K. S. Krishnan

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Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan
Born(1898-12-04)4 December 1898
Watrap, Tamil Nadu, India
Died14 June 1961(1961-06-14) (aged 62)
Alma materThe American College in Madurai
Madras Christian College
Calcutta University
Known forRaman effect
Crystal Magnetism
Magneto Chemistry
Technique for measuring Magnetic anisotropy of magnetic crystals
Scientific career
InstitutionsMadras Christian College
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
Dacca University
Allahabad University
National Physical Laboratory of India
Academic advisorsCV Raman

Sir Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan, FRS,[1] (4 December 1898 – 14 June 1961) was an Indian physicist. He was a co-discoverer of Raman scattering,[2] for which his mentor C. V. Raman was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Early life[edit]

Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan Iyengar generally referred to as K. S. Krishnan or KSK, was born on 4 December 1898 in Watrap, Tamil Nadu in a Brahmin family. His father was a farmer-scholar deeply versed in Tamil and Sanskrit literature. He had his early education in Hindu Higher Secondary school, Watrap in his native village, after which he attended the American College in Madurai and the Christian College, Madras where after gaining his degree in Physics he became a Teacher in Hindu Higher Sec School in his native village and collaborated with Sir C. V. Raman on the discovery of the inelastic scattering of light.[1]

Early career[edit]

In 1920, Krishnan went to work with C.V. Raman at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata (then Calcutta). There he engaged himself in experimental study of the scattering of light in a large number of liquids and its theoretical interpretations. He played a significant role in the discovery of the Raman scattering.

In 1928 he moved to the Dacca University (now in Bangladesh) as the Reader in the physics department where he studied magnetic properties of crystals in relation to their structure. Krishnan, along with other rising scientists such as Santilal (S.) Banerjee, B.C. Guha, and Asutosh Mukherjee developed an elegant and precise experimental technique to measure the magnetic anisotropy of dia – and paramagnetic crystals. Their findings were published by the Royal Society of London in 1933 under the title, Investigations on Magne-Crystallic Action.[3][4]

In 1933 he returned to Kolkata to take up the post of Mahendralal Sircar Professor of Physics in the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science where he continued to collaborate fruitfully with Dr. Santilal Banerjee to elaborate on the magnetic properties of crystals in relation to their structure. Their joint papers and communications (published in Nature, Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity, and by the Royal Society), remain to this day, aside from a number of other pathbreaking contributions they also published in various Physics journals, the most definitive scientific studies on the structure and tendencies of small crystals. Their experiments in Dacca and continued collaborative research in Kolkata led to what is now known as the Krishnan Banerjee method in measuring the magnetic susceptibility of small crystals.[5][6]

Krishnan was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1940.[1] His Royal Society candidature certificate in 1935 read: "Distinguished for his investigations in molecular optics and in magne-crystalline action:collaborated with Sir C.V. Raman in extensive theoretical and experimental studies on light scattering, molecular optics and in the discovery of the Raman Effect (1928). More recently has been publishing many valuable investigations (Phil Trans Royal Society and elsewhere) on the significance of magnetic anisotropy in relation to crystal architecture and thermo-magnetic behaviour at the lowest temperatures. Has published important work on pleochroism in crystals and its relation to photo-dissociation. Leader of an active school of research in Calcutta."[7]

In 1942, he moved to Allahabad University as Professor and Head of the Department of Physics where he took up the physics of solids, in particular of metals.

He was knighted in the 1946 Birthday Honours List[8] and awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1954.[9] He was the first recipient of the prestigious Bhatnagar Award in 1958.

On 4 January 1947. Dr. K. S. Krishnan was appointed as first director of National Physical Laboratory, India. This was one of the earliest national laboratories set up under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research.

Quotes about Krishnan[edit]

  • What is remarkable about Krishnan is not that he is a great scientist but something much more. He is a perfect citizen, a whole man with an integrated personality. – Jawaharlal Nehru[10]

Collected Works[edit]

The scientific papers of K. S. Krishnan have been published in 1988 by the National Physical Laboratory (located on Dr K.S. Krishnan Road, New Delhi 110012). The book of 950 pages has been made available in the Public Library of India collection of the Internet archive at https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.502306

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Lonsdale, D. K.; Bhabha, H. J. (1967). "Kariamanikkam Srinivasa Krishnan. 1898-1961" (PDF). Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 13: 244–255. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1967.0012.
  2. ^ Singh, R. (2002). "C. V. Raman and the Discovery of the Raman Effect". Physics in Perspective. 4 (4): 399–420. Bibcode:2002PhP.....4..399S. doi:10.1007/s000160200002.
  3. ^ by K.S. Krishnan, S. Banerjee, Volume 234, Issue 739 of Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London: Mathematical and physical sciences (1935). Further Studies on Organic Crystals. Harrison & Sons. p. 34.
  4. ^ Santilal Banerjee, Kariamanickam Srinivasa Krishnan. Modern Magnetism. Cambridge University Press. p. 165.
  5. ^ By A. B Pippard. Response and stability: an introduction to the physical theory. Cambridge University Press. p. 134.
  6. ^ Mahanti, Dr Subodh. "Kariamanikkam Srinivasa Krishnan". Vigyan Prasar Science Portal. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007.
  7. ^ http://www2.royalsociety.org/DServe/dserve.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqSearch=RefNo==%27EC%2F1940%2F12%27&dsqCmd=Show.tcl[dead link]
  8. ^ London Gazette, 4 June 1946
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2007.

External links[edit]