also required to examine the specimens collected by J.K. Stanford, a BNHS member.Stanford was supposed to communicate with Claud Ticehurst at the British Museum who did not like theidea of involving an Indian in his work. Hence, he kept distance with Stresemann. Salim Ali then movedto Berlin and associated with popular German ornithologists, such as Bernhard Rensch, Oskar Heinroth,and Ernst Mayr. Apart from his usual ornithology experience, he also gained knowledge in ringing at theHeligoland observatory.Contribution to OrnithologyAfter studying ornithology in Germany, Salim Ali returned to India in 1930 and started looking for a job.However, to his surprise, the position of a guide lecturer had been dropped off from universities due tolack of duns. Left with no option, Salim Ali, along with wife Tehmina, moved to Kihim, a coastal villagenear Mumbai. This place gave him another opportunity to observe and study birds very closely,including their mating system. He then spent a few months in Kotagiri on being invited by K.M. Anantan,a retied army officer who served in Mesopotamia during World War I. He also met Mrs. Kinloch and herson-in-law R.C. Morris, who lived in the Biligirirangan Hills.Gradually, on traveling places, Salim Ali got an opportunity to conduct systematic bird surveys in theprincely states of Hyderabad, Cochin, Travancore, Gwalior, Indore, and Bhopal. He was financiallysupported by Hugh Whistler who had previously conducted surveys in various parts of India. AlthoughWhistler initially resented Salim Ali for finding faults and inaccuracies in the early literature, he later re-examined his specimens and accepted his mistakes. With this, began a close friendly relationshipbetween Ali and Whistler. He introduced Ali to Richard Meinertzhagen and the two went on anexpedition to Afghanistan. Initially, Meinertzhagen was also critical of Alis views but later, the twobecame close friends.
Salim Ali was more attracted towards studying birds in the field rather than getting into the details ofbird systematics and taxonomy. However, he did show some interest in bird photography with the helpof his friend Loke Wan Tho, a wealthy businessman from Singapore. Ali and Loke were introduced byJTM Gibson, a member at BNHS and Lieutenant Commander of Royal Indian Navy, who had also taughtEnglish to Loke in Switzerland. Hence, Loke provided financial support to both Ali and BNHS. Ali talkedabout the history and importance of bird study in India in Sunder Lal Hora memorial lecture in 1971 andagain in Azad memorial lecture in 1978.Literary CareerSalim Ali was not only passionate about studying birds in general; he also showed equal interest incapturing his views on them in words. With the help of his wife Tehmina, a learned scholar fromEngland, Ali improved his English prose. Thus, began Alis writing career, particularly journal articles forJournal of the Bombay Natural History Society. One of his most popular articles was "Stopping by thewoods on a Sunday morning" in 1930 which was reprinted again in Indian Express on this birthday in1984. He penned several books as well, the most prominent of them being "The Book of Indian Birds" in1941, which was inspired by Whistlers "Popular Handbook of Birds". It was later translated into severallanguages and saw more than 12 editions. However, his masterpiece was the 10 volume "Handbook ofthe Birds of India & Pakistan", written along with Dillon Ripley and was often known as "The Handbook".The first edition began in 1964 and was completed in 1974. The second edition came from contributionsby J.S. Serrao of BNHS, Bruce Beehler, Michel Desfayes, and Pamela Rasmussen. This was completedafter Alis death. Besides the national and international bird books, Ali also authored several regionalfield guides, like "The Birds of Kerala" (first edition was titled "The Birds of Travancore and cochin" in1953), "The Birds of Sikkim", "The Birds of Kutch" (later renamed as "The Birds of Gujarat"), "Indian HillBirds", "Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern Himalayas". He penned his autobiography "The Fall of aSparrow" in 1985 where he included his vision for BNHS and the importance of conservation relatedactivities. One of his last students, Tara Gandhi, published a two-volume compilation of his shorterletters and writings in 2007.Personal LifeOn his return from Burma, Salim Ali was married off to his distant relative, Tehmina, in December 1918in Bombay. She accompanied him to all his expeditions and surveys. But his life came to a halt when shesuddenly died following a minor surgery in 1939. Ali then started living with his sister Kamoo andbrother-in-law. After battling with prostate cancer for a very long duration, Salim Ali died on July 27,1987 in Mumbai at the age of 90.Honors & MemorialsSalim Ali was honored and credited with several honorary doctorates and awards during his lifetime,though this journey began late. Starting with "Joy Gobinda Law Gold Medal" in 1953 by the AsiaticSociety of Bengal, he went on to receive numerous accolades. It was based on the appreciation he
received from Sunder Lal Hora. Thus, in 1970, he was conferred upon with the Sunder Lal HoraMemorial Medal of the Indian National Science Academy. He was bestowed with honorary doctoratedegrees from Aligarh Muslim University in 1958, Delhi University in 1973, and Andhra University in 1978.On receiving the Gold Medal from the British Ornithologists Union in 1967, Salim Ali became the firstnon-British citizen to be bequeathed with such an honor. He received the John C. Philips MemorialMedal of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in the same year.In 1973, he received the Pavlovsky Centenary Memorial Medal from the USSR Academy of MedicalScience and was made the Commander of the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark by Prince Bernhardof Netherlands. He was honored with Padma Bhushan Award in 1958 and Padma Vibhushan Award in1976. The Government of India established the Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History(SACON) in Coimbatore in 1990. Further, Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences hasbeen established by Pondicherry University. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Goa and Thattakad BirdSanctuary near Vembanad, Kerala have been set up in his honor. The place where BNHS was located inBombay was renamed as "Dr Salim Ali Chowk".Timeline1896: Born on November 12 in Mumbai1913: Completed matriculation from Bombay University1914: Admitted to St. Xaviers College and went to Burma1917: Returned to India1918: Married distant cousin, Tehmina in December1926: Employed as guide lecturer in Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay1928: Left the job and went to Germany1930: Came back to India1939: Wife Tehmina died1941: Wrote first book "The Book of Indian Birds"1953: Awarded with Joy Gobinda Law Gold Medal by Asiatic Society of Bengal1958: Received doctorate degree from Aligarh Muslim University1958: Honored with Padma Bhushan Award1970: Bestowed with Sunder Lal Hora Memorial Medal from INSA1973: Received honorary doctorate from Delhi University1976: Conferred upon with Padma Vibhushan Award1978: Received honorary doctorate from Andhra University1985: Penned autobiography "The Fall of a Sparrow"1987: Died on July 27 in Mumbai from prostate cancer, aged 901990: Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History established at Coimbatore
Yellapragada Subba RaoBorn: January 12, 1895, BhimavaramDied: August 9, 1948"Youve probably never heard of Dr. Yellapragada Subba Rao, yet becausehe lived you may be well and alive today; because he lived you may livelonger". A famous adage quoted by American author, Doron K. Antrim,Yellapragada Subbarao was one of those rare people who made severalsignificant contributions, yet was not honored with a Nobel Prize or evenits equivalents. With a large number of discoveries made over fifty yearsof his life, this magnificent and legendary scientist transformed scienceand changed the lives of the general public, only to be forgotten to date.Probably it was his distinguishing feature of keeping away from publicity that his excellence in the fieldof investigation was a secret from the world. However, with his discoveries and inventions of variousantibiotics to save people from deadly diseases, this legend came into limelight, thereby allowingthousands of people to enjoy their lives day after day and year after year.Early LifeYellapragada Subbarao was born in a poor Telugu 6000 Niyogi Brahmin family in Bhimavaram district inOld Madras Presidency, now in West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. He was born as the fourth childamongst seven children to Y. Jagganatham and Y. Venkamma. Though his father worked as a revenueinspector, the family suffered from many hardships of poverty due to the loss of several of his closerelatives at a young age. As such, his schooling at Rajahmundry went through a traumatic phase, leadingto his completion of matriculation in the third attempt from Hindu High School in Madras. He attainedhis intermediate education from Presidency College and took admission in Madras Medical College, hiseducation being financed by his friends and Kasturi Suryanarayana Murthy. He later went on to marryMurthys daughter.During the freedom movement, Subbarao was so influenced by Mahatma Gandhi that he gave up usingBritish goods and started wearing khadi surgical dress. This displeased his Anglican partial racistprofessor, M.C. Bradfield who qualified him for a lesser LMS degree instead of a full MBBS degree,although he fared well in all written examinations. He tried to get through Madras Medical service butfailed. Hence, he started working as an anatomy lecturer in Dr. Lakshmipathis Ayurvedic College atMadras. After gaining much interest in Ayurveda, he diverted his interest towards conducting hisresearch in this field. But he was soon on track after he met an American doctor who was touring Indiafor Rockefeller Scholarship. With financial support from his father-in-law Murthy and promise of supportfrom Satyalinga Naicker Charities and Malladi charities, he sailed to Boston in US on October 26, 1922.
Life in AmericaSubbarao took admission in Harvard School of Tropical Medicine and on completing the diploma; hetook up the job of a junior faculty member at Harvard. Living in poverty, he managed to work two orthree jobs in shifts. This gained him appreciation from professors and won many scholarships. For thefirst time, Subbarao gained public attention with the discovery of the estimation of phosphorus in bodyfluids and tissues, along with Cyrus Fiske. This discovery came to be known as Fiske-Subbarao method,though it was technically named Rapid Calorimetric Method. Next came the accidental discovery ofphysiology in the body based on Adenosine Triphosphate and Phosphocreatine (ATP), which are thesources of energy in human body. With this, Subbaraos name was listed in the biochemistry textbooksin 1930s for the first time. In the same year, he obtained his PhD degree. He worked at Harvard till 1940and later joined Lederle Laboratories, a division of American Cyanamid, as the Director of Research,after he was denied the post of a regular faculty at Harvard.Contributions to MedicineAt Lederle, Subbarao discovered many more antibiotics for a wide range of cures, other than the alreadydiscovered penicillin and streptomycin. His research led him to the discovery of polymyxin which is stillused in cattle-feed. This led to laying the foundation for the isolation of vitamin B9, the antiperniciousanemia factor, based on the work conducted by Lucy Wills in 1945. He applied different inputs given byDr. Sidney Farber to develop an anti-cancer drug Methotrexate, one of the first cancer chemotherapyagents, which is still used worldwide. He was also credited with the discovery of drug Hetrazen, a curefor filariasis at Lederle. Today, this drug is the most widely used medicine for treating filariasis, includingWorld Health Organization. Under his directorship, Benjamin Duggar gave birth to his discovery of theworlds first tetracycline antibiotic, Aureomycin in the same year. This resulted as one of the largestdistributed scientific experiments till date with American soldiers being asked to collect soil samplesduring World War II and deposit them at Lederle Laboratories for anti-bacterial agents from natural soilfungi. Another medicine that he discovered was Isonicotinic acid Hydrazide, an effective cure fortuberculosis.RecognitionWith so many discoveries and developments to his credit, Subbarao never marketed his work andhence, was always left behind in terms of work recognition and appreciation. He always sat in theaudience and had to be pushed to the stage by a colleague or a collaborator to take a bow as each of hisresearches was revealed to the public. Further, he was seen giving interviews to the press or visitingnations on lecture tours. When his colleague George Hitchings won the Nobel Prize in Physiology orMedicine, along with Gertrude Elion, in 1988, he stated that some of the works initiated by Subbaraohad to be rediscovered for the simple reason that his partner Fiske did not allow his contributions earnname and fame, probably out of jealousy. American Cyanamid honored Subbarao by naming a newfungus under his name "Subbaromyces splendens".
Personal LifeOn being persuaded by his family, Subbarao was married to his distant cousin Seshagiri, daughter ofKasturi Suryanarayana Murthy, on May 10, 1919. She belonged to Anaparthi vllage in East Godavaridistrict of Andhra Pradesh. After the couple went to America, his wife gave birth to a son in a couplemonths. However, the son died at nine months due to the dreadful disease "Sappi".DeathYellapragada Subbarao spent most of his career life in America without a green card. Thus, he remainedan alien in America, although he performed several important medical researches during World War II.But he had always hoped of shedding the stigma of being an alien amidst people with whom he spentover 25 years. With this, he filed the "Declaration of Intention" to get the ruling of the Immigration andNaturalization Service that he has been legally admitted to United States. Despite getting the Americancitizenship, Subbarao was an Indian at heart and died as an Indian. On his death on August 9, 1948 inUSA due to a massive heart attack, numerous obituaries appeared in Science, New York Times, New YorkHerald-Tribune, and several other newspapers and journals across the world in honor of thisdistinguished scientist. He was bestowed upon with "one of the most eminent medical minds of theCentury" by Herald-Tribune.Timeline1895: Born on January 12 in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh1919: Married Seshagiri on May 101922: Went to America and took admission in Harvard School of Tropical Medicine1930: Discovered the role of ATP and obtained PhD degree1940: Joined Lederle Laboratories at Director of Research1945: Discovered worlds first tetracycline antibiotic, Aureomycin and method to synthesize folic acid1948: Died on August 9 in America, aged 53
Satyanarayan Gangaram PitrodaBorn: May 4, 1942, TitlagarhSatyanarayan Gangaram Pitroda is a famous Indian and a renownedinventor, entrepreneur and policymaker who currently serve as an advisor tothe Prime Minister of India, Mr. Manmohan Singh.His work revolves around Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations. Heis respected for being a technological intellect who is responsible for Indiaslatest revolution in communications and the IT field. He plays a pivotal role increating IT infra-structure thereby enhancing services to the common man.Sam Pitroda has extended his services to many areas of IT.He was appointed the Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission during the year 2005-2008,which is a high level advisory board to the Prime Minister of India. The Board works for improvingknowledge related institutions as well as infrastructure in the country. Mr. Pitroda holds around 100 keytechnology patents, has been involved in several start-ups, and has given lectures extensively aroundthe world.He is a proven entrepreneur as well who had founded C-SAM, Inc. with its headquarters in Chicago.With his unparalleled technological and administration skills he redefined the role of technology in adeveloping country like India and also managed to deliver better services to the under privileged peopleof the country.Early LifeSam Pitroda was born into a Gujarati family on 4th May, 1942 in Titlagarh, Orissa. His parents, whomigrated from Gujarat to Orissa were staunch followers of Mahatma Gandhi, and deeply influenced byhis philosophies. They sent Sam Pitroda and his brother to Gujarat to learn more about Gandhianphilosophy. Sam Patroda did his schooling in Vallabh Vidyanagar in Gujarat and finished a Mastersdegree in Physics and Electronics from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara. He then went to theUnited States of America to pursue a Masters in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute ofTechnology, Chicago. He was religiously involved in technology research work during the 1960s and1970s, stressing on telecommunication.CareerSam Pitroda founded a digital switching company called Wescom Switching in 1974 and that was one ofthe first in that category. He invented many revolutionary systems and electrical accessories and hasmany patents too his credit.
His invention, the 580 DSS switch became a hit across the world in 1978. However, his companyWescom was later acquired by Rockwell International and Pitroda became its President.He developed a new computer theme card game called Compucards in 1983, which functioned bymaking use of binary codes. He is a good orator and has been invited to many international events.In 1984, the erstwhile Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi invited Mr. Petrodato the country.Thus, he started the Center for Development of Telematics C-DOT in India, which is an autonomoustelecom R&D organization. He surrendered his US citizenship and acquired an Indian citizenship to workin the government and thus took the post of advisor to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and contributed much to shapeforeign and domestic telecommunications policies. Sam Pitroda headed six major technology missions inRajiv Gandhis term and also founded Indias Telecom Commission and served as its first Chairman.Though he returned to Chicago in 1990s, Pitroda returned to India upon receiving a call from PrimeMinister Manmohan Singh in 2004 and thus became the head of the National Knowledge Commission ofIndia. Sam Pitroda became the head of an expert committee of the railways in July 2009. He was askedto take up the position of advisor to the Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh on Public InformationInfrastructure and Innovations in 2009 and was also given the rank of Cabinet Minister. He played animportant role in the formation of the National Innovation Council, aimed for the development of micro,small and medium enterprises. This was a notable achievement of Sam Pitroda.ContributionsSam Pitroda has against his name many notable achievements in the field of telecommunication as wellas the technological sector of India. He established the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local HealthTradition (FRLHT) near Bangalore in India in 1993. He played a pivotal role in changing the face of Indiantelecommunication and the information technology sector. As Chairman of the National KnowledgeCommission, he guided the body and submitted around 300 recommendations over 27 focus areas. Hehas been appointed as an advisor to the UN as well.LegacyIntroduction of microprocessors in the telephone took Sam Pitroda name to the peaks of fame. Heinvented the Electronic Diary in the year 1975 and it is an example of hand-held computing. He has 100patents to his credit and thus has become the leading name in telecommunications and IT. His latestinvention covers a major spectrum of transactions, both financial and non-financial, and works by usingthe cell-phone to advantage.Awards and AccoladesInternational Telecommunication Union (ITU), 2011D.Sc. from Sambalpur University, 2010.Rajiv Gandhi "Global Indian" award, 2009.Padma BhushanPuraskar, 2009Skoch Challenger Lifetime Achievement Award,2009
D.Sc. from Andhra University, 2008Dataquest IT Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002Timeline1947: Born at Titlagarh, Orissa.1974: Founded Wescom Switching.1978: Invented 580 DSS switches.1983: Developed games called Compucards.1984: Returned to India on receiving an invitation from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.2004: Returned to India on receiving a call from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.2005: Appointed as Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission.2009: Appointed as advisor to Indian Prime Minister.
Venkatraman RamakrishnanBorn: 1952, ChidambaramVenkatraman "Venki" Ramakrishnan (born 1952) is an Indian-bornAmerican and British structural biologist, who shared the 2009 NobelPrize in Chemistry with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath, "for studiesof the structure and function of the ribosome". He currently works atthe MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.Early LifeVenkataraman Ramakrishnan was born to C.V. Ramakrishnan andRajalakshmi in a town called Chidambaram belonging to the Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu. Both hisparents were scientists and lecturers in Biochemistry at the Maharaj Sayajirao University in Baroda,Gujarat.He did his schooling from Convent of Jesus and Mary in Baroda. After his preliminary education, hecontinued his pre-university at the Maharaja Sayajirao University. From here, he obtained anundergraduate degree in Physics in 1971. He also received the National Science Talent Scholarship.Later, Venkataraman migrated to America to continue his further studies. In 1976, he earned his Ph.D. inPhysics from Ohio University. He changed his field into biology at the University of California, San Diego.Here, he conducted research along with Dr. Mauricio Montal.During this time, Venkataraman got married to Vera Rosenberry, an author of childrens books. Thecouple has two children - a step daughter, Tanya Kapka who is a doctor in Oregon and a son, RamanRamakrishnan, a cellist who plays with Daedalus Quartet.CareerVenkataraman Ramakrishnan began his career as a postdoctoral fellow with Peter Moore at YaleUniversity, where he worked on ribosomes. After completing this research, he applied to nearly 50universities in the U.S. for a faculty position. But he was unsuccessful. As a result of this, Venkataramancontinued to work on ribosomes from 1983 to 1995 in Brookhaven National Laboratory.In 1995, he got an offer from University of Utah to work as a professor of Biochemistry. He worked herefor almost four years and then moved to England where he started working in Medical Research CouncilLaboratory of Molecular Biology. Here, he began a detailed research on ribosomes.In 1999, along with his fellow mates, he published a 5.5 angstrom resolution structure of 30s subunit ofribosome. In the subsequent year, Venkataraman submitted a complete structure of 30s subunit ofribosome and it created a sensation in structural biology. Following this, he conducted several studies on
these cell organelles and its mechanism. Recently, he determined the complete structure of ribosomesalong with the tRNA and mRNa.Awards and AccoladesVenkataraman earned a fellowship from the Trinity College, Cambridge and the Royal Society. He is alsoan honorary member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was awarded with the Louis-Jeantet Prize for his contribution to Medicine.In 2008, he was presented with Heatley Medal of British Biochemistry Society. In 2009, VenkataramanRamakrishnan, along with two other scientists were awarded with the Nobel Prize for their majorbreakthrough made in the area of ribosomes.For his contribution to Science, he was conferred with Indias second highest civilian award, the PadmaVibhushan in 2010.Timeline1952: Venkataraman Ramakrishnan was born in a small district of Tamil Nadu.1971: He obtained an undergraduate degree in Physics.1976: Received a Ph.D. from Ohio University.1983-1995: Continued his studies on ribosomes in Brookhaven National Laboratory.1995: Got an offer to work as a professor of Biochemistry in the University of Utah.1999: Published a 5.5 angstrom structure resolution structure of 3s subunit of a ribosome.2007: Awarded the Louis-Jeantet Prize for his work in Medicine.2008: Given the Heatley Medal of British Biochemistry Society.2009: Received Nobel Prize for his work on ribosomes.2010: Recipient of the Padma Vibhushan for his contributions to Science.
Raja RamannaBorn: January 28, 1925, TumkurDied: September 23, 2004, MumbaiHandpicked by the founder of Indias nuclear program, Dr. Homi Bhabha,Dr. Raja Ramanna was a celebrated physicist and nuclear scientist thatIndia had ever produced. A multifaceted personality, Dr. Raja Ramannaplayed the roles of a technologist, nuclear physicist, administrator, leader,musician, Sanskrit literature scholar, and philosophy researcher.To complete the endless list of honors that this nobleman was gifted with,he was a complete human being. Following the steps of his ideals Dr.Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai, Ramanna managed to grab a major position in shaping Indiasenergy and security programs. He is regarded as one of the most successful creators of science andtechnology in India with the tremendous success of Indias peaceful explosion experiment.Early LifeRaja Ramanna was born to B. Ramanna and Rukminiamma in the busy industrial town of Tumkur inKarnataka. His father was highly reputed and served as a judge in the judicial service of Mysore state.His mother was highly intelligent and loved to read. She often read Shakespeare and Charles Dickens,though her favorite was Sir Walter Scot. Apart from gaining immense influence and inspiration from hisparents, Ramanna was greatly touched by his mothers sister Rajamma, who was widowed at an earlyage but with his grandfathers support, she managed to move ahead and became the headmistress of aGovernment Middle School earning fifty rupees a month. Ramanna had his early education in Mysore,but when the family shifted to Bangalore, he was admitted to Bishop Cotton Boys School. Oncompletion of matriculation, he went to St. Josephs School for his intermediate studies. He joined theMadras Christian College in Tambaram for B. Sc (Hons) degree in physics and graduated in 1945. He latertraveled to England to attain his doctoral degree in nuclear physics from Kings College, London. In 1948,Ramanna successfully obtained his PhD degree.TIFR CareerRamanna was extremely fond and highly influenced by Homi Jehangir Bhabha and was fortunate tomeet him in 1944. He was introduced by an examiner at Trinity College of Music, Dr. Alfred Mistowski,who stayed back in India at the outbreak of World War II. Though Ramanna was still a science student,he was sure that this was not his first and only meeting with Homi Bhabha. On his tour to London, HomiBhabha offered Ramanna a job at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), the cradle of Indiasatomic energy program. Thus, on his completion of his PhD degree, Ramanna joined TIFR on December1, 1949. Due to the relocation and renovation of the institute from Cumbala Hills in Mumbai to YachtClub, Ramanna was offered two adjacent rooms on the fourth floor in Yacht Club by Homi Bhabha,
seeing his interest in music. While the first room was for Ramanna, the second one was for his piano.Further, the ground floor became the nuclear laboratory of physics from where he started his project onnuclear fission and scattering. Here, he made several contributions in different areas of neutron,nuclear, and reactor physics.BARC CareerRamanna organized physics and rector physics programs at Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC),Trombay. In 1956, when Indias first nuclear reactor, Apsara, was commissioned by Homi Bhabha,Ramanna was one of the youngest reactor physicists in the team. However, the major advancementcame when BARC Training School was established in 1957 to develop the skilled manpower required forfacing the challenging problems in nuclear science and technology under the leadership of Ramanna. Itwas under his directorship that India carried out the first nuclear test in Pokhran in 1974, nicknamed asOperation Smiling Buddha. He held the position of the Director of BARC from 1972-78 and 1981-83.Later LifeRaja Ramanna was associated with a number of science academies and learning bodies across India. Hehelped in setting up the Centre for Advanced Technology at Indore in the early 1980s, which wasdedicated towards the development of advanced accelerators, lasers, and other related technologies.Further, he even lent his support in the establishment of Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VEC) inKolkata. He later ended up becoming the founder-Director of National Institute of Advanced Studies(NIAS), an institution set up by JRD Tata in Bangalore. Ramanna served his later years in supportingscience institutions throughout the nation as President of Indian National Science Academy, ScientificAdvisor Committee to Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, President of 30thGeneral Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vice President of Indian Academy ofSciences, President of Indian National Science Academy, and President of General Conference of AtomicEnergy Agency at Vienna. He was honored with numerous accolades during his entire career tenure.Minister of StateIn 1990, Ramanna was made Union minister of State for defence in 1990 by V.P. Singh administration.In 1997, encouraged by the politicians, Ramanna ran for the parliamentary elections and became aMember of Parliament through the upper house, the Rajya Sabha. In 2000, Ramanna was also the firstdirector of National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.DeathRaja Ramanna passed away on September 24, 2004 in Mumbai after a cardiac arrest. Till date, he ishighly honored and respected in India and Pakistan, and often known as the "Father of the IndianNuclear Program".
HonorsShanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, 1963Padma Shri Award, 1968Padma Bhushan Award, 1973Padma Vibhushan Award, 1975Meghnad Saha Medal of the Indian National Science Academy, 1984Om Prakash Bhasin Award, 1985R.D. Birla Memorial Award, 1986Asutosh Mookerji Gold Medal, 1996D.Sc. (Honoris Causa) by several universitiesPosts Held• Chairman, Governing Council, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore• Council of Management, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore• Chairman, Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, 1972-78• President, Indian National Science Academy, 1977-78• Vice-President, Indian Academy of Sciences, 1977-79• Scientific Adviser to the Minister of Defence, 1978-81• Director-General of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) , 1978-81• Secretary for Defence Research, Government of India• Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, 1983-87• President, General Conference of Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1986• Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy• Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, 1972-78 and 1981-83• Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISC campus, Bangalore, 1987-89 and 1990-97Timeline1925: Raja Ramanna was born in Tumkur, Karnataka1944: Met Homi Bhabha1945: Obtained B. Sc (Hons) degree in physics from Madras Christian College, Tambaram1948: Received Ph. D from Kings College, London1949: Joined TIFR on December 1st1956: Indias first nuclear reactor, Apsara, was commissioned, which Ramanna was a part of1968: Honored with Padma Shri Award1972-78: Served as Director of BARC1973: Bestowed with Padma Bhushan Award1974: Carried out Indias first nuclear test at Pokhran1975: Conferred upon with Padma Vibhushan Award1981-83: Director of BARC
1996: Presented with Asutosh Mookerji Gold Medal2004: Died on 24th September aged 79.
G N RamachandranBorn: October 8, 1922, ErnakulamDied: April 7, 2001, ChennaiGopalasamudram Narayana Iyer Ramachandran, popularly referred toas G. N. Ramachandran surely must be included in the list of one of thebest scientists that 20th century India had produced.The best known work of G. N. Ramachandran till date is theRamachandran plot, which the scientist had conceived along withViswanathan Sasisekharan, to understand the structure of peptides. G.N. Ramachandran was the first scientist to suggest a triple-helicalmodel of collagen structure. G. N. Ramachandran also made importantcontributions in the field of biology in the length of his career as a scientist.Early Life & EducationG. N. Ramachandran was born on October 8, 1922 in the small town of Ernakulam in the south Indianstate of Kerala in India. His forefathers were natives of the Gopalasamudram village situated in theTirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. In the year 1942, Ramachandran came to Bangalore to seek admissionin the Indian Institute of Science. He became a student of the electrical engineering department of theinstitution, but later switched over to the physics department, realizing that he was more interested inphysics than engineering. He completed his master’s degree in Physics in the year 1942 andsubsequently enrolled as a thesis student at IISc under the guidance of Nobel Prize winning physicist SirC V Raman.Ramachandran opted to specialize in crystal physics and crystal optics in his thesis paper and obtainedhis doctorate degree from Bangalore in the year 1947. Ramachandran migrated to England after thecompletion of his DSc from Bangalore and spent two years from 1947 to 1949 at the CavendishLaboratory in Cambridge. He chose the subject of X-Ray diffuse scattering and its use to determine theelastic constant as his research subject in Cambridge under professor William Alfred Wooster, one of thebest crystallographers of the 20th century world. Having made his own focusing mirror for an X-Raymicroscope during his study years in Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, further studies in the fieldof X-Ray was a natural choice of research for Ramachandran.Scientific ResearchAfter completing his PhD in two years, Ramachandran returned to India and joined his alma mater theIndian Institute of Science in Bangalore in the year 1949 as the assistant professor of Physics. His subjectof interest as teacher remained crystal physics. In the year 1952, Ramachandran joined the Madras
University as the head of its Physics department. Here, he shifted from crystal physics to biologicalmacromolecules within a few months of joining. In the year 1954, Ramachandran completed hisresearch work with Gopinath Kartha and made known through a published article the triple helicalstructure of collagen. His next project was to observe the different polypeptide conformations forassessing the structure of peptides.Ramachandran continued with this research work till the year 1962. The following year, he published hisreports in 1963 in the Journal of Molecular Biology, a study which is famously referred to as theRamachandran Plot today. Thereafter, this ace scientist spent many a years after publishing theRamachandran Plot in examining the conformation of peptides. Therefore, it may be rightly concludedthat G N Ramachandran’s research contributed to the development of molecular biophysics, correlatingthe concepts of X-Ray crystallography, peptide synthesis, physico-chemical experimentation, NMR andadditional optical studies. G N Ramachandran set up a molecular biophysics unit in the Center ofAdvanced Study in Biophysics at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore in 1970.The following year, Ramachandran quit the Madras University to join IISc in Bangalore yet again. Thechief reason for his resignation was the drop in the standards of Madras University as an educationalinstitution. The succession of N. D. Sundaravadvelu in place of A. L. Mudaliar as vice chancellor ofMadras University had resulted in the deterioration of the institute’s standards. From 1971,Ramachandran was involved in the research of convolution-backprojection algorithms in the field of X-Ray tomography, along with fellow scientist A. V. Lakshminarayana. The algorithms suggested byRamachandran and Lakshminarayana were successful in more numerically correct images and also savedtime on computer processing for image reconstruction. The research was published in a paper the sameyear.Awards and RecognitionG. N. Ramachandran was a loved and respected scientist during his tenure both in IISc, Bangalore andMadras University. Some awards which he received for his scientific contributions are:• Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award for contribution in the field of Physics in India in 1961.• Fellowship of the Royal Society of London.• Ewald Prize from the International Union of Crystallography for his outstanding contribution tocrystallography in the year 1999 (It is given only once in 3 years)Later LifeG. N. Ramachandran spent a sad and despondent personal life during his last years. The death of hiswife Rajalakshmi in the year 1998 left him very lonely. His health gradually deteriorated. A few yearsbefore his death in 2001, G. N. Ramachandran suffered a massive stroke, after which he never fullyrecovered, contracting Parkinson’s disease the same year. G. N. Ramachandran died on July 4, 2001 athis residence in Bangalore. He was 79 years of age at the time of death.
Timeline1922: G N Ramachandran was born on October 8.1942: Became a student of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.1942: Completed his master’s degree in Physics from IISc.1947: Completed the DSc degree, his thesis paper under Sir C V Raman.1947: Went to Cambridge for PhD.1949: Returned from Cambridge to join as assistant professor of Physics in IISc, Bangalore.1952: Joined Madras University as head of Physics department.1954: Proposed and published triple helical structure of collagen.1963: The Ramachandran Plot was published.1970: Set up the molecular biophysics unit at the IISc, Bangalore.1971: Quit Madras University to join IISc, Bangalore again.1971: Study on convolution-backprojection algorithms in X-Ray tomography was published.1998: His wife Rajalakshmi passed away.2001: Ramachandran breathed his last on July 4.
Born: June 29, 1893, KolkataDied: June 28, 1972, KolkataEconomic census, population census, agricultural surveys and variousother large scale and in depth samples and surveys that have beenadmired the world over for their scope and accuracy owes its popularityand worldwide acceptance to the grit, determination and genius of oneman, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis.His knack and passion for graphs and numbers made him a leading lightin the field of statistics. In India, his contribution to this field has beenimmense. From giving birth to thethe newly independent nation of India on its first strideMahalanobis that brought the mapping of this diverse nation, which helped its leaders to formulatepolicies and schemes for the benefit of the people and propel the story of India on its growth trajectory.Indeed only a cursory glance at the formation era of this nation will show how the data collectedthrough his organizations using his techniques has influenced the decision makers of India. And hisworks are still relevant and widely used in present times.be confined so has the works of Mahalanobis been admired, used and influenced the policies of variousother nations.ChildhoodPC Mahalanobis was born into a family of social reformers and intellectuals.Mahalanobis, was a professor of Presidency College and was much respected as an educationist.Mahalanobis spent his early childhood in Cornwallis Street at the house of his grandfather, GurucharanMahalanobis who was an activeMahalanobis was in the thick of social and political activity.Early LifeMahalanobis received his schooling from the Brahmo Boys School, from which he graduated in 1908. Hethen completed his B. Sc from the Presidency College after which he joined Cambridge, England. Otherthan pursing his honors in physics he also took an avid interest in punting on the river and crosswalking. It was also at Cambridge that Mahalanobis met the famous matRamanujan. In 1915, he completed hisat the Cavendish Laboratory with C. T. R. Wilson. It was during this time that he took a short break andwent to India, where he was introduced to the Principal of Presidency College and was invited to takeclasses in physics. Upon returning to England, he was introduced to the journalinterested him so much that he purchased the complete set and took them to InP C MahalanobisEconomic census, population census, agricultural surveys and variousscale and in depth samples and surveys that have beenadmired the world over for their scope and accuracy owes its popularityand worldwide acceptance to the grit, determination and genius of oneman, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis.r graphs and numbers made him a leading lightin the field of statistics. In India, his contribution to this field has beenimmense. From giving birth to the Indian Statistical Institute to guidingthe newly independent nation of India on its first stride towards a glorious era, it is the contribution ofMahalanobis that brought the mapping of this diverse nation, which helped its leaders to formulatepolicies and schemes for the benefit of the people and propel the story of India on its growth trajectory.Indeed only a cursory glance at the formation era of this nation will show how the data collectedthrough his organizations using his techniques has influenced the decision makers of India. And hisworks are still relevant and widely used in present times. And since brilliance, like a glowing light, cannotbe confined so has the works of Mahalanobis been admired, used and influenced the policies of variousPC Mahalanobis was born into a family of social reformers and intellectuals. His father, Prabodh ChandraMahalanobis, was a professor of Presidency College and was much respected as an educationist.Mahalanobis spent his early childhood in Cornwallis Street at the house of his grandfather, GurucharanMahalanobis who was an active member of the Brahmo Samaj. As such, since childhood, youngMahalanobis was in the thick of social and political activity.Mahalanobis received his schooling from the Brahmo Boys School, from which he graduated in 1908. HeSc from the Presidency College after which he joined Cambridge, England. Otherthan pursing his honors in physics he also took an avid interest in punting on the river and crosswalking. It was also at Cambridge that Mahalanobis met the famous mathematician SrinivasaRamanujan. In 1915, he completed his Tripos’ in physics. Mahalanobis also worked for a short durationat the Cavendish Laboratory with C. T. R. Wilson. It was during this time that he took a short break andintroduced to the Principal of Presidency College and was invited to takeclasses in physics. Upon returning to England, he was introduced to the journal Biometrikainterested him so much that he purchased the complete set and took them to India. On his way back totowards a glorious era, it is the contribution ofMahalanobis that brought the mapping of this diverse nation, which helped its leaders to formulatepolicies and schemes for the benefit of the people and propel the story of India on its growth trajectory.Indeed only a cursory glance at the formation era of this nation will show how the data collectedthrough his organizations using his techniques has influenced the decision makers of India. And hisAnd since brilliance, like a glowing light, cannotbe confined so has the works of Mahalanobis been admired, used and influenced the policies of variousHis father, Prabodh ChandraMahalanobis, was a professor of Presidency College and was much respected as an educationist.Mahalanobis spent his early childhood in Cornwallis Street at the house of his grandfather, Gurucharanmember of the Brahmo Samaj. As such, since childhood, youngMahalanobis received his schooling from the Brahmo Boys School, from which he graduated in 1908. HeSc from the Presidency College after which he joined Cambridge, England. Otherthan pursing his honors in physics he also took an avid interest in punting on the river and cross-countryhematician Srinivasain physics. Mahalanobis also worked for a short durationat the Cavendish Laboratory with C. T. R. Wilson. It was during this time that he took a short break andintroduced to the Principal of Presidency College and was invited to takeBiometrika. The journaldia. On his way back to
India, he discovered the utility of statistics to problems in meteorology, anthropology and beganworking on the same. Statistics later became his lifelong love and passion and he pursued statisticalwork in India mentored by Acharya Brajendranath Seal.Work In StatisticsMahalanobis is remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure which is independent ofmeasurement scale introduced by him. Mahalanobis’s work in statistics started by analyzing universityexam results, anthropometric measurements on Anglo-Indians of Calcutta and also, meteorologicalproblems. He also contributed significantly in developing schemes to prevent floods but his mostimportant contributions came with the large scale sample surveys. He is recognized as the firststatistician to introduce pilot surveys and advocating the usability of sampling methods. Early surveyswere conducted from 1937 to 1944 and included topics such as consumer expenditure, tea-drinkinghabits, public opinion, crop acreage and plant disease. Additionally, Mahalanobis also introduced a amethod for estimating crop yields which involved statisticians sampling in the fields by cutting crops in acircle of diameter 4 feet. However, difference in opinion with P. V. Sukhatme and V. G. Panse, whobegan to work on crop surveys with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the IndianAgricultural Statistics Research Institute, upon the usage of the existing administrative framework,caused bitterness.Indian Statistical InstituteAt Presidency College, Mahalanobis formed a group of academics interested in statistics. This group metat his room in the college. At a significant meeting of the group, held on December 17, 1931, the IndianStatistical Institute (ISI) was born, and was formally registered on April 28, 1932. Mahalanobis served asits secretary and director. Initially headquartered in the Physics Department of the Presidency College,it gradually grew. Contribution from S. S. Bose, J. M. Sengupta, R. C. Bose, S. N. Roy, K. R. Nair, R. R.Bahadur, G. Kallianpur, D. B. Lahiri and C. R. Rao helped ISI to make significant progress. Assistance fromPitamber Pant, who was a secretary to the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, further propelled thesuccess. Founded along the lines of Karl Pearsons Biometrika, the Institute started a training section in1938. ISI was conferred upon with a deemed university status and was declared as an institute ofnational importance in 1959.Later LifeAfter the independence of India, Mahalabonis established the Central Statistical Unit, and under hisguidance and supervision it later became the Central Statistical Organization (CSO). This organizationwas set up to facilitate the coordination among different ministries engaged in statistical activities andalso to provide statistical inputs. He also chaired the National Income Committee which recommendedthe formation of the National Sample Survey to fill up the data gaps in socio-economic progress. Thisorganization came into being in 1950 and in 1970 it was established as the National Sample SurveyOrganization (NSSO). Later in life, Mahalanobis was appointed as the member of the planningcommission and greatly influenced the development of the five-year plans, starting from the second. His
Mahalanobis model, a variant of Wassily Leontiefs Input-output model, worked towards the rapidindustrialization of India. Apart from this, Mahalanobis was also deeply inspired by culture and thus,served as a secretary to Rabindranath Tagore. This solved dual purpose as his cultural pursuits also weresatisfied. Mahalanbis also served a stint at the Viswa-Bharati University. Till his death, he was also theHonorary Statistical Advisor to the Cabinet of the Government of India. It was in recognition of hiscontributions to science and national service that Mahalanobis was conferred upon with India’s highestcivilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. The Government of India declared 29th June, the day he was born,as National Statistical Day.Awards & HonorsWeldon Medal from Oxford University (1944)Fellow of the Royal Society, London (1945)President of Indian Science Congress (1950)Fellow of the Econometric Society, U.S.A. (1951)Fellow of the Pakistan Statistical Association (1952)Honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, U.K. (1954)Sir Deviprasad Sarvadhikari Gold Medal (1957)Foreign member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences (1958)Honorary Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge (1959)Fellow of the American Statistical Association (1961)Durgaprasad Khaitan Gold Medal (1961)Padma Vibhushan (1968)Srinivasa Ramanujam Gold Medal (1968)Personal LifeMahalanobis married Nirmalkumari, daughter of Herambhachandra Maitra, a leading educationist andmember of the Brahmo Samaj, on February 27, 1923.DeathMahalanobis passed away on 28th June, 1972 just a day short of his seventy-ninth birthday.Timeline1893: Mahalanobis was born to Prabodh Chandra Mahalanobis and Nirodbasini.1908: Completed his schooling from Brahmo Boys School.1912: Graduated in Physics from Presidency College.1913: Mahalanobis left for England to pursue higher education from Cambridge.1915: Returned to India and joined Presidency College.1922: Started working as a meteorologist and published his first scientific statistical research paper.1923: Mahalanobis married Nirmalkumari.
1931: Established the Indian Statistical institute.1944: Received the Weldon medal from Oxford.1945: Was elected the Fellow of Royal Society of London.1947: Was appointed Chairman of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Statistical Sampling.1948: He retired as principal of Presidency College.1949: Mahalanobis was appointed the Honorary Statistical Advisor by the Government of India1950: Was elected as the president of the Indian Science Congress.1951: Established the Central Statistical Institute.1951: Became a Fellow of Econometric Society of America.1952: Became a fellow of Pakistan Statistical Association.1953: Was inducted as a member of the Planning Commission.1954: Was elected as Honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society of England.1959: Became a Foreign Member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.1961: Fellow of the American Statistical Association.1968: Conferred upon with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.1972: Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis breathed his last.
Prafulla Chandra RayBorn: August 2, 1861, KhulnaDied: June 16, 1944, KolkataAcharya Prafulla Chandra Ray was eminent Bengali Chemist and the father ofChemistry in Modern India.The Royal Society of Chemistry honoured his life and work with the firstever Chemical Landmark Plaque outside Europe.He was the founder of Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, Indiasfirst pharmaceutical company.He is the author of A History of Hindu Chemistry from the earliest Times tothe Middle of Sixteenth Century (1902).Early LifeRay was born in Raruli-Katipara, a village in the Khulna District of present day Bangladesh. His fatherHarish Chandra Ray was a land proprietor. Up to the age of nine, Prafulla Chandra studied in a school inhis village. In 1870 his family migrated to Calcutta and Ray and his elder brother were admitted to HareSchool. In 1874, while Ray was in the fourth standard, he suffered from a severe attack of dysentery,which hampered his health throughout his life. After recovering from his illness Ray returned to Calcuttaand took admission in Albert School.In 1879 he passed the Entrance Examination and took admission into the Metropolitan Institution(later Vidyasagar College) which was established by Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.While studying for his BA examination, he applied for and was awarded in 1882 one of the two GilchristPrize Scholarships after an all-India competitive examination.CareerPrafulla Chandra returned to India in the first week of August of 1888 and subsequently joinedPresidency College, Calcutta as temporary Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1889. In 1896, hepublished a paper on preparation of a new stable chemical compound: Mercurous nitrite.Prafulla Chandra retired from the Presidency College in 1916, and joined the Calcutta University Collegeof Science (now known as Rajabazar Science College) as its first Palit Professor of Chemistry, a chairnamed after Tarak Nath Palit.In 1936, at the age of 75, he retired from active service and became Professor Emeritus.Father ofChemistry inModern India
Literary worksHe contributed articles in Bengali to many monthly magazines, particularly on scientific topics. Hepublished the first volume of his autobiography Life and Experience of a Bengali Chemist in 1932, anddedicated it to the youth of India. The second volume of this work was issued in 1935.In 1902, he published the first volume of A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to theMiddle of Sixteenth Century. The second volume was published in 1908.RecognitionHe earned his D.Sc at Edinburgh University in 1887. He received an honorary D.Sc. degree from DurhamUniversity in 1912, and another from Dacca University (now Dhaka University) in 1936. He was madea Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1911.He was honorary fellow of the Chemical Society and Deutsche Akademie, Munich. He was president ofthe 1920 session of the Indian Science Congress. The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) honored his thelife and work with the first ever Chemical Landmark Plaque outside Europe.Personal LifeHe remained a bachelor throughout his life who took active participation in politics. His family, inparticular, his father Harish Chandra Ray, was strongly associated with Brahmo Samaj. Prafulla Chandradeveloped direct connections with the Samaj as he grew up; he used to attend Sunday evening sermonsof Keshub Chandra Sen and was deeply influenced by Sens Sulabha Samachar.
C R RaoBorn: September 10, 1920 (age 92), Hoovina HadagalliCalyampudi Radhakrishna Rao is an IndianAmerican mathematician and statistician. He is currently professoremeritus at Penn State University and Research Professor at the Universityat Buffalo.Rao has been honored by numerous colloquia, honorary degrees,and festschrifts and was awarded the US National Medal of Science in2002.Early LifeC R Rao was born in Hadagali, Karnataka and received an M.Sc in Mathematics from Andhra Universityand M.A. in statistics from Calcutta University in 1943.He was among the first few people in the world to hold a Masters degree in Statistics.CareerHe then went to Kolkata for an interview for a job. He did not get the job, but by chance he visited theIndian Statistical Institute, and then located in a couple of rooms in the Physics Department of thePresidency College, Kolkata.He applied for a one-year training course at the Institute and was admitted to the Training Section of theInstitute from 1 January 1941. In July 1941 he joined the M.A Statistics program of the CalcuttaUniversity. By the time he passed the M.A. exam in 1943, winning the gold medal of the University, hehad already published some research papers! In 1943 he joined ISI as a technical apprentice, doingresearch, teaching in the Training Section of the Institute and at Calcutta University and assistingProfessor Mahalanobis in editing Sankhya the Indian Journal of Statistics.In 1946 he was deputed to the Cambridge University on a project. While working full time on this, healso worked in the genetic laboratory of R.A. Fisher, the father of modern statistics and completed hisPh.D. under Fisher. By this time Rao had already completed some of the work which carries his name:Cramer-Rao inequality, Rao-Blackwell theorem, Rao’s score test and Rao’s orthogonal arrays. Hereturned to ISI in 1948 and in 1949 was made a Professor at the very young age of 29. He headed anddeveloped the Research and Training Section of the ISI, and went on to become Director of the ISI. Hebecame the associate editor of the Sankhya in 1964 and became the editor in 1972. He left ISI in 1978and joined the University of Pittsburgh.In 1988 he moved to the Pennsylvannia State University holding the Eberly Family Chair in Statistics andthe Directorship of the Centre for Multivariate Analysis till 2001.
AwardsGuy Medal in Gold (2011) of the Royal Statistical SocietyIndia Science Award 2010 (the highest award in a scientific field presented by government of India)International Mahalanobis Prize (2003) of the International Statistical InstituteSrinivasa Ramanujan Medal (2003) of the Indian National Science AcademyPresident George W. Bush, on June 12, 2002, honored him with the National Medal of Science, thehighest award in U.S. in the scientific field, as a "prophet of new age" with the citation, "for hispioneering contributions to the foundations of statistical theory and multivariate statisticalmethodology and their applications, enriching the physical, biological, mathematical, economic andengineering sciences."Padma Vibhushan (2001) by the Government of IndiaMahalanobis Centenary Gold Medal (1993?) of the Indian Science CongressWilks Memorial Award (1989) of the American Statistical AssociationMegnadh Saha Medal (1969) of the Indian National Science AcademyGuy Medal in Silver (1965) of the Royal Statistical SocietyS. S. Bhatnagar Award (1963) of Council of Scientific and Industrial ResearchJC Bose Gold Medal of the Bose InstituteGold Medal of the University of CalcuttaHe was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Calcutta in 2003. Alsohonorary doctorates from a number of universities and institutes around the world.
M K Vainu BappaBorn: August 10, 1927Died: August 19, 1982Manali Kallat Vainu Bappu was an Indian astronomer and president ofthe International Astronomical Union. Bappu helped establish severalastronomical institutions in India——including the Vainu BappuObservatory named after him—and also contributed to theestablishment of the modern Indian Institute of Astrophysics. In 1957, hediscovered the Wilson-Bappu effect jointlywith Americanastronomer Olin Chaddock Wilson.He is regarded as the father of modern Indian astronomy.Early LifeVainu Bappu was born on August 10, 1927, in Chennai, as the only child of Manali Kukuzhi and SunannaBappu. His family originally hails from Thalassery in Kerala. His father was an astronomer at theNizamiah Observatory in Andhra Pradesh. He attended theHarvard Graduate School of Astronomy forhis PhD after obtaining postgraduate degree from the Madras University. Bappu, along with two of hiscolleagues, discovered the Bappu-Bok-Newkirk comet. He was awarded the Donhoe Comet-Medal bythe Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1949.In a paper published in 1957, American astronomer Olin Chaddock Wilson and Bappu had describedwhat would later be known as the Wilson-Bappu effect. The effect as described by L.V. Kuhi is: Thewidth of the Ca II emission in normal, non variable, G, K, and M stars is correlated with the visualabsolute magnitude in the sense that the brighter the star the wider the emission. The paper opened upthe field of stellar chromospheres for research.Return to IndiaOn his return to India, Bappu was appointed to head a team of astronomers to build an observatoryat Nainital. His efforts of building an indigenous large optical telescope and a research observatory ledto the founding of an optical observatory of Kavalur, inaugurated in 1986 by Rajiv Gandhi, who namedthe observatory, and its large telescope after Bappu. The Vainu Bappu Observatory is one of the mainobservatories of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, also initiated in its modern avatar by Bappu in1971. Later, a number of discoveries were made from the Vainu Bappu ObservatoryFather of modernIndian astronomy
Career OverviewPostInstitutionHonorary Foreign Fellow Belgium Academy of SciencesHonorary Member American Astronomical SocietyVice-President International Astronomical Union (1967–73)President International Astronomical Union (1979)
Marie CurieBorn: November 7, 1867, WarsawDied: July 4, 1934, SancellemozThe Polish-born French physicist Marie Curie invented the term"radioactivity" and discovered two elements, radium and polonium.Born Maria Skodowska on November 7, 1867, in Warsaw, Poland, MarieCurie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only womanto win the award in two different fields (physics and chemistry).Curies efforts, with her husband, Pierre Curie, led to the discovery of polonium and radium and, afterPierres death, the development of X-rays.She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris (La Sorbonne), and in 1995 became thefirst woman to be entombed on her own merits in Paris Panthéon.She shared her 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist HenriBecquerel. She was the sole winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.Early LifeMarie Curie was born in Warsaw in modern-day Poland on Nov. 7, 1867. Her parents were bothteachers, and she was the youngest of five children. As a child Curie took after her father, Ladislas, amath and physics instructor. She had a bright and curious mind and excelled at school. But tragedystruck early, and when she was only 11, Curie lost her mother, Bronsitwa, to tuberculosis.A top student in her secondary school, Curie could not attend the men-only University of Warsaw. Sheinstead continued her education in Warsaws "floating university," a set of underground, informalclasses held in secret. Both Curie and her sister Bronya dreamed of going abroad to earn an officialdegree, but they lacked the financial resources to pay for more schooling. Undeterred, Curie worked outa deal with her sister. She would work to support Bronya while she was in school and Bronya wouldreturn the favor after she completed her studies.For roughly five years, Curie worked as a tutor and a governess. She used her spare time to study,reading about physics, chemistry and math. In 1891, Curie finally made her way to Paris where sheenrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris. She threw herself into her studies, but this dedication had a personalcost. With little money, Curie survived on buttered bread and tea, and her health sometimes sufferedbecause of her poor diet.
Curie completed her masters degree in physics in 1893 and earned another degree in mathematics thefollowing year. Around this time, she received a commission to do a study on different types of steel andtheir magnetic properties. Curie needed a lab to work in, and a colleague introduced her to Frenchphysicist Pierre Curie. A romance developed between the brilliant pair, and they became a scientificdynamic duo.DiscoveriesMarie and Pierre Curie were dedicated scientists and completely devoted to one another. At first, theyworked on separate projects. She was fascinated with the work of Henri Becquerel, a French physicistwho discovered that uranium casts off rays, weaker rays than the X-rays found by Wilhelm Roentgen.Curie took Becquerels work a few steps further, conducting her own experiments on uranium rays. Shediscovered that the rays remained constant, no matter the condition or form of the uranium. The rays,she theorized, came from the elements atomic structure. This revolutionary idea created the field ofatomic physics and Curie herself coined the word radioactivity to describe the phenomena. Marie andPierre had a daughter, Irene, in 1897, but their work didnt slow down.Pierre put aside his own work to help Marie with her exploration of radioactivity. Working with themineral pitchblende, the pair discovered a new radioactive element in 1898. They named the elementpolonium, after Maries native country of Poland. They also detected the presence of anotherradioactive material in the pitchblende, and called that radium. In 1902, the Curies announced that theyhad produced a decigram of pure radium, demonstrating its existence as a unique chemical element.Science CelebrityMarie Curie made history in 1903 when she became the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize inphysics. She won the prestigious honor along with her husband Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel, fortheir work on radioactivity. With their Nobel Prize win, the Curies developed an international reputationfor their scientific efforts, and they used their prize money to continue their research. They welcomed asecond child, daughter Eve, the following year.In 1906, Marie suffered a tremendous loss. Her husband Pierre was killed in Paris after he accidentallystepped in front of a horse-drawn wagon. Despite her tremendous grief, she took over his teaching postat the Sorbonne, becoming the institutions first female professor.Curie received another great honor in 1911, winning her second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry. Shewas selected for her discovery of radium and polonium, and became the first scientist to win two NobelPrizes. While she received the prize alone, she shared the honor jointly with her late husband in heracceptance lecture.Around this time, Curie joined with other famous scientists, including Albert Einstein and Max Planck, toattend the first Solvay Congress in Physics.
They gathered to discuss the many groundbreaking discoveries in their field. Curie experienced thedownside of fame in 1911, when her relationship with her husbands former student, Paul Langevin,became public. Curie was derided in the press for breaking up Langevins marriage. The press negativitytowards Curie stemmed at least in part from rising xenophobia in France.When World War I broke out in 1914, Curie devoted her time and resources to helping the cause. Shechampioned the use of portable X-ray machines in the field, and these medical vehicles earned thenickname "Little Curies". After the war, Curie used her celebrity to advance her research. She traveledto the United States twice— in 1921 and in 1929— to raise funds to buy radium and to establish aradium research institute in Warsaw, and two years later her book La Radiologie et la guerre waspublished.Final days & LegacyAll of her years of working with radioactive materials took a toll on Curies health. She was known tocarry test tubes of radium around in the pocket of her lab coat. In 1934, Curie went to the SancellemozSanatorium in Passy, France, to try to rest and regain her strength. She died there on July 4, 1934, of aplastic anemia, which can be caused by prolonged exposure to radiation.In her last year she worked on a book Radioactivity, which was eventually published posthumously, in1935.Marie Curie made many breakthroughs in her lifetime. She is the most famous female scientist of alltime, and has received numerous posthumous honors. In 1995, her and her husbands remains wereinterred in the Panthéon in Paris, the final resting place of many Frances greatest minds. Curie becamethe first and only woman to be laid to rest there.Curie also passed down her love of science to the next generation. Her daughter Irène Joliot-Curiefollowed in her mothers footsteps, winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935. Joliot-Curie sharedthe honor with her husband Frédéric Joliot for their work on their synthesis of new radioactiveelements.Today several educational and research institutions and medical centers bear the Curie name, includingthe Institute Curie and the Pierre and Marie Curie University, both in Paris.I believe that Science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is alsoa child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.– Marie Curie
Awards & HonorsMarie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, the onlywoman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences. Awards that she receivedinclude:Nobel Prize in Physics (1903)Davy Medal (1903, with Pierre)Matteucci Medal (1904; with Pierre)Elliott Cresson Medal (1909)Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1911)Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society (1921)In 1995, she became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon,Paris. The curie (symbol Ci), a unit of radioactivity, is named in honour of her.The element with atomic number 96 was named curium.In 2007 a metro station in Paris was renamed to honour both of the Curies. Polish nuclearresearch reactor Maria is named after her.The 7000 Curie asteroid is also named after her.Books Dedicated to her♦ Madame Curie (1938), written by her daughter, Ève.♦ In 1987 Françoise Giroud wrote a biography, Marie Curie: A Life.♦ In 2005, Barbara Goldsmith wrote Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie.♦ In 2011, another book appeared, Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, a Tale of Love and Fallout,by Lauren Redniss.♦ Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon starred in the 1943 U.S. Oscar-nominated film, MadameCurie, based on her life.♦ More recently, in 1997, a French film about Pierre and Marie Curie was released, Les Palmes deM. Schutz. It was adapted from a play of the same name. In the film, Marie Curie was playedby Isabelle Huppert."I believe that Science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not amere technician; he is also a child confronting natural phenomena thatimpress him as though they were fairy tales."– Marie Curie
Irene Joliot-CurieShe was a French physicist who along with her husband Joliot-Curie, a well-knownFrench physicist, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 for their synthesisof new radioactive elements.Ernest RutherfordErnest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson was a New Zealand-bornBritish chemist and physicist who became known as the father of nuclear physics.He was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 "for his investigations into thedisintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances".The chemical element rutherfordium (element 104) was named after him in 1997.
Neils BohrBorn: October 7, 1885, CopenhagenDied: November 18, 1962, CopenhagenBorn on October 7, 1885, in Copenhagen, Denmark, Niels Bohr went onto become an accomplished physicist who came up with a revolutionarytheory on atomic structures and radiation emission.He won the 1922 Nobel Prize in physics for his ideas and years later,after working on the Manhattan Project in the United States, called forresponsible and peaceful applications of atomic energy across the world.Bohr married Margrethe Nørlund in 1912, and one of their sons, AageBohr, was also a physicist and in 1975 also received the Nobel Prize.Early LifeNiels Bohr was born on October 7, 1885, in Copenhagen, Denmark, to mother Ellen Adler, who was partof a successful Jewish banking clan, and father Christian Bohr, a celebrated physiology academic. Theyoung Bohr eventually attended Copenhagen University, where he received his masters and doctoratein physics by 1911. During the fall of the same year, Bohr traveled to Cambridge, England, where he wasable to follow the Cavendish Laboratory work of scientist J.J. Thomson.In 1912, Bohr wed Margrethe Nørlund. The couple would have six children; four survived to adulthoodand one, Aage, would become a well-known physics scientist as well.Bohr’s own research led him to theorize in a series of articles that atoms give off electromagneticradiation as a result of electrons jumping to different orbit levels, departing from a previously heldmodel espoused by Ernest Rutherford. Though Bohrs discovery would eventually be tweaked by otherscientists, his ideas formed the basis of future atomic research.After teaching at Manchester’s Victoria University, Bohr settled again at Copenhagen University in 1916with a professorship position. Then, in 1920, he founded the university’s Institute of Theoretical Physics,which he would run indefinitely.Wins Nobel PrizeBohr received the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on atomic structures, and he would continueto come up with revolutionary theories. He worked with Werner Heisenberg and other scientists on anew quantum mechanics principle connected to Bohrs concept of complementarity, which was initiallypresented at an Italian conference in 1927. The concept asserted that physical properties on an atomic
level would be viewed differently depending on experimental parameters, hence explaining why lightcould be seen as both a particle and wave. Bohr would also come to apply this idea philosophically aswell, with the belief that evolving concepts of physics deeply affected human perspectives. Anotherphysicist by the name of Albert Einstein didn’t fully see eye to eye with all of Bohrs assertions, and theirtalks became renowned in scientific communities.Bohr went on to work with the group of scientists who were at the forefront of research on nuclearfission during the late 1930s, to which he contributed the liquid droplet theory. Outside of hispioneering ideas, Bohr was known for his wit and warmth, and his humanitarian ethics would inform hislater work.Fleeing EuropeWith Adolf Hitlers rise in power, Bohr was able to offer German Jewish physicists refuge at his institutein Copenhagen, which in turn led to travel to the United States for many. Once Denmark becameoccupied by Nazi forces, the Bohr family escaped to Sweden, with Bohr and Aage eventually makingtheir way to the U.S. as well. Bohr then worked with the Manhattan Project in Nevada, where the firstatom bomb was being created. Because he had concerns about how the bomb could be used, he calledfor future international arms control and active communication about the weapon between nations—anidea met with resistance by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.Bohr worked on the Manhattan Project at the top-secret Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico, wherehe was known by the name of Nicholas Baker for security reasons.Atoms for PeaceAfter the end of the war, Bohr returned to Europe and continued to call for peaceful applications ofatomic energy. In his "Open Letter to the United Nations," dated June 9, 1950, Bohr envisioned an "openworld" mode of existence between countries that abandoned isolationism for true cultural exchange.In 1954, he helped to establish CERN, a Europe-based particle physics research facility, and put togetherthe Atoms for Peace Conference of 1955. In 1957, Bohr received the Atoms for Peace Award for histrailblazing theories and efforts to use atomic energy responsibly.Bohr was a prolific writer with more than 100 publications to his name. After having a stroke, he died onNovember 18, 1962, in Copenhagen. Bohr’s son, Aage, shared with two others the 1975 Nobel Prize inPhysics for his research on motion in atomic nuclei.LegacyHe was one of the founding fathers of CERN in 1954.Received the first ever Atoms for Peace Award in 1957.
In 1965, three years after Bohrs death, theCopenhagen changed its name to theThe Bohr models semicentennial was commemorated in Denmark on 21 November 1963 witha postage stamp depicting Bohr, thehydrogen energy levels:Bohrium (a chemical element, atomic number 107) is named in honour of Bohr.Hafnium, another chemical element, whose properties were prafter Hafnia, Copenhagens Latin name.Asteroid 3948 Bohr is named after him.The Centennial of Bohrs birth was commemorated in Denmark on 3 October 1985 with a postagestamp depicting Bohr with his wife Margrethe.In 1997 the Danish National BankBohr smoking a pipe.The Bohr models centennial will be commemorated when Denmark hosts theOlympiad in 2013.QUOTES"Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us tochange our thinking in order to find it.""An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a"Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to tIn 1965, three years after Bohrs death, the Institute of Physics at thechanged its name to the Niels Bohr Institute.Bohr models semicentennial was commemorated in Denmark on 21 November 1963 withBohr, the hydrogen atom and the formula for the difference of any two.(a chemical element, atomic number 107) is named in honour of Bohr.Hafnium, another chemical element, whose properties were predicted by Bohr, was named by himCopenhagens Latin name.is named after him.The Centennial of Bohrs birth was commemorated in Denmark on 3 October 1985 with a postagestamp depicting Bohr with his wife Margrethe.Danish National Bank started circulating the 500-krone banknote with the portrait ofThe Bohr models centennial will be commemorated when Denmark hosts the International Physicsdifficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us tochange our thinking in order to find it.""An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in avery narrow field.""Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to tat the University ofBohr models semicentennial was commemorated in Denmark on 21 November 1963 withfor the difference of any twoedicted by Bohr, was named by himThe Centennial of Bohrs birth was commemorated in Denmark on 3 October 1985 with a postagewith the portrait ofInternational Physicsdifficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a"Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think."– Niels Bohr
Isaac NewtonBorn: December 25, 1642, Woolsthorpe-by-ColsterworthDied: March 20, 1727, KensingtonEnglish physicist and mathematician, who was the culminating, figure of thescientific revolution of the 17th century. With discoveries in optics, motion,and mathematics he developed the principles of modern physics. He was theoriginal discoverer of the infinitesimal calculus. Newtons PhilosophiaeNaturalis Principia Mathematica ( Mathematical Principles of NaturalPhilosophy), 1687, was one of the most important single works in the historyof modern science.Early LifeOn December 25, 1642, Isaac Newton was born in the hamlet of Woolsthorpe, England, the only son ofa prosperous local farmer, also named Isaac Newton. Young Isaac never knew his father, who died threemonths before he was born. A premature baby born tiny and weak, Isaac was not expected to survive.When he was three, his mother, Hannah Ayscough Newton, remarried a well-do-do minister, BarnabasSmith, and went to live with him, leaving young Isaac with his maternal grandmother. The experienceleft an indelible imprint on Isaac which manifested itself later in life as an acute sense of insecurity. Heanxiously obsessed over his published work and defended its merits with irrational behavior.At age twelve, Isaac Newton was reunited with his mother after her second husband died. She broughtalong her three small children from her second marriage. Isaac had been enrolled at the Kings School,Grantham, England, where he lodged with a local apothecary and was introduced to the fascinatingworld of chemistry. His mother pulled him out of school, for her plan was to make him a farmer andhave him tend the farm. Isaac failed miserably for he found farming monotonous. He soon was returnedto Kings School to finish his basic education. Perhaps sensing his innate intellectual abilities, his uncle, agraduate of Trinity College at Cambridge persuaded Isaacs mother to have him enter the university.Isaac enrolled in 1661 in a program similar to a work study where he waited on tables and took care ofwealthier students rooms.When Isaac Newton arrived at Cambridge, the scientific revolution was already in full force. Theheliocentric view of the universe—theorized by astronomers Nicholas Copernicus and Johannes Keplerand later refined by Galileo Galilea—was well known in most European academic circles. PhilosopherRene Descartes had begun to formulate a new conception of nature as an intricate, impersonal, andinert machine. Yet, as with most universities in Europe, Cambridge was steeped in Aristotelianphilosophy and view of nature resting on a geocentric view of the universe and dealing with nature inqualitative rather than quantitative terms.
During his first three years at Cambridge, Isaac Newton was being taught the standard curriculum butfascinated with the more advanced science. All his spare time was spent reading from the modernphilosophers. The result was a less-than-stellar performance, but one that is understandable given hisdual course of study.It was during this time that Newton kept a second set of notes entitled "Quaestiones QueedamPhilosphicea" ("Certain Philosophical Questions"), begun sometime in 1664. The "Queaestiones" revealthat Newton had discovered the new conception of nature that provided the framework for thescientific revolution.Though Isaac Newton graduated with no honors or distinctions, his efforts won him the title of scholarand four years of financial support for future education. Unfortunately, in 1665, the Great Plague thatwas ravaging Europe had come to Cambridge and the university closed. Newton returned home topursue his private study. It was during this 18-month hiatus that he conceived the method ofinfinitesimal calculus, set foundations for his theory of light and color, and gained significant insight intothe laws of planetary motion, insights that eventually led to the publication of his Principia in 1687.Legend has it that at this time Newton experienced his famous inspiration of gravity with the fallingapple.With the threat of plague subsided in 1667, Isaac Newton returned to Cambridge and was elected aminor fellow at Trinity College, still not considered a standout scholar. However, in the ensuing years,his fortune improved. Newton received his Master of Arts degree in 1669, before he was twenty-seven.During this time, he came across Nicholas Mercators published book on methods for dealing withinfinite series. Newton quickly wrote a treatise, De Analysi, expounding his own wider ranging results.He shared this with his friend and mentor Isaac Barrow but didn’t put his name as author. In June, 1669,Barrow shared the unaccredited manuscript with British mathematician John Collins. In August, 1669,Barrow indentified its author to Collins as "Mr. Newton… a very young… but of an extraordinary geniusand proficiency in these things." Newtons work was brought to the attention of the mathematicscommunity for the first time. Shortly afterwards, Barrow resigned his Lucasian Professorship atCambridge and Newton assumed the Chair.Professional LifeAs professor, Isaac Newton was exempted from tutoring but required to deliver an annual course oflectures. He chose to deliver his work on optics as his initial topic. Part of his study in optics was aidedwith the use of a reflecting telescope that Newton designed and constructed in 1668, his first majorpublic scientific achievement. This invention helped prove his theory of light and color. In 1671, theRoyal Society asked for a demonstration of his reflecting telescope and their interest encouraged him topublish his notes On Colour in 1672, which he later revised to Book One of Optics.
However, not everyone at the Royal Academy was enthusiastic about Isaac Newtons discoveries inoptics. Among some of the dissenters was Robert Hooke, one of the original members of the RoyalAcademy and a scientist who was accomplished in a number of areas including mechanics and optics.In his paper, Newton theorized that white light was a composite of all the colors of the spectrum andthat light was composed of particles. Hooke believed that light was composed of waves. Hooke quicklycondemned Newton’s paper in condescending terms and attacked his methodology and conclusions.Hooke was not the only one to question Newtons work on optics. The great Danish scientist, Huygensand a number of French Jesuits also raised objections. But because of Hooke’s association with the RoyalSociety and his own work in optics, his criticism stung Newton the worst. He was unable to handle thecritique and went into a rage, a reaction to criticism that was to continue throughout his life. He deniedHookes charge that the theories had any shortcomings and argued the importance of his discoveries toall of science. In the ensuing months, exchange between the two men grew more acrimonious and soonNewton threatened to quit the Society altogether. He remained only when several other membersassured him that the Fellows held him in high esteem. However, the rivalry with Hooke continued forseveral years afterward. Then, in 1678, Newton suffered a complete nervous breakdown and thecorrespondence abruptly ended. The death of his mother the following year completed his isolation andfor six years he withdrew from intellectual exchange except when others initiated correspondence,which he always kept short.During his hiatus from public life, Isaac Newton returned to his study of gravitation and its effects on theorbits of planets. Ironically, the impetus that put Newton on the right direction in this study came fromRobert Hooke. In a 1679 letter of general correspondence to Royal Society members for contributions,Hooke wrote to Newton and brought up the question of planetary motion suggesting that a formulainvolving the inverse squares might explain the attraction between planets and the shape of their orbits.Subsequent exchanges transpired before Newton quickly broke off the correspondence once again. ButHookes idea was soon incorporated into Newtons work on planetary motion and from his notes itappears he had quickly drawn his own conclusions by 1680, though he kept his discoveries to himself.1n early 1684, in a conversation with fellow Royal Society members Christopher Wren and EdmundHalley, Hooke made is case on the proof for planetary motion. Both Wren and Halley thought he was onto something, but pointed out that a mathematical demonstration was needed. In August, 1684, Halleytraveled to Cambridge to visit with Newton, who was coming out of his seclusion. Halley idly asked himwhat shape the orbit of a planet would take if its attraction to the sun followed the inverse square of thedistance between them (Hooke’s theory). Newton knew the answer due to his concentrated work forthe past six years and replied "an ellipse." Newton claimed to have solved the problem some eighteenyears ago during his hiatus from Cambridge and the plague, but he was unable to find his notes.Halley persuaded him to work out the problem mathematically and offered to pay all costs so that theideas might be published.
Publishing PrincipiaIn 1687, after eighteen months of intense and effectively nonstop work, Newton publishedPhilosophiae, Natrualis, Principia Mathematica (The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy).Said to be the most single influential book on physics and possibly all of science, it is most often knownas Principia and contains nearly all the essential concepts of physics, except energy. The work offers anexact quantitative description of bodies in motion in three basic laws:♦ a stationary body will stay stationary unless an external force is applied to it;♦ force is equal to mass times acceleration and a change in motion is proportional to the forceapplied;♦ For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.These three laws not only helped explain elliptical planetary orbits but nearly every other motion in theuniverse: how the planets are kept in orbit by the pull of the sun’s gravity; how the moon revolvesaround earth and the moons of Jupiter revolve around it; how comets revolve in elliptical orbits aroundthe sun. The laws also allowed Newton to calculate the mass of each planet, calculate the flattening ofthe Earth at the polls and the bulge at the equator, and how gravitational pull of the sun and mooncreate the Earth’s tides. In Newtons account, the force he called gravity, kept the universe balanced,made it work, and brought heaven and earth together in one great equation.Upon the publication of the first edition of Principia, Robert Hooke immediately accused Newton ofplagiarism, claiming he had discovered the theory of inverse squares. The charge was unfounded, asmost scientists knew, for Hooke had only theorized on the idea and had never brought it to any level ofproof. However, Newton was furious and strongly defended his discoveries. He withdrew all referencesto Hooke in his notes and threatened to withdraw from publishing the subsequent edition of Principiaaltogether. Halley had invested much of himself in Newton’s work and tried to make peace between thetwo men. While Newton begrudgingly agreed to insert a joint acknowledgement of Hooke’s work(shared with Wren and Halley) in his discussion of the law of inverse squares, it did nothing to placateHooke. As the years went on, Hookes life began to unravel. His beloved niece and companion died theyear Principia was published. As Newtons reputation and fame grew, Hookes declined and he greweven more bitter and loathsome toward his rival. To the bitter end, Hooke took every opportunity hecould to offend Newton. Knowing that is rival would soon be elected president of the Society, Hookerefused to retire until his death in 1703.International prominenceThe Principia immediately raised Isaac Newton to international prominence and he became moreinvolved in public affairs. Consciously or unconsciously he was ready for a new direction in life. He nolonger found contentment in his position at Cambridge and he was becoming more involved in otherissues.
He helped lead the resistance to King James II’s attempts to reinstitute Catholic teaching at Cambridgeand in 1689, he was elected to represent Cambridge in Parliament. While in London, Newton acquaintedhimself with a broader group of intellectuals and became acquainted with political philosopher JohnLocke. Though many of the scientists on the continent continued to teach the mechanical worldaccording to Aristotle, a young generation of British scientists became captivated with Newton’s newview of the physical world and recognized him as their leader. One of these admirers was Nicholas Fatiode Duillier, a Swiss-born mathematician who Newton befriended while in London.However, within a few years Newton fell into another nervous breakdown in 1693. The cause is open tospeculation: overwork, his disappointment over not being appointed to a higher position by Englandsnew monarchs William and Mary, the subsequent loss of his friendship with Duillier, or perhaps chronicmercury poisoning after decades of alchemical research. Its difficult to know the exact cause, butevidence suggests that letters written by Newton to several of his London acquaintances and friends,including Duillier, seemed deranged and paranoiac and accused them of betrayal and conspiracy. Oddlyenough, Newton recovered quickly, wrote letters of apology to friends, and was back to work within afew months. He emerged with all his intellectual facilities intact, but seemed to have lost interest inscientific problems and now favored pursuing prophecy and scripture and the study of alchemy. Whilesome might see this as work beneath the man who had revolutionized science, it might be moreattributed to Newton responding to the issues of the time in turbulent 17th century Britain. Manyintellectuals were grappling with the meaning of many different subjects, not least of which wasreligion, politics, and the very purpose of life. Modern science was still so new, no one knew for surehow it measured up against older philosophies.In 1696, Isaac Newton was able to attain the governmental position he had long sought, Warden of theMint. He permanently moved to London and lived with his niece, Catherine Barton. She was the mistressof Lord Halifax, a high-ranking government official who was instrumental in having Newton promoted toMaster of the Mint in 1699, a position he would hold until his death. Not to be considered a merehonorary position, Newton approached the job with earnest, reforming the currency and severelypunishing counterfeiters. As Master of the Mint, Newton moved the British currency, the Pound Sterling,from the silver to the gold standard.In 1703, Newton was elected president of the Royal Society upon Robert Hooke’s death. In 1705, hewas knighted by Queen Anne.At this point in his life, Isaac Newtons career in science and discovery had given way to a career ofpolitical power and influence. Newton never seemed to understand the notion of science as acooperative venture and his own ambition and fierce defense of his own discoveries continued to leadhim from one conflict after another with other scientists.By most accounts, Newtons tenure at the Society was tyrannical and autocratic. He was able to controlthe lives and careers of younger scientists with absolute power. In 1705, in a controversy that had beenbrewing for several years, German mathematician Gottfried Liebniz publically accused Newton ofplagiarizing his research, claiming he had discovered infinitesimal calculus several years before the
publication of Principia. In 1712 the Royal Society appointed a committee to investigate the matter. Ofcourse, with Newton as president, he was able to appoint the committee members and oversee itsinvestigation. Not surprisingly, the committee concluded Newton’s priority over the discovery.That same year, in another of Isaac Newtons more flagrant episodes of tyranny, he published withoutpermission the notes of astronomer John Flamsteed. It seems the astronomer had collected a massivebody of data from his years at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England. Newton had requested alarge volume of Flamsteeds notes for his revisions to Principia. Annoyed when Flamsteed wouldn’tprovide him more information as quickly as he wanted it, Newton used his influence as president of theRoyal Society to be named the chairman of the body of “visitors” responsible for the Royal Observatory.Then he tried to force the immediate publication of Flamsteeds catalogue of the stars, all of Flamsteed’snotes, edited and unedited. To add insult to injury, Newton arranged for Flamsteeds mortal enemyEdmund Halley, to prepare the notes for press. Flamsteed was finally able to get a court order to haveNewton cease his plans for publication and return the notes back to him, one of the few times Newtonwas bested by one of his rivals.Final YearsTowards the end of this life, Isaac lived at Cranbury Park, near Winchester with his niece, CatherineConduitt, and her husband. He was one of the most famous men in Europe. His scientific discoverieswere unchallenged. He also had become wealthy, investing his sizeable income wisely and bestowingsizeable gifts to charity. He never married nor made many friends. In his later years a combination ofpride, insecurity, and side-trips on peculiar scientific inquiries led even some of his few friends to worryabout his mental stability. By the time he reached eighty years of age, he was experiencing digestionproblems and had to drastically change his diet and mobility. On March 19, 1727 he experienced severepain in his abdomen and blacked out, never to regain consciousness. He died the next day at age eighty-five. His fame grew even more after his death as many of his contemporaries proclaimed him thegreatest genius that ever lived. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but his discoveries had an impact onWestern thought that can be compared with figures like Plato, Aristotle, and Galileo. Although hisdiscoveries were among many made during the Scientific Revolution, his universal principles of gravityfound no parallels in science at the time. Of course, Newton was proven wrong on some of his keyassumptions. In the 20th century, Albert Einstein would overturn Newtons concept of the universe,stating that space, distance, and motion were not absolute but relative and that the universe was morefantastic than Newton ever conceived. Newton himself may not have been surprised. In his later life,when asked for an assessment of his achievements, he replied, "I do not know what I may appear to theworld; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myselfnow and then in finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truthlay all undiscovered before me."
WritingsMethod of Fluxions (1671)Of Natures Obvious Laws & Processes in Vegetation (unpublished, c. 1671–75)De motu corporum in gyrum (1684)Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687)Opticks (1704)Reports as Master of the Mint (1701–25)Arithmetica Universalis (1707)The System of the World, Optical Lectures, The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms, (Amended) and Demundi systemate (published posthumously in 1728)Observations on Daniel and The Apocalypse of St. John (1733)An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture (1754)
Charles DarwinBorn: February 12, 1809, ShrewsburyDied: April 19, 1882, Down HouseNaturalist Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, on February12, 1809. In 1831, he embarked on a five-year survey voyage around theworld on the HMS Beagle. His studies of specimens around the globe ledhim to formulate his theory of evolution and his views on the process ofnatural selection. In 1859, he published On the Origin of the Species. Hedied on April 19, 1882, in London.Early LifeNaturalist Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, in the tiny merchant town ofShrewsbury, England. He was the second youngest of six children. Darwin came from a long line ofscientists. His father, Dr. R.W. Darwin, was as a medical doctor, and his grandfather, Dr. Erasmus Darwin,was a renowned botanist. Darwin’s mother, Susanna, died when he was only 8 years old. Darwin was achild of wealth and privilege who loved to explore nature.In October 1825, at age 16, Darwin enrolled at Edinburgh University along with his brother Erasmus.Two years later, Charles Darwin became a student at Christ’s College in Cambridge. His father hoped hewould follow in his footsteps and become a medical doctor, but the sight of blood made Darwin queasy.His father suggested he study to become a parson instead, but Darwin was far more inclined to studynatural history.Voyage on the HMS BeagleWhile Darwin was at Christ’s College, botany professor John Stevens Henslow became his mentor. AfterDarwin graduated Christ’s College with a bachelor of arts degree in 1838, Henslow recommended himfor a naturalist’s position aboard the HMS Beagle. The ship, commanded by Captain Robert FitzRoy, wasto take a five-year survey trip around the world. The voyage would prove the opportunity of a lifetimefor the budding young naturalist.On December 27, 1831, the HMS Beagle launched its voyage around the world with Darwin in tow. Overthe course of the trip, Darwin collected a variety of natural specimens, including birds, plants and fossils.Through hands-on research and experimentation, he had the unique opportunity to closely observeprinciples of botany, geology and zoology. The Pacific Islands and Galapagos Archipelago were ofparticular interest to Darwin, as was South America.Upon his return to England in 1836, Darwin began to write up his findings in the Journal of Researches,published as part of Captain FitzRoy’s larger narrative and later edited into the Zoology of the Voyage of
the Beagle. The trip had a monumental affect on Darwin’s view of natural history. He began to develop arevolutionary theory about the origin of living beings that was contrary to the popular view of othernaturalists at the time.Theory of EvolutionDarwin’s exposure to specimens all over the globe raised important questions. Other naturalistsbelieved that all species either came into being at the start of the world, or were created over thecourse of natural history. In either case, the species were believed to remain much the same throughouttime. Darwin, however, noticed similarities among species all over the globe, along with variations basedon specific locations, leading him to believe that they had gradually evolved from common ancestors. Hecame to believe that species survived through a process called “natural selection,” where species thatsuccessfully adapted to meet the changing requirements of their natural habitat thrived, while thosethat failed to evolve and reproduce died off.In 1858, after years of further scientific investigation, Darwin publically introduced his revolutionarytheory of evolution in a letter read at a meeting of the Linnean Society. On November 24, 1859, hepublished a detailed explanation of his theory in his best-known work, On the Origin of the Species byMeans of Natural Selection.Death and LegacyFollowing a lifetime of devout research, Charles Darwin died at his family home, Down House, inLondon, on April 19, 1882, and was buried at Westminster Abbey. During the next century, DNA studiesrevealed evidence of his theory of evolution, although controversy surrounding its conflict withCreationism—the religious view that all of nature was born of God—still abounds today.A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.– Charles Darwin
Louis PasteurBorn: December 27, 1822, DoleDied: September 28, 1895, Marnes-la-CoquetteBorn on December 27, 1822 in Dole, France, Dr. Louis Pasteur discoveredthat microbes were responsible for souring alcohol and came up with theprocess of pasteurization, where bacteria is destroyed by heatingbeverages and then allowing them to cool. His work in germ theory alsoled him and his team to create vaccinations for anthrax and rabies.Early LifeFrench chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur was born on December27, 1822 in Dole, located in the Jura region of France. He grew up in the town of Arbois and his father,Jean-Joseph Pasteur, was a tanner and a sergeant major decorated with the Legion of Honour during theNapoleonic Wars. An average student, Pasteur was skilled at drawing and painting. He earned hisBachelor of Arts degree (1840), Bachelor of Science degree (1842) and a doctorate (1847) at the ÉcoleNormale in Paris.Pasteur then spent several years researching and teaching at Dijon Lycée. In 1848, he became aprofessor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, where he met Marie Laurent, the daughter of theuniversitys rector. They wed on May 29, 1849, and had five children, though only two survivedchildhood.Commercial SuccessIn 1854, Pasteur was appointed professor of chemistry and dean of the science faculty at the Universityof Lille. Here, he worked on finding solutions to the problems with the manufacture of alcoholic drinks.Working with the germ theory, which Pasteur did not invent, but further developed throughexperiments and eventually convinced most of Europe of its truth, he demonstrated that organisms suchas bacteria were responsible for souring wine, beer and even milk. He then invented a process wherebacteria could be removed by boiling and then cooling liquid. He completed the first test on April 20,1862. Today the process is known as pasteurization.In 1865, Pasteur helped save the silk industry. He proved that microbes were attacking healthy silkwormeggs, causing the disease, and that the disease would be eliminated if the microbes were eliminated.Pasteurs first vaccine discovery was in 1879, with a disease called chicken cholera. After accidentallyexposing chickens to the attenuated form of a culture, he demonstrated that they became resistant tothe actual virus. Pasteur went on to extend his germ theory to develop causes and vaccinations fordiseases such as anthrax, cholera, TB and smallpox.
In 1873, Pasteur was elected as an associate member of the Académie de Médecine. In 1882, the year ofhis acceptance into the Académie Franaise, he decided to focus his efforts on the problem of rabies. OnJuly 6, 1885, Pasteur vaccinated Joseph Meister, a 9-year-old boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog.The success of Pasteurs vaccine brought him immediate fame. This began an international fundraisingcampaign to build the Pasteur Institute in Paris, which was inaugurated on November 14, 1888.Personal LifePasteur had been partially paralyzed since 1868, due to a severe brain stroke, but he was able tocontinue his research. He celebrated his 70th birthday at the Sorbonne, which was attended by severalprominent scientists, including British surgeon Joseph Lister. At that time, his paralysis worsened, and hedied on September 28, 1895. Pasteurs remains were transferred to a Neo-Byzantine crypt at the PasteurInstitute in 1896."Chance only favors the prepared mind."– Louis Pasteur"The universe is asymmetric and I am persuaded that life, as it is known to us,is a direct result of the asymmetry of the universe or of its indirectconsequences."– Louis Pasteur
Galileo GalileiBorn: February 15, 1564, PisaDied: January 8, 1642, ArcetriGalileo Galilei was an Italian scientist who supported Copernicanism, theidea that Earth orbits the sun. Galileo defended his views in DialogueConcerning the Two Chief World Systems. For doing so, he was tried by theRoman Inquisition, was found "suspect of heresy" and spent the rest of hislife under house arrest. His findings changed our world view for all time.ProfileGalileo Galilei was born on February 15, 1564, in Pisa in the Duchy of Florence, Italy. He was the first ofsix children born to Vincenzo Galilei, a well-known musician and music theorist, and Giulia Ammannati.In 1574, the family moved to Florence, where Galileo started his formal education at the Camaldolesemonastery in Vallombrosa.In 1583, Galileo entered the University of Pisa to study medicine. Armed with high intelligence andtalent, he soon became fascinated with many subjects, particularly mathematics and physics. While atPisa, Galileo was exposed to the Aristotelian view of the world, then the leading scientific authority andthe only one sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church. At first, Galileo supported this view, like anyother intellectual of his time, and was on track to be a university professor. However, due to financialdifficulties, Galileo left the university in 1585 before earning his degree.Galileo continued to study mathematics, supporting himself with minor teaching positions. During thistime he began his two-decade study on objects in motion and published The Little Balance, describingthe hydrostatic principles of weighing small quantities, which brought him some fame. This gained him ateaching post at the University of Pisa, in 1589. There Galileo conducted his fabled experiments withfalling objects and produced his manuscript Du Motu (On Motion), a departure from Aristotelian viewsabout motion and falling objects. Galileo developed an arrogance about his work, and his stridentcriticisms of Aristotle left him isolated among his colleagues. In 1592, his contract with the University ofPisa was not renewed.Galileo quickly found a new position at the University of Padua, teaching geometry, mechanics andastronomy. The appointment was fortunate, for his father had died in 1591, leaving Galileo entrustedwith the care of his younger brother Michelagnolo. During his 18-year tenure at Padua, he gaveentertaining lectures and attracted large crowds of followers, further increasing his fame and his senseof mission.
In 1600, Galileo met Marina Gamba, a Venetian woman, who bore him three children out of wedlock:daughters Virginia and Livia, and son Vincenzo. He never married Marina, possibly due to financialworries and possibly fearing his illegitimate children would threaten his social standing. He worried thetwo girls would never marry well, and when they were older, had them enter a convent. His son’s birthwas eventually legitimized and he became a successful musician.In 1604, Galileo published The Operations of the Geometrical and Military Compass, revealing his skillswith experiments and practical technological applications.He also constructed a hydrostatic balance for measuring small objects. These developments brought himadditional income and more recognition. That same year, Galileo refined his theories on motion andfalling objects, and developed the universal law of acceleration, which all objects in the universe obeyed.Galileo began to express openly his support of the Copernican theory that the earth and planetsrevolved around the sun. This challenged the doctrine of Aristotle and the established order set by theCatholic Church.In July 1609, Galileo learned about a simple telescope built by Dutch eyeglass makers, and he soondeveloped one of his own. In August, he demonstrated it to some Venetian merchants, who saw itsvalue for spotting ships and gave Galileo salary to manufacture several of them. However, Galileo’sambition pushed him to go further, and in the fall of 1609 he made the fateful decision to turn histelescope toward the heavens. In March 1610, he published a small booklet,The Starry Messenger,revealing his discoveries that the moon was not flat and smooth, but a sphere with mountains andcraters. He found Venus had phases like the moon, proving it rotated around the sun. He also discoveredJupiter had revolving moons, which didn’t revolve around the earth.Soon Galileo began mounting a body of evidence that supported Copernican theory and contradictedAristotle and Church doctrine. In 1612, he published his Discourse on Bodies in Water, refuting theAristotelian explanation of why objects float in water, saying that it wasn’t because of their flat shape,but instead the weight of the object in relation to the water it displaced. In 1613, he published hisobservations of sunspots, which further refuted Aristotelian doctrine that the sun was perfect. Thatsame year, Galileo wrote a letter to a student to explain how Copernican theory did not contradictBiblical passages, stating that scripture was written from an earthly perspective and implied that scienceprovided a different, more accurate perspective. The letter was made public and Church Inquisitionconsultants pronounced Copernican theory heretical. In 1616, Galileo was ordered not to “hold, teach,or defend in any manner” the Copernican theory regarding the motion of the earth. Galileo obeyed theorder for seven years, partly to make life easier and partly because he was a devoted Catholic.In 1623, a friend of Galileo, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, was selected as Pope Urban VIII. He allowedGalileo to pursue his work on astronomy and even encouraged him to publish it, on condition it beobjective and not advocate Copernican theory. In 1632, Galileo published the Dialogue Concerning theTwo Chief World Systems, a discussion among three people: one who supports Copernicus heliocentrictheory of the universe, one who argues against it, and one who is impartial. Though Galileo
claimed Dialogues was neutral, it was clearly not. The advocate of Aristotelian belief comes across as thesimpleton, getting caught in his own arguments.Church reaction against the book was swift, and Galileo was summoned to Rome. The Inquisitionproceedings lasted from September 1632 to July 1633. During most of this time, Galileo was treatedwith respect and never imprisoned. However, in a final attempt to break him, Galileo was threatenedwith torture, and he finally admitted he had supported Copernican theory, but privately held that hisstatements were correct. He was convicted of heresy and spent his remaining years under house arrest.Though ordered not to have any visitors nor have any of his works printed outside of Italy, he ignoredboth. In 1634, a French translation of his study of forces and their effects on matter was published, anda year later, copies of the Dialogue were published in Holland. While under house arrest, Galileowrote Two New Sciences, a summary of his life’s work on the science of motion and strength ofmaterials. It was printed in Holland in 1638. By this time, he had become blind and in ill health. Galileodied on January 8, 1642, after suffering from a fever and heart palpitations.But in time, the Church couldn’t deny the truth in science. In 1758, it lifted the ban on most workssupporting Copernican theory, and by 1835 dropped its opposition to heliocentrism altogether. In the20th century several popes acknowledged the great work of Galileo and in 1992 Pope John PaulII expressed regret about how the Galileo affair was handled. Galileo’s contribution to ourunderstanding of the universe was significant not only in his discoveries, but in the methods hedeveloped and the use of mathematics to prove them. He played a major role in the scientific revolutionand deserves the moniker of “The Father of Modern Science.”Asteroid 697 Galilea is named in his honour.And yet it moves.– GalileoAll truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is todiscover them.– GalileoThe Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.– Galileo
Blaise PascalBorn: June 19, 1623, Clermont-FerrandDied: August 19, 1662, ParisMathematician Blaise Pascal was born on June 19, 1623, in Clermont-Ferrand, France. In 1642, he invented the Pascaline, an early calculator.Also in the 1640s, he validated Torricellis theory concerning the causeof barometrical variations. In the 1650s, Pascal laid the foundation ofprobability theory and published the theological works Pénsees andProvinciales. Pascal died in Paris on August 19, 1662.Early LifeInventor, mathematician, physicist and theological writer Blaise Pascal, born on June 19, 1623 inClermont-Ferrand, France, was the third child and only son to Etienne and Antoinette Pascal. Hismother, Antoinette, passed away when he was just a toddler. He was exceptionally close to his twoolder sisters, Gilberte and Jacqueline. His father, Etienne, was a tax collector and a talentedmathematician.Etienne moved the family to Paris in 1631. There, he decided to educate Blaise—a child prodigy—himself so he could design his own unorthodox curriculum and make sure that Blaise didnt work toohard. Ironically, Etienne entirely omitted mathematics from Blaise’s early curriculum. Etienne wasconcerned that Blaise would become so fascinated with geometry that he wouldn’t be unable to focuson classical subjects. The beginning of Blaise’s education in Paris was geared toward languages,especially Latin and Greek. Even so, Etiennes plan backfired: The fact that mathematics was a forbiddentopic made the subject even more interesting to the inquisitive boy, who at the age of 12 beganexploring geometry on his own. He even made up his own terminology, not having learned the officialterms. The prodigy quickly managed to work out that the sum of a triangles angles are equal to tworight angles.Etienne was impressed. In answer to Blaises unswerving fascination, his father permitted him to readEuclid. Etienne also at last allowed Blaise to accompany him to meetings at the mathematics academy inParis. It was there, at age 16, that Blaise presented a number of his early theorems, including his"mystical hexagon." Blaise could not have asked for a better audience; in attendance were some of thepremier mathematical thinkers of the time, including Marin Mersenne, Pierre Gassendi and ClydeMydorge, to name a few.In 1640, the Pascal family drew up stakes once again. They moved to Rouen, France, where Blaisesfather had been appointed to collect taxes. Within just a year of moving, Blaise published his first
written work, Essay on Conic Sections. The essay constituted an important leap forward in projectivegeometry, which involved transferring a 3-D object onto a 2-D field.In 1646, Etienne was seriously injured in an accident that rendered him housebound. The accidentcreated a shift in the whole familys religious beliefs. The Pascals had never fully embraced the localJesuits ideas. After Etiennes accident, a visit from a group of Jansenists led the family to convert to thatbelief system. During the year that Etienne convalesced, two Jansenist brothers watched over Blaise. Asa result of their influence, Blaise became devoutly religious.Inventions and DiscoveriesA true trailblazer and a child prodigy to boot, Blaise Pascal started his prolific stream of groundbreakinginventions and discoveries when he was still just a teen.In 1642, at age 18, inspired by the idea of making his fathers job of calculating taxes easier, Pascalinvented an early calculator, dubbed the Pascaline. (German polymath William Schickard had developedand manufactured an earlier version of the digital calculator in 1624.) The Pascaline was a numericalwheel calculator with eight movable dials, each representing a numerical digit, such as ones, tens andhundreds. It was capable of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.Pascals invention was not without its glitches: There was a discrepancy between the calculators designand the structure of the French currency of the time. The machines went into production in 1642, butPascal continued to work on improving his calculator until 1645. (Fifty prototypes had been produced by1652, but the Pascaline was never a big seller. It went out of production less than a year later.)In 1648, eight years after his first essay was published, Pascal starting writing more of his theorems onconic sections in The Generation of Conic Sections, but he pushed the work aside until 1654.At the end of the 1640s, Pascal temporarily focused his experiments on the physical sciences. Followingin Evangelista Torricelli’s footsteps, Pascal experimented with how atmospheric pressure could beestimated in terms of weight. By taking readings of the barometric pressure at various altitudes, Pascalvalidated Torricellis theory concerning the cause of barometrical variations.In the 1650s, Pascal set about trying to create a perpetual motion machine, the purpose of which was toproduce more energy than it used. In the process, he stumbled upon an accidental invention. In 1655,Pascals roulette machine was born. Aptly, he derived its name from the French word for "little wheel"Overlapping his work on the roulette machine was Pascals correspondence with mathematical theoristPierre de Fermat, beginning in 1654. Through their letters discussing dice problems, and throughPascals own experiments, Pascal discovered that there is a fixed likelihood of any certain outcome whenit comes to the roll of the dice. This discovery was the basis of the mathematical theory of probability,the eye-opening realization that events and their outcomes did not occur randomly.
Although the specific dates are uncertain, Pascal also reportedly invented a rather primitive form of thewristwatch. It was an informal invention to say the least: The mathematician was known to strap hispocket watch to his wrist with a piece of string, presumably for the sake of convenience while tinkeringwith his other inventions.DeathPascal struggled with insomnia and a painful digestive disorder called dyspepsia from the time he was ateen.Regarding his physical health, he was described as "a man of slight build with a loud voice andsomewhat overbearing manner. … [H]e lived most of his adult life in great pain. He had always been indelicate health, suffering even in his youth from migraine." Over the years, Pascal’s constant work took atoll on his already fragile health.Pascal died of a malignant stomach tumor at his sister Gilbretes house in Paris on August 19, 1662. Bythen, the tumor had metastasized in his brain. He was 39 years old at the time of his death. His complexpersonality has been described as "precocious, stubbornly persevering, a perfectionist, pugnacious tothe point of bullying ruthlessness yet seeking to be meek and humble."LegacyPascals inventions and discoveries have been instrumental to developments in the fields of geometry,physics and computer science. His exploration of binomial coefficients influenced Sir Isaac Newton,leading him to uncover his "general binomial theorem for fractional and negative powers."In the 1970s, the Pascal (Pa) unit was named after Blaise Pascal, in honor of his contributions to theunderstanding of atmospheric pressure and how it could be estimated in terms of weight. The Pascal is aunit of pressure that constitutes the force of single newton acting on a square-meter surface. It ismeasured using the meter-kilogram-second system, which relies on an extended version of the metricsystem to calculate pressure.In 1972, computer scientist Nicklaus Wirth invented a computer language and insisted on naming itafter Pascal. This was Wirths way of memorializing Pascals invention of the Pascaline, one of theearliest forms of the modern computer. Pascal is also credited with building the foundation ofprobability theory.
Eugenia CharlesDame Mary Eugenia Charles was PrimeMinister of Dominica from 21 July 1980 until 14 June 1995.She was Dominicas first, and to date only, female prime minister,as well as the nations longest-serving prime minister.She was the second female prime minister in the Caribbean afterLucinda da Costa of theNetherlands Antilles, and the first womanelected in her own right as head of government in the Americas.She was the worlds third longest-serving female Prime Minister, behind IndiraGandhi of India and Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka, and the worlds longestcontinuously serving female Prime Minister ever.
Neil ArmstrongBorn: August 5, 1930, WapakonetaDied: August 25, 2012, CincinnatiNeil Alden Armstrong was an American astronaut and the first person to walkon the Moon. He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot,and university professor.Along with Collins and Aldrin, Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal ofFreedom by President Richard NixonIn 1978, President Jimmy Carter presented Armstrong the Congressional SpaceMedal of Honor in 1978; he and his former crewmates receivedthe Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.Early years:Neil Armstrong was born on 5th August, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, USA.His full name is Neil Alden Armstrong.Neil Armstrong was interested in aviation from a young age. At 15 he worked in various jobs in order topay for his flying lessons.At 16 he got his student pilots licence before he was legally old enough to drive a carand before hegraduated from Blume High School in Wapakoneta in 1947.Immediately after high school, Neil Armstrong received a scholarship from the U.S. Navy. He enrolled atPurdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and began his studies of aeronautical engineering, but in1949 the Navy called him to active duty.In 1950 he was sent to Korea and served as a naval pilot during the Korean War. He flew 78 combatmissions from USS Essex in a Grumman F9F-2 Panther. He received three medals: the Air Medal andtwo Gold Stars for his military service during the Korean War.After the war, he left the Navy and returned to Purdue in 1952 and graduated with a Bachelor of Sciencedegree in Aeronautical engineering in 1955.NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics):In 1955 Neil Armstrong joined NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics - now known asNASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) as a research pilot at the NACA Lewis ResearchCenter in Cleveland, Ohio. Later that year he transferred to the NACA High Speed Flight Station (nowNASAs Dryden Flight Research Center) at Edwards Air Force Base in California where he worked as a testFirst person towalk on the Moon
pilot for many experimental high speed aircraft including the X-15. From 1960 to 1962 he was a pilotinvolved in the X-20 Dyna-Soar orbital glider program.Becoming an Astronaut:In 1962 Armstrong decided to become an astronaut and applied for NASA selection and training. InSeptember 1962 he became Americas first nonmilitary astronaut.His first flight assignment as an astronaut was as a backup, alternate, pilot for Gordon Cooper of theGemini 5 mission in 1965.Gemini 8In 1966, Neil Armstrong was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8. Gemini 8 mission waslaunched on March 16, 1966 and achieved the first docking of two orbiting spacecraft. His first spaceflight was nearly a disaster. He was in the first US emergency in space with his partner David Scott whentheir spacecraft spun wildly out of control. They returned to Earth safely. It was launched using Titan IILaunch Vehicle.Gemini 11He was the backup command pilot for the Gemini 11 mission in 1966 and the commander of the backupcrew for the Apollo 8 lunar orbital mission in 1968 using Apollo Spacecraft.Apollo 11 MissionIn January 1969 Armstrong was selected as commander for Apollo 11, the first lunar landing mission.The Apollo 11 crew were: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Buzz Aldrin.Apollo 11 was launched on July 16, 1969 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida by a Saturn V rocket. Fourdays later it went into orbit around the Moon. The lunar module “Eagle” separated from the CommandModule with Armstrong and Aldrin aboard and descended to the surface of the Moon. Michael Collinsremained in the Command Module in orbit.During the moon landing, Armstrong took manual control of the Lunar Module Eagle and piloted it awayfrom a rocky area and made a safe landing on the moon. His first words from the Moon were:“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed”.Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. His first words after steppingon the moon were,“Thats one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.Armstrong and Aldrin spent nearly two and a half hours walking on the moon. The astronauts set upvarious scientific instruments on the surface.
Armstrong and Aldrin then returned to the Eagle and launched themselves to meet up again withCollins, who had been orbiting in the Columbia spacecraft.The Apollo 11 crew returned safely to Earth on July 24, 1969.Before long, the three Apollo 11 astronauts were given a warm welcome home. Crowds lined the streetsof New York City to cheer on the famous heroes who were honored in a ticker-tape parade.Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida on July16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASAs Apollo program. TheApollo spacecraft had three parts: a Command Module with a cabin for the three astronautswhich was the only part which landed back on Earth; a Service Module which supported theCommand Module with propulsion, electrical power, oxygen and water; and a LunarModule for landing on the Moon.Position AstronautCommander Neil A ArmstrongCommand Module Pilot Michael CollinsLunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” E Aldrin JrCareer after NASA:Apollo 11 was Armstrongs final space mission.From 1969 to 1971, Neil Armstrong held the position of Deputy Association Administrator forAeronautics, NASA Headquarters Office of Advanced Research and Technology.Neil Armstrong resigned from NASA in 1971 and became a professor of aerospace engineering at theUniversity of Cincinnati, where he was involved in both teaching and research until 1979.Armstrong remained at the university for eight years. Staying active in his field, he served as thechairman of Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc., from 1982 to 1992.In 1986, he was appointed as vice chairman of the presidential commission that investigated theChallenger Space Shuttle disaster.From 1989 until he retired in 2002, he served as chairman of AIL Technologies (Deer Park, New York),an electronics and avionics manufacturer.In 1999 he was honored at a ceremony at the National Air and Space Museum at the SmithsonianInstitution in Washington, D.C., where he received the Langley Medal in honor of the thirtiethanniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.Armstrong also makes occasional public appearances at the Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum in hishometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Business activities:After Armstrong retired from NASA in 1971, he acted as a spokesman for several businesses. The firstcompany to successfully approach him was Chrysler, for whom he appeared in advertising starting inJanuary 1979.He later acted as a spokesman for other companies, including General Time Corporation andthe Bankers Association of America.Voice actor:In 2010 he voiced the character of Dr. Jack Morrow in Quantum Quest: A Cassini SpaceOdyssey, a 2010 animated educational sci-fi adventure film initiated by JPL/NASA through agrant from Jet Propulsion Lab.Mr. Armstrong is generally referred to a "reluctant" American Hero.John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, recalled Armstrong’s legendary humility. “He didn’t feelthat he should be out huckstering himself,” the former Ohio senator told CNN.“ He was a humbleperson, and that’s the way he remained after his lunar flight, as well as before.”Since the early 1980s, Armstrong has been the subject of a hoax saying that he converted to Islam afterhearing the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, while walking on the moon.The Indonesian singer Suhaemi wrote a song called “Gema Suara Adzan di Bulan” ("The ResonantSound of the Call to Prayer on the Moon") which described Armstrongs conversion.A tribute was held in Armstrongs honor on September 13 at Washington National Cathedral, whoseSpace Window depicts the Apollo 11 mission and holds a sliver of moon rock amid its stained-glasspanels.In attendance were Armstrongs Apollo 11 crewmates, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin; Eugene A.Cernan, the Apollo 17 mission commander and last man to walk on the moon; and former Senator andastronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.Diana Krall sang the song “Fly Me to the Moon”.“Fly Me to the Moon” is a popular standard song written by Bart Howard in 1954. It was originally titled"In Other Words", and was introduced by Felicia Sanders in cabarets.Death & legacy:Despite being one of the most famous astronauts in history, Armstrong largely shied away from thepublic eye. He gave a rare interview to the news program 60 Minutes in 2006. He described the moon tointerviewer Ed Bradley, saying "Its a brilliant surface in that sunlight. The horizon seems quite close to
you because the curvature is so much more pronounced than here on earth. Its an interesting place tobe. I recommend it."That same year, his authorized biography came out. First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong waswritten by James R. Hansen in 2005, who conducted interviews with Armstrong, his family, and hisfriends and associates.Armstrong underwent a heart bypass operation in August 2012. A few weeks later, on August 25, 2012,Neil Armstrong died of "complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures" at the age of 82. He issurvived by his second wife Carol in Indian Hill, Ohio, and his two sons from his first marriage. He and hisfirst wife divorced in 1994.His Apollo 11 colleague Buzz Aldrin said that "I know I am joined by millions of others in mourning thepassing of a true American hero and the best pilot I ever knew. My friend Neil took the small step butgiant leap that changed the world and will forever be remembered as a landmark moment in humanhistory," according to CBS News.Awards:Armstrong was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard NixonPresident Jimmy Carter presented Armstrong the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978He and his former crewmates received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.The Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy, the Sylvanus Thayer Award, the Collier Trophy fromthe National Aeronautics Association.Armstrong and his Apollo 11 crewmates were the 1999 recipients of the Langley GoldMedal from the Smithsonian Institution.In 1971, Armstrong was awarded the Sylvanus Thayer Award by the United States MilitaryAcademy at West Point for his service to the country.Honours:In 1969, folk songwriter and singer John Stewart recorded “Armstrong”, a tribute to Armstrongand his first steps on the moon.Purdue University announced in October 2004 that its new engineering building would benamed Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering in his honorThe Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum is located in his hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio,although it has no official ties to Armstrong and the airport in New Knoxville where he took hisfirst flying lessons is named for him.
The lunar crater Armstrong, 31 mi (50 km) from the Apollo 11 landing site, and asteroid 6469Armstrong are named in his honor.In a 2010 Space Foundation survey, Armstrong was ranked as the #1 most popular space hero.In September 2012, the U.S. Navy announced that the first Armstrong-class Auxiliary GeneralOceanographic Research (AGOR) ship will be named "R/V Neil Armstrong". The ship (T-AGOR 27, currently under construction) will be a modern oceanographic research platformcapable of supporting a wide range of oceanographic research activities conducted by academicgroups.
VALENTINA TERESHKOVABorn: March 6, 1937 (age 75), Bolshoye MaslennikovoValentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova is a retired Soviet Cosmonaut and thefirst woman in space to pilot Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963.Early Life:Valentina Vladimirovna "Valya" Tereshkova was born on March 6, 1937, inthe Volga River village of Maslennikovo.Her father, Vladimir Tereshkov, was a tractor driver. Her mother ElenaFyodorovna Tereshkova was a worker at the Krasny Perekop cotton mill. Shesingle-handedly raised Valentina, her brother Vladimir, and her sister Ludmillain economically trying conditions. Valentina helped her mother at home and was not able to beginschool until she was ten.Tereshkova later moved to her grandmothers home in nearby Yaroslavl, where she worked as anapprentice at a tire factory in 1954.In 1955 she joined her mother and sister as a loom operator at the cotton mill. Meanwhile, she tookcorrespondence courses (courses taught through the mail) and graduated from the Light IndustryTechnical School. An ardent communist (believer that there should be no private property), she joinedthe mills Komsomol (Young Communist League) and soon advanced to the Communist Party.Joins Space Program:In 1959 Tereshkova joined the Yaroslavl Air Sports Club and became a skilled amateur (nonprofessional)parachutist. Inspired by the flight of Yuri Gagarin (1934–1968), the first man in space, she volunteeredfor the Soviet space program.Although she had no experience as a pilot, her achievement of 126 parachute jumps gained her aposition as a cosmonaut (Russian astronaut) in 1961. At the time the Russian space program waslooking for people with parachuting experience, because cosmonauts had to parachute from theircapsules after they came back into Earths atmosphere.Five candidates were chosen for a onetime woman-in-space flight. Tereshkova received a military rankin the Russian air force. She trained for eighteen months before becoming chief pilot of the VostokVI. All candidates underwent a rigorous (difficult) course of training, which included tests to determinethe effects of being alone for long periods, tests with machines made to create extreme gravityconditions, tests made to duplicate the zero gravity weightless conditions in space and parachute jumps.First woman in Spaceto Pilot Vostok 6
Admiring fellow cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was quoted as saying, "It was hard for her to master rockettechniques, study spaceship designs and equipment, but she tackled the job stubbornly and devotedmuch of her own time to study, poring over books and notes in the evening."Into Space:At 12:30 P.M. on June 16, 1963, Junior Lieutenant Tereshkova became the first woman to be launchedinto space by boarding VOSTOK 6.Using her radio call sign (nickname) Chaika (Seagull), she reported,"I see the horizon. A light blue, a beautiful band. This is the Earth. How beautiful it is!All goes well."Vostok VI made forty-eight orbits (1,200,000 miles) in 70 hours, 50 minutes (the flight lasted 2.95days.), coming within 3.1 miles of the previously launched Vostok V, which was piloted by cosmonautValery Bykovsky. By comparison, the four American astronauts who had been in space before this flighthad a combined total of thirty-six orbits.Tereshkovas flight confirmed Soviet test results that women had the same resistance as men to thephysical and psychological stresses of space. In fact, tests showed that women could actually tolerate G-forces (gravitational forces) better than men.Upon her return Tereshkova and Bykovsky were hailed in Moscows Red Square, a large plaza in Moscowused for official celebrations.On June 22 at the Kremlin she was named a Hero of the Soviet Union.Presidium Chairman Leonid Brezhnev (1906–1982) decorated her with the Order of Lenin and the GoldStar Medal.A symbol of the liberated Soviet woman, Tereshkova toured the world as a goodwill ambassador,promoting the equality of the sexes in the Soviet Union. She received a standing ovation at the UnitedNations. With Gagarin, she traveled to Cuba in October as a guest of the Cuban Womens Federationand then went to the International Aeronautical Federation Conference in Mexico.Vostok 6 was the final Vostok flight and was launched two days after Vostok 5 which carried ValeryBykovsky into a similar orbit for five days, landing three hours after Tereshkova.Even though there were plans for further flights by women, it took 19 years until the secondwoman, Svetlana Savitskaya, flew into space.
Later Career:On November 3, 1963, Tereshkova married Soviet cosmonaut Colonel Andrian Nikolayev, who hadorbited the earth sixty-four times in 1962 in the Vostok III. Their daughter, Yelena AdrianovnaNikolayeva, was born on June 8, 1964. Doctors, who were fearful of her parents space exposure,carefully studied the girl, but no ill effects were found.Tereshkova summarized her views on women and science in an article titled "Women in Space", whichshe wrote in 1970 for the American journal Impact of Science on Society.Valentina Tereshkova still serves as a model not only for the women of her native country, but forwomen throughout the world who wish to strive for new goals.Valentina Tereshkova became the first and still remains to be the only female general officer in bothSoviet and Russian armed forces.Tereshkovas life and spaceflight were first examined (in the west) in the 1975 book:It Is I, Sea Gull; Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space by Mitchel R. SharpeAnd then again in greater detail of her life and spaceflight in the 2007 book Into That SilentSea by Colin Burgess and Francis French.On 5 April 2008, she became a torchbearer of the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay in SaintPetersburg, Russia.She received the Eduard Rhein Ring of Honor from the German Eduard Rhein Foundation in 2007.Honours & Awards:RussianOrder of Merit for the FatherlandOrder of Honour (10 June 2003) - for outstanding contribution to the development andstrengthening of international scientific, cultural and social tiesOrder of Friendship (April 12, 2011) - for outstanding contribution to the development of nationalmanned space flight and long-term fruitful public activityRussian Federation State Prize for outstanding achievements in the field of humanitarian action in2008 (4 June 2009)
SovietHonoured Master of Sports (19 June 1963)Hero of the Soviet Union (22 June 1963)Order of Lenin (22 June 1963; 6 May 1981) - for making progress on the development andstrengthening of ties with the progressive community and peace-loving forces of foreign countriesOrder of the October Revolution (1 December 1971)Order of the Red Banner of Labor (5 March 1987) - for social activitiesOrder of the Friendship of PeoplesPilot-Cosmonaut of the Soviet UnionOther awards - Warsaw Pact"Gold Star" Hero of Socialist Labour (Czechoslovakia) (August 1963)"Gold Star" Hero of Socialist Labour (Bulgaria) (Bulgaria, 9 September 1963)Order of Georgi Dimitrov (Bulgaria, 9 September 1963)Order of Karl Marx (October 1963, East Germany)Medal of Becker (October 1963, East Germany)Cross of Grunwald, 1st class (October 1963, Poland)Order of the National Flag with diamonds (Hungary, April 1965)Order "For Achievements in Science" (Romania, 17 November 1973)Medal "For Strengthening Brotherhood in Arms" (Bulgaria, 1976)Order of Klement Gottwald (Czechoslovakia)Other awardsOrder of the Star of Nepal, 1st class (November 1963)Order of the Star of the Republic of Indonesia, 2nd class (November 1963)Order of the Volta (Ghana, January 1964)"Gold Soyombo" Hero of Labour (Mongolia)Order of Sukhbaatar (Mongolia, May 1965)Order of the Enlightenment (Afghanistan, August 1969)Order of Planets (Jordan, December 1969)Order of the Nile (Egypt, January 1971)"Gold Star" Hero of Labour (Vietnam) (October 1971)Order of Bernardo OHiggins (Chile, March 1972)Order of the Yugoslav Flag with sash (November 1972)Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun (Peru, 1974)Order of the Bay of Pigs (Cuba, 1974)
Order of Anne Betancourt (Cuba, 1974)Order of the Duke of Branimir, with sash (Croatia, 17 February 2003)Scientific, social and religious organizationsGold Medal, Tsiolkovsky Academy of Sciences of the USSRGold Medal of the British Society for interplanetary communications "For achievements in spaceexploration" (February 1964)Gold Medal of the "Cosmos" (FAI)Award Galambera AstronauticsGold Medal of Peace Joliot-Curie (France, 1964)Order "Wind Rose" International Committee of the National Aeronautics and Space Missions"Golden mimosa" of the Italian Union of Women (1963)Sign of the Komsomol "For active in the League" (1963)Gold Medal Exhibition of Economic Achievements (28 June 1963)Honour of DOSAAF (1 July 1963)Order of St. Euphrosyne, Grand Duchess of Moscow, 2nd class (2008)She was made a member of the World Peace Council in 1966, a member of the Yaroslavl Soviet in 1967,a member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in 1966–1970 and 1970–1974, and was elected tothe Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in 1974. She was also the Soviet representative to the UNConference for the International Womens Year in Mexico City in 1975.
Yuri GagarinBorn: March 9, 1934, KlushinoDied: March 27, 1968, KirzhachSoviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space and the firstman to orbit the Earth making a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1spacecraft.Early Life:Yuri A. Gagarin was born in a village of Klushino near Gzhatsk (now inSmolensk Oblast), Russia, on March 9, 1934.Yuri was the third of four children and spent his childhood on a collective farm where his father, AlexeyIvanovich Gagarin, worked as a carpenter and bricklayer and his mother, Anna Timofeyevna Gagarina,worked as a milkmaid.In 1941, Yuri Gagarin was just seven years old when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. Life was difficultduring the war and the Gagarins were kicked out of their home. The Nazis also sent Yuris two sisters toGermany to work as forced laborers.Carrier in the Soviet Air Force:In his youth, Gagarin became interested in space and planets. After studying for one year at a vocationaltechnical school in Lyubertsy, Gagarin was selected for further training at a technical high schoolin Saratov.In 1955, after completing his technical schooling, he entered military flight training atthe Orenburg Pilots School. While there he met Valentina Goryacheva, whom he married in 1957, aftergaining his pilots wings in a MiG-15.He became a Lieutenant in the Soviet Air Force on 5 November 1957; on 6 November 1959 he receivedthe rank of Senior Lieutenant.Carrier in the Soviet Space Program:Out of this large pool of applicants, just 20 were chosen in 1960 to be the Soviet Unions firstcosmonauts; Gagarin was one of the 20.Out of the twenty selected, the eventual choices for the first launch were Gagarin and GhermanTitov due to their performance during training sessions as well as their physical characteristics butamong the two Gagarin was chosen.First Human in Space
Launch of Vostok 1On 12 April 1961, aboard the Vostok 1, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history on April 12, 1961when he became both the first person in the world to enter space and the first person to orbit theEarth. His call sign was Kedr (Cedar)Gagarins spacecraft, Vostok 1, circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour. The flight lasted108 minutes. At the highest point, Gagarin was about 327 kilometers above Earth.As was planned, Cosmonaut Gagarin ejected after reentry into Earths atmosphere and landed byparachute.Following the flight, Gagarin told the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that during reentry he hadwhistled the tune "The Motherland Hears, The Motherland Knows".This patriotic song was written by Dmitri Shostakovich in 1951 (opus 86), with words by YevgeniyDolmatovsky.After Vostok 1In 1962, he began serving as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. He became LieutenantColonel of the Soviet Air Force on 12 June 1962 and on 6 November 1963 he received the rankof Colonel of the Soviet Air Force.Gagarin was backup pilot for his friend Vladimir Komarov in the Soyuz 1 flight, which was launcheddespite Gagarins protests that additional safety precautions were necessary. When Komarovs flightended in a fatal crash, Gagarin was permanently banned from training for and participating in furtherspaceflights.Death (at 34)After his successful first flight into space, Gagarin never again was sent into space. Instead, he helpedtrain future cosmonauts. On March 27, 1968, Gagarin was test-piloting a MiG-15 fighter jet when theplane plummeted to the ground, killing Gagarin instantly.TributesThere were two commemorative coins issued in the Soviet Union to honour the 20th and 30thanniversaries of his flight: 1 ruble coin (1981, copper-nickel) and 3 ruble coin (1991, silver). In 2001, tocommemorate the 40th anniversary of Gagarins flight, a series of four coins bearing his likeness wasissued in Russia: 2 ruble coin (copper-nickel), 3 ruble coin (silver), 10 ruble coin (brass-copper, nickel),and 100 ruble coin (silver). In 2011, Russia issued a 1,000 ruble coin (gold) and 3 ruble coin (silver) tomark the 50th anniversary of his flight.In 2008, the Kontinental Hockey League named their championship trophy the Gagarin Cup.
50thAnniversary (2011)A film entitled First Orbit was shot from the International Space Station, combining the original flightaudio with footage of the route taken by Gagarin. The Russian, American, and Italian Expedition 27 crewaboard the ISS sent a special video message to wish the people of the world a "Happy Yuris Night",wearing shirts with an image of Gagarin.Honours & Awards:Hero of the Soviet Union (14 April 1961)Pilot-Cosmonaut of the USSR (27 June 1961)Hero of Socialist Labour (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, 29 April 1961)Hero of Socialist Labour, (Peoples Republic of Bulgaria, 24 May 1961)Hero of Labour, (Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 28 April 1962)President of the Soviet-Cuban friendshipHonorary Member of the Society, "the Finland-Soviet Union"Honorary member of the International Academy of Astronautics (1966)Honored Master of Sports of the USSR (1961, title obtained as a reward for a space flight)Military Pilot 1st Class (1961, awarded the qualification of space flight)Honorary suvorovets (Moscow Suvorov Military School, 1962)Order of Lenin (USSR, 14 April 1961)Order of Georgi Dimitrov (Bulgaria, 24 May 1961)Order of the Star, 2nd Class (Indonesia, 10 June 1961)Cross of Grunwald, 1st class (Poland, 20 June 1961)The first Commander of the Order "Playa Giron" (Cuba, 18 July 1961)"For achievements in aeronautics" (Brazil, 2 August 1961)Order of the Flag of the Hungarian Republic, 1st class with diamonds (Hungary, 21 August 1961)Order of Karl Marx (German Democratic Republic, 22 October 1963)Order of Klement Gottwald (Czechoslovak Socialist Republic)Order of the Nile (Egypt, 31 January 1962)Order of the African Star (Liberia, 6 February 1962)Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil, 3 August 1961)Jubilee Medal "40 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR" (USSR, 1958)Jubilee Medal "Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945" (USSR, 9 May 1965)Medal "For Impeccable Service", 3rd class (Soviet Union, March 1966)Jubilee Medal "50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR" (USSR, January 1968) Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Gold Medal "for outstanding work in the field of interplanetarycommunications" (USSR)Gold Medal of the Austrian Government, 1962Gold medal and diploma "Man in Space," the Italian Association of SpaceGold Medal "For outstanding difference" and the Royal Aero Club Diploma, SwedenGold Medal of the British Society for interplanetary travel, 1961
Medal of Columbus (Italy)Gold Medal of Saint-Denis (France)Gold Medal Award "for courage" of the Fund Matstsotti (Italy), 2007
Abraham LincolnBorn: February 12, 1809, HodgenvilleDied: April 15, 1865, Petersen HouseAbraham Lincoln is one of America’s greatest heroes because of hisunique appeal. His is a remarkable story of the rise from humblebeginnings to achieve the highest office in the land; then, a suddenand tragic death at a time when his country needed him most tocomplete the great task remaining before the nation. Hisdistinctively human and humane personality and historical role assavior of the Union and emancipator of the slaves creates a legacythat endures. His eloquence of democracy, and his insistence thatthe Union was worth saving embody the ideals of self-governmentthat all nations strive to achieve.ChildhoodAbraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy HanksLincoln. Thomas was a strong and determined pioneer who found a moderate level of prosperity andwas well respected in the community. The couple had two other children: Abraham’s older sister Sarahand younger brother Thomas, who died in infancy. Due to a land dispute, the Lincolns were forced tomove from Kentucky to Perry County, Indiana in 1817, where the family “squatted” on public land toscrap out a living in a crude shelter, hunting game and farming a small plot. Thomas was eventually ableto buy the land.When young Abraham was 9 years old his mother died of tremetol (milk sickness) at age 34 and theevent was devastating on him. The 9-year-old Abraham grew more alienated from his father and quietlyresented the hard work placed on him at an early age. A few months after Nancy’s death, Thomasmarried Sarah Bush Johnston, a Kentucky widow with three children of her own. She was a strong andaffectionate woman with whom Abraham quickly bonded.Though both his parents were most likely illiterate, Sarah encouraged Abraham to read. It was whilegrowing into manhood that he received his formal education—an estimated total of 18 months—a fewdays or weeks at a time. Reading material was in short supply in the Indiana wilderness. Neighborsrecalled how Abraham would walk for miles to borrow a book. He undoubtedly read the family Bible andprobably other popular books at that time such as Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrims Progress and Aesop’sFables.16th President of theUnited States
Law CareerIn March, 1830, the family again migrated, this time to Macon County, Illinois. When his father movedthe family again to Coles County, 22-year-old Abraham Lincoln struck out on this own, making a living inmanual labor. At six feet four inches tall, Lincoln was rawboned and lanky, but muscular and physicallystrong. He spoke with a backwoods twang and walked with a long-striding gait. He was known for hisskill in wielding an ax and early on made a living splitting wood for fire and rail fencing. Young Lincolneventually migrated to the small community of New Salem, Illinois where over a period of years heworked as a shopkeeper, postmaster, and eventually general store owner. It was here that Lincoln,working with the public, acquired social skills and honed story-telling talent that made him popular withthe locals. When the Black Hawk War broke out in 1832 between the United States and NativeAmericans, the volunteers in the area elected Lincoln to be their captain. He saw no combat during thistime, save for “a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes,” but was able to make severalimportant political connections.After the Black Hawk War, Abraham Lincoln began his political career and was elected to the Illinoisstate legislature in 1834 as a member of the Whig Party. He supported the Whig politics of government-sponsored infrastructure and protective tariffs.This political understanding led him to formulate his early views on slavery, not so much as a moralwrong, but as an impediment to economic development. It was around this time he decided to becomea lawyer, teaching himself the law by reading Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. Afterbeing admitted to the bar in 1837, he moved to Springfield, Illinois and began to practice in the John T.Stuart law firm.It was soon after this that he purportedly met and became romantically involved with Anne Rutledge.Before they had a chance to be engaged, a wave of typhoid fever came over New Salem and Anne diedat age 22. Her death was said to have left Lincoln severely depressed. However, several historiansdisagree on the extent of Lincoln’s relationship with Rutledge and his level of sorrow at her death maybe more the makings of legend.In 1844, Abraham Lincoln partnered with William Herndon in the practice of law. Though the two haddifferent jurisprudent styles, they developed a close professional and personal relationship. Lincolnmade a good living in his early years as a lawyer, but found that Springfield alone didn’t offer enoughwork, so to supplement his income, he followed the court as it made its rounds on the circuit to thevarious county seats in Illinois.Entering PoliticsAbraham Lincoln served a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847-49. His foray intonational politics seems to be as unremarkable as it was brief. He was the lone Whig from the state ofIllinois, showing party loyalty, but finding few political allies. He used his term in office to speak out
against the Mexican-American War and supported Zachary Taylor for president in 1848. His criticism ofthe war made him unpopular back home and he decided not to run for second term, but insteadreturned Springfield to practice law.By the 1850s, the railroad industry was moving west and Illinois found itself becoming a major hub forvarious companies. Abraham Lincoln served as a lobbyist for the Illinois Central Railroad as its companyattorney. Success in several court cases brought other business clients as well—banks, insurancecompanies and manufacturing firms. Lincoln also did some criminal trials. In one case, a witness claimedthat he could identify Lincoln’s client who was accused of murder, because of the intense light from afull moon. Lincoln referred to an almanac and proved that the night in question had been too dark forthe witness to see anything clearly. His client was acquitted.About a year after the death of Anne Rutledge, Lincoln courted Mary Owens. The two saw each otherfor a few months and marriage was considered. But in time Lincoln called off the match. In 1840, Lincolnbecame engaged to Mary Todd, a high spirited, well educated woman from a distinguished Kentuckyfamily. In the beginning, many of the couple’s friends and family couldn’t understand Mary’s attraction,and at times Lincoln questioned it himself.However, in 1841, the engagement was suddenly broken off, most likely at Lincoln’s initiative. They metlater, at a social function and eventually married on November 4, 1842. The couple had four children, ofwhich only one, Robert, survived to adulthood.Elected PresidentIn 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise, andallowed individual states and territories to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery. The lawprovoked violent opposition in Kansas and Illinois. And it gave rise to the Republican Party. Thisawakened Abraham Lincoln’ political zeal once again and his views on slavery moved more toward moralindignation. Lincoln joined the Republican Party in 1856.In 1857, the Supreme Court issued its controversial decision Scott v. Sanford, declaring AfricanAmericans were not citizens and had no inherent rights. Though Abraham Lincoln felt African Americanswere not equal to whites, he believed the America’s founders intended that all men were created withcertain inalienable rights. Lincoln decided to challenge sitting U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas for his seat.In his nomination acceptance speech, he criticized Douglas, the Supreme Court, and President Buchananfor promoting slavery and declared “a house divided cannot stand.” The 1858 Senate campaign featuredseven debates held in different cities all over Illinois. The two candidates didn’t disappoint the public,giving stirring debates on issues ranging from states’ rights to western expansion, but the central issue inall the debates was slavery. Newspapers intensely covered the debates, often times with partisanediting and interpretation. In the end, the state legislature elected Douglas, but the exposure vaultedLincoln into national politics.
In 1860, political operatives in Illinois organized a campaign to support Lincoln for the presidency. OnMay 18th at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Abraham Lincoln surpassed better knowncandidates such as William Seward of New York and Salmon P. Chase of Ohio. Lincoln’s nomination wasdue in part to his moderate views on slavery, his support for improving the national infrastructure, andthe protective tariff. In the general election, Lincoln faced his friend and rival, Stephan Douglas, this timebesting him in a four-way race that included John C. Breckinridge of the Northern Democrats and JohnBell of the Constitution Party. Lincoln received not quite 40 percent of the popular vote, but carried 180of 303 Electoral votes.Abraham Lincoln selected a strong cabinet composed of many of his political rivals, including WilliamSeward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates and Edwin Stanton. Formed out the adage “Hold your friendsclose and your enemies closer”, Lincoln’s Cabinet became one of his strongest assets in his first term inoffice… and he would need them. Before his inauguration in March, 1861, seven Southern states hadseceded from the Union and by April the U.S. military installation Fort Sumter, was under siege inCharleston Harbor, South Carolina.In the early morning hours of April 12, 1861, the guns stationed to protect the harbor blazed toward thefort signaling the start of America’s costliest and most deadly conflict.Civil WarAbraham Lincoln responded to the crisis wielding powers as no other present before him. He distributed$2,000,000 from the Treasury for war materiel without an appropriation from Congress; he called for75,000 volunteers into military service without a declaration of war; and he suspended the writ ofhabeas corpus, arresting and imprisoning suspected Confederate sympathizers without a warrant.Crushing the rebellion would be difficult under any circumstances, but the Civil War, with its precedingdecades of white-hot partisan politics, was especially onerous. From all directions, Lincoln faceddisparagement and defiance. He was often at odds with his generals, his Cabinet, his party, and amajority of the American people.The Union Army’s first year and a half of battlefield defeats made it especially difficult to keep morale upand support strong for a reunification the nation. With the hopeful, but by no means conclusive Unionvictory at Antietam on September 22, 1862, Abraham felt confident enough to reshape the cause of thewar from “union” to abolishing slavery. Gradually, the war effort improved for the North, though moreby attrition then by brilliant military victories. But by 1864, the Confederacy had hunkered down to aguerilla war and Lincoln was convinced he’d be a one-term president. His nemesis, George B. McClellan,the former commander of the Army of the Potomac, challenged him for the presidency, but the contestwasn’t even close. Lincoln received 55 percent of the popular vote and 212 of 243 Electoral votes. OnMarch 28, 1865, General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Virginia, surrendered his forces toUnion General Ulysses S. Grant and the war for all intents and purposes was over.
AssassinationReconstruction began during the war as early as 1863 in areas firmly under Union military control.Abraham Lincoln favored a policy of quick reunification with a minimum of retribution. But he wasconfronted by a radical group of Republicans in the Senate and House that wanted complete allegianceand repentance from former Confederates. Before a political battle had a chance to firmly develop,Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, by well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer JohnWilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln was taken from the theater to a PetersenHouse across the street and laid in a coma for nine hours before dying the next morning. His body lay instate at the Capitol before a funeral train took him back to his final resting place in Springfield, Illinois."I walk slowly, but I never walk backward."– Abraham Lincoln"Nearly all men can handle adversity, if you want to test a mans character,give him power."– Abraham Lincoln
Leo TolstoyBorn: September 9, 1828, Yasnaya PolyanaDied: November 20, 1910, Lev TolstoyOn September 9, 1828, Leo Tolstoy was born in Tula Province, Russia.In the 1860s, he wrote his first great novel, War and Peace. In 1873,Tolstoy set to work on the second of his best known novels, AnnaKarenina.He continued to write fiction throughout the 1880s and 1890s. One ofhis most successful later works was The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Tolstoydied on November 20, 1910 in Astapovo, Russia.Early LifeOn September 9, 1828, writer Leo Tolstoy was born at his familys estate, Yasnaya Polyana, in the TulaProvince of Russia. He was the youngest of four boys. In 1830, when Tolstoys mother, née PrincessVolkonskaya, died, his fathers cousin took over caring for the children. When their father, Count NikolayTolstoy, died just seven years later, their aunt was appointed their legal guardian. When the aunt passedaway, Tolstoy and his siblings moved in with a second aunt, in Kazan, Russia. Although Tolstoyexperienced a lot of loss at an early age, he would later idealize his childhood memories in his writing.Tolstoy received his primary education at home, at the hands of French and German tutors. In 1843, heenrolled in an Oriental languages program at the University of Kazan. There, Tolstoy failed to excel as astudent. His low grades forced him to transfer to an easier law program. Prone to partying in excess,Tolstoy ultimately left the University of Kazan in 1847, without a degree. He returned to his parentsestate, where he made a go at becoming a farmer. He attempted to lead the serfs, or farmhands, intheir work, but he was too often absent on social visits to Tula and Moscow. His stab at becoming theperfect farmer soon proved to be a failure. He did, however, succeed in pouring his energies intokeeping a journal—the beginning of a lifelong habit that would inspire much of his fiction.As Tolstoy was flailing on the farm, his older brother, Nikolay, came to visit while on military leave.Nikolay convinced Tolstoy to join the Army as a junker, south in the Caucasus Mountains, where Nikolayhimself was stationed. Following his stint as a junker, Tolstoy transferred to Sevastopol in Ukraine inNovember 1854, where he fought in the Crimean War through August 1855.Early PublicationsWhile Tolstoy was working as a junker for the Army, he had free time to kill. During quiet periods heworked on an autobiographical story called Childhood. In it, he wrote of his fondest childhoodThe Man who InfluencedGandhiji
memories. In 1852, Tolstoy submitted the sketch to The Contemporary, the most popular journal of thetime. The story was eagerly accepted and became Tolstoys very first published work.After completing Childhood, Tolstoy started writing about his day-to-day life at the Army outpost in theCaucasus. However, he did not complete the work, entitled The Cossacks, until 1862, after he hadalready left the Army.Amazingly, Tolstoy still managed to continue writing while at battle during the Crimean War. During thattime, he composed Boyhood (1854), a sequel to Childhood, the second book in what was to becomeTolstoys autobiographical trilogy. In the midst of the Crimean War, Tolstoy also expressed his views onthe striking contradictions of war through a three-part series, Sevastopol Tales. In the second SevastopolTales book, Tolstoy experimented with a relatively new writing technique: Part of the story is presentedin the form of a soldiers stream of consciousness.Once the Crimean War ended and Tolstoy left the Army, he returned to Russia. Back home, theburgeoning author found himself in high demand on the St. Petersburg literary scene. Stubborn andarrogant, Tolstoy refused to ally himself with any particular intellectual school of thought. Declaringhimself an anarchist, he made off to Paris in 1857. Once there, he gambled away all of his money andwas forced to return home to Russia. He also managed to publish Youth, the third part of hisautobiographical trilogy, in 1857.Back in Russia in 1862, Tolstoy produced the first of a 12 issue-installment of the journal YasnayaPolyana, marrying a doctors daughter named Sofya Andreyevna Bers that same year.Major NovelsResiding at Yasnaya Polyana with his wife and children, Tolstoy spent the better part of the 1860s toilingover his first great novel,War and Peace. A portion of the novel was first published in the RussianMessenger in 1865, under the title "The Year 1805." By 1868, he had released three more chapters. Ayear later, the novel was complete. Both critics and the public were buzzing about the novels historicalaccounts of the Napoleonic Wars, combined with its thoughtful development of realistic yet fictionalcharacters. The novel also uniquely incorporated three long essays satirizing the laws of history. Amongthe ideas that Tolstoy extols in War and Peace is the belief that the quality and meaning of ones life ismainly derived from his day-to-day activities.Following the success of War and Peace, in 1873, Tolstoy set to work on the second of his best knownnovels, Anna Karenina. Anna Karenina was partially based on current events while Russia was at warwith Turkey. Like War and Peace, it fictionalized some biographical events from Tolstoys life, as wasparticularly evident in the romance of the characters Kitty and Levin, whose relationship is said toresemble Tolstoys courtship with his own wife.The first sentence of Anna Karenina is among the most famous lines of the book: "All happy familiesresemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Anna Karenina was published in
installments from 1873 to 1877, to critical and public acclaim. The royalties that Tolstoy earned from thenovel contributed to his rapidly growing wealth.Religious ConversionDespite the success of Anna Karenina, following the novels completion, Tolstoy suffered a spiritual crisisand grew depressed. Struggling to uncover the meaning of life, Tolstoy first went to the RussianOrthodox Church, but did not find the answers he sought there. He came to believe that Christianchurches were corrupt and, in lieu of organized religion, developed his own beliefs. He decided toexpress those beliefs by founding a new publication called The Mediator in 1883.As a consequence of espousing his unconventional—and therefore controversial—spiritual beliefs,Tolstoy was ousted by the Russian Orthodox Church. He was even watched by the secret police. WhenTolstoys new beliefs prompted his desire to give away his money, his wife strongly objected. Thedisagreement put a strain on the couples marriage, until Tolstoy begrudgingly agreed to a compromise:He conceded to granting his wife the copyrights—and presumably the royalties—to all of his writingpredating 1881.Later FictionIn addition to his religious tracts, Tolstoy continued to write fiction throughout the 1880s and 1890s.Among his later works genres were moral tales and realistic fiction. One of his most successful laterworks was the novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, written in 1886. In Ivan Ilyich, the main characterstruggles to come to grips with his impending death. The title character, Ivan Ilyich, comes to the jarringrealization that he has wasted his life on trivial matters, but the realization comes too late.In 1898, Tolstoy wrote Father Sergius, a work of fiction in which he seems to criticize the beliefs that hedeveloped following his spiritual conversion. The following year, he wrote his third lengthynovel, Resurrection. While the work received some praise, it hardly matched the success and acclaim ofhis previous novels. Tolstoys other late works include essays on art, a satirical play called The LivingCorpse that he wrote in 1890, and a novella called Hadji-Murad (written in 1904), which was discoveredand published after his death.Elder YearsOver the last 30 years of his life, Tolstoy established himself as a moral and religious leader. His ideasabout nonviolent resistance to evil influenced the likes of social leader Mahatma Gandhi.Also during his later years, Tolstoy reaped the rewards of international acclaim. Yet he still struggled toreconcile his spiritual beliefs with the tensions they created in his home life. His wife not only disagreedwith his teachings, she disapproved of his disciples, who regularly visited Tolstoy at the family estate.Their troubled marriage took on an air of notoriety in the press. Anxious to escape his wifes growingresentment, in October 1910, Tolstoy and his daughter, Aleksandra, embarked on a pilgrimage.
Aleksandra, Tolstoys youngest daughter, was to serve as her elderly fathers doctor during the trip.Valuing their privacy, they traveled incognito, hoping to dodge the press, to no avail.Death and LegacyUnfortunately, the pilgrimage proved too arduous for the aging novelist. In November 1910, thestationmaster of a train depot in Astapovo, Russia opened his home to Tolstoy, allowing the ailing writerto rest. Tolstoy died there shortly after, on November 20, 1910. He was buried at the family estate,Yasnaya Polyana, in Tula Province, where Tolstoy had lost so many loved ones yet had managed to buildsuch fond and lasting memories of his childhood. Tolstoy was survived by his wife and their brood of 10children. (The couple had spawned 13 children in all, but only 10 had survived past infancy.)To this day, Tolstoys novels are considered among the finest achievements of literary work. War andPeace is, in fact, frequently cited as the greatest novel ever written. In contemporary academia, Tolstoyis still widely acknowledged as having possessed a gift for describing characters unconscious motives.He is also championed for his finesse in underscoring the role of peoples everyday actions in definingtheir character and purpose.
Thomas Alva EdisonBorn: February 11, 1847, MilanDied: October 18, 1931, West OrangeBorn on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio, Thomas Edison is thequintessential American inventor. Before he died, he gave us thephonograph, the transmitter for the telephone speaker, an improvedlight bulb, and key elements of motion-picture apparatus, as well asother bright inventions.He also created the worlds first industrial research laboratory. Edisondied on October 18, 1931, in West Orange, New Jersey.Younger YearsBorn on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio, Thomas Alva Edison was the last of the seven children ofSamuel and Nancy Edison. Thomass father was an exiled political activist from Canada. His mother, anaccomplished school teacher, was a major influence in Thomas’ early life. An early bout with scarletfever left him with hearing difficulties in both ears, a malady that would eventually leave him nearly deafas an adult.In 1854, the family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, where Edison attended public school for a total of12 weeks. A hyperactive child, prone to distraction, he was deemed “difficult” by his teacher. His motherquickly pulled him from school and taught him at home. At age 11, he showed a voracious appetite forknowledge, reading books on a wide range of subjects. In this wide-open curriculum Edison developed aprocess for self-education and learning independently that would serve him throughout his life.Early CareerAt age 12, Edison set out to put much of that education to work. He convinced his parents to let him sellnewspapers to passengers along the Grand Trunk Railroad line. Exploiting his access to the newsbulletins tele typed to the station office each day, Thomas began publishing his own small newspaper,called the Grand Trunk Herald. The up-to-date articles were a hit with passengers. This was the first ofwhat would become a long string of entrepreneurial ventures where he saw a need and capitalized onopportunity.Edison also used his access to the railroad to conduct chemical experiments in a small laboratory he setup in a train baggage car. During one of his experiments, a chemical fire started and the car caught fire.The conductor rushed in and struck Thomas on the side of the head, probably furthering some of hishearing loss. He was kicked off the train and forced to sell his newspapers at various stations along theThe man who gave usLight Bulb
route.While he worked for the railroad, a near-tragic event turned fortuitous for the young man. After Edisonsaved a three-year-old from being run over by an errant train, the child’s grateful father rewarded himby teaching him to operate a telegraph. By age 15, he had learned enough to be employed as atelegraph operator. For the next five years, Edison traveled throughout the Midwest as an itineranttelegrapher, subbing for those who had gone to the Civil War. In his spare time, he read widely, studiedand experimented with telegraph technology, and became familiar with electrical science.In 1866, at age 19, Edison moved to Louisville, Kentucky, working for The Associated Press. The nightshift allowed him to spend most of his time reading and experimenting. He developed an unrestrictivestyle of thinking and inquiry, proving things to himself through objective examination andexperimentation. Initially, Edison excelled at his telegraph job because early Morse code was inscribedon a piece of paper, so Edison’s partial deafness was no handicap. However, as the technologyadvanced, receivers were increasingly equipped with a sounding key, enabling telegraphers to “read”message by the sound of the clicks.This left Edison disadvantaged, with fewer and fewer opportunities for employment.In 1868, Edison returned home to find his beloved mother was falling into mental illness and his fatherwas out of work. The family was almost destitute. Edison realized he needed to take control of hisfuture. Upon the suggestion of a friend, he ventured to Boston, landing a job for the Western UnionCompany. At the time, Boston was America’s center for science and culture, and Edison reveled in it. Inhis spare time, he designed and patented an electronic voting recorder for quickly tallying votes in thelegislature. However, Massachusetts lawmakers were not interested. As they explained, most legislatorsdidn’t want votes tallied quickly. They wanted time to change the minds of fellow legislators.Becoming an InventorIn 1869, Edison moved to New York City and developed his first invention, an improved stock ticker, theUniversal Stock Printer, which synchronized several stock tickers’ transactions. The Gold and StockTelegraph Company was so impressed, they paid him $40,000 for the rights. Edison was only 22 yearsold. With this success, he quit his work as a telegrapher to devote himself full-time to inventing.In 1870, Thomas Edison set up his first small laboratory and manufacturing facility in Newark, NewJersey, and employed several machinists. As an independent entrepreneur, Edison formed numerouspartnerships and developed his products for the highest bidder. Often that was Western UnionTelegraph Company, the industry leader, but just as often, it was one of Western Union’s rivals. In onesuch instance, Edison devised for Western Union the quadruplex telegraph, capable of transmitting twosignals in two different directions on the same wire, but railroad tycoon Jay Gouldsnatched theinvention from Western Union, paying Edison more than $100,000 in cash, bonds and stock, andgenerating years of litigation.
With his ever-increasing financial success, in 1871 Edison married 16-year-old Mary Stilwell, who was anemployee at one of his businesses. During their 13-year marriage, they had three children, Marion,Thomas and William, who became an inventor. Mary died of a suspected brain tumor at the age of 29 in1884.By the early 1870s, Thomas Edison had acquired a reputation as a first-rate inventor. In 1876, he movedhis expanding operations to Menlo Park, New Jersey, and built an independent industrial researchfacility incorporating machine shops and laboratories. That same year, Western Union encouraged himto develop a communication device to compete with Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. He never did.However, in December of 1877, Edison developed a method for recording sound: the phonograph.Though not commercially viable for another decade, the invention brought him worldwide fame.Edison Illuminating CompanyThe 1880s were a busy time for Thomas Edison. After being granted a patent for the light bulb in January1880, Edison set out to develop a company that would deliver the electricity to power and light thecities of the world. That same year, Edison founded the Edison Illuminating Company—the first investor-owned electric utility—which later became the General Electric Corporation. In 1881, he left Menlo Parkto establish facilities in several cities where electrical systems were being installed. In 1882, the PearlStreet generating station provided 110 volts of electrical power to 59 customers in lower Manhattan. In1884 Edison’s wife, Mary, died, and in 1886 he married Mina Miller, 19 years his junior. In 1887, Edisonbuilt an industrial research laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey, which served as the primaryresearch laboratory for the Edison lighting companies.He spent most of his time there, supervising the development of lighting technology and power systems.He also perfected the phonograph, and developed the motion picture camera and the alkaline storagebattery.Industrialist and Business ManagerDuring the next few decades, Edison found his role as inventor transitioning to one as industrialist andbusiness manager. The laboratory in West Orange was too large and complex for any one man tocompletely manage, and Edison found he was not as successful in his new role as he was in his formerone. Edison also found that much of the future development and perfection of his inventions was beingconducted by university-trained mathematicians and scientists. He worked best in intimate,unstructured environments with a handful of assistants and was outspoken about his disdain foracademia and corporate operations.On a couple of occasions, Edison was able to turn failure into success. During the 1890s he built amagnetic iron-ore processing plant in northern New Jersey that proved to be a commercial failure. Later,he was able to salvage the process into a better method for producing cement. As the automobileindustry began to grow, Edison worked on developing a suitable storage battery that could power anelectric car. Eventually, the gasoline-powered engine prevailed, but in 1912 Edison designed a battery
for the self-starter on the Model T for friend and admirer Henry Ford. The system was used extensivelyin the auto industry for decades.During World War I, the U.S. government asked Thomas Edison to head the Naval Consulting Board,which examined inventions submitted for military use. Edison worked on several projects, includingsubmarine detectors and gun-location techniques. However, due to his moral indignation towardviolence, he specified that he would work only on defensive weapons, later noting, “I am proud of thefact that I never invented weapons to kill.”By the end of the 1920s Thomas Edison was in his 80s and he slowed down somewhat, but not beforehe applied for the last of his 1,093 U.S. patents, for an apparatus for holding objects during theelectroplating process. Edison and his second wife, Mina, spent part of their time at their winter retreatin Fort Myers, Florida, where his friendship with automobile tycoon Henry Ford flourished and hecontinued to work on several projects, ranging from electric trains to finding a domestic source fornatural rubber.Final YearsThomas Edison died of complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, in his home, “Glenmont,” in WestOrange, New Jersey. He was 84 years old. Many communities and corporations throughout the worlddimmed their lights or briefly turned off their electrical power to commemorate his passing. Edison’scareer was the quintessential rags-to-riches success story that made him a folk hero in America. Anuninhibited egoist, he could be a tyrant to employees and ruthless to competitors. Though he was apublicity seeker, he didn’t socialize well and often neglected his family. By the time he died he was oneof the most well-known and respected Americans in the world.He had been at the forefront of America’s first technological revolution and set the stage for the modernelectric world.Edison, considered one of Americas leading businessmen, is credited today for helping to buildAmericas economy during the nations vulnerable early years."Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls andlooks like work."– Thomas Edison"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits."– Thomas Edison
Alexander Graham BellBorn: March 3, 1847, EdinburghDied: August 2, 1922, Beinn Bhreagh, Nova ScotiaAlexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847, in Edinburgh,Scotland. His education was largely received through numerousexperiments in sound and the furthering of his father’s work onVisible Speech for the deaf. Bell worked with Thomas Watson on thedesign and patent of the first practical telephone. In all, Bell held 18patents in his name alone and 12 that he shared with collaborators.He died in 1922.Early LifeAlexander Graham Bell was born Alexander Bell on March 3, 1847, inEdinburgh, Scotland. (He was given the middle name "Graham" when he was 10 years old.) The secondson of Alexander Melville Bell and Eliza Grace Symonds Bell, he was named for his paternal grandfather,Alexander Bell. For most of his life, the younger Alexander was known as "Aleck" to family and friends.He had two brothers, Melville James Bell (1845–70) and Edward Charles Bell (1848–67), both of whomdied from tuberculosis.During his youth, Alexander Graham Bell experienced significant influences that would carry into hisadult life. One was his hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, known as the "Athens of the North," for itsrich culture of arts and science. Another was his grandfather, Alexander Bell, a well-known professorand teacher of elocution. Alexanders mother also had a profound influence on him, being a proficientpianist despite her deafness. This taught Alexander to look past peoples disadvantages and findsolutions to help them.Alexander Graham Bell was homeschooled by his mother, who instilled in him an infinite curiosity aboutthe world around him. He received one year of formal education in a private school and two years atEdinburghs Royal High School. Though a mediocre student, he displayed an uncommon ability to solveproblems. At age 12, while playing with a friend in a grain mill, he noted the slow process of husking thewheat grain. He went home and built a device with rotating paddles with sets of nail brushes thatdehusked the wheat. It was his first invention.Early Attempts to Follow His PassionAlexanders father, Melville, followed in his fathers footsteps, becoming a leading authority onelocution and speech correction. Young Alexander was groomed early to carry on in the family business,but he was ambitious and headstrong, which conflicted with his fathers overbearing manner. Then, inThe Man who gave usTelephone
1862, Alexanders grandfather became ill. Seeking to be out of his fathers control, Alexandervolunteered to care for the elder Bell. The experience profoundly changed him. His grandfatherencouraged his interests, and the two developed a close relationship. The experience left him with anappreciation for learning and intellectual pursuits, and transitioned him to manhood.At 16, Alexander Graham Bell accepted a position at Weston House Academy in Elgin, Scotland, wherehe taught elocution and music to students, many older than he. At the end of the term, Alexanderreturned home and joined his father, promoting Melville Bells technique of Visible Speech, whichtaught the deaf to align specific phonetic symbols with a particular position of the speech organs (lips,tongue, and palate).Between 1865 and 1870, there was much change in the Bell household. In 1865, Melville Bell moved thefamily to London, and Alexander returned to Weston House Academy to teach. In 1867, Alexandersyounger brother, Edward, died of tuberculosis. The following year, Alexander rejoined the family andonce again became his fathers apprentice.He soon assumed full charge of his fathers London operations while Melville lectured in America. Duringthis time, Alexanders own health weakened, and in 1870, Alexanders older brother, Melville, Jr., alsodied of complications from tuberculosis.On his earlier trip to America, Alexanders father discovered its healthier environment, and after thedeath of Melville, Jr., decided to move the family there. At first, Alexander resisted the move, for he wasbeginning to establish himself in London. But realizing his own health was in jeopardy, he relented, andin July 1870, the family settled in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. There, Alexanders health improved, andhe set up a workshop to continue his study of the human voice.Passion for Shaping the FutureIn 1871, Melville Bell, Sr. was invited to teach at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes. Because the positionconflicted with his lecture tour, he recommended Alexander in his place. The younger Bell quicklyaccepted. Combining his fathers system of Visible Speech and some of his own methods, he achievedremarkable success. Though the school had no funds to hire Bell for another semester, he had fallen inlove with the rich intellectual atmosphere of Boston. In 1872, he set out on his own, tutoring deafchildren in Boston. His association with two students, George Sanders and Mabel Hubbard, would sethim on a new course.After one of his tutoring sessions with Mabel, Bell shared with her father, Gardiner, his ideas of howseveral telegraph transmissions might be sent on the same wire if they were transmitted on differentharmonic frequencies. Hubbards interest was piqued. He had been trying to find a way to improvetelegraph transmissions, which at the time could carry only one message at a time. Hubbard convincedThomas Sanders, the father of Bells other student, George, to help financially back the idea.
Between 1873 and 1874, Alexander Graham Bell spent long days and nights trying to perfect theharmonic telegraph. But his attention became sidetracked with another idea: transmitting the humanvoice over wires. The diversion frustrated Gardiner Hubbard. He knew another inventor, Elisha Gray,was working on a multiple-signal telegraph. To help Bell refocus his efforts, Hubbard hired ThomasWatson, a skilled electrician. Watson understood how to develop the tools and instruments Bell neededto continue the project. But Watson soon took interest in Bells idea of voice transmission. Like manyinventors before and since, the two men formed a great partnership, with Bell as the ideas man andWatson having the expertise to bring Bells ideas to reality.Through 1874 and 1875, Bell and Watson labored on both the harmonic telegraph and a voicetransmitting device. Hubbard insisted that the harmonic telegraph take precedence, but when hediscovered that the two men had conceptualized the mechanism for voice transmission, he filed apatent. The idea was protected, for the time being, but the device still had to be developed.On March 10, 1876, Bell and Watson were experimenting in their laboratory. Legend has it that Bellknocked over a container of transmitting fluid and shouted, "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to seeyou!" The more likely explanation was that Bell heard a noise over the wire and called to his assistant. Inany case, Watson heard Bells voice through the wire and thus received the first telephone call.To further promote the idea of the telephone, Bell conducted a series of public demonstrations, everincreasing the distance between the two telephones. At the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, in1876, Bell demonstrated the telephone to the Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro II, who exclaimed, "MyGod, it talks!" Other demonstrations followed, each at a greater distance than the last. The BellTelephone Company was organized on July 9, 1877. With each new success, Alexander Graham Bell wasmoving out of the shadow of his father.On July 11, 1877, with his notoriety and financial potential increasing, Alexander Graham Bell marriedMabel Hubbard, his former student and the daughter of Gardiner Hubbard, his initial financial backer.Over the course of the next year, Alexanders fame grew internationally and he and Mabel traveled toEurope for more demonstrations. While there, the Bells first child, Elsie May, was born. Upon theirreturn to the United States, Bell was summoned to Washington D.C. to defend his telephone patentfrom lawsuits by others claiming they had invented the telephone or had conceived of the idea beforeBell.Over the next 18 years, the Bell Telephone Company faced over 550 court challenges, including severalthat went to the Supreme Court, but none was successful. Despite these patent battles, the companycontinued to grow. Between the years 1877 and 1886, the number of people in the United States whoowned telephones grew to more than 150,000, and during this time, improvements were made on thedevice, including the addition of a microphone, invented by Thomas Edison, which eliminated the needto shout into the telephone to be heard.
Pursuing His PassionDespite his success, Alexander Graham Bell was not a businessman. As he became more affluent, heturned over business matters to Hubbard and turned his attention to a wide range of inventions andintellectual pursuits. In 1880, he established the Volta Laboratory, an experimental facility devoted toscientific discovery. There he developed a metal jacket to assist patients with lung problems,conceptualized the process for producing methane gas from waste material, developed a metal detectorto locate bullets in bodies, and invented an audiometer to test a persons hearing. He also continued topromote efforts to help the deaf, and in 1890, established the American Association to Promote theTeaching of Speech to the Deaf.In the last 30 years of his life, Bell was involved in a wide range of projects and pursued them at afurious pace. He worked on inventions in flight (the tetrahedral kite), scientific publications(Science magazine), and exploration of the earth (National Geographic magazine). Bell died peacefully,with his wife by his side, in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada, on August 2, 1922. The entire telephonesystem was shut down for one minute in tribute to his life. Within a few months, Mabel also passedaway. Alexander Graham Bells contribution to the modern world and its technologies was enormous.
Nikola TeslaBorn: July 10, 1856, SmiljanDied: January 7, 1943, ManhattanSerbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla was born in July of 1856, inwhat is now Croatia. He came to the United States in 1884, andbriefly worked with Thomas Edison before the two parted ways. Hesold several patent rights, including those to his alternating-currentmachinery, to George Westinghouse. His 1891 invention, the "Teslacoil,” is still used in radio technology today. Tesla died in New YorkCity on January 7, 1943.Early LifeFamous Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, in what is now Smiljan,Croatia. Teslas interest in electrical invention was likely spurred by his mother, Djuka Mandic, whoinvented small household appliances in her spare time while her son was growing up. Teslas father,Milutin Tesla, was a priest. After studying in the 1870s at the Realschule, Karlstadt (later renamed theJohann-Rudolph-Glauber Realschule Karlstadt); the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria; and theUniversity of Prague, Tesla began preparing for a trip to America.Famed InventorTesla came to the United States in 1884, and soon began working with famed inventor and businessmogul Thomas Edison. The two worked together for a brief periof before parting ways due to aconflicting business-scientific relationship, attributed by historians to their incredibly differentpersonalities: While Edison was a power figure who focused on marketing and financial success, Teslawas a commercially out-of-tune and somewhat vulnerable, yet extremely pivotal inventor, whopioneered some of historys the most important inventions. His inventions include the "Tesla coil,"developed in 1891, and an alternating-current electrical system of generators, motors andtransformers—both of which are still used widely today.On the AC electrical system alone, Tesla held 40 basic U.S. patents, which he later sold to GeorgeWestinghouse, an American engineer and business man who was determined to supply the nation withthe Teslas AC system. He would succeed in doing just that, not long after purchasing Teslas patents.Around this time, conflict arose between Tesla and Edison, as Edison was determined to sell his direct-current system to the nation. According to the Tesla Memorial Society of New York, Tesla-Westinghouseultimately won out because Teslas system was "a superior technology," presenting greater "progress ofboth America and the world" than Edisons DC system. Outside of his AC system patents, Tesla soldseveral other patent rights to Westinghouse."Tesla coil,” Inventor
At the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, Tesla conducted demonstrations of his ACsystem, which soon became the standard power system of the 20th century, and has remained theworldwide standard ever since. Two years later, in 1895, Tesla designed the first hydroelectricpowerplant at Niagara Falls, a feat that was highly publicized throughout the world.Around 1900—nearly a decade later after inventing the "Tesla coil"—Tesla began working on his boldestproject yet: Building a global communication system—through a large, electrical tower—for sharinginformation and providing free electricity throughout the world. The system, however, never came tofruition; it failed due to financial constraints, and Tesla had no choice but to abandon the Long Island,New York laboratory that housed his work on the tower project, Wardenclyffe. In 1917, theWardenclyffe site was sold, and Teslas tower was destroyed."Its a sad, sad story," Larry Page, Googles co-founder, said of Tesla in a 2008 interviewwith Forbes magazine."[Tesla] couldnt commercialize anything. He could barely fund his own research."In addition to his AC system, coil and tower project, throughout his career, Tesla discovered, designedand developed ideas for a number of important inventions—most of which were officially patented byother inventors—including dynamos (electrical generators similar to batteries) and the induction motor.He also a pioneer in the discovery of radar technology, X-ray technology and the rotating magneticfield—the basis of most AC machinery.Death and LegacyPoor and reclusive, Nikola Tesla died on January 7, 1943, at the age of 86, in New York City—where hehad lived for nearly 60 years. His legacy, however, has been thriving for more than a century, and willundoubtedly live on for decades to come.Several books and films have highlighted Teslas life and famous works, including Nikola Tesla, TheGenius Who Lit the World, a film created by the Tesla Memorial Society and the Nikola Tesla Museum inBelgrade, Serbia; and The Secret of Nikola Tesla, which stars Orson Welles as John Pierpont Morgan (J.P.Morgan). In recent years, a street sign entitled "Nikola Tesla Corner" was installed in honor of thefamous inventor, near the 40th Street-6th Avenue intersection in New York City.Wardenclyffe ProjectOver the past several years, several nonprofit organizations, high-profile individuals, municipalities andTesla enthusiasts have been involved in a different kind of effort to uphold Teslas legacy: A project topreserve Teslas still-standing, still-abandoned New York laboratory, Wardenclyffe, and turn it into amuseum of the famous inventors work. For more than a decade, New Yorks Nikola Tesla Science Centerhas been working to gain momentum and, subsequently, funding for preserving Wardenclyffe. Since
then, the labs ownership has been passed through several hands, and public interest for the project hasslowly but steadly been growing.Interest escalated in February 2009, when the Wardenclyffe site was posted for sale, for nearly $1.6million. Since then, the Tesla Science Center has continued to diligently work to raise funds for the labspreservation. The state of New York recently acknowledged the centers efforts; awarding the centerwith a $850,000 grant (the center cant officially receive the grant until it raises matching funds).
Benjamin FranklinBorn: January 17, 1706, BostonDied: April 17, 1790, PhiladelphiaBorn in Boston in 1706, Benjamin Franklin organized the Unit edStates’ first lending library and volunteer fire department. Hisscientific pursuits included investigations into electricity,mathematics and mapmaking. He helped draft the Declaration ofIndependence and the U.S Constitution, and negotiated the 1783Treaty of Paris, which marked the end of the Revolutionary War.Early LifeBenjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston in what was then known as theMassachusetts Bay Colony. His father, Josiah Franklin, a soap and candle maker, had 17 children, sevenwith first wife, Anne Child, and 10 with second wife Abiah Folger. Benjamin was his 15th child and thelast son.Despite his success at the Boston Latin School, Ben was removed at 10 to work with his father at candlemaking, but dipping wax and cutting wicks didn’t fire his imagination. Perhaps to dissuade him fromgoing to sea as one of his brothers had done, Josiah apprenticed Ben at 12 to his brother James at hisprint shop. Ben took to this like a duck to water, despite his brother’s hard treatment. When Jamesrefused to publish any of his brother’s writing, Ben adopted the pseudonym Mrs. Silence Dogood, and“her” 14 imaginative and witty letters were published in his brother’s newspaper, The New EnglandCourant, to the delight of the readership. But James was angry when it was discovered the letters werehis brother’s, and Ben abandoned his apprenticeship shortly afterward, escaping to New York, butsettling in Philadelphia, which was his home base for the rest of his life.Franklin furthered his education in the printing trade in Philadelphia, lodging at the home of John Readin 1723, where he met and courted Read’s daughter Deborah. Nevertheless, the following year, Franklinleft for London under the auspices of Pennsylvania Governor William Keith, but felt duped when lettersof introduction never arrived and he was forced to find work at print shops there. Once employed,though, he was able to take full advantage of the city’s pleasures, attending theater, mingling with thepopulace in coffee houses and continuing his lifelong passion for reading. He also managed to publishhis first pamphlet, "A Dissertation upon Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain."Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1726 to find that Deborah Read had married. In the next few yearshe held varied jobs such as bookkeeper, shopkeeper and currency cutter. He also fathered a son,William, out of wedlock during this time. In late 1727, Franklin formed the “Junto,” a social and self-
improvement study group for young men, and early the next year was able to establish his own printshop with a partner.Prominent CitizenAfter publishing another pamphlet, "The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency," Franklin was ableto purchase The Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper from a former boss, and was elected the officialprinter of Pennsylvania. He was also able to take Deborah Read as his common-law wife in 1730, afterher husband disappeared after stealing a slave. Their first son, Francis, was born in 1732 (although hedied four years later of smallpox).Franklin’s prominence and success grew during the 1730s, especially with the publication of PoorRichard’s Almanack at the end of 1732. Franklin amassed real estate and businesses, organized theUnion Fire Company to counteract dangerous fire hazards, established a lending library so others couldshare his passion for reading, and was elected Grand Master of the Pennsylvania Masons, clerk of thestate assembly and postmaster of Philadelphia.The 1740s saw Franklin expanding into entrepreneurship with invention of the Franklin stove, and alsointo scientific pursuits. His pamphlet "A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge" underscored hisinterests. His beloved daughter Sarah was born in 1743. He became a soldier in the Pennsylvania militiaat the age of 42, but his abiding interest in electricity was ignited at this time, too. He conducted thefamous kite-and-key experiment in 1752 after some of his theories on electricity were published inEngland the previous year.Public ServiceFranklin was tapped as a foreign diplomat and represented the Pennsylvania Assembly, andsubsequently Massachusetts, Georgia and New Jersey, in England, but he continued to work towardcolonial union and in 1766 supported the repeal of the Stamp Act.In 1775, Franklin was elected to the Second Continental Congress and as postmaster general for thecolonies, having mapped the postal routes in 1762. And in 1776, he was one of five men to draft theDeclaration of Independence. Franklin was also one of the 13 men who drafted the Articles ofConfederation.Later YearsMuch has been made of Franklin’s life in Paris as essentially the first U.S. ambassador to France, chieflyhis romantic life. Deborah, his wife of 44 years, died in 1774, two years before he accepted the post, andFranklin had a rich romantic life in his nine years abroad. He even proposed marriage, to a widow namedMadame Helvetius, at the age of 74, but she rejected him.
Franklin was embraced in France as much, if not more, for his intellectual standing in the scientificcommunity and for his wit, as for his status as a political appointee from a fledging country. Hisreputation facilitated respect and entrees into closed communities, including that of King Louis XVI. Andit was his adept diplomacy that led to the peace treaty with England in 1783 and other foreign alliancesand trade treaties.After almost a decade in France, Franklin returned to America in 1785. He was elected to representPennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention, which drafted and ratified the new U.S Constitution, andparticipated in electing George Washington as the country’s first president, inaugurated in April 1789.He also served as president of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, wrotemany tracts urging the abolition of slavery and petitioned the U.S Congress for it in 1790.Successes and FailuresWith so many of America’s early heroes, successes take the spotlight, while failures are rarelymentioned. But with any great entrepreneur the failures are just paving stones to the triumphs. Franklinhimself said, “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”He took his own advice. Franklin mapped the Gulf Stream, invented swim fins, the lightning rod andmusical instruments, established colleges, and amassed scores of other accomplishments. His self-education earned him honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Oxford University in England, and theUniversity of St. Andrews in Scotland.But he also began a magazine that failed, devised a new “scheme” for the alphabet that proposed toeliminate the letters C, J, Q, W, X and Y as redundant, and made disastrous political decisions thatinvolved the leaking of letters, called the “Hutchinson Affair.” He also made an ill-advisedrecommendation for Pennsylvania’s stamp distribution that caused the public to misconstrue where hestood on American support. His own son William, whom he helped to achieve the governorship of NewJersey, opposed him on the unification of the colonies, which stung Franklin to the point where hementioned it in his will almost 25 years later.Franklin’s voracious capacity for knowledge, investigation and finding practical solutions to problemswas his primary focus, as was his commitment to “doing good,” which led to the concept of paying itforward.Death and LegacyBenjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the home of his daughter,Sarah Bache. He was 84, suffered from gout and had complained of ailments for some time, completingthe final codicil to his will a little more than a year and a half prior to his death. Franklin had actuallywritten his epitaph when he was 22: The body of B. Franklin, Printer (Like the Cover of an Old Book ItsContents torn Out And Stript of its Lettering and Gilding) Lies Here, Food for Worms. But the Work shall
not be Lost; For it will (as he Believd) Appear once More In a New and More Elegant Edition Revised andCorrected By the Author. In the end, however, the stone on the grave he shared with his wife readsimply, “Benjamin and Deborah Franklin 1790.”The image of Benjamin Franklin that has come down through history, along with the image on the $100bill, is something of a caricature—a bald man in a frock coat holding a kite string with a key attached.But the scope of things he applied himself to was so broad it seems a shame. Founding universities andlibraries, the post office, shaping the foreign policy of the fledgling United States, drafting theDeclaration of Independence, publishing newspapers, warming us with the Franklin stove, pioneeringadvances in science, letting us see with bifocals and, yes, lighting our way with electricity—all from aman who never finished school but shaped his life through abundant reading and experience, a strongmoral compass and an unflagging commitment to civic duty, and an overall wit, good humor andintegrity. Franklin illumined corners of American life that still have the lingering glow of his attention. Hewas a true polymath and entrepreneur, which is no doubt why he is often called the First American.Perhaps it is a fitting image after all."We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."– Benjamin Franklin
Leonardo da VinciBorn: April 15, 1452, VinciDied: May 2, 1519, Clos LucéBorn on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci was the lo ve childof a landowner and a peasant girl. Raised by his father, he beganapprenticing at the age of 14 under the artist Verrocchio. Within six years,he was a master artist and began taking commissions from wealthy clients.His best-known works are two of the most famous paintings of all time, the"Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper." Da Vincis scientific inquiries fill 13,000pages, ranging from anatomy to war machines.Humble BeginningsLeonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy. Born out of wedlock, the love child of arespected notary and a young peasant woman, he was raised by his father, Ser Piero, and hisstepmothers. At the age of 14, da Vinci began apprenticing with the artist Verrocchio. For six years, helearned a wide breadth of technical skills, including metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing andsculpting. By the age of 20, he had qualified as a master artist in the Guild of Saint Luke and establishedhis own workshop.Florentine court records show that da Vinci was charged with and acquitted of sodomy at the age of 22,and for two years, his whereabouts went entirely undocumented.The Last SupperIn 1482, Lorenzo de Medici, a man from aprominent Italian family, commissioned da Vincito create a silver lyre and bring it to Ludovico ilMoro, th e Duke of Milan, as a gesture of peace.Da Vinci did so and then wrote Ludovico a letterdescribing how his engineering and artistictalents would be of great service to Ludovicoscourt. His letter successfully endeared him toLudovico, and from 1482 until 1499, Leonardo was commissioned to work on a great many projects. Itwas during this time that da Vinci painted "The Last Supper."
Mona LisaDa Vincis most well-known painting, and arguably the most famouspainting in the world, the "Mona Lisa," was a privately commissioned workand was co mpleted sometime between 1505 and 1507. Of the paintingswide appeal, James Beck, an art historian at Columbia University, onceexplained, "It is the inherent spirituality of the human creature thatLeonardo was able to ingenuine to the picture that raises the human figureto some kind of majesty."Its been said that the Mona Lisa had jaundice, that she was a pregnantwoman and that she wasnt actually a woman at all, but a man in drag.Based on accounts from an early biographer, however, the "Mona Lisa" is apicture of Lisa Gioconda, the real-life wife of a merchant, but thats far from certain. For da Vinci, the"Mona Lisa" was forever a work in progress, as it was his attempt at perfection. The painting was neverdelivered to its commissioner; da Vinci kept it with him until the end of his life. Today, the "Mona Lisa"hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, secured behind bulletproof glass, and is regarded as apriceless national treasure.Vitruvian ManThe Vitruvian Man is a drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa1487. It is accompanied by notes based on the work of thearchitect Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper,depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his armsand legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square.The drawing and text are sometimes called theCanon ofProportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. It is stored in theGallerie dellAccademia in Venice, Italy, and, like most works onpaper, is displayed only occasionally.The drawing is based on the correlations of ideal humanproportions with geometry described by the ancient Romanarchitect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise De Architectura.Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal sourceof proportion among the Classical orders of architecture. Leonardosdrawing is traditionally named in honor of the architect.Renaissance ManDa Vinci has been called a genius and the archetypal Renaissance man. His talents in arguably extendedfar beyond his artistic works. Like many leaders of Renaissance humanism, he did not see a dividebetween science and art. His observations and inventions were recorded in 13,000 pages of notes anddrawings, including designs for flying machines (some 400 years before the Wright brothers first
success), plant studies, war machinery, anatomy and architecture. His ideas were mainly theoreticalexplanations, laid out in exacting detail, but they were rarely experimental. His drawings of a fetus inutero, the heart and vascular system, sex organs, and other bone and muscular structures, are some ofthe first on human record.One of da Vincis last commissioned works was a mechanical lion that could walk and open its chest toreveal a bouquet of lilies. The famous artist died in Amboise, France, on May 2, 1519. Da Vincis assistantand perhaps his lover, Francesco Melzi, became the principal heir and executor of his estate."Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more ofwhat works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else.The trick is the doing something else."– Leonardo da Vinci“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”– Leonardo da Vinci"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."– Leonardo da Vinci
George WashingtonBorn: February 22, 1732, Westmoreland CountyDied: December 14, 1799, Mount VernonGeorge Washington was born on February 22 (February 11, accordingto the Old Style calendar), 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.Washington was an American general and commander-in-chief of thecolonial armies in the American Revolution (1775–83) and,subsequently, the first president of the United States (1789–97). Hedied on December 14, 1799 in Mount Vernon, Virginia.Early Life and FamilyGeorge Washington could trace his familys presence in North America to his great-grandfather, JohnWashington, who migrated from England to Virginia. The family held some distinction in England andwas granted land by Henry VIII. Much of the family’s wealth was lost during the Puritan revolution andin 1657 George’s grandfather, Lawrence Washington, migrated to Virginia. Little information is availableabout the family in North America until George’s father, Augustine, who was born in 1694.Augustine Washington was an ambitious man who acquired land and slaves, built mills, and grewtobacco. For a time, he had an interest in opening iron mines. He married his first wife, Jane Butler andthey had three children. Jane died in 1729 and Augustine married Mary Ball in 1731. George was theeldest of Augustine and Mary’s six children, all of which survived into adulthood. The family lived onPopes Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia. They were moderately prosperous members ofVirginias "middling class." Augustine moved the family up the Potomac River to another Washingtonfamily home, Little Hunting Creek Plantation, (later renamed Mount Vernon) in 1735 and then movedagain in 1738 to Ferry Farm on the Rappahannock River, opposite Fredericksburg, Virginia, whereGeorge Washington spent much of this youth.Little is known about George Washingtons childhood, which fostered many of the fables laterbiographers manufactured to fill in the gap. Among these are the stories that Washington threw a silverdollar across the Potomac and after chopping down his fathers prize cherry tree, he openly confessed tothe crime. It is known that from age seven to fifteen, George was home schooled and studied with thelocal church sexton and later a schoolmaster in practical math, geography, Latin and the English classics.But much of the knowledge he would use the rest of his life was through his acquaintance withbackwoodsmen and the plantation foreman. By his early teens, he had mastered growing tobacco, stockraising and surveying.George Washington’s father died when he was 11 and he became the ward of his half-brother,Lawrence, who gave him a good upbringing. Lawrence had inherited the familys Little Hunting Creek
Plantation and married Anne Fairfax, the daughter of Colonel William Fairfax, patriarch of the well to doFairfax family. Under her tutorage, George was schooled in the finer aspects of colonial culture. In 1748,when he was 16, George traveled with a surveying party plotting land in Virginia’s western territory. Thefollowing year, aided by Lord Fairfax, Washington received an appointment as official surveyor ofCulpeper County.For two years he was very busy surveying the land in Culpeper, Frederick and Augusta counties. Theexperience made him resourceful and toughened his body and mind. It also piqued his interest inwestern land holdings, an interest that endured throughout his life with speculative land purchases anda belief that the future of the nation lay in colonizing the West.In July, 1752, George Washingtons brother, Lawrence, died of tuberculosis making him the heirapparent of the Washington lands. Lawrence’s only child, Sarah, died two months later and Washingtonbecame the head of one of Virginias most prominent estates, Mount Vernon. He was 20 years old.Throughout his life, he would hold farming as one of the most honorable professions and he was mostproud of Mount Vernon. He would gradually increase his landholdings there to about 8,000 acres.Pre-Revolutionary Military CareerIn the early 1750s, France and Britain were at peace. However, the French military had begun occupyingmuch of the Ohio Valley, protecting the Kings land interests and fur trappers and French settlers. Butthe border lands of this area were unclear and prone to dispute between the two countries. Washingtonshowed early signs of natural leadership and shortly after Lawrences death, Virginias LieutenantGovernor, Robert Dinwiddie, appointed Washington adjutant with a rank of major in the Virginia militia.On October 31, 1753, Dinwiddie sent Washington to Fort LeBoeuf, at what is now Waterford,Pennsylvania, to warn the French to remove themselves from land claimed by Britain. The Frenchpolitely refused and Washington made a hasty ride back to Williamsburg, Virginias colonial capitol.Dinwiddie sent Washington back with troops and they set up a post at Great Meadows. Washingtonssmall force attacked a French post at Fort Duquesne killing the commander, Coulon de Jumonville, andnine others and taking the rest prisoners. The French and Indian War had begun. The French counterattacked and drove Washington and his men back to his post at Great Meadows (later named "FortNecessity.") After a full day siege, Washington surrendered and was soon released and returned toWilliamsburg, promising not to build another fort on the Ohio River. Though a little embarrassed atbeing captured, he was grateful to receive the thanks from the House of Burgesses and see his namementioned in the London gazettes.Washington was given the honorary rank of colonel and joined British General Edward Braddocks armyin Virginia in 1755. The British had devised a plan for a three-prong assault on French forces attackingFort Duquesne, Fort Niagara and Crown Point. During the encounter, the French and their Indian alliesambushed Braddock, who was mortally wounded. Washington escaped injury with four bullet holes inhis cloak and two horses shot out from under him. Though he fought bravely, he could do little to turnback the rout and led the broken army back to safety. In August, 1755, Washington was made
commander of all Virginia troops at age 23. He was sent to the frontier to patrol and protect nearly 400miles of border with some 700 ill-disciplined colonial troops and a Virginia colonial legislature unwillingto support him.It was a frustrating assignment. His health failed in the closing months of 1757 and he was sent homewith dysentery.In 1758, Washington returned to duty on another expedition to capture Fort Duquesne. A friendly fireincident took place killing fourteen and wounding 26 of Washingtons men. However, the British wereable to score a major victory, capturing Fort Duquesne and control the Ohio Valley. Washington retiredfrom his Virginia regiment in December of 1758. His experience during the war was generally frustrating,with decisions made excessively slow, poor support from the colonial legislature, and poorly trainedrecruits. Washington applied for a commission with the British Army but was turned down. In December1758, he resigned his commission and returned to Mount Vernon disillusioned.A month after leaving the army, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow, who was only afew months older than he. Martha brought to the marriage a considerable fortune: an 18,000-acreestate, from which George personally acquired 6,000 acres. With this and land he was granted for hismilitary service, Washington became one of the more wealthy landowners in Virginia. The marriage alsobrought Marthas two young children, John (Jacky) and Martha (Patsy), ages 6 and 4, respectively.Washington lavished great affection on both of them, and was heartbroken when Patsy died just beforethe Revolution. Jacky died during the Revolution, and George adopted two of his children.From his retirement from the Virginia militia until the start of the Revolution, George Washingtondevoted himself to the care and development of his land holdings, attending the rotation of crops,managing livestock and keeping up with the latest scientific advances. He loved the landed gentrys lifeof horseback riding, fox hunts, fishing, and cotillions. He worked six days a week, often taking off his coatand performing manual labor with his workers. He was an innovative and responsible landowner,breeding cattle and horses and tending to his fruit orchards. While he kept over 100 slaves, he was saidto dislike the institution, but accepted the fact that slavery was the law. He also entered politics and waselected to Virginias House of Burgesses in 1758.Revolutionary leadershipThough the British Proclamation Act of 1763—prohibiting settlement beyond the Alleghenies—irritatedhim and he opposed the Stamp Act of 1765, Washington did not take a leading role in the growingcolonial resistance against the British until the widespread protest of the Townshend Acts in 1767. Hisletters of this period indicate he was totally opposed to the colonies declaring independence. However,by 1767, he wasnt opposed to resisting what he believed were fundamental violations by the Crown ofthe rights of Englishmen. In 1769, Washington introduced a resolution to the House of Burgesses callingfor Virginia to boycott British goods until the Acts were repealed. After the passage of the Intolerable
Acts in 1774, Washington chaired a meeting in which the Fairfax Resolves were adopted calling for theconvening of the Continental Congress and the use of armed resistance as a last resort.He was selected a delegate to the First Continental Congress in March of 1775.After the battles of Lexington and Concord in April of 1775, the political dispute between Great Britainand her North American colonies escalated into an armed conflict. In May, Washington traveled to theSecond Continental Congress in Philadelphia dressed in a military uniform, indicating that he wasprepared for war. On June 15, he was appointed Major General and Commander-in-Chief of the colonialforces against Great Britain. As was his custom, he did not seek out the office of commander, but hefaced no serious competition.Washington was the best choice for a number of reasons: he had the prestige, military experience andcharisma for the job and he had been advising Congress for months. Another factor was political. TheRevolution had started in New England and at the time, they were the only colonies that had directly feltthe blunt of British tyranny. Virginia was the largest British colony and deserved recognition and NewEngland needed Southern support.Political considerations and force of personality aside, George Washington was not necessarily qualifiedto wage war on the worlds most powerful nation. Washingtons training and experience were primarilyin frontier warfare involving small numbers of soldiers. He wasnt trained in the open-field style of battlepracticed by the commanding British generals. He had no practical experience maneuvering largeformations of infantry, commanding cavalry or artillery, or maintaining the flow of supplies forthousands of men in the field. But he was courageous and determined and smart enough to keep onestep ahead of the enemy.Washington and his small army did taste victory early in March of 1776 by placing artillery aboveBoston, on Dorchester Heights, forcing the British to withdraw. Washington then moved his troops intoNew York City. But in June, a new British commander, Sir William Howe, arrived in the Colonies with thelargest expeditionary force Britain had ever deployed to date. In August of 1776, the British armylaunched an attack and quickly took New York City in the largest battle of the war. Washingtons armywas routed and suffered the surrender of 2,800 men. He ordered the remains of his army to retreatacross the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. Confident the war would be over in a few months, GeneralHowe wintered his troops at Trenton and Princeton, leaving Washington free to attack at the time andplace of his choosing.On Christmas night, 1776, Washington and his men crossed the Delaware River and attackedunsuspecting Hessian mercenaries at Trenton, forcing their surrender. A few days later, evading a forcethat had been sent to destroy his army, Washington attacked the British again, this time at Princeton,dealing them a humiliating loss.Winning Independence
General Howes strategy was to capture colonial cities and stop the rebellion at key economic andpolitical centers.He never abandoned the belief that once the Americans were deprived of their major cities, therebellion would wither. In the summer of 1777, he mounted an offensive against Philadelphia. GeorgeWashington moved in his army to defend the city and was defeated at the Battle of Brandywine.Philadelphia fell two weeks later.In the late summer of 1777, the British army sent a major force, under the command of John Burgoyne,south from Quebec to Saratoga, New York, to split off the rebellion in New England. But the strategybackfired, as Burgoyne became trapped by the American armies led by Horatio Gates and BenedictArnold, at the Battle of Saratoga. Without support from Howe, who couldnt reach him in time, he wasforced to surrender his entire 6,200 man army. The victory was a major turning point in the war as itencouraged France to openly ally itself with the American cause for independence.Through all of this, Washington discovered an important lesson: The political nature of war was just asimportant as the military one. Washington began to understand that military victories were not asimportant as keeping the resistance alive. Americans began to believe that they could meet theirobjective of independence without defeating the British army. On the other hand, British General Howeclung to the strategy of capturing colonial cities in hopes of smothering the rebellion. He didnt realizethat capturing cities like Philadelphia and New York would not unseat colonial power. The Congresswould just pack up and meet elsewhere.The darkest time for Washington and the Continental Army was during the winter of 1777 at ValleyForge, Pennsylvania. The 11,000-man force went into winter quarters and over the next six monthssuffered thousands of deaths, mostly from disease. But the army emerged from the winter still intactand in relatively good order. Realizing their strategy of capturing Colonial cities had failed, the Britishcommand replaced General Howe with Sir Henry Clinton. The British army evacuated Philadelphia toreturn to New York City. Washington and his men delivered several quick blows to the moving army,attacking the British flank near Monmouth Courthouse. Though a tactical standoff, the encounterproved Washingtons army capable of open field battle.For the remainder of the war, George Washington was content to keep the British confined to New York,although he never totally abandoned the idea of retaking the city. The alliance with France had broughta large French army and a navy fleet. Washington and his French counterparts decided to let Clinton beand attack British General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. Facing the combined French andColonial armies and the French fleet of 29 warships at his back, Cornwallis held out as long as he could,but on October 19, 1781, he surrendered his forces.George Washington had no way of knowing the Yorktown victory would bring the war to a close. TheBritish still had 26,000 troops occupying New York City, Charleston, and Savannah and a large fleet ofwarships in the Colonies.
By 1782, the French army and navy had departed, the Continental treasury was depleted, and most ofhis soldiers hadn’t been paid for several years. A near mutiny was avoided when Washington convincedCongress to grant a five-year bonus for soldiers in March of 1783. By November of 1783, the British hadevacuated New York City and other cities and the war was essentially over. The Americans had won theirindependence. Washington formally bade his troops farewell and on December 23, 1783, he resigned iscommission as commander-in-chief of the army and returned to Mount Vernon.For four years, George Washington attempted to fulfill his dream of resuming life as a gentleman farmerand to give his much-neglected plantation the care and attention it deserved. The war had been costlyto the Washington family with lands neglected, no exports of goods, and the depreciation of papermoney. But Washington was able to repair his fortunes with a generous land grant from Congress for hismilitary service and become profitable once again.PresidencyIn 1787, Washington was again called to the duty of his country. Since independence, the young republichad been struggling under the Articles of Confederation, a structure of government that centered powerwith the states. But the states were not unified. They fought among themselves over boundaries andnavigation rights and refused to contribute to paying off the nations war debt. In some instances, statelegislatures imposed tyrannical tax policies on their own citizens. Washington was intensely dismayed atthe state of affairs, but only slowly came to the realization that something should be done about it.Perhaps he wasnt sure the time was right so soon after the Revolution to be making major adjustmentsto the democratic experiment. Or perhaps because he hoped he would not be called upon to serve, heremained noncommittal. But when Shayss rebellion erupted in Massachusetts, Washington knewsomething needed to be done to improve the nation’s government. In 1786, Congress approved aconvention to be held in Philadelphia to amend the Articles of Confederation.At the Constitution Convention, Washington was unanimously chosen as president. Among others, suchas James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, Washington had come to the conclusion that it wasntamendments that were needed, but a new constitution that would give the national government moreauthority. He spoke but once during the proceedings, but he lobbied hard with his fellow delegates inthe afterhours for major changes in the structure of government. In the end, the Convention produced aplan for government that not only would address the countrys current problems, but would endurethrough time. After the convention adjourned, Washingtons reputation and support for the newgovernment were indispensable to the Constitution’s ratification. Opposition was strident, if notorganized, with many of Americas leading political figures—such as Patrick Henry and Sam Adams—condemning the proposed government as a grab for power.Even in Washingtons native Virginia, the Constitution was ratified by only one vote.Still hoping to retire to his beloved Mount Vernon, Washington was once again called upon to serve thiscountry. During the presidential election of 1789, he received a vote from every elector to the Electoral
College, the only president in American history to be elected by unanimous approval. He took the oathof office at Federal Hall in New York City, the capital of the United States at the time. As the firstpresident, Washington was astutely aware that his presidency would set a precedent for all that wouldfollow. He carefully attended to the responsibilities and duties of his office, remaining vigilante to notemulate any European royal court. To that end, he preferred the title "Mr. President," instead of moreimposing names that were suggested. At first he declined the $25,000 salary Congress offered the officeof the presidency, for he was already wealthy and wanted to protect his image as a selfless publicservant. However, Congress persuaded him to accept the compensation to avoid giving the impressionthat only wealthy men could serve as president.George Washington proved to be an able administrator. He surrounded himself with some of the mostcapable people in the country, appointing Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury and ThomasJefferson as Secretary of State. He delegated authority wisely and consulted regularly with his cabinetlistening to their advice before making a decision. Washington established broad-ranging presidentialauthority, but always with the highest integrity, exercising power with restraint and honesty. In doingso, he set a standard rarely met by his successors, but one that established an ideal by which all arejudged.During his first term, Washington adopted a series of measures proposed by Treasury SecretaryHamilton to reduce the nations debt and place its finances on sound footing. His administrationestablished several peace treaties with Native American tribes and approved a bill establishing thenations capital in a permanent district along the Potomac River. In 1791, Washington signed a billauthorizing Congress to place a tax on distilled spirits, which stirred protests in rural areas ofPennsylvania. Quickly, the protests turned into a full-scale defiance of federal law known as the WhiskeyRebellion. Washington invoked the Militia Act of 1792, summoning local militias from several states toput down the rebellion. Washington personally took command, marching the troops into the areas ofrebellion and demonstrating that the federal government would use force, when necessary, to enforcethe law.In foreign affairs, Washington took a cautious approach, realizing that the weak, young nation could notsuccumb to Europes political intrigues. In 1793, France and Great Britain were once again at war. At theurging of Alexander Hamilton, Washington disregarded the U.S. alliance with France and pursued acourse of neutrality.In 1794, he sent John Jay to Britain to negotiate a treaty (known as the "Jay Treaty") to secure a peacewith Britain and clear up some issues held over from the Revolutionary War.The action infuriated Thomas Jefferson, who supported the French and felt that the U.S. needed tohonor its treaty obligations. Washington was able to mobilize public support for the treaty, whichproved decisive in securing ratification in the Senate. Though controversial, the treaty proved beneficialto the United States by removing British forts along the western frontier, establishing a clear boundarybetween Canada and the United States, and most importantly, delaying a war with Britain and providing
over a decade of prosperous trade and development the fledgling country so desperately needed.All through his two terms as president, Washington was dismayed at the growing partisanship withingovernment and the nation. The power bestowed on the federal government by the Constitution madefor important decisions, and people joined together to influence those decisions. The formation ofpolitical parties at first were influenced more by personality than by issues.As Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton pushed for a strong national government and an economybuilt in industry. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson desired to keep government small and centerpower more at the local level, where citizens freedom could be better protected. He envisioned aneconomy based on farming. Those who followed Hamiltons vision took the name Federalists and peoplewho opposed those ideas and tended to lean toward Jefferson’s view began calling themselvesDemocratic-Republicans. Washington despised political partisanship, believing that ideologicaldifferences should never become institutionalized. He strongly felt that political leaders should be freeto debate important issues without being bound by party loyalty. However, Washington could do littleto slow the development of political parties. The ideals promoted by Hamilton and Jefferson produced atwo-party system that proved remarkably durable. These opposing viewpoints represented acontinuation of the debate over the proper role of government, a debate that began with theconception of the Constitution and continues today.Washingtons administration was not without its critics who questioned what they saw as extravagantconventions in the office of the president. During his two terms, Washington rented the best housesavailable and was driven in a coach drawn by four horses, with outriders and lackeys in rich uniforms.After being overwhelmed by callers, he announced that except for the scheduled weekly reception opento all, he would only see people by appointment. Washington entertained lavishly, but in private dinnersand receptions at invitation only. He was, by some, accused of conducting himself like a king. However,ever mindful his presidency would set the precedent for those to follow, he was careful to avoid thetrappings of a monarchy.At public ceremonies, he did not appear in a military uniform or the monarchical robes. Instead, hedressed in a black velvet suit with gold buckles and powdered hair, as was the common custom. Hisreserved manner was more due to inherent reticence than any excessive sense of dignity.Retirement and LegacyDesiring to return to Mount Vernon and his farming, and feeling the decline of his physical powers withage, Washington refused to yield to the pressures to serve a third term, even though he would probablynot have faced any opposition. By doing this, he was again mindful of the precedent of being the "firstpresident," and chose to establish a peaceful transition of government.In the last months of his presidency, Washington felt he needed to give his country one last measure ofhimself. With the help of Alexander Hamilton, he composed his Farewell Address to the Americanpeople, which urged his fellow citizens to cherish the Union and avoid partisanship and permanent
foreign alliances. In March 1797, he turned over the government to John Adams and returned to MountVernon, determined to live his last years as a simple gentleman farmer. His last official act was to pardonthe participants in the Whiskey Rebellion.Upon returning to Mount Vernon in the spring of 1797, Washington felt a reflective sense of relief andaccomplishment. He had left the government in capable hands, at peace, its debts well-managed, andset on a course of prosperity. He devoted much of his time to tending the farms operations andmanagement. Although he was perceived to be wealthy, his land holdings were only marginallyprofitable. During his long absence, the plantation had not been productive, and there was much workto be done. On a cold December day in 1799, Washington spent much of it inspecting the farm onhorseback in a driving snowstorm. When he returned home, he hastily ate his supper in his wet clothesand then went to bed. The next morning, on December 13, he awoke with a severe sore throat andbecame increasingly hoarse. He retired early, but awoke around 3 a.m. and told Martha that he felt sick.The illness progressed until he died late in the evening of December 14, 1799. The news of his deathspread throughout the country, plunging the nation into a deep mourning. Many towns and cities heldmock funerals and presented hundreds of eulogies to honor their fallen hero. When the news of thisdeath reached Europe, the British fleet paid tribute to his memory, and Napoleon ordered ten days ofmourning.Washington could have been a king. Instead, he chose to be a citizen. He set many precedents for thenational government and the presidency: The two-term limit in office, only broken once by FranklinRoosevelt, and then later ensconced in the Constitutions 22nd Amendment. He crystallized the powerof the presidency as a part of the government’s three branches, able to exercise authority whennecessary, but also accept the balance of power inherent in the system. He was not only considered amilitary and revolutionary hero, but a man of great personal integrity, with a deep sense of duty, honor,and patriotism. For over 200 years, Washington has been acclaimed as indispensible to the success ofthe Revolution and the birth of the nation. But his most important legacy may be that he insisted he wasdispensable, asserting that the cause of liberty was larger than any single individual."I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, thathonesty is the best policy."– George Washington"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectablestranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions."– George Washington
TheWrightBrothersWilbur WrightBorn in Indiana in 1867, Wilbur Wright was the elder brother of Orville,with whom he developed the worlds first successful airplane. TheWright brothers are considered the fathers of modern aviation.Early LifeFlight pioneer, Wilbur Wright was born on April 16, 1867, near Millville,Indiana. He was the middle child in a family of five children. His father,Milton Wright, was a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren inChrist. His mother was Susan Catherine Koerner. As a child Wilbursplaymate was his younger brother, Orville, born in 1871.Milton Wrights preaching took him on the road frequently, and he often brought back small toys for hischildren. In 1878 he brought back a small model helicopter for his boys. Made of cork, bamboo andpaper, and powered by a rubber band to twirl its blades, the model was based on a design by the Frenchaeronautical pioneer Alphonse Pénaud. Fascinated by the toy and its mechanics, Wilbur and Orvillewould develop a lifelong love of aeronautics and flying.Wilbur was a bright and studious child, and excelled in school. His personality was outgoing and robust,and he made plans to attend Yale University after high school. In the winter of 1885-86, an accidentchanged the course of Wilburs life. He was badly injured in an ice hockey game, when another playersstick hit him in the face.Though most of his injuries healed, the incident plunged Wilbur into a depression. He did not receive hishigh school diploma, canceled plans for college, and retreated to his family’s home. Wilbur spent muchof this period at home, reading books in his family’s library, and caring for his ailing mother. SusanKoerner died in 1889 of tuberculosis.In 1889 the brothers started their own newspaper, the West Side News. Wilbur edited the paper, andOrville was the publisher. The brothers also shared a passion for bicycles- a new craze that wassweeping the country. In 1892 Wilbur and Orville opened a bike shop, fixing bicycles and selling theirown design.Developing the AirplaneAlways working on different mechanical projects and keeping up with scientific research, the Wrightbrothers closely followed the research of German aviator Otto Lilienthal. When Lilienthal died in a glidercrash, the brothers decided to start their own experiments with flight. Determined to develop their ownsuccessful design, Wilbur and Orville headed to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, known for its strong winds.
Wilbur and Orville set to work trying to figure out how to design wings for flight. They observed thatbirds angled their wings for balance and control, and tried to emulate this, developing a concept called"wing warping." When they added a moveable rudder, the Wright brothers found they had the magicformula-on December 17, 1903, they succeeded in flying the first free, controlled flight of a power-driven, heavier than air plane. Wilbur flew their plane for 59 seconds, at 852 feet, an extraordinaryachievement.The Wright brothers soon found that their success was not appreciated by all. Many in the press, as wellas fellow flight experts, were reluctant to believe the brothers claims at all. As a result, Wilbur set outfor Europe in 1908, where he hoped he would have more success convincing the public and sellingairplanes.FameIn France Wilbur found a much more receptive audience. He made many public flights, and gave rides toofficials, journalists and statesmen. In 1909 Orville joined his brother in Europe, as did their youngersister Katharine. The Wrights became huge celebrities there, hosted by royals and heads of state, andconstantly featured in the press. The Wrights began to sell their airplanes in Europe, before returning tothe United States in 1909. The brothers became wealthy businessmen, filling contracts for airplanes inEurope and the United States.Wilbur and Orville always took shared credit for their innovations, and maintained a close relationshipthroughout their lives. Behind the scenes, however, there was a division of labor. With his sharpinstincts, Wilbur was the business mind and executive of the operation, serving as president of theWright company.Death and LegacyWilbur fell ill on a trip to Boston in April 1912. He was diagnosed with typhoid fever, and died on May 30at his family home in Dayton, Ohio. Milton Wright wrote in his diary, "A short life, full of consequences.An unfailing intellect, imperturbable temper, great self-reliance and as great modesty, seeing the rightclearly, pursuing it steadfastly, he lived and died."
Orville WrightBorn in Ohio in 1871, Orville Wright and his elder brother, Wilbur,were the inventors of the worlds first successful airplane. Orvillebecame famous as a father of modern aviation, a and developedtechnology for the United States Army.Early LifeOrville Wright was born on August 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio, one offive children of Susan Catherine Koerner, and Milton Wright, a bishopin the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.Orvilles father was a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren inChrist. As a child Orville was a mischievous and curious boy, and his family encouraged his intellectualdevelopment. "We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always muchencouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity,"Orville wrote in his memoirs.Milton Wright traveled often for his church work, and in 1878 he brought home a toy helicopter for hisboys. Based on an invention by French aeronautical pioneer Alphonse Pénaud, it was made of cork,bamboo and paper, and used a rubber band to twirl its twin blades. Orville and his brother werefascinated by the toy, and a lifelong passion for aeronautics was born.The Wright family moved to Richmond, Indiana, in 1881. In Richmond, Orville developed a love of kites,and started making his own at home. By 1887 the family was back in Ohio, where Orville enrolled atDayton Central High School. Never especially studious, Orville was more interested in hobbies outsidethe classroom. He dropped out in his junior year of high school, and opened a print shop. He hadworked in a print shop during the summer, and now designed his own printing press. In 1889 he beganpublishing the West Side News, a weekly paper for West Dayton. Wilbur was the paper’s editor.That same year, tragedy struck the Wright family. Orvilles mother, Susan Catherine Koerner Wright,died after a long bout of tuberculosis. With her mother gone, Orvilles sister Katharine took on theresponsibilities of maintaining the household. The bond between Orville, Katharine, and Wilbur was astrong one, and the siblings remained a close trio throughout their lives.Inventing the AirplaneAfter their mothers death, Orville and his brother dedicated themselves to another shared interest,bicycles. A new, safer design had set off a bicycle craze across the country. The brothers opened abicycle shop in 1892, selling and fixing bikes. In 1896 they started manufacturing their own design.Orville invented a self-oiling wheel hub for their popular bikes.
Always curious about aeronautics, Orville and Wilbur followed the latest flying news. When the famousGerman aviator Otto Lilienthal, whose research they had studied, died in a glider crash, the Wrightbrothers were convinced that with better designs, human flight was possible. The brothers took theirwork to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where heavy winds were more conducive to flying.Orville and Wilbur started experimenting with wings. They observed that birds angled their wings tobalance and control their bodies during flight. Utilizing their concept of "wing warping" and themoveable rudder, the brothers developed a design that had eluded all those who came before them.On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers succeeded in flying the first free, controlled flight of apower-driven, heavier than air plane. Of four flights they made that day, the longest was 59 seconds,and reached a height of 852 feet.FameNews of the Wrights’ feat was met with early skepticism. After funding a number of failed flyingexperiments, the United States government was reluctant to back their work. When Wilbur set sail forEurope, Orville headed to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate their flying machine in the hope of winninggovernment and army contracts. In July 1909, Orville completed the demonstration flights for the U.S.Army, who had demanded a passenger seat be built in the plane. The Wright brothers sold the plane for$30,000.Their extraordinary success led to contracts in Europe and the United States, and the Wright brothersbecame wealthy business owners. They started building a grand family home in Dayton, where theyspent much of their childhood.On May 25, 1910, Orville flew for six minutes-with Wilbur as his passenger. It was the first and only flightthe brothers would make together. The same day, Orville took his 82-year-old father out, for the firstand only flight of his life.In 1912 Wilbur died of typhoid fever. Without his brother and business partner, Orville had to take onthe presidency of the Wright company. Unlike his brother, though, he cared little for the business side oftheir work, and sold the company in 1915.Later Life and DeathOrville spent the last three decades of his life serving on boards and committees related to aeronautics,including the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, predecessor to NASA. He cut offcommunication with his sister, Katherine, when she married in 1926. Neither Orville nor Wilbur evermarried, and he was greatly upset by his sister’s choice. In 1929 he had to be persuaded to visitKatharine at her deathbed.
On January 30, 1948, Orville died after a second heart attack. He is buried at the Wright family plot inDayton, Ohio.
Albert EinsteinBorn: March 14, 1879, UlmDied: April 18, 1955, PrincetonBorn in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany in 1879, Albert Einsteindeveloped the special and general theories of relativity. In 1921, hewon the Nobel Prize for physics for his explanation of thephotoelectric effect. Einstein is generally considered the mostinfluential physicist of the 20th century. He died on April 18, 1955, inPrinceton, New Jersey.Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and themost influential physicist of the 20th century. While best known forhis mass–energy Equivalence formula E = mc2(which has been dubbed"the worlds most famous equation")Early LifeBorn on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany, Albert Einstein grew up in a secular, middle-class Jewish family. His father, Hermann Einstein, was a salesman and engineer who, with his brother,founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company that manufactured electrical equipmentin Munich, Germany. His mother, the former Pauline Koch, ran the family household. Einstein had onesister, Maja, born two years after him.Einstein attended elementary school at the Luitpold Gymnasium in Munich, where he excelled in hisstudies. He enjoyed classical music and played the violin. However, he felt alienated and struggled withthe rigid Prussian education he received there. He also experienced a speech difficulty, a slow cadencein his speaking where he’d pause to consider what to say next. In later years, Einstein would write abouttwo events that had a marked effect on his childhood. One was an encounter with a compass at age five,where he marveled at the invisible forces that turned the needle. The other was at age 12, when hediscovered a book of geometry which he read over and over.In 1889, the Einstein family invited a poor medical Polish medical student, Max Talmud to come to theirhouse for Thursday evening meals. Talmud became an informal tutor to young Albert, introducing himto higher mathematics and philosophy. One of the books Talmud shared with Albert was a children’sscience book in which the author imagined riding alongside electricity that was traveling inside atelegraph wire. Einstein began to wonder what a light beam would look like if you could run alongside itat the same speed. If light were a wave, then the light beam should appear stationary, like a frozenwave. Yet, in reality, the light beam is moving. This paradox led him to write his first "scientific paper" atage 16, "The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields." This question of the relative speed
to the stationary observer and the observer moving with the light was a question that would dominatehis thinking for the next 10 years.In 1894, Hermann Einstein’s company failed to get an important contract to electrify the city of Munichand he was forced to move his family to Milan, Italy. Albert was left at a boarding house in Munich tofinish his education at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Alone, miserable, and repelled by the looming prospectof military duty when he turned of age, Albert withdrew from school using a doctor’s note to excuse himand made his way to Milan to join his parents. His parents sympathized with his feelings, but wereconcerned about the enormous problems that he would face as a school dropout and draft dodger withno employable skills.Fortunately, Einstein was able to apply directly to the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (SwissFederal Polytechnic School) in Zürich, Switzerland. Lacking the equivalent of a high school diploma, hefailed much of the entrance exam but got exceptional marks in mathematics and physics. Because ofthis, he was admitted to the school provided he complete his formal schooling first. He went to a specialhigh school run by Jost Winteler in Aarau, Switzerland, and graduated in 1896 at age 17. He becamelifelong friends with the Winteler family, with whom he had been boarding, and fell in love withWintelers daughter, Marie. At this time, Einstein renounced his German citizenship to avoid militaryservice and enrolled at the Zurich school.Marriage and FamilyEinstein would recall that his years in Zurich were some of the happiest of his life. He met many studentswho would become loyal friends, such as Marcel Grossmann, a mathematician, and Michele Besso, withwhom he enjoyed lengthy conversations about space and time. He also met his future wife, MilevaMaric, a fellow physics student from Serbia.After graduating from the Polytechnic Institute, Albert Einstein faced a series of life crises over the nextfew years. Because he liked to study on his own, he cut classes and earned the animosity of some of hisprofessors. One in particular, Heinrich Weber, wrote a letter of recommendation at Einstein’s requestthat led to him being turned down for every academic position that he applied to after graduation.Meanwhile, Einsteins relationship with Maric deepened, but his parents vehemently opposed therelationship citing her Serbian background and Eastern Orthodox Christian religion. Einstein defied hisparents and continued to see Maric. In January, 1902, the couple had a daughter, Lieserl, who eitherdied of sickness or was given up for adoption—the facts are unkown.At this point, Albert Einstein probably reached the lowest point in his life. He could not marry Maric andsupport a family without a job, and his fathers business had gone bankrupt. Desperate andunemployed, Einstein took lowly jobs tutoring children, but he was unable to hold on to any of them. Aturning point came later in 1902, when the father of his lifelong friend, Marcel Grossman, recommendedhim for a position as a clerk in the Swiss patent office in Bern, Switzerland. About this time, Einstein’sfather became seriously ill and just before he died, gave his blessing for him to marry. With a small but
steady income, Einstein married Maric on Jan. 6, 1903. In May, 1904 they had their first son, HansAlbert. Their second son, Eduard, were born in 1910.Miracle YearAt the patent office, Albert Einstein evaluated patent applications for electromagnetic devices. Hequickly mastered the job, leaving him time to ponder on the transmission of electrical signals andelectrical-mechanical synchronization, an interest he had been cultivating for several years. While at thepolytechnic school he had studied Scottish physicist James Maxwells electromagnetic theories whichdescribe the nature of light, and discovered a fact unknown to Maxwell himself, that the speed of lightremained constant. However, this violated Isaac Newtons laws of motion because there is no absolutevelocity in Newtons theory. This insight led Einstein to formulate the principle of relativity.In 1905—often called Einsteins "miracle year"—he submitted a paper for his doctorate and had fourpapers published in the Annalen der Physik, one of the best known physics journals. The four papers—the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of matter andenergy—would alter the course of modern physics and bring him to the attention of the academicworld.In his paper on matter and energy, Einstein deduced the well-known equation E=mc2, suggesting thattiny particles of matter could be converted into huge amounts of energy, foreshadowing thedevelopment of nuclear power. There have been claims that Einstein and his wife, Maric, collaboratedon his celebrated 1905 papers, but historians of physics who have studied the issue find no evidencethat she made any substantive contributions. In fact, in the papers, Einstein only credits hisconversations with Michele Besso in developing relativity.At first Einsteins 1905 papers were ignored by the physics community. This began to change when hereceived the attention of Max Planck, perhaps the most influential physicist of his generation andfounder of quantum theory. With Planck’s complimentary comments and his experiments thatconfirmed his theories, Einstein was invited to lecture at international meetings and he rose rapidly inthe academic world. He was offered a series of positions at increasingly prestigious institutions,including the University of Zürich, the University of Prague, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,and finally the University of Berlin, where he served as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute forPhysics from 1913 to 1933.As his fame spread, Einsteins marriage fell apart. His constant travel and intense study of his work, thearguments about their children and the family’s meager finances led Einstein to the conclusion that hismarriage was over. Einstein began an affair with a cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, whom he later married. Hefinally divorced Mileva in 1919 and as a settlement agreed to give her the money he might receive if heever won a Nobel Prize.
Theory of RelativityIn November, 1915, Einstein completed the general theory of relativity, which he considered hismasterpiece. He was convinced that general relativity was correct because of its mathematical beautyand because it accurately predicted the perihelion of Mercurys orbit around the sun, which fell short inNewton’s theory. General relativity theory also predicted a measurable deflection of light around thesun when a planet or another sun oribited near the sun. That prediction was confirmed in observationsby British astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington during the solar eclipse of 1919. In 1921, Albert Einsteinreceived word that he had received the Nobel Prize for Physics. Because relativity was still consideredcontroversial, Einstein received the award for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.In the 1920s, Einstein launched the new science of cosmology. His equations predicted that the universeis dynamic, ever expanding or contracting. This contradicted the prevailing view that the universe wasstatic, a view that Einstein held earlier and was a guiding factor in his development of the general theoryof relativity. But his later calculations in the general theory indicated that the universe could beexpanding or contracting. In 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble found that the universe was indeedexpanding, thereby confirming Einsteins work.In 1930, during a visit to the Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles, Einstein met with Hubble anddeclared the cosmological constant, his original theory of the static size and shape of the universe, to behis "greatest blunder."While Einstein was touring much of the world speaking on his theories in the 1920s, the Nazis wererising to power under the leadership of Adolph Hitler. Einstein’s theories on relativity became aconvenient target for Nazi propaganda. In 1931, the Nazi’s enlisted other physicists to denounce Einsteinand his theories as "Jewish physics." At this time, Einstein learned that the new German government,now in full control by the Nazi party, had passed a law barring Jews from holding any official position,including teaching at universities. Einstein also learned that his name was on a list of assassinationtargets, and a Nazi organization published a magazine with Einsteins picture and the caption "Not YetHanged" on the cover.Move to the United StatesIn December, 1932, Einstein decided to leave Germany forever. He took a position a the newly formedInstitute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, which soon became a Mecca for physicists fromaround the world. It was here that he would spend the rest of his career trying to develop a unified fieldtheory—an all-embracing theory that would unify the forces of the universe, and thereby the laws ofphysics, into one framework—and refute the accepted interpretation of quantum physics. OtherEuropean scientists also fled various countries threatened by Nazi takeover and came to the UnitedStates. Some of these scientists knew of Nazi plans to develop an atomic weapon. For a time, theirwarnings to Washington, D.C. went unheeded.
In the summer of 1939, Einstein, along with another scientist, Leo Szilard, was persuaded to write aletter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to alert him of the possibility of a Nazi bomb. PresidentRoosevelt could not risk the possibility that Germany might develop an atomic bomb first. The letter isbelieved to be the key factor that motivated the United States to investigate the development of nuclearweapons. Roosevelt invited Einstein to meet with him and soon after the United States initiated theManhattan Project.Not long after he began his career at the Institute in New Jersey, Albert Einstein expressed anappreciation for the "meritocracy" of the United States and the right people had to think what theypleased—something he didn’t enjoy as a young man in Europe. In 1935, Albert Einstein was grantedpermanent residency in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940. As the ManhattanProject moved from drawing board to testing and development at Los Alamos, New Mexico, many of hiscolleagues were asked to develop the first atomic bomb, but Eisenstein was not one of them. Accordingto several researchers who examined FBI files over the years, the reason was the U.S. government didnttrust Einsteins lifelong association with peace and socialist organizations.FBI director J. Edgar Hoover went so far as to recommend that Einstein be kept out of America by theAlien Exclusion Act, but he was overruled by the U.S. State Department. Instead, during the war, Einsteinhelped the U.S. Navy evaluate designs for future weapons systems and contributed to the war effort byauctioning off priceless personal manuscripts. One example was a handwritten copy of his 1905 paperon special relativity which sold for $6.5 million, and is now located in the Library of Congress.On August 6, 1945, while on vacation, Einstein heard the news that an atomic bomb had been droppedon Hiroshima, Japan. He soon became involved in an international effort to try to bring the atomic bombunder control, and in 1946, he formed the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists with physicist LeoSzilard. In 1947, in an article that he wrote for The Atlantic Monthly, Einstein argued that the UnitedStates should not try to monopolize the atomic bomb, but instead should supply the United Nationswith nuclear weapons for the sole purpose of maintaining a deterrent. At this time, Einstein also becamea member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He corresponded withcivil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois and actively campaigned for the rights of African Americans.After the war, Einstein continued to work on many key aspects of the theory of general relativity, suchas wormholes, the possibility of time travel, the existence of black holes, and the creation of theuniverse. However, he became increasingly isolated from the rest of the physics community. With thehuge developments in unraveling the secrets of atoms and molecules, spurred on by the developmentto the atomic bomb, the majority of scientists were working on the quantum theory, not relativity.Another reason for Einsteins detachment from his colleagues was his obsession with discovering hisunified field theory. In the 1930s, Einstein engaged in a series of historic private debates with Niels Bohr,the originator of the Bohr atomic model. In a series of "thought experiments," Einstein tried to findlogical inconsistencies in the quantum theory, but was unsuccessful. However, in his later years, hestopped opposing quantum theory and tried to incorporate it, along with light and gravity, into thelarger unified field theory he was developing.
In the last decade of his life, Einstein withdrew from public life, rarely traveling far and confining himselfto long walks around Princeton with close associates, whom he engaged in deep conversations aboutpolitics, religion, physics and his unified field theory.In 1926, Einstein and his former student Leó Szilárd co-invented (and in 1930, patented) the Einsteinrefrigerator.Einsteinium is a synthetic element with the symbol Es and atomic number 99 and it is named afterEinstein.Final YearsOn April 17, 1955, while working on a speech he was preparing to commemorate Israels 17thanniversary, Einstein suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm and experienced internal bleeding.He was taken to the University Medical Center at Princeton for treatment, but refused surgery, believingthat he had lived his life and was content to accept his fate. Einstein died at the university medicalcenter early the next morning—April 18, 1955—at the age of 76.During the autopsy, Thomas Stoltz Harvey removed Einsteins brain, seemingly without the permissionof his family, for preservation and future study by doctors of neuroscience. His remains were crematedand his ashes were scattered in an undisclosed location. After decades of study, Einsteins brain is nowlocated at the Princeton University Medical Center."The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,but because of the people who dont do anything about it."– Albert Einstein