Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui

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Raziuddin Siddiqui
رضی الدین صدیقی
Raziuddin Siddiqui (second right).
Born Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui
8 January 1908
Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, British Raj (present-day India)
Died 8 January 1998(1998-01-08) (aged 90)
Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
Citizenship Pakistani[1]
Nationality Pakistani
Fields Theoretical Physics
Institutions Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
Commission for Atomic Energy
Quaid-e-Azam University
University of Sindh
University of Peshawar
Osmania University
University of Paris
Pakistan Mathematical Society
Alma mater Osmania University, India
University of Cambridge, UK
University of Leipzig, Germany
Doctoral advisor Werner Heisenberg
Other academic advisors Albert Einstein
Known for his work on Nuclear energy, theory Relativity and Simultaneity, C*-algebra, Nuclear space (in mathematics), and Paramagnetism
Integrated nuclear deterrence development
Notable awards Sitara-i-Imtiaz (1960)
Hilal-i-Imtiaz (1981)
Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1998)

Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui, FPAS, NI, HI, SI, PhD (Urdu:محمد رضی الدین صدیقی, [rəzɪ.ʊd̪d̪iːn sɪˈd̪d̪iːqi]; 8 January 1908 – 8 January 1998), also known as Dr. Razi, was an eminent Pakistani theoretical physicist and a renowned mathematician who played an instrumental and an influential role in Pakistan's education system and Pakistan's integrated nuclear deterrent development.[2] An educationist and a scientist, Siddiqui had established numerous educational research institutes and universities in his country.[2]

During the 1940s in Europe, he had made important and advance contributions in mathematical physics as well as work on the theory of relativity, nuclear energy, and the Quantum gravity.[2] Siddiqui was an eminent and prominent educationist of Pakistan who dedicated his life for physics and mathematics in his country.[2] An avid supporter of Science in Pakistan, Siddiqui attended various conferences for physics, mathematics, and science in Pakistan and abroad.[2]

He had been the Vice-Chancellor of four Pakistan universities and the first V.Chancellor of Quaid-e-Azam University and served as the Emeritus professor of Physics there until his death in 1998.[2]


Life and education[edit]

Raziuddin Siddiqui was born on 8 January 1908 in Hyderabad- Deccan, India. He was one of the pioneering students who attended the newly established Osmania University. After passing the Rashidia Exams in 1918, Siddiqui completed his matriculation from Osmania University in 1921, and earned the BA degree in Mathematics with distinction in 1925.[3] He was one of the earliest graduates of Osmania University, (first batch) in 1925.[3]

Siddiqui in Europe[edit]

He was then awarded a scholarship from the Government of State of Hyderabad to pursue higher studies in United Kingdom where he completed his MA in Mathematics, under Paul Dirac from the University of Cambridge in 1928.[2][3] Then, he proceeded further to work for his PhD at the University of Leipzig in Germany (Weimar Republic).[3] In those days renowned scientist and theoretical physicist Albert Einstein was also teaching at the same University.[3]

He had the rare privilege to study Mathematics and Quantum mechanics under Albert Einstein in Berlin and Heisenberg at Leipzig.[4] He then received his MSc in Mathematics and MPhil in Quantum Physics under the guidance and supervision of Albert Einstein.[5] He completed his PhD in Theoretical Physics, writing a brief research thesis on the Theory of relativity and the Nuclear energy, under the supervision of the renowned Physicist and Nobel Laureate Dr. Werner Karl Heisenberg in 1930.[4][5] During his early career, Siddiqui interacted and researched in important aspects of theoretical physics with Edward Teller, contributor of Teller-Ullam design, when he was the pioneering student of Heisenberg's doctorate group. Later, he did his post doctoral work at the University of Paris, France.[4][5]

Research in theoretical physics[edit]

In Europe, while Siddique was working on his post-doctoral research at the Paris University, he had the opportunity to meet with the members of "The Paris Group"[6] where he had led the discussions on unsolved problems in physics and in mathematics.[7] He held discussions with Hélène Langevin-Joliot, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Hans von Halban, and Louis de Broglie. When Germany invaded France, Siddiqui immediately travelled back to Cambridge, United Kingdom, where he joined Cavendish Laboratory of the Cambridge University. During the early 1940s, Siddiqui closely collaborated with Britain's atomic weapons program, and participated in the secret Tube Alloys nuclear weapons development project.[8]

United States and Great Britain[edit]

During his stay in Great Britain, he gained expertise in the fields of Quantum mechanics and Supersymmetric quantum mechanics and published scientific papers at the Cavendish Laboratory.[9] He later made further advanced contributions in Nuclear and Theoretical physics; and enjoyed a distinguished career in Cambridge, Great Britain.[9] During this time, Siddiqui was responsible for supervising High-energy physics experiments at the Cavendish Laboratory, and was named as one of the senior scientists at the Cavendish Laboratory.[9] In early 1941, he was invited by the British physicists to participate in Tube Alloys, the secret and classified British development of nuclear weapons.[9] As Tube Alloys emerged with Manhattan Project, Siddiqui joined the Manhattan Project as a part of British delegation headed by British mathematician William Penney.[10] There, he along with William Penney closely worked on the development of nuclear weapons, and published classified papers concerning the development of the proposed designs of nuclear weapon and controlled Thermonuclear fission at Montreal Laboratory.[9] He later joined his Mentor's group where, under his mentor's guidance, carried out further research and made advances to the fields of Quantum gravity, Quantum electrodynamics and Tensor–vector–scalar gravity.

Soon after his research work at Montreal Laboratory, Siddique had an opportunity to continue his research work at Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE), in 1945, and Commissariat à l'énergie atomique, in 1946, where he published his research thesis in the fields of Nuclear energy and the Fission.[9]

Returning to India[edit]

In 1947, Raziuddin Siddiqui then returned to Hyderabad, British Indian Empire, and joined Osmania University, Hyderabad, as an Associate Professor of Mathematics.[9] During 1948–49, he served as Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University and was appointed by the Governor. During the 1930s, the Pakistan Movement was taking place in the region and it is said that the philosopher Muhammad Iqbal, an intellectual and philosopher, requested him to write a book on the Theory of relativity (in Urdu) but Philosopher Iqbal had died before the completion of the book. Maulvi Abdul Haq published this title from Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu in Delhi.[9]

Moving to Pakistan[edit]

After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, upon the request of the Government of Pakistan, Dr. Siddiqui migrated to Karachi, Pakistan in 1950, along with majority of his family members. In Karachi, he joined the Karachi University's teaching faculty and taught as Professor of Applied Mathematics there.[9] In 1953, he was simultaneously appointed to the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sindh and the University of Peshawar. Dr. Siddiqui founded the first mathematical society in Pakistan in 1952 by the name of "All Pakistan Mathematics Association" (now known as Pakistan Mathematical Society). The organisation, under his leadership, expanded the mathematical education throughout the country. As President of the PMS, he led and set up mathematical conferences throughout the country, and remained its President until 1972.[9] In 1956, Siddiqui played a pivotal role in establishing the nuclear power and its expansion in the country by first joining the newly established Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and then establishing the first science directorate on Mathematical physics.[11] He was one of the earliest, pioneering and influential mathematical physicists and played a major role directing PAEC to conduct research in mathematical and theoretical physics.[11]

In 1964, he moved to Islamabad where he joined Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. There he began his academic research in theoretical physics.[9] In 1965, with the establishment of Quaid-e-Azam University (Qau), Dr. Siddiqui was appointed as its first Vice-Chancellor by the then Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[12] He was one of the first professors of Physics at the Quaid-e-Azam University where he also served as the Chairman of the Physics Department.[12] He continued his tenure until 1972, when he rejoined the PAEC at the request of Prime Minister Bhutto.[12] During the 1960s, he was instrumental in convincing President Field Marshal Ayub Khan to make a proposed university a research institution.[12] He, at first, established "Institute of Physics" at the Qau, and invited Professor Riazuddin to be its first director and the Dean of the Faculty. Then, Professor Riazuddin, with the help of his mentor Dr. Abdus Salam, convinced the then PAEC chairman Dr. Ishrat Hussain Usmani to send all the theoreticians to Institute of Physics to form a vital physics group.[12] This established the "Theoretical Physics Group", which later designed the nuclear weapons for the country.[12]

With the establishment of TPG, Raziuddin Siddiqui began to work with Dr. Abdus Salam, and upon his advice began the research in Theoretical Physics at the PAEC.[12] In 1970, he established the Mathematical Physics Group at the PAEC, where he led academic research in advanced mathematics.[12] He also delegated numerous mathematicians to PAEC to specialise in their fields at the MPG Division of PAEC.[12]

The atomic bomb project[edit]

After the Indo-Pakistani Winter War of 1971, Siddiqui joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) on the request of Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Siddiqui was the first full-time Technical Member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and was responsible for the preparation of its charter.[13]

During the 1970s, Siddiqui worked on problems in theoretical physics with Pakistan's top theoretical physicists in the integrated atomic bomb project.[14] Previously, he had a distinguished career in Europe, during which he had carried out a wide variety of nuclear research in British nuclear program, and as well as the French atomic program.[14] At the PAEC, he became a mentor of country's academic scientists and remained a vital research figure in the atomic bomb program.[14] At PAEC, he was the director of the Mathematical Physics Group (MPG) and was tasked with performing mathematical calculations involved in fission and the supercomputing. As the director of classified research at the PAEC, Siddiqui and the MPG took initiatives to perform necessary research on theoretical physics, that brought international recognition of Pakistan in the physics world.[14] While both MPG and Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) had reported directly to Abdus Salam, Siddiqui remained a bridge to co-ordinate each meeting with the scientists of TPG and mathematicians of the MPG.[14] At the PAEC, he directed the mathematical research directly involving the general relativity, and was instrumental in stablshing the quantum computers laboratories at the PAEC.[14]

One of his major initiatives and achievements, was the establishment of mathematical physics groups and a science directorate to lead and conduct research on the mathematical extension in nuclear and theoretical physic. Since theoretical physics plays a major role in identifying the parameters of nuclear physics, Siddiqui started the work on special relativity's complex applications, the "Relativity of simultaneity".[14] His Mathematical Physics Group undertook the research and performed calculations on "Relativity of simultaneity" during the process of weapon detonation, where multiple explosive energy rays are bound to release in the same isolate and close medium at the same time interval.[14] In fact, his association with PAEC continued and focused on producing prolific research on theoretical physics that led to the foundation of theoretical and mathematical physics divisions, facilities and the laboratories. Furthermore, he arranged annual meetings of theoretical physicists from all over the country to PAEC to hold discussions and research in their respected fields.[14]

Post war[edit]

After his work at the PAEC, Raziuddin Siddiqui again joined Quaid-e-Azam University's Physics Faculty.[9] As professor of Physics, he continued his research at the Institute of Physics, Qau.[9] He began to mobilised and established different physics groups as he had led annual conferences to promote science in Pakistan.[9] Throughout late 1979, he contributed richly to the advancement of science in Pakistan. He then played an influential role in the development of higher education sector, and placed mainframe policies in the institution.[9]

Death and legacy[edit]

Dr.Raziuddin Siddiqui Memorial Library is named after Dr. Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui at the Quaid-i-Azam University

Siddiqui remained in Islamabad, and had associated himself with Quaid-e-Azam University. In 1990, he was made Professor Emeritus of Physics and Mathematics there.[9] He had a passion for both Physics and Mathematics which remained with him until his death. He peacefully died on 8 January 1998, at the age of 90. A reputed scientist, Siddiqui's autobiography was written by the renowned scienstists who had opportunity to work with him. In Pakistan, he was well known for his efforts to introduce the complex applications of theoretical physics in the different universities of Pakistan. He played an important and key role in establishing of Mathematics and Theoretical Physics Laboratories at the PAEC. In 1960, due to his efforts to expand education, he was awarded the third-highest civilian award of Pakistan, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, from the then-President of Pakistan, Field Marshal Ayub Khan.[9]

In 1981, he was awarded the second highest civilian award, Hilal-i-Imtiaz, from President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq due to his significant efforts in Pakistan's atomic program, and popularising science in Pakistan. Siddqui remained as one of the few Pakistani scientists who personally knew Premier, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the Pakistani Nobel laureate, Dr. Abdus Salam (late).[9] In May 1998, the Government of Pakistan belatedly recognised Siddiqui's vital services by awarding the highest civilian award, Nishan-i-Imtiaz posthumously by the prime minister Nawaz Sharif when Pakistan conducted its first successful nuclear tests.[9]


His eldest daughter, Dr. Shirin Tahir-Kheli, is a former Special Assistant to the President of the United States of America, and Senior Adviser for women's empowerment.[15]

Civil awards[edit]

Membership of learned societies[edit]

Positions held[edit]

  • Director of Institute of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University (1965–1972).
  • President of Pakistan Physical Society (1950–1955).
  • President of Pakistan Mathematical Society (1952–1972).
  • Chairman of Physics Department, Quaid-e-Azam University (1965–1971)
  • President of Pakistan Academy of Sciences (1975–1980)
  • Director, Department of Applied Physics, Karachi University (1950–1952).
  • Vice-Chancellor, Osmania University, India (1948–1949).
  • Vice-Chancellor, University of Sindh (1953–1957)
  • Vice-Chancellor, University of Peshawar (1953–1957).
  • Chancellor, Quaid-e-Azam University (1968–1972).
  • Chief Technical Officer, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (1972–1975).
  • Director-General, Mathematical Physics Group, PINSTECH (1976–1983).
  • Emeritus Professor (Physics), Quaid-e-Azam University (1983–1998).

Institution named after Raziuddin Siddiqui[edit]

In 1996, the Quaid-i-Azam University's Central Library was dedicated in the name of founding Vice-Chancellor of Qau as Dr. Raziuddin Siddiqi Memorial Library.

Award named after Raziuddin Siddiqui[edit]


  • Quantum Mechanics and its Physics
  • Dastan-e-Riazi (The Tale of Mathematics)
  • Izafiat
  • Tasawur-e-Zaman-o-Makaan
  • Experiences in science and education by M. Raziuddin Siddiqui, published in 1977.
  • Establishing a new university in a developing country: Policies and procedures by M. Raziuddin Siddiqui, published in 1990.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ -Dr Abdus Salam – The ’Mystic’ scientist
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Khan, PhD, Aqeel (7 June 2001). "Development of Nuclear Industry in Pakistan". Professor Aqeel Khan, professor of Political Science at the Ryerson University. Dr. Aqeel Khan of the Ryerson University and the Ryerson University Press. Retrieved 15 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "The education setback of 1948". Syed Muslehuddin Ahmed and Dawn News. Dawn Group of Newspapers. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ a b c Siddiqui, Saifuddin. "Mohammad Raziuddin Siddiqui". Saifuddin Siddiqui. 
  5. ^ a b c Khan, Professor Adil (7 June 2001). "Development of the Nuclear Power Industry in Pakistan – (1955–1965): The Origin of Pakistan's Nuclear Establishment". Adeel Khan, Ryerson University. Adeel Khan, Ryerson University. Retrieved 2011. 
  6. ^ Rehman, Shahidur, Long Road to Chagai, A Cue From Manhattan Project, pp16
  7. ^ Siddiqui, Professor Razi, Pakistani Theoretical Physicists, an early research in physics, pp49.
  8. ^ Rehman, Shahidur, Long Road to Chagai, A Cue From Manhattan Project, pp20
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Salman Hameed, Dr. Salman (19 October 1998). "A Science Oddyssey: Pakistan's nuclear emergence". Dr. Salman Hameed, Member of the Theoretical Physics Group at PAEC. Dr. Salman Hameed, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Smith College, USA. The Conference held at the Alhamra Cultural Complex, Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore. 
  10. ^ Shahid-Ur-, Rehman (1999). "A Manhattan Project Scientist". Long Road To Chagai. Islamabad, Pakistan: Print Wise Publication. p. 23. 
  11. ^ a b Bhatnagar, Arun (20 November 2011). "A leaf from history: Pioneers in science". The Dawn Newspapers (20 November 2011). Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hussain, Faheem (June 2005). "The Theoretical Physics Group at Quaid-e-Azam University." (PDF). Faheem Hussain, eminent scientists in the field of Physics. Faheem Hussain, professor of physics at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Retrieved 2011. 
  13. ^ Sheikh, F.D. "The Galaxy of Pakistani scientists:Dr. Raziuddin Siddiqui". Eminent scientists in the field of Physics. F.D. Sheikh. Retrieved 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shahid-Ur-, Rehman (1999). "Ibid". Long Road To Chagai. Islamabad, Pakistan: Print Wise Publication. p. 10. 
  15. ^ Shirin Tahir-Kheli – Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State


  • Rahman, Shahidur (1999) [1999], "Theoretical Physics Group: A Cue from Manhattan Project?; §A Manhattan Project Scientist;§PAEC versus KRL: Wheels within Wheel;§Pakistan nuclear technology project: from Pakistan's Theoretical Physics to the making of the bomb", Long Road to Chagai, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory (Pakistan): Printwise Publications, ISBN 969-8500-00-6 

External links[edit]