National Science Day: Commemorating CV Raman’s Unsung Student Sukumar Chandra Sirkar
New Delhi: National Science Day is celebrated on February 28 every year to remember Nobel laureate Sir C V Raman’s contribution to the field of science. All educational institutions and science organisations celebrate this day to commemorate the discovery of Raman Effect by Sir C V Raman on this day in 1928.
The discovery of Ramana effect had won him the Nobel prize in physics later. Not many were aware of Raman’s research associates and students who were witness to the historic discovery and Sukumar Chandra Sirkar (1898- 1983) is one such unsung student of C V Raman.
Only two of his associates – K S Krishnan and S C Sirkar – were involved in the work on the Raman Effect, which involves scattering of light.
In his private diaries, K S Krishnan had recorded details of the Raman’s work relating to the discovery of Raman effect covering the period from February 5 to 28, 1928. Details of these diaries were published only after his death. Then, years later a new book on the life and science of S C Sirkar, written by Rajinder Singh, another leading historian of science, brought to light the contribution of Sirkar to the work on Raman Effect.
According to the new book, Sirkar was the first person whom C V Raman asked to evaluate the first ever ‘Raman spectrum’ of benzene.
This year the National Science Day will be celebrated as the International Year of the Periodic Table of chemical elements and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope will host a two-day exhibition on Thursday at Khodad in Narayangaon, aroun 80 km from Pune.
The GMRT has been organising this exhibition for the past 19 years. It is the world’s largest telescope set up by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA).