Biography – Indian Scientists – Homi Bhabha

Born: October 30, 1909

Died: January 24, 1966

Homi Bhabha Homi Jehangir Bhabha was a renowned Indian atomic scientist who laid the foundation of a scientific establishment in independent India. He is also credited with establishment of premier institutions including Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. He served as the first chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission.

Homi Bhabha was born to a rich Parsi Family in Mumbai on October 30, 1909. He completed his graduation from Elphinstone College and the Royal Institute of Science. Later on, he went to Cambridge University and received his doctorate in 1934. He got the opportunity to work with Niels Bohr on the quantum theory. He also worked on the cascade theory of electron showers. He also worked intensely in the identification of the meson. Homi Bhabha set up the Cosmic Ray Research Unit at the IISC, Bangalore in 1939 under CV Raman. In 1945, he became the director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research which he had established with the assistance from J.R.D. Tata.

In 1948, Homi Bhabha established the Atomic Energy Commission of India for the development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. Subsequently the first atomic reactor began its operation at Trombay in 1956. He chaired the UN Conference held in Geneva on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in 1955. He advocated the international control of nuclear energy and utilizing the nuclear energy for alleviating poverty.

Homi Bhabha had received several honorary degrees during his lifetime from Indian and foreign universities. He was active member of many scientific societies, including the National Academy of Sciences of US. He had written many articles related to the field of quantum theory and cosmic rays. His major achievement includes the foundation of TIFR and BARC.