Back in 1930, Homi J Bhabha was a nuclear physicist scientist who had the foresight to bring about a revolution in the way Indians were using energy. He is the man who is given credit for designing and formulating strategies, for putting the nuclear reserves of the country to good use. We have for you today some lesser known facts about the Father of India’s Nuclear program:
1. Besides pondering over nuclear energy, Homi Bhabha had a vast interest in culture and arts.
Not many know that he was an avid painter and a connoisseur of opera and classical music.
2. In order to develop the Quantum theory, he had worked with Niels Bohr, a Noble Prize winner.
3. He is given full credit for identifying and naming the Meson Particle.
4. Homi Bhabha was the first Chairman of the conference organized by the United Nations on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, held in the year 1955.
5. Had it not been for him, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) would never have come into existence.
6. His vision was to use atomic energy to elevate the living standards of the common citizens of the country, by eradicating poverty.
He always stood for outlawing nuclear weapons from the world.
7. He was felicitated with the Padma Bhushan in 1954 and also with the Adams Prize in 1942.
8. In order to understand the Cascade Theory better, he had worked closely with Walter Heitler, a German physicist.
9. Homi Bhabha chose to stay a bachelor and dedicated his life to serving the country.
10. The man liked to work and live in style; he lived all his life at a sprawling bungalow in Malabar Hill called Mehrangir.
11. The bungalow was recently sold to Smita Crisna Godrej for Rs. 372 crore.
She has assured all his patrons that the bungalow will not be pulled down.
12. His death has always been a mystery.
The plane he was traveling by crashed in Switzerland on 24 January, 1966. Many believe that the US intelligence agency, CIA, had something to do with it.
13. Bhabha Scattering, the correct explanation for the scattering of electrons was devised by him.
14. His parents had actually wanted him to become a mechanical engineer, but his interest lay in physics only.
15. Nevertheless, he got a degree in mechanical engineering, from Cambridge University in first class, and then continued his interest.
16. It is only due to his guidance that Indian scientists could set up the first atomic reactor in Asia at Trombay in 1956.
17. His first job in India was that of a reader in the Physics Department, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, under the leadership of CV Raman.