Homi Jehangir Bhabha

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Homi Jehangir Bhabha

Homi Jehangir Bhabha was one of the main architects of India’s highly successful Atomic Energy program and is fondly remembered as the father of the Indian nuclear program. He was born on October 30, 1909, in Mumbai. He received his early education at Mumbai’s Cathedral Grammar School and subsequently took a degree from Elphinstone College. Later, compelled by his father and his uncle Dorabji Tata, he went to Cambridge University, for a degree in mechanical engineering. His parents hoped that he can join the Tata Mills in Jamshedpur on his return to India.

Homi Jehangir Bhabha’s family had a long tradition of learning and service to the Nation. His family was close to Tatas, who had pioneered the business in the fields of engineering, metallurgy, power generation, and science and education, in the early part of the 20th century itself. The family was also closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi and the Nehru family. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, after completing his engineering, shifted his focus to Physics. During the period 1930-1939, Bhabha Jehangir Bhabha carried out outstanding research relating to cosmic radiation which later earned him a Fellowship of the Royal Society. He was just 31 at that stage. In 1939, Bhabha returned to India and was forced to stay back on because of o of the outbreak of the Second World War. He then chose to work at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where Sir C V Raman, India’s first Nobel laureate in Science, was at the time Head of the Department of Physics. Homi J Bhabha was soon designated as Professor of Cosmic Ray Research.

For 22 years, which spanned from 1944 to 1966, Homi J Bhaba leads India’s atomic energy program. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, one of India’s most reputed educational and research centers was formally inaugurated in 1945 in ‘Kenilworth’ building, which was Bhabha’s ancestral home. Homi J baba is widely credited for shifting India’s Nuclear program focus to thorium-based systems from Uranium as thorium was widely available in India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1954. Tragedy struck in his life when he died in a plane crash near Mont Blanc while heading to Vienna, Austria in 1966. He was on his way to attend a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Atomic Energy Establishment at Bombay was renamed the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in his honor

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