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C. V.


One of the most prominent Indian scientists in history, C.V. Raman was the first Indian person to win
the Nobel Prize in science for his illustrious 1930 discovery, now commonly known as the Raman
Effect. It is immensely surprising that Raman used an equipment worth merely Rs.200 to make this
discovery. The Raman Effect is now examined with the help of equipment worth almost millions of
1. Albert Einstein

(Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) may have revolutionized scientific thought, but what made the public adore
him was his down-to-earth sense of humor. Known for making short quips, Einstein was the people's
scientist. Despite being one of the most brilliant men of the 20th century, Einstein appeared
approachable, partly because he always had uncombed hair, disheveled clothing, and a lack of socks.
During his entire life, Einstein worked diligently to understand the world around him and in so doing,
developed the Theory of Relativity, which opened the door for the creation of the atomic bomb.

1. Srinivasa Ramanujan

Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in a Brahmin family of Erode in 1887. He had no formal training in
mathematics, but he was a self-taught mathematical genius. He demonstrated extraordinary
mathematical skills during his school years and had won several accolades. He received scholarship
in Government College of Kumbakonam, but then lost it when he failed in non-mathematical course
work. He later joined another college to pursue his research. In 19121913, he sent some of his
sample works on theorems to three academics at the University of Cambridge. Godfrey Harold
Hardy recognized the brilliance of his work and invited him to visit and work with him at Cambridge.
He then went to England to work with J. E. Littlewood and G. H. Hardy. His substantial contributions
to the field of mathematics include his works on analytical theory of numbers, elliptic functions,
continued fractions and infinite series. After five years of mathematical research in England, he
returned back to India in 1919 due to his persistent illness. Soon he succumbed to his illness at just
the age of 32. In Tamil Nadu, his birthday on 22
December is celebrated as State IT Day.

2. Marie Curie

Picture courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Marie Curie (1867-1934) worked closely with her scientist husband, Pierre Curie (1859-1906), and together they discovered two
new elements: polonium and radium. Unfortunately, their work together was cut short when Pierre died suddenly in 1906. (Pierre
had been trampled by a horse and carriage while trying to cross a street.) After Pierre's death, Marie Curie continued to research
radioactivity (a term she coined) and her work eventually earned her a second Nobel Prize. Marie Curie was the first person to be
awarded two Nobel Prizes. Marie Curie's work led to the use of X-rays in medicine and laid the foundation for the new discipline
of atomic physics.

APJ Abdul Kalam

Apart from being a notable scientist and engineer, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
served as the 11th President of India from the period 2002 to 2007. He is a
man of vision, who is always full of ideas aimed at the development of the
country and is also often also referred to as the Missile Man of India.