Early Life

  • Homi Bhabha was born on 30 October 1909 in Mumbai.
  • His father was a barrister and he grew up in a privileged environment.

Education

  • In Mumbai he attended the Cathedral & John Connon School and then Elphinstone College, followed by the Royal Institute of Science.

    Homi Bhabha
    Homi Bhabha
  • After passing the Senior Cambridge Examination at the age of sixteen, he joined the Gonvile and Caius College in Cambridge with an intention to pursue mechanical engineering.
  • His mathematics tutor was Paul Dirac, and Bhabha became fascinated with mathematics and theoretical physics.
  • He earned his engineering degree in 1930 and Ph.D. in 1934.

Research Work

  • In 1937, together with W. Heitler, a German physicist, Bhabha solved the riddle about cosmic rays.
  • Soon, Bhabha’s discovery of the presence of nuclear particles (which he called mesons) in these showers was used to validate Einstein’s theory of relativity making him world famous.
  • Homi Bhabha was on a holiday in India when the war broke out in Europe, .
  • Later in 1940, C.V. Raman, then head of the Physics Department, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, persuaded Homi Bhabha to join the institute as a Reader in Physics and Bhabha decided to stay back in India.

    Homi Bhabha Teaching
    Homi Bhabha Teaching
  • In 1941, Royal Society elected Homi Bhabha as Fellow of the Royal Society, London, in recognition of his contributions to the field of cosmic rays, elementary particles and quantum mechanics.

Later Work

  • Soon, Bhabha realized that India need for an institute fully devoted to fundamental research, and wrote to J.R.D. Tata for funding.
  • This resulted in the establishment of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai in 1945, with Bhabha as the Director, a position he held until his death.
  • In 1948, Management of International Atomic Energy Commission appointed Homi Bhabha as Chairman.
  • Under his guidance, nuclear reactors like the Apsara, Cirus and Zerlina were built.
  • He gained international recognition for his excellent work and served as the President of the first United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, which was held in Geneva in 1955.
  • Homi Bhabha was the President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from 1960 to 1963.
  • A multi-faceted personality, Bhabha was immensely fond of music, painting and writing.
  • British Art Galleries displayed some of his paintings . The Art critics rated TIFR art collection as one of the best collections of contemporary Indian art in the country.
  • Government of India awared him with Padma Bhushan. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

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