Posts Tagged ‘Birbal Sahni’

Professor Ruchi Ram Sahni (1863-1948): A scientific biography

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on June 11th, 2013 by Rajesh Kochhar – Be the first to comment

Rajesh Kochhar
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali 140306, Punjab

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Physics News 2013, Vol.43, No. 1 (Jan.) pp.19-35

Professor Ruchi Ram Sahni (1863-1948) whose 150th birth anniversary falls this year was the first Indian officer in the India Meteorological Department (1885-1887) and the first Indian professor of science (physics and chemistry) in his alma mater the Government College Lahore where he served for 30 long years (1887-1918). He was India’s first nuclear scientist who spent  about a year during 1914-1915 as a guest researcher in Ernst Rutherford’s laboratory in Manchester where he had young Niels Bohr for scientific company. Ruchi Ram published two well regarded papers on radioactivity in 1915 and 1917 in the Philosophical Magazine.

Ruchi Ram was a friend of, and advisor to, the wealthy  philanthropist Dyal Singh Majithia (1848-1898), with the reformist
Bengal-born Brahmo Samaj serving as a unifying bond. When Dyal Singh College was established in Lahore in 1910, Ruchi Ram became its Trustee in accordance with the provisions of the benefactor’s will. His formal association with the nationalist newspaper The Tribune had to wait for his retirement from government service; he served on its Trust from 1918 till his death in 1948.


The early Indian Academy of Sciences: The Bhera connection

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on June 8th, 2013 by Rajesh Kochhar – 1 Comment

Rajesh Kochhar

Current Science 2013 Vol. 104 No. 11 (10 June) p. 1566

“It is remarkable that four of the fellows elected to the Indian  Aademy of Sciences, Bangalore in its year of establishment,
i.e. 1934, were connected with a small town Bhera now in the Sargodha district of Punjab in Pakistan. In three cases the reason is common. By virtue of being the ancestral place of Ruchi Ram  Sahni (1863–1948), Bhera became the birthplace of his two sons, the palaeobotanist Birbal Sahni (1891–1949) and the geologist Mulk Raj Sahni (1899–1983). It is however not fortuitous that the industrial chemist Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (1894–1955) was also born there. He is linked to the place and Lahore through the Brahmo Samaj. The connection in fact played an important role in Bhatnagar’s personal and professional  life.””

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