Deserving Indian Scientists Who Did Not Win Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize can be as controversial as it is prestigious

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Yes, lately, there have been many Indian-American Nobel Laureates. But there is, so far, only one, let's say, "wholly Indian" Nobel Prize winner in science. He is C.V. Raman who won it for physics in 1930. In this post, let's take a look at deserving candidates who did not win the most coveted prize.

Satyendra Nath Bose

Bose was a brilliant physicist who collaborated with Albert Einstein to work out what is now called the Bose-Einstein statistics. Several Nobel Prizes were awarded related to the field initiated by him but Bose himself never won the top honors.

He was nominated five times but the Nobel committee did not find his work worthy of the Prize. Paul Dirac, English Physicist, coined (and popularized) the term Boson in Bose's honor (particles that obey Bose Einstein statistics).

So, when asked about his Nobel Prize snub, Bose replied: "I have got all the recognition I deserve." Surely, his name will live on forever in the scientific world, thanks to Dirac.

Meghnad Saha

He was an Indian astrophysicist who made fundamental contributions to astronomy. His work (Ionization equation) allowed astronomers to accurately relate the spectrum of stars to their actual temperatures.


Saha was nominated for the Prize several times especially for the work done in astronomy. But at that time astronomy was not considered a branch of physics. Edwin Hubble tried to change that during his lifetime but to no avail.

Homi Bhabha

He was a nuclear physicist who is regarded as the father of Indian nuclear programme. Bhabha figured out the interaction of cosmic rays with the upper atmosphere to produce particles observed at the ground level.

He later concluded that observation of such particles was a straightforward experimental verification of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. Bhabha was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1951 and 1953-1956 but never won.

G.N. Ramachandran

He was an Indian physicist who is known for the creation of Ramachandran plot for understanding the peptide structure. He completed his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Nobel laureate Sir C.V. Raman.

He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for his fundamental contributions in the understanding of protein structure and functioning. Top scientists including Linus Pauling and Francis Crick regarded Ramchandran's work Nobel worthy.

E.C. George Sudarshan

In 2005, a controversy broke out when Roy Glauber won the Nobel Prize for Glauber–Sudarshan representation in quantum optics while Sudarshan was ignored by the committee. In 2007, Sudarshan told the Hindustan Times, "The 2005 Nobel prize for Physics was awarded for my work, but I wasn't the one to get it."

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