Physics in Perspective

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 399–420

C. V. Raman and the Discovery of the Raman Effect

  • Rajinder Singh
Original article


In 1928 the Indian physicist C. V. Raman (1888-1970) discovered the effect named after him virtually simultaneously with the Russian physicists G. S. Landsberg (1890-1957) and L. I. Mandelstam (1879-1944). I first provide a biographical sketch of Raman through his years in Calcutta (1907-1932) and Bangalore (after 1932). I then discuss his scientific work in acoustics, astronomy, and optics up to 1928, including his views on Albert Einstein's light-quantum hypothesis and on Arthur Holly Compton's discovery of the Compton effect, with particular reference to Compton's debate on it with William Duane in Toronto in 1924, which Raman witnessed. I then examine Raman's discovery of the Raman effect and its reception among physicists. Finally, I suggest reasons why Landsberg and Mandelstam did not share the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1930 with Raman.

Key words. Raman effect; Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman; Nobel Prize in Physics; light scattering; Arthur Holly Compton; Compton effect; light quanta; Albert Einstein; Arnold Sommerfeld; Adolf Smekal; Grigorii Samuilovich Landsberg; Leonid Isaakovich Mandelstam. 


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Copyright information

© Birkhauser Verlag Basel, 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajinder Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Higher Education and History of Science, Faculty of Physics, University of Oldenburg, P.O. Box 2503, D-26111 Oldenburg, Germany, e-mail: rajinder.singh@mail.uni-oldenburg.deDE

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