New Delhi: Today is the birthday of the famous nuclear physicist, Homi Jehangir Bhabha, popularly known as the father of Indian Nuclear Programme. The brilliant physicist was the founding director of two institutions – Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, both of which led to immense growth and development in the field of research. Also Read - India Conducts Successful Night Trial of Nuclear-Capable Prithvi-2 Missile From Odisha Test Range
Notably, Bhabha was born to a rich aristocratic family on October 30 in the year 1909, in Mumbai.
As we commemorate his birthday today, here are some interesting facts about him:
1. In 1939, he came to India only for a brief holiday but was unable to go back to complete his research at Cambridge as World War II had started. So, he joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, as a reader.
2. Not just Science, Bhabha was a lover of arts too. He loved painting and listening to classical music and opera, besides being an amateur botanist.
3. As a student, Homi worked with a Nobel Prize winner, Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and played a major role in the development of The Quantum Theory.
4. He was the one who identified and named the Meson particle. He also worked with one of the German Physicists to develop the Cascade theory to understand cosmic radiations.
5. He was the 1st chairman of the first United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy held in 1955.
6. In 1954, he was conferred with Padma Bhushan award for outstanding contributions to nuclear science. He also won the Adams Prize in 1942 and honoured with Fellow of the Royal Society.
7. He wanted atomic energy to be used to alleviate poverty and advocated the outlawing of nuclear weapons worldwide.
8. He was so passionate about his work that he remained a bachelor all his life and devoted all of his time to science.
9. He lived in a sprawling colonial bungalow in Malabar Hills named Mehrangir.
10. On January 24, 1996, he died in a mysterious air crash near Mount Blanc. Some theories claim that he was killed by CIA to paralyze India’s nuclear programme.
11. Exactly 14 days before Homi Bhabha’s death, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Former Prime Minister of India also died a mysterious death in Tashkent.