Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Role of Richard Feynman's Father In Shaping His Life

richard feynman and his father on father's day

When Richard Feynman was asked in an interview whether anybody could become a physicist like him, he candidly replied: Of course. I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There are no miracle people.

While that may be true, it was Feynman's parents who played the most important roles in giving his life and character shape. While from his father Richard learned to challenge orthodox thinking; from his mother he gained a unique sense of humor.

Richard was born on May 11, 1918 in New York city to Lucille Phillips, a teacher turned homemaker and Melville Feynman, a military uniform salesman who was an immigrant from Minsk, then part of the Russian Empire.

Melville, who never himself had the opportunity to make a career in science, encouraged both his son and daughter Joan (nine years younger than Richard) to take up science. She went on to become a distinguished astrophysicist herself.

Feynman also became famous for his work on quantum electrodynamics which earned him the 1965 Nobel Prize. In an interview thereafter, he revealed: My father taught me very early the difference between knowing and understanding.

Feynman explained: When I was a small boy, my father used to sit me on his lap and read to me from encyclopedia Britannica, say about the dinosaurs.

That this thing was 25 feet tall and its head was 6 feet across and so on. 'But he would stop always', Feynman recalled. 'What does that even mean?'

richard feynman's father story how to learn tips

'Suppose the dinosaur stood in our front yard, then it would be high enough to put its head through the window - but not quite - because the head would be too wide and it would probably break the window apart.'

That is how Melville translated every numerical fact into pictures, into reality and Richard thus started to grow an unbound sense of imagination from an early age, thanks to his father.

Apart from that, Feynman's modesty was also a gift from his father. When questioned, if his work was worthy of a Nobel Prize, he said: I don’t like honors, honors is epaulettes, honors is uniforms. My papa brought me up this way. I can’t stand it, honors bother me.

For him, the true honor was in the observation that other people used his work and derived inspiration from it. Those are the real things, Richard added.

Melville died suddenly on October 8, 1946 around the same time when Arline, Feynman's first wife had passed away. Richard suffered from depression as a result and could not continue doing physics for some time. It was too deep a sorrow.

In the end, what did Feynman gain most from his father? One can say, his childlike curiosity that he maintained throughout his life. But more importantly the bond that they shared was more that of a loving teacher and a student. Feynman learned from his dad how to think, not what to think. His father was his first teacher and friend.

10 Nobel Prize Winning Families In Science

nobel prize winning father son couples in science

The Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award given for intellectual achievement in the world. While there have been several controversial snubs, few have also gone on to win multiple prizes. This, is a list of 10 famous Nobel laureate families of the world.

Curie family

You may already know that Marie Curie and Pierre Curie have jointly won the Nobel Prize in physics. Their daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie received the Prize in chemistry, sharing it with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

Marie Curie was awarded one more Prize for work done in chemistry thus taking their family total to five Nobel Prizes.

Niels and Aage Bohr

This father and son duo has won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1922 and 1975 respectively. Niels Bohr was awarded for his services in the investigation of atomic structure and Aage Bohr won for describing the structure of atomic nucleus.

Raman and beyond

In 1930, C.V. Raman became India's first Nobel laureate in physics. His nephew Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was awarded in 1983 for explaining the evolution of stars. In 2009, another Tamilian Venki Ramakrishnan won the Prize only this time in chemistry.

Thomson family

J.J. Thomson got the 1906 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of electron, the first subatomic particle to be found. His son, George Paget Thomson was recognized by the Nobel Committee in 1937 for showing that electron behaved like a wave.

Arthur and Roger Kornberg

Roger was only 12 years old when he saw his father Arthur Kornberg receive the most coveted Prize in 1959. Then, 47 years later, Roger won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for explaining how information is copied from DNA to RNA.

Euler family

Hans von Euler-Chelpin, distantly related to mathematician Leonhard Euler, was a biochemist who won the 1929 Nobel Prize in chemistry. His son Ulf von Euler was a physiologist who won the Prize in medicine for work done on neurotransmitters.

Manne and Kai Siegbahn

This father and son duo was an expert on spectroscopy. Manne Siegbahn won the Nobel Prize in physics for pioneering work done in x-ray spectroscopy. Whereas his son Kai Siegbahn won the same Prize for developing a new method of electron spectroscopy.

Bragg family

William and Lawrence Bragg were jointly awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of x-rays. Lawrence is thus far the youngest ever laureate in physics. The father-son duo also have a crystal named after them – Braggite.

May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser

The Curies are not the only couples that have won the Nobel Prize. In 2014, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser received the Prize in medicine for the discovery of grid cells. These are neurons which provide a coordinate system to the brain and thus help an animal navigate in space.

Carl Ferdinand and Gerty Cori

Another Nobel Prize winning couple: Gerti Corie was the third woman to win a Nobel Prize in science. The biochemist duo shared the 1947 Prize in medicine for their discovery of glycogen.

Maxwell, Great Physicist Who Died Too Soon

james clerk maxwell biography, facts

James Clerk Maxwell was a renowned Scottish mathematician who built upon the works of English scientist Michael Faraday and revolutionized physics in whatever little time he spent on Earth.

His most important contribution was the unification of electricity, magnetism and optics into one coherent body of knowledge. Maxwell's research paved the way for technologies like radio, television, mobile phones and infrared telescopes.

Einstein said of Maxwell: The special theory of relativity owes its origins to Maxwell's Equations of the electromagnetic field. Planck added: He achieved greatness unequalled.

Early genius

When Maxwell was 13 years old, he won the Mathematics Medal and the first prize in both English and poetry. Following is one of his short poems:

The world may be utterly crazy
And life may be labour in vain;
But I'd rather be silly than lazy,
And would not quit life for its pain.

He published his first scientific paper at 14. The paper was written on a series of oval curves that could be traced with pins and threads, showing his love for geometry.


When he was 24, Maxwell used to set up examination papers for Trinity College. A year later, he became a professor of natural philosophy at Aberdeen University aged 25. Maxwell was at least 15 years younger than his colleagues.

There he studied the nature of Saturn’s rings for almost two years and compiled his observations in a detailed essay, titled: The Stability of Saturn’s Rings.

When Voyager spacecrafts went to space in the 1980s, they confirmed many of the conclusions that Maxwell had made over a century before.


Maxwell joined King's College, London in 1860. Here he forayed into works published by Faraday and also met him on several occasions. Michael Faraday, who was 40 years older than Maxwell, became an admirer.

Maxwell examined the behavior of electric and magnetic fields in his 1861 paper: 'On physical lines of force'. In 1862, while giving a lecture, he calculated that the speed of propagation of an electromagnetic field is same as the speed of light.

Thus, he went on to conclude that light is itself an electromagnetic disturbance which propagates through the space according to electromagnetic laws.

Last years

Maxwell resigned in 1865 and returned to his home in Scotland. He also frequented to Cambridge where he was supervising the construction of Cavendish Laboratory.

In 1871, aged 40, he was elected the first Cavendish Professor of Physics. Here he wrote three popular books called Theory of HeatMatter and Motion and A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism.
His famous twenty equations, which in their modern form are four partial differential equations, known as Maxwell's equations, first appeared in 1873.

In 1879, Maxwell reported difficulty in swallowing food. It was found that he had abdominal cancer, to which he succumbed the same year, at the age of 48.


In 1884, five years after Maxwell's death, Heinrich Hertz, a German physicist successfully produced electromagnetic waves in a laboratory as predicted by Maxwell.

Physicists say that Maxwell achieved for light what Newton had achieved for gravity: Unification. It took Maxwell's genius to collect the laws from the scattered pile of experimental evidence then at hand.

American physicist Richard Feynman wrote: Maxwell's equations didn't just change the world. They opened up a new one. Feynman labeled it the 'most significant discovery' of the 19th century.

Today, world's largest single-dish telescope that operates in submillimeter wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum is called James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in his honor.

5 LGBTQ scientists who changed the world

5 LGBTQ scientists who changed the world

According to a study, 40% LGBTQ scientists remain closeted at work. While we don't think this post will drastically change the mindset but it will hopefully serve as a conversation starter. Here is a list of LGBTQ scientists who changed the world.

Alan Turing

He was a British mathematician who is well known as the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

His pivotal role in the second world war was documented in award winning movie The Imitation Game which starred Benedict Cumberbatch.

Turing was arrested by the police because of his homosexuality in 1952. He chose chemical castration over going to prison to focus on his work. However, he went into depression soon after.

Turing committed suicide in 1954 by eating an apple laced with Cyanide. It is said that the logo of Apple computers is a homage to Turing.

apple 1977 logo tribute to alan turing pride month

In 1999, Time magazine named Alan Turing as one of the 100 most important people of the twentieth century. Later on, an official apology by the British government was also made.

Isaac Newton

In 2005, schools across UK included lessons on modern as well as historical gay icons such as Freddie Mercury and Isaac Newton respectively.

was isaac newton gay pride month

While many biographers, including Richard Westfall in his 1000 page account of Newton, argue that Newton was homosexually inclined (focusing particularly on his close relationship with the Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier) others are not so keen.

Still, people find it rather odd that a figure as popular as Newton may have died a virgin.

When asked to answer on Newton's personal life, a Quora user jokingly commented: Newton was closeted of course, as men of his time had to be. But he gave a big hint by shining a rainbow for all to see.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Renaissance society did not have the idea of firm sexual orientation that prevails today and many men were in practice bisexual.

According to Walter Isaacson's biography, Leonardo Da Vinci lived life as an openly gay man and while that is the generally accepted position, some say that the artist and inventor was celibate.

The only written evidence, so far as his personal life is concerned, is a 1476 document in which Leonardo was charged with sodomy involving a well-known male prostitute.

Since that date, much has been speculated and written about his presumed homosexuality and especially its role in his art.

Francis Bacon

He is known as father of modern science thanks to his invention of an empirical method of doing science which is called the scientific method. Historical notes, such as letters exchanged between Bacon's mother and brother, have shown that he was primarily attracted to men.

Sally Ride

She was an American astronaut and physicist who became the first American woman to go to space. Ride was only 32 years old at the time of this achievement and remains the youngest American to have been to space.

She was in a private relationship with former Tennis player and science writer Tam O'Shaughnessy. They were together for 27 years until Ride's death due to pancreatic cancer.

Which Books Richard Feynman Studied From?

feynman richard books

We all know Richard Feynman as a Nobel Prize winner and a beloved teacher whose lectures on physics are enjoyed by millions of people. It would be interesting to know how Feynman became so imaginative and curious about the world. How did Feynman learn physics and mathematics? Let's find out in this post.

When asked in an interview, if anybody could become a physicist like him, Feynman candidly replied: "Of course. I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There are no miracle people. It just happens. They got interested in this thing and they learned all this stuff."

The young Richard Feynman was largely influenced by his father, Melville Feynman, who encouraged his son to ask questions and challenge orthodox thinking. Melville was a sales manager but he always wanted to become a scientist himself.

Feynman recalled: "The most important thing I found out from my father is that if you asked any question and pursued it deeply enough, then at the end there was a glorious discovery of a general and beautiful kind."

Feynman also learned from his father the difference between knowing and understanding. For instance, you can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird.

Feynman goes on to comment: "I don't know what is the matter with people: they don't learn by understanding; they learn by some other way – by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile."

When Feynman found a subject which interested him, he was not the kind to wait for the right teacher to come along; Feynman was determined to master the topic by himself. This is how he practiced early on the art of teaching.

For example, Feynman self-studied calculus at the age of 14 by reading Calculus for the practical man. This and other books written by James Edgar Thompson, such as Algebra for the practical man intrigued him.

Richard Feynman's notes calculus
Table of contents. Picture credit: Melinda Baldwin

Feynman's notes were quite extensive, less wordy and more visual in nature. This habit of taking notes helped in revision. Feynman would use drawings to simplify a difficult concept, which helped him win a Nobel prize later on.

While Julian Schwinger's formulation of quantum electrodynamics was mathematically superior and far more complex to work with; Feynman's drawing approach, on the other hand, broke the whole thing down into simpler diagrams.

Feynman studied really very hard in his Caltech years too. Before giving a lecture, he would prepare late into the night. Feynman's strategy was: To study in the most undisciplined, irreverent, and original manner possible.

In other words, Feynman's ability to consume knowledge was phenomenal. He would teach it to himself and in the process discover tricks and tips to succeed in maths and physics. Thus, in short, his two secrets to success in academics: Self-learning and teaching.

Feynman was a life-long learner and no matter how long it would take him to learn on his own, he would never give up or lose hope and stayed focused till the problem at hand was resolved.

Einstein's letter sold for $1.2 million at auction

Einstein's handwritten letter with E=mc² fetches 1.2 million at auction

Set up at a base price of $400,000, the letter containing Einstein's most well known formula has sold for $1.2 million at an auction conducted by RR Auction.

The letter is said to be one of the three written records of Einstein's famous equation. It was sent to Polish-American physicist Ludwik Silberstein in 1946.

In this equation, energy is equal to mass, multiplied by the square of the velocity of light. It shows that very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa.

For example: In an atomic bomb, uranium is transformed into krypton and barium. Their combined mass is slightly less than the mass of the original uranium. Though the difference is small, by virtue of speed of light, the energy which is released is enormous.

During the Second World War, Einstein feared that Germans might develop an atomic weapon based upon his groundbreaking discovery.

So, despite being a long-time pacifist, Einstein wrote a letter to Franklin Roosevelt, the then President of the United States, to urge him to develop the atomic bomb before the Germans.

Thus, today, the equation is dear to not only physicists but also to history lovers. Auction of the letter began on 13 May and its rarity set off a bidding war among five parties.

Sold for more than $1.2 million, the letter has garnered about three times more money than it was expected to get.

Who discovered that we are made from star stuff?

Hans Bethe Starstuff contemplating the stars Carl Sagan

Astronomer Carl Sagan popularized the phrase "We are made of star stuff" when he said: Nitrogen in our DNA, calcium in our teeth, iron in our blood and carbon in our food; were made in the interiors of collapsing stars.

However, most people wouldn't know the name of that scientist who actually found it out. It was German American physicist Hans Bethe (1906-2005) who wrote it in a paper titled "Energy Production in Stars" as early as in 1939.

In 1930s, at the time when European scientists were debating quantum mechanics, Bethe migrated to United States and contemplated the stars. He thus became the first person to figure out that conversion of hydrogen into helium was the primary source of energy in a star.

The process is called nuclear fusion in which many nuclei combine together to make a larger one. It so happens that the resultant nucleus is smaller in mass than the sum of the ones that made it. So, by virtue of Einstein's equation E=mc², the mass is converted to energy.

When a star would eventually run out of hydrogen (its primary fuel) it would start converting helium into carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and so on, in order to keep itself hot.

However, those reactions themselves will halt at some point and the star would no longer be able to support itself against its own gravity and it will die in an explosion.

Therefore, it was proposed that most of the material that we're made from, came out of the dead stars which spewed out those chemical elements into the universe for further use. Hence, we are made of star stuff.

Bethe's groundbreaking paper not only helped in understanding the inner workings of the stars but also solved the age-old questions like: 'How do stars shine?' 'Where did the chemical elements come from?'

He won the 1967 Nobel Prize in physics for this theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. Bethe would continue to do research on supernovae, neutron stars, black holes and other problems of astrophysics well into his late nineties.

Carl Sagan Hans Bethe Cornell Astrophysics
Carl Sagan and Hans Bethe share the stage at Cornell

Now, Carl Sagan, who was earlier at Harvard University, joined Cornell in 1976 and became immediate colleagues with Hans Bethe who had been at Cornell since coming to America in 1935. While Bethe was a professor of physics, Sagan was a professor of Astronomy.

It was unfortunate that the general public still did not know about stellar nucleosynthesis despite Bethe discovering it some 40 years ago and winning the highest prize for it a decade ago. Carl Sagan changed this.

Their common interests in science and politics brought them even closer. Bethe was also a fan of Sagan's 1980 show Cosmos: A personal voyage. In one of the episodes, when Sagan said "We are made of star stuff", he immortalized Bethe's work in television history.

7 Lessons To Learn From Richard Feynman

7 life lessons richard feynman motivational

Richard Feynman (1918–1988) was a Nobel Prize winning American physicist whose life was a combination of his intellect, uncertainty and a childlike curiosity.

Although he was a late talker and did not speak until after his third birthday, we know Feynman best as the chatty one.

His life is a story of constant growth: First, as a student, then as an eminent physicist and ultimately as a beloved teacher. Following are seven motivating lessons from Feynman's life.

1. Pursue a hobby

Feynman has said: "Fall in love with some activity and do it. Because, nobody ever figures out what life is all about and it doesn't matter." Feynman used to draw on canvas in spare time. He also learned Portuguese just so he could impress his colleagues in Brazil.

2. Explore the world

Everyone wants to win but no one wants to play the game. That's what Feynman meant when he said: "Everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough." Try new things and work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best.

3. Carve your own path

The essence of Feynman's autobiography is: "Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do." Don't care about what others think. However, keep up some kind of a minimum, such as a degree, so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all.

4. Keep learning

Feynman has said: "It is important to admit when you do not know." There is no shame in not knowing. The only shame is when you pretend that you know everything. So, read as many books as you can. Be as practical as you need to be.

5. You only live once

Feynman was the first to profess this popular life mantra when he said: "Of course, you only live one life. So, make all your mistakes now, and learn what not to do." Thus, life is a process of constantly growing up.

6. Blind belief is dangerous

Feynman mentions in his autobiography: "Have no respect whatsoever for authority; forget who said it and instead ask yourself, Is it reasonable?" In other words, do not blindly believe anyone and make up your own mind about the world.

7. Enjoy the process

Feynman did not become a scientist for honors or recognition. He said: "My interest in science is to simply find out more about the world." So, no matter what you choose to become in life, do it because you love it deeply.

Engineer Who Won The Nobel Prize Twice In Physics

john bardeen twice nobel prize winner physics superconductivity transistor

Winning the Nobel Prize once is no easy feat let alone winning it twice! The first ever person to do win the Nobel Prize twice was celebrated chemist and physicist Marie Curie as many of you might already know.

Similarly, John Bardeen has won the prestigious prize for physics not once but twice! If you ever watched The Big Bang Theory, a show in which engineering as a field is consistently made fun of, it might come off as surprising that Bardeen was an engineer by education and profession.

John Bardeen (1908-1991) completed his bachelor and master degrees in electrical engineering in 1928 and 1929 respectively. He was then employed by Gulf Oil Corporation where he worked for four years.

However, his love for physics was intact and urged him to go back to school. Therefore, he enrolled at Princeton University to study physics and mathematics in 1933.

There he wrote a thesis on solid-state physics under the guidance of Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner. After graduating in 1935, he was chosen as Junior Fellow at Harvard University, a position he held for three years.

In 1939, the second world war broke out and John could no longer facilitate his individual research interests. The big break came after the war in October 1945 when he started working at Bell Labs.

Along with colleagues William Shockley and Walter Brattain, John invented the first transistor in 1947. Their relationship, however, soured when Shockley tried to take most of the credit for the invention.

first transistor invented by john bardeen physics
Replica of the first transistor

Shockley prevented both Bardeen and Brattain from working any further on the transistor technologies. So, John left Bell Labs in 1951 and accepted an offer from the University of Illinois to study superconductivity.

In 1956, he shared the Nobel Prize in physics with Shockley and Brattain for their work on the transistor. Today, as you might know, most of computing technologies are unimaginable without the transistor.

When Bardeen brought only one of his three children to the prize distribution ceremony, the King of Sweden ridiculed him, to which Bardeen candidly replied: "Next time I will bring them all to Sweden."

In 1957, John wrote a theory of superconductivity along with Leon Cooper and John Schrieffer. It ushered a new era of transportation and medical technologies such as MagLev and MRI respectively.

15 years later, John kept the promise he made to the King of Sweden when he took his three children to the Nobel Prize distribution ceremony in 1972.

John stayed as a professor of engineering at University of Illinois until 1975. In 1983, Sony corporation, which owed much of its commercial success to inventions by John, created an honorary John Bardeen professorship at the university.

It's similar to the Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, a chair founded in 1663 and held by icons like Newton, Dirac and Hawking.

In a 1988 interview, when Bardeen was asked to comment on religion, he said: "I am not a religious person and so do not think about it very much." John was a very humble scientist who donated much of his Nobel Prize money. He enjoyed hosting cookouts for neighbours who were unaware of his scientific achievements.

If you make a list of people – politicians, scientists, sportspersons, etc – who have had the greatest impact on the 20th century, John's name would certainly make it to the top ten. Because, without his work, none of the modern technologies would be possible.

Oppenheimer Helped Feynman Meet His Hero

Feynman oppenheimer dirac

Paul Dirac and Richard Feynman were two different physicists in terms of approach. For Dirac, physics was a search of pretty mathematics. Feynman, however, always began his work from observations he made in the real world.

The two physicists were also poles apart when it came to informal speaking. While Dirac was a man of extremely few words and legendarily so; Feynman on the other hand was candidly chatty.

Yet, Dirac was Feynman's idol growing up.

Their first meeting in 1946 was very brief and unproductive. Dirac asked: "Do you have an equation?" Feynman being a beginner at the time didn't and so Dirac walked away after a silence.

In 1948, Feynman got a second chance to impress Dirac, thanks to his former boss at the Manhattan Project, Robert Oppenheimer, who also happened to be close friends with Dirac.

Oppenheimer successfully organized the first postwar physics conferences in the United States and brought together the most brilliant minds of his time such as Bohr, Fermi, Dirac and Bethe.

Under Oppenheimer's direction, physicists once again tackled the greatest unsolved problems of the pre-war. Some may consider it rather ironic that the same person who headed nuclear weapons program was also the one who helped revive collaborative work in physics.

During one of the conferences arranged by Oppenheimer, Feynman gave a lecture on quantum electrodynamics and introduced to the world for the very first time, Feynman diagrams.

He drew strange, unfamiliar drawings on the blackboard; lines in different shapes—straight, dotted, and squiggly—in the course of the lecture, as intellectuals, including Dirac, looked at him in bewilderment.

Feynman had succeeded in making a mark.

Their third meeting occurred in 1962 out of which came an iconic picture of the duo. It was taken by Polish photographer Marek Holzman during the relativity conference in Warsaw. The following conversation is said to have transpired.

Feynman: Hello again. I'm Feynman.

Dirac: I'm Dirac.

Feynman (admiringly): It must be wonderful to be the discoverer of that equation (he meant Dirac equation).

Dirac: That was a long time ago. (1928)

A pause.

Dirac: What are you working on now?

Feynman: Mesons.

Dirac: Are you trying to find an equation for them?

Feynman: No; it's very hard!

Dirac: One must try.

This was their last meeting. Feynman shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in physics with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga for work done in quantum electrodynamics, a field of physics pioneered by Paul Dirac in the 1930s.

Feynman would later recall that those conferences organized by Oppenheimer were the best he had ever attended. That they were his first and the most important outings with the big men of physics.

5 Deserving Indians Who Did Not Win Nobel Prize

indian nobel laureates science physics chemistry

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 allowed astronomers to accurately relate the spectrum of stars to their actual temperatures. This is helpful in studying the composition of star and predicting its life cycle.

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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