Science & Tech

CV Raman and National Science Day

  • Every year on February 28th, National Science Day is observed to commemorate Sir CV Raman’s bird anniversary.
  • To commemorate the announcement of the discovery of the “Raman Effect,” the Government of India designated February 28 as National Science Day in 1986, under then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • The Raman Effect was the discovery that earned Sir CV Raman the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.

CV Raman

  • Raman carried out his Nobel Prize-winning research at the IACS in Calcutta.
  • While he was educated entirely in India, Raman visited London for the first time in 1921, where physicists such as JJ Thomson and Lord Rutherford were aware of his reputation in the study of optics and acoustics.
  • In 1930, Sir CV Raman received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the Raman Effect.
  • The American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science jointly designated it as an International Historic Chemical Landmark (IACS).
  • His expertise was in the vibrations and sounds of stringed instruments like the Indian veena and tambura, as well as Indian percussion instruments like the tabla and mridangam.

The Raman Effect

  • In 1928, Raman discovered that when a stream of light passes through a liquid, a fraction of the light scattered by the liquid is of a different colour.
  • Raman began to consider the colour of the deep blue Mediterranean while returning from London on a 15-day voyage.
  • He wasn’t convinced by the explanation that the colour of the sea was blue because of sky reflection.
  • As the ship approached Bombay, he wrote a letter to the editor of the journal Nature, outlining his thoughts on the situation.
  • Raman was then able to demonstrate that the blue colour of the water was caused by the scattering of sunlight by water molecules.
  • He had become obsessed with the phenomenon of light scattering by this point.
  • By this time he was obsessed with the phenomenon of light scattering.

Observing the effect

  • The Raman Effect occurs when the change in energy of light is influenced by the vibrations of the molecule or material under study, resulting in a change in wavelength.
  • It is worth noting that the Raman effect is “very weak” — this is because when the object in question is small (less than a few nanometres), light passes through it unaffected.
  • However, light waves may interact with the particle a few times in a billion. This may also explain why it was not discovered previously.
  • Light can be reflected, refracted, or transmitted when it interacts with an object.
  • When light is scattered, scientists examine whether the particle with which it interacts has the ability to change its energy.

Real-world Applications

  • Raman spectroscopy is used in a wide range of applications, including non-destructive, microscopic, chemical analysis, and imaging.
  • Whether the goal is qualitative or quantitative data, Raman analysis can quickly and easily provide key information.
  • It can quickly determine the chemical composition and structure of a sample, whether solid, liquid, gas, gel, slurry, or powder.
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