The first four decades of the 20th century were glorious years for science, especially physics. Our view of the physical world changed forever with the emergence of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s formulation of the theory of relativity. India too contributed significantly to this scientific revolution with the discoveries made by S N Bose, C V Raman and M N Saha, all in the space of about a decade. Kariamanikkam Srinivasa Krishnan (1898- 1961) belonged to the same illustrious group. He was perhaps the only Indian physicist of his generation who was equally adept in theory and experiment. Besides a life of excellence in science, Krishnan’s destiny led him to be an able science policy maker and administrator. He was also a great teacher, a humanist and a scholar of Sanskrit, Tamil literature and philosophy.
This biography, besides being a detailed and meticulously documented account of Krishnan’s life and his scientific work, is also an exciting account of the history of Indian science of the period. The source material of this work, most of which are being used for the first time, comes from the private papers of K S Krishnan that had remained in the custody of his family.
D C V Mallik, formerly professor of astronomy at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, has an abiding interest in the history of science. This biography is the result of several years of his research on the life and times of Dr Krishnan. His professional research has been mainly in the area of interstellar matter and astrophysics of nebulae.
Sabyasachi Chatterjee joined the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in 1985 and has been pursuing scientific problems in condensed matter physics, astrophysics and optics. He has a very keen interest in the popularisation of science and science teaching and has been actively involved in furthering this cause for the past thirty years.
Acknowledgement Prologue 1. Background 2. Childhood and Schooling 3. College Years 4. Science Education and Its Beginnings in Calcutta 5. Calcutta 6. Scattering of Light 7. Discovery of the Raman Effect 8. Dacca 9. Bonds of Magnetism I: The Dacca Phase 10. Winds of Change 11. Bonds of Magnetism II: The Calcutta Phase 12. Graphite and Its anomalous Diamagnetism 13. Honours and Offers 14. The Physics Chair at Allahabad 15. Rejuvenating Physics in Allahabad
16. The Widening Vista
17. Krishnan in Delhi 18. NPL: The Initial Years 19. Oscillating Lattices, Emitting Surfaces, Heated Tubes 20. The Broader Stage
21. Into the Twilight
Appendix: 1. Raman Scattering 2. Diamagnetic and Paramagnetic Susceptibilities 3. Formulae for Electrical Resistivity of Metals Primary Sources Bibliography Index