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Meghnad Saha was an outstanding Indian scientist. He made a remarkable contribution in the field of Astrophysics who developed the Saha ionization equation, used to describe chemical and physical conditions in stars. His work allowed astronomers to accurately relate the spectral classes of stars to their actual temperatures. Meghnad Saha was born on October 6, 1893 in Sheoraphuli, a village in Dacca district, now in Bangladesh. He was the fifth child of his parents, Sri Jagannath Saha and Smt. Bhuvaneshwari Devi. His father was a grocer in the village. He had his early education in the primary school of the village. In the 1920s he made important contributions to the theory of thermal ionization and its application to stellar spectra.
In this blog we will discuss the contributions, awards received, famous quotes and other important facts of the eminent Indian scientist and Astrophysics Meghnad Saha. This article will be very informative in GK parts for aspirants who are preparing for various competitive exams.
|Born||6 October 1893|
|Died||16 February 1956
New Delhi, India
|Birth Place||Shaoratoli, Dhaka, Bengal Presidency, British India|
|University||University of Calcutta
Rajabazar Science College
|Known for||Thermal ionisation
Saha ionization equation
|Awards||Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of London|
Rajabazar Science College
University of Calcutta
Imperial College London
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
History of Meghnad Saha
In 1905 the British government took the decision to partition Bengal. There was great political unrest in Bengal as popular opinion was against the partition. Sir Bampfylde Fuller was governor of East Bengal at that time.
One day he came to visit the collegiate school, Meghnad Saha, along with other students boycotted his visit. As a result he was suspended from the school and his scholarship was terminated. He took admission in the Kishorilal Jubilee School and passed the entrance examination of the Calcutta University in 1909, standing first among the students from East Bengal obtaining the highest marks in languages (English, Bengali, Sanskrit) and in Mathematics.
In 1911, he ranked third in the ISC exam while the first position went to another great scientist Satyendra Nath Bose.
In 1917, Meghnad Saha joined as a lecturer at the newly opened University College of Science in Calcutta. He taught Quantum Physics. Along with S. N. Bose translated the papers published in German by Einstein and Minkowski on relativity into English versions. In 1919, the American Astrophysical Journal published “On Selective Radiation Pressure and its Application” -a research paper by Meghnad Saha. He put forward an “ionisation formula” which explained the presence of the spectral lines. The formula proved to be a breakthrough in astrophysics. He went abroad and stayed for two years. He spent time in research at Imperial College, London and at a research laboratory in Germany. In 1927, Meghnad Saha was elected as a fellow of London’s Royal Society.
Meghnad Saha moved to Allahabad and in 1932 Uttar Pradesh Academy of Science was established. He returned to Science College Calcutta, in 1938. During this time Saha got interested in Nuclear Physics. In 1947, he established the Institute of Nuclear Physics which later was named as Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics. He took the first effort to include Nuclear Physics in the curriculum of higher studies of science. Having seen Cyclotrons used in research in nuclear physics abroad, he ordered one to be installed in the institute. In 1950, India had its first cyclotron in operation.
In 1952 he stood as an independent candidate for Parliament and was elected by a large margin, he also got involved with Anushilan Samiti to take part in the freedom fighting movement. He also came in contact with nationalists like Subhash Chandra Bose and Rajendra Prasad.
On February 16, 1956 this great Indian scientist died due to a heart attack leaving behind his unforgettable and great contribution in the field of science.
Contribution of Meghnad Saha
The contribution of Meghnad Saha to physics is great. He had also great mastery over nuclear physics, Spectro Chemistry, Kinetics and Ionosphere. His scientific knowledge is fully expressed in explaining the theory of ‘Ion’ which is specially known as ‘Saha’s theory of thermal Ionization. This theory determines the mutual distances ingredients and intensity of heat of the heavenly bodies in the sky. He threw new light on the specific gravity of light and Law of Relativity. In collaboration with Satyendra Nath Bose he published ‘Saha Bose theory’ which was dealt with the subject of ‘gas’.
Meghnad Saha tried his best to cultivate science-culture in our country. Being a Member of Parliament he demanded a favorable atmosphere to encourage the aspirant scientists. So, he was the precursor of the modern science in India.
In 1926, he became the president of Indian Science Congress. He becomes the president of Indian Science Congress in Bombay conference. He was the founder of the Institutes of nuclear physics. Several scientific institutions were established with his support.
He had expert knowledge for river valley projects. He is the original architect of ‘Damodar Valley Project.
The various works of Meghnad Saha can be found in the book titled ”Complete Works of Meghnad Saha”.
Saha ionization equation, used to describe chemical and physical conditions in stars. His work allowed astronomers to accurately relate the spectral classes of stars to their actual temperatures.
Saha Ionization Equation
Saha equation, mathematical relationship between the observed spectra of stars and their temperatures. The equation was stated first in 1920 by the Indian astrophysicist Meghnad N. Saha. It expresses how the state of ionization of any particular element in a star changes with varying temperatures and pressures. The spectrum of a star is directly related to the relative numbers of atoms and ions it contains because each atom or ion can absorb or emit radiation of a particular set of wavelengths.
The Saha ionization equation is an expression that relates the ionization state of a gas in thermal equilibrium to the temperature and pressure The equation is a result of combining ideas of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics and is used to explain the spectral classification of stars. The expression was developed by Indian physicist Meghnad Saha in 1920.
The Saha equation describes the degree of ionization for any gas in thermal equilibrium as a function of the temperature, density, and ionization energies of the atoms. The Saha equation only holds for weakly ionized plasmas for which the Debye length is large. This means that the screening of the Coulomb interaction of ions and electrons by other ions and electrons is negligible. The subsequent lowering of the ionization potentials and the “cutoff” of the partition function is therefore also negligible.
Thermal ionization, also known as surface ionization or contact ionization, is a physical process whereby the atoms are desorbed from a hot surface, and in the process are ionized.
Thermal ionization is used to make simple ion sources, for mass spectrometry and for generating ion beams.Thermal ionization has seen extensive use in determining atomic weights, in addition to being used in many geological/nuclear applications.
The likelihood of ionization is a function of the filament temperature, the work function of the filament substrate and the ionization energy of the element.
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Invention of Meghnad Saha
When Dr. Meghnad Saha ji was making new innovations in Physics, he did a deep study of subjects like Thermo Relativity, Dynamics and Automatic Theory and at the same time he made many discoveries to solve problems related to AstroPhysics, and later He also became famous worldwide for his discoveries.
His discovery of thermal ionization is considered to be his major discovery. Through their ionization formula, astronomers have been able to get information about the internal temperature and pressure of the Sun and other stars.
Meghnad Saha’s contribution was not only limited to astronomy but he also participated in the freedom campaign from Bahot. He wanted to bring India a respectable identity in the eyes of the world. People will always remember his incredible contribution.
Meghnad Saha Achievements
The great astronomical scientist of India Meghnad Saha ji made his significant contribution in the field of astronomy, in view of his merit, the Government of India made him the chairman of the committee constituted for the reform of Panchangas prevalent in different states and regions of the country. The committee had worked hard towards resolving these contradictions.
- Saha contributed to astronomical science by rendering the equation.
- Establishment of the Indian Association for Cultivation Science.
- Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics
- Meghnad Saha Jeeva Important role in the theory of thermal ionization.
- Meghnad also played an important role in the research conducted on Hailey Comet.
The impact of the discoveries made by Meghnad Saha in the field of astronomy remained far-reaching and much subsequent research is believed to be based on the principles of Meghnad Saha. Along with being an astronomical scientist, he was also a freedom fighter and member of Parliament, who made his significant contribution in the field of the Indian calendar.
Awards conferred by Meghnad Saha
Meghnad Saha ji has been awarded many great awards for his significant contribution in the field of astronomy. He was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of London. In the year 1934, due to the amazing imagination power of Meghnathji, he got the opportunity to preside over the Indian Science Congress.
To honour and recognize the research scholar, who have made significant research contributions over a period of years and whose efforts have marked an impact in advancement of the society, the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, University of Allahabad has instituted the “MEGHNAD SAHA AWARD” for best research scholars.
Along with this, a committee was formed by the Government of India for calendar reform, with Meghnad Saha ji as its chairman.
Meghnad Saha Quotes
- “I have no appetite, she sighed. ‘Not for food, not for work. Not for anything.’ I looked at her and wondered what I am except for appetite”.
- “Gravy is the simplest, tastiest, most memory-laden dish I know how to make: a little flour, salt and pepper, crispy bits of whatever meat anchored the meal, a couple of cups of water or milk and slow stirring to break up lumps”.
- “My luck is getting worse and worse. Last night, for instance, I was mugged by a Quaker”.
- “Not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree”.
- “Some weaknesses beg to be seized”.
- “Everything else just kept picking and picking, hacking away. And nothing was interesting, nothing. The people were restrictive and careful, all alike. And I’ve got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought”.
- “I love the romance of Paris. I love Angelina [tearoom and pastry shop]. I always get a Mont-blanc [pastry] there”.
- “There’s a reason why actors are always dying to work with the Coens. They just set the stage for you to do their best work”.
Meghnad Saha died on 16th February 1956 and caused a vacuum in the world of science. On the auspicious hour of centenary government has launched a programme to introduce an award to commemorate the memory of this great Scientist.
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