The Turban Effect

Unless you have been living in a cave, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman’s name must have crossed your mind at some point or the other. However what fails to cross our minds is what he is acclaimed for. Fear not, for its not rocket science! Just perhaps a little more complicated than that. The scientist, at a young age of 33 was inspired to discover the reason for the blue color of the Mediterranean Sea. After being acquainted with the theory of the ‘Compton Effect’ of scatterings of X-ray, Raman passed the subsequent years by carrying out experiments to understand this phenomenon and project it to the same effect in light! This ultimately resulted in his discovery of what came to be known as the ‘Raman Effect’.


A German physicists ‘Adolf Smekal’ had theorized this previously, however the credit for the proof of this theory lies strictly with Sir Raman and his accomplice K.S Krishnan. The Raman effect in simple terms is the inelastic scattering of photons in liquids. The spectrum of these scattered photons is known as the Raman spectrum. The Raman effect is not a resonant effect as it can take place for any frequency of incident light. This famous effect has many an application in today’s world. For instance, it is used as a tool to detect high-frequency phonon and magnon excitations. The Raman Lidar (which measures distance by analyzing light reflected after a target is illuminated with a laser ) is used to measure the water vapour distribution in atmospheric physics. C.V Raman is also knows for his work in the field of optics. In fact, the Raman amplification is another feature used in optical amplifiers!


“Look at the resplendent colours on the soap bubbles!

Why is the sea blue?

What makes diamond glitter!

What makes Hubli So Special

Ask the right questions, and nature will open the doors to her secrets.” – C.V. Raman


C.V. Raman was not one who gave up easily and after the Raman effect, went on to write 6 other volumes mostly in the fields of acoustics and optics. He studied in depth the acoustics of various Indian instruments such as the table and mridangam. In fact, the Raman-Nath theory was born out of similar observations, which showed the light scattering effect through sound waves. This has enabled optical communication systems.


Not only a celebrated scientist, Sir Raman also engaged himself in the manufacturing of potassium chlorate for the match industry through is company ‘Travancore Chemical and Manufacturing Co. Ltd.


A humble man with diverse tastes and a curious mind, Sir Raman has not only found international recognition for both his work and his country but also proved as an inspiration to many scientists including Albert Einstein. And as he said, “The true wealth of a nation consists not in the stored- up gold but in the intellectual and physical strength of its people.” This perspective must be realized and intellectualization must be promoted through the in the name of this legendary scientist, the honorary C.V. Raman.


It's All Relative!

Albert Einstein as a child was slow in his ability to learn. He started talking at the age of 4, and repeated sentences till the age of seven. This disorganized boy, learned to read only at the age of nine, and was considered obtuse, and ‘thick’ in his school days. And yet, this same disheveled and disorganized child grew to become the epitome of intelligence for most of us today.


As a teenager, Einstein identified and picked up two passions, in which he was determined to be formidable. The first of these passions was, surprisingly, his love for the violin. Einstein envisioned himself growing up to follow the footsteps of inspiring artists such as Mozart, and continued to follow that passion for the rest of his life. His second and more commonly known fervour was that for physics. As a child, Einstein, was taught by his father, the mechanisms of a compass. This inspired Einstein to dig further into understanding mechanisms like this around him.


With years of assiduous work, Einstein wrote his first scientific essay on relativity at the age of 16. This later became the basis of his first published paper. The two works of his which have contributed the most to the evolution of science today are the theory of relativity, and his research on the photoelectric effect, the latter of which won him the Nobel prize.

His theory of relativity, in summary, stated two things: that the laws of physics are the same for any inertial reference frame, and that the speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers. The first, debunked the belief that, motion occurs with reference to a point called ‘ether’, and is, in fact, relative to the situation and observer. The second, talks of the speed of light, which led ultimately to his famous formula: E=mc2.


The photoelectric effect, in simple terms, is the tendency of electrons to leave a metal when light shines on the metal due to the electricity provided. Although this was discovered long before Einstein’s work, scientists had reached a stalemate when they found that the energy of each ejected electron is directly proportionate to the frequency of the light waves hitting it, and not to the light intensity. This contradicted the wave nature of light and boggled scientists until Einstein described light as a package of fixed quanta (now known as photons) and discovered a formula for the energy in each of these packages (now known as Planks Equation).

With his various important contributions in the fields of light, quantum physics, energy, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, etc, Einstein is undeniably one of the greatest and most inspiring scientific minds of our time, and thus we want to give him his own ‘relatively’ small tribute.


From The Editor's Desk:

Change is the only constant in the field of Science. From the fusion of hydrogen nuclei in the hearts of our stars, to the rise of Homo sapiens from Neanderthals, the only trend that seems to persist is that of change. An organism itself, is defined as a dynamic steady state, an aggregation of particles in a constant state of change. Our very understanding of Science is what it is, only because of constant change. Because we were willing to move on, from the five Greek elements, to the 118 Mendeleevian elements, better known as the Periodic table.


So change must be a good thing, right? Not always. The same change responsible for evolution is also responsible for the extinction of entire species. Mutations in the DNA, which occasionally lead to a higher chance of survival, far more often lead to fatal diseases. The addition of a single chromosome in humans leads to trisomy 21, better known as Down’s Syndrome.


So change can be favourable or fatal. Exciting and terrifying. Making, or breaking.


It’s been 16 years since our school released it’s first annual Science Magazine, One. Since then, it’s been 16 years of harassing juniors for articles, staying back after-school armed with laptops and momos, and haggling with the publishers over page specifications, for the Editorial board. And, of course, 16 years of proudly unveiling their respective editions in front of the School on Science day.


This year, I am both excited and terrified, because we will be the first Editorial board to release a website, rather than a magazine. It had to happen eventually, what with the digitisation of everything from newspapers to restaurant menus, but I never thought we’d be the ones to do it. As opposed to our predecessors, we had no format to build around. Instead, we had a blank slate. An empty canvas, and endless possibilities. The endless possibilities didn’t help much with the decision making process, but somehow, we pulled through.


I’m hoping this change is for the better, and this concept of an annual Science website becomes as memorable as it’s print predecessors, if not more. What I do know, for sure, is that stagnancy is the antithesis of science, and it is our duty to Newton, and Darwin, and every other great scientist, to embrace change with open arms. Paraphrasing Herbert Spencer, ‘Evolve, or die’.




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