Saturday, March 05, 2005

Schrodinger, Research and India

If things had gone the way C.V. Raman had planned, India could have been home to some of the most prestigious scientific research in the middle of the 20th century. According to an article in Frontline, during the height of Nazism in Germany, CV Raman had offered the jewish scientists in Germany to settle in Bangalore and pursue their research at the Tata Institute. And scientists such as Schrodinger and Max Born were genuinely interested!
Being aware of the plight of Germany's Jewish scientists, Raman invited them to settle in Bangalore and pursue their research at the Tata Institute.

It is reported that scientists like Schrodinger, Rudolph E. Peierls and Kuhn were seriously interested in coming to India. Max Born was selected as the emissary of the German scientists to come to India to study the suitability of the prevailing conditions. He arrived as the guest of Raman, and he found the climate of Bangalore and the facilities at the Tata Institute satisfactory.

When Raman proposed to the academic council that Max Born be admitted in the Institute, Aston, a British scholar, objected, arguing that "these scientists were rejected by their own country and that is an indication of their worthlessness". Raman was vexed and was helpless; Max Born and others emigrated to the United States, where they created revolution after revolution in physics.

I wonder where research in India would have been today if CV Raman had had his own way!

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