|Died||5 October 1992 (aged 70)|
|Known for||Studies on geometry of molecular complexes|
|Doctoral advisor||Prafulla Kumar Bose|
|Doctoral students||Mihir Chowdhury|
Sadhan Basu FNA, FASc, FRSC (2 January 1922 – 5 October 1992) was an Indian physical chemist, academic and the Palit Professor of Chemistry at the University of Calcutta from 1964 to 1985. He was known for his elucidation of the Quantum Mechanical Model of Robert S. Mulliken and his article, Degree of Polymerization and Chain Transfer in Methyl Methacrylate, co-authored by Jyotirindra Nath Sen and Santi R. Palit was the first published Indian article on polymer chemistry. He was an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chemical Society of France, Indian Chemical Society, Indian National Science Academy and the Indian Academy of Sciences. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the apex agency of the Government of India for scientific research, awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, one of the highest Indian science awards, in 1962, for his contributions to chemical sciences.
Basu was born on 2 January 1922 in Kolkata (then Calcutta), to Jyotish Chandra Basu and Sarajubala. Educated in the city, he graduated with a B.Sc. from the University of Calcutta in 1942, obtaining an M.Sc. from the same institution in 1944. He then conducted research into the properties of shellac at the Indian Lac Research Institute (now the Indian Institute of Natural Resins and Gums) under the supervision of noted chemist Prafulla Kumar Bose (1898-1983), for which he earned a D.Sc. from Calcutta University in 1948. In 1948, Basu joined the faculty of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, where he conducted pioneering research on chain transfer in radical polymerisation and established a standard procedure for estimating the molecular weight of polymers. From 1951 to 1953, he was a postdoctoral Fulbright fellow in chemistry at Indiana University Bloomington, where he developed an interest in the emerging field of quantum chemistry; upon returning to India, he published six papers on free electron molecular orbital calculations.
In 1954, Basu joined the faculty of the University of Calcutta as a reader; he would remain at the university for the next three decades. One of the pioneers of polymer chemistry in India, his studies were primarily in the fields of charge transfer interactions, ligand field spectra, hydrogen bonding, quantum chemistry and photochemistry. Focusing on the detection, and analysis of charge transfer band of molecular complexes and through experimental assignment of its vibrational structure, he supported the quantum mechanical model of the complexes originally propounded by Robert S. Mulliken, the winner of 1966 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. In order to determine the -NH2 group in nylon, he developed a methodology which has since been accepted as a standard industrial procedure. He calculated the transition energies and oscillator strengths of aromatic polyhydrocarbons using the gas model prescribed by Shin'ichirō Tomonaga in 1950, demonstrated that extended catacondensed planar structures could be derived only by using 3-4-6 membered rings and employing Hartree-Fock-Bogolyubov, illustrated that, unlike triplet transitions, the longest wavelength singlet transitions in linear polyenes converge to a limit. Basu's researches were published in a number of articles and the article, Degree of Polymerization and Chain Transfer in Methyl Methacrylate, he and his co-authors, J. N. Sen and S. R. Palit, published in 1950 was the first Indian article on polymer chemistry. He was associated with International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, the Indian Journal of Chemistry and the Proceedings of the Proceedings of Indian National Science Academy as their associate editor and mentored a number of students in their doctoral researches.
During 1961-62, Basu was a visiting professor at Indiana University Bloomington and was subsequently (1962–63) a visiting professor in the quantum chemistry group at the University of Uppsala. Following his return to India, Basu was appointed to the Palit Professorship of Chemistry at the University College of Science, Technology & Agriculture in 1964, the chair of which he held until his superannuation and retirement. He also served as head of the university's chemistry department from 1978 to 1980. In 1981, he was appointed the director of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, but relinquished the post in 1982 due to ill health. He also served the Indian National Science Academy council during 1982-84 as a member. Basu retired from the University of Calcutta in 1985, and died on 5 October 1992, at the age of 70. He was survived by his wife, Rama Basu, who was also a theoretical chemist, and their son and daughter. His scientific contributions have been documented in an article, Sadhan Basu — a physical chemist extraordinaire, published in Resonance journal in 2013.
Awards and honors
The Indian National Science Academy elected Basu as a fellow in 1962 and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, one of the highest Indian science awards, in 1965. A UGC National Professor during 1972–73, he became an elected fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1975 and was a recipient of the Acharya J. C. Ghosh Gold Medal of Indian Chemical Society (1984) and the C. V. Raman Birth Centenary Commemoration Medal of the Indian Science Congress Association (1988). In 1957, he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (FRIC), which merged with the Chemical Society in 1980 to become the Royal Society for Chemistry. He was also a fellow of the Indian Chemical Society and the Society of Physical Chemistry of France. The Indian Academy of Sciences issued a festschrift, Dedicated to Prof. Sadhan Basu on the occasion of his sixtyfifth birthday, on him in 1986 on his 65th birth anniversary and the contributors included Jack Simons, Debashis Mukherjee, Werner Kutzelnigg and George G. Hall among others. The Indian National Science Academy has instituted an annual oration, Professor Sadhan Basu Memorial Lecture in his honor and the University of Kolkata recognizes excellence in research in chemistry each year by an annual award, Professor Sadhan Basu Memorial Award.
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- Ramprasad Misra and S. P. Bhattacharyya (July 2013). "Sadhan Basu — a physical chemist extraordinaire". Resonance. 18 (7): 598–614. doi:10.1007/s12045-013-0080-9.
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- Sadhan Basu, Jyotirindra Nath Sen, Santi R. Palit (22 August 1950). "Degree of Polymerization and Chain Transfer in Methyl Methacrylate". Proceedings of the Royal Society. 202 (1071): 485–498. Bibcode:1950RSPSA.202..485B. doi:10.1098/rspa.1950.0114.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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- Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science: Annual Report for 1980-81. IACS. 1981. p. 2.
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- Dedicated to Prof. Sadhan Basu on the Occasion of His Sixtyfifth Birthday. Indian Academy of Sciences. 1986.