Every time we hear about the dropping of atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, it sends chills down the spine! The first thing that comes to our mind thinking about the disaster that occurred in Japan is the atomic bombs! The thought of bloodshed, destruction, chaos, misery and the pain people over there went through has created a state of fear in the minds of people. Most of the people think atomic energy to be something which is used for destruction purpose only! But the discovery of atomic energy was made for a good cause, so that it can be used in a peaceful way and not to cause destruction to mankind!
HomiJehangirBhabha, a distinguished personality played a key role in the development of India in the field of atomic and nuclear energy. He gave a new sense of direction to electronics in India. A Parsi couple JehangirHormajiBhabha and MeherbaiFramjiPanday of Bombay was blessed when Bhabha was born to them on 30th October, 1909. His primary education was done in Bombay’s Cathedral and John Cannon School and he finished his degree from Elphinstone College and the Royal Institute of Science in Bombay.
Bhabha’s father wanted him to be a very successful engineer but his interest was in learning Physics. His father was very supporting and so Bhabha was allowed to get a doctorate in Physics but he had to finish his mechanical engineering as well! Bhabha went to Caius College of Engineering and after becoming an engineer, joined University of Cambridge in 1934.
During his doctorate study, Bhabha researched on cosmic rays and quantum physics. He found the phenomenon of Bhabha scattering which dealt with electrons and positrons. His friendship with various phsicists like Niels Bohr and W.B. Lewis during the course of study had helped him a lot in setting up his career. After returning back to India with his already started career in nuclear physics, Bhabha joined Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore as a Reader under C. V. Raman. He worked as a director in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay.
Bhabha was a brilliant and a skilled person with a great sense of vision. After working for a while, he felt the need of nuclear energy in India. He believed that atomic energy could be used in various ways and it would serve as an alternate source of generating power. Thus, taking the advantage of his good relations with the Prime minister of India, an unwritten understanding between Jawaharlal Nehru and Bhabha was done and Indian Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) was set up in 1948 with Bhabha being the first chairperson of IAEC. In 1956, the first atomic reactant was operated in Bombay under his guidance.
Bhabha represented India in International Atomic Energy Forums and United Nations Conference in 1956 in Geneva. Homi J. Bhabha didn’t wanted nuclear energy to be used in a destructive way. So he talked about the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The manufacturing of atomic bombs was not supported by him and he promoted the use of atomic reactors for the removal of poverty and misery of people.
The achievements of HomiJehangirBhabha are noteworthy. He is a remarkable person and he achieved various honours and rewards for his discovery. His contributions in science and engineering were worth receiving the Padma Bhushan award in 1954. He was honoured with various other international awards and recognitions.
But, the world was not lucky enough to enjoy the presence of Bhabha for a long time. He died at a young age of 56 in a plane crash in Switzerland on 24th January, 1966. The discoveries made by this eminent personality gave a new level of achievement to science. Let us use atomic energy for the upliftment and development of the world rather than using it for destruction of mankind and thus respect the success of great scientist HomiJehangirBhabha!
Major Contributions and Achievements of Homi .J. Bhabha
- In 1935, HomiBhabha published a research paper in “Proceedings of the Royal Society, series A” while he was working along with Niels Bohr at the Cambridge. In this paper he gave the calculation for determining the electron-positron scattering.
- In 1936, he again published a paper “The Passage of fast electrons and theory of cosmic showers”. This paper explained how the primary cosmic rays from outer space interacted with upper atmosphere.
- In 1937, Bhabha was awarded Senior studentship which lead a path for him to continue his work in Cambridge. But unfortunately he was not able to continue with Cambridge for a longer time as he had been to India in 1939 when the world war II broke out.
- He then continued his research in India at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
- It was then Bhabha felt that India lacked laboratory facilities to conduct research in nuclear science.
- It was in 1945 that Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was established in Bombay. This institute has laboratory facilities for conducting research in the field of physics, chemistry, mathematics and electronics.
- HomiBhabha hailed as “Father Of Indian Nuclear Power Program” for his tremendous contribution in the field of Nuclear Physics in India.
- In 1954, HomiJehangirBhabha was awarded Padma Bhushan for his extremely invaluable contribution in the field of Science and Engineering.