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Homi Bhabha and his Contributions

the birth anniversary of Homi J. Bhabha was celebrated. Homi Bhabha and his Contributions..............

Recently, the birth anniversary of Homi J. Bhabha was celebrated.

Early Life

Homi Bhabha was born on October 30, 1909, in Bombay. His parents were Jehangir and Meherbai Bhabha.

Jehangir Bhabha, his father, was brought up in Bangalore, and he studied law at Oxford.

Once he received his training as a lawyer, he started working in Mysore. It was at Mysore that he joined the judicial service of the state.

He married Meherbai, the daughter of Bhikaji Framji Panday and the granddaughter of the well-known philanthropist Dinshaw Petit of Bombay. Once married, the couple shifted to Bombay, the first commercial city under British rule. This is where Homi Bhabha was born and spent the better part of his childhood.

Over the years, Homi Bhabha attended the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay, where he later realised that he had discovered his passion for science; Elphinstone College, Bombay; Royal Institute of Science, Bombay; and Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, England.

Bhabha soon enrolled for Mechanical Tripos in Cambridge since his father and uncle, Sir Dorab, wanted him to become an engineer and join Tata Industries. However, Bhabha soon discovered his love for theoretical physics and mathematics.


In 1933, he secured a doctorate in nuclear physics. His paper for his doctoral thesis was titled ‘The Absorption of Cosmic radiation’. This won him the Newton Studentship which he held for three years. He completed his thesis under Ralph Fowler. Apart from working at Cambridge, he also spent time working in Copenhagen with Nobel laureate Niels Bohr.

The paper published by him in 1935 on electron-positron scattering was greatly appreciated by the scientific community, and later, the scientific community renamed this phenomenon as Bhabha scattering.

In 1939, he returned to India and then assumed the position of Reader in the Physics Department at the Indian Institute of Science, which was then headed by eminent scientist and Nobel laureate C V Raman.

At the IISC, he established the Cosmic Ray Research Unit. He also played a big role in the establishment of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai.

Bhabha convinced the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to start a nuclear programme.

He started research on nuclear weapons in 1944. He set up the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1945 and also the Atomic Energy Commission in 1948. He was the first chairman of the Commission.

Bhabha represented India in IAEA and in 1955, was also the President of the United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva.

He was an aggressive promoter of nuclear weapons for the country’s Defence.

Bhabha was instrumental in devising the strategy behind the country’s nuclear programme. He pioneered the use of thorium to extract uranium from it rather than relying on the meagre reserves of uranium in India. He formulated India’s three-stage nuclear power programme.

Homi Bhabha died in a plane crash near Mont Blanc in the Swiss Alps while on his way to Vienna for a meeting on 24 January 1966. He was 56 years old.

This eminent physicist has been honored by naming several institutes after him, such as the Homi Bhabha National Institute, the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). BARC (formerly known as the Atomic Energy Establishment) is India’s leading nuclear research facility located in Bombay.

Read also:- Concept Of Demography

Homi Bhabha and his Contributions, Homi Bhabha and his Contributions

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