20 Apr 2020

Homi J BhabhaQuick read

Why in news?

His birth anniversary was celebrated this year on October 30.

Who is he?

  • Also known as the Father of India’s nuclear programme, he helped India accomplish a variety of atomic science feats.
  • He was educated at Elphinstone College, Bombay and Cambridge, United Kingdoms, and born in Mumbai to an affluent Parsi family.
  • He studied mechanical engineering in line with his family’s wishes and then also graduated in math.
  • He received a PhD in nuclear physics in 1933. His thesis paper was titled ‘The Cosmic Radiation Absorption.’
  • In Oslo, he worked with Nobel laureate Niels Bohr while teaching in Cambridge.
  • The scientific community greatly appreciated a paper published in 1935 on electron-positron spreading and was later renamed Bhabha spreading.
  • He joined in 1939, the Department of Physics at the Indian Institute of Science.
  • The Cosmic Ray Research Unit was founded at the IISC.
  • He played a key role in establishing the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai.
  • Bhabha persuaded Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, to start a nuclear program.
  • In 1945 he founded the Tata Foundation Research Institute and in 1948 the Atomic Energy Commission and became its first chairman.
  • Bhabha led IAEA India and was also Chairman of the UN Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva in 1955.
  • Bhabha played a key role in planning the nuclear program plan of the government.
  • Instead of using meagre uranium reserves in India, he pioneered the use of thorium to remove uranium from it.
  • Based on his ideas the three-stage plan for nuclear power was conceived in India.
  • On 24 January 1966, on his way to Austria, Homi Bhabha died in a plane crash.
  • The Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), formerly referred to as the Atomic Energy Establishment was founded by him in Mumbai in 1954.
  • Adams prize (1942) by Cambridge University, Padma Bhushan (1954) by the Indian government, Royal Society Fellow, London are some of the honours bestowed on him.

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