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Vikram Sarabhai Death Anniversary: What was the scientific contribution of Vikram Sarabhai

Vikram Sarabhai was primarily a scientist. He is known as the father of India’s space program. But he had written more than 80 research papers, and he had a remarkable contribution to physics, astronomy, space science, electronics, and even to the program of nuclear energy in India. Apart from being a scientist, he was also known as a great institution builder. 

Vikram Sarabhai was a scientist before an institution builder and the father of the space program. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

  • Dr. Vikram Sarabhai did the initial research on cosmic radiation.
  • He created the infrastructure for space research and nuclear power.
  • He emphasized the use of space science in communication, weather, and natural resource exploration.

Whenever the name of Vikram Sarabhai is taken in India, he is remembered only as the Father of the Indian Space Program. But his contribution as a scientist is no less big. His scientific and administrative ability was amazing. In his life, he wrote research papers on many subjects and established many institutions. As a scientist, he also became famous as a physicist and astronomer. But in scientific administration, his contribution to India’s space research and development of the country’s nuclear energy is remembered.

Basis of India’s scientific progress
The biggest credit for India’s scientific progress is given to the ISRO organization, which was founded by Vikram Sarabhai. His death anniversary is on 30 December. Born on 12 August 1919 in Ahmedabad, Vikram Sarabhai was the son of Ambalal Sarabhai and Sarla Sarabhai. After studying intermediate, in 1937 he obtained a degree in Tripos from Cambridge, England. After returning to India during World War II, he started doing research under the supervision of Sivaraman.
Contribution to research
Vikram Sarabhai wrote a total of 86 scientific research papers and along with this established 40 institutions that were related to science, technology, and engineering as well as culture. He was also posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan for his phenomenal contribution to the field of science and technology. Many institutions have been opened in his name, even the lander that was sent in the Chandrayaan mission and is going to be sent has been called Vikram Lander. 
Major research work
Vikram Sarabhai published his first research paper titled Time Distribution of Cosmic Rays. Between 1940-45, he did research on the cosmic range under the direction of CV Raman. After World War II, he returned to Cambridge and earned his doctorate after completing his research on cosmic rays in tropical latitudes. 

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai obtained his doctorate from Cambridge. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

From cosmic radiation to radio physics
On returning to India again, he continued his research on cosmic radiations and also did research on interplanetary space, solar equatorial relations, and geomagnetism. His research was later brought under the ambit of theoretical physics as well as radio physics, for which the Indian Atomic Energy Commission also received a grant. 
A great visionary
He also made a major contribution to the establishment of Operation Research Group, India’s first market research organization. Many scientists who worked with him considered him very hardworking. Famous French scientist Pierre Curé used to call him a very good dreamer who had extraordinary talent to fulfill his dreams. 

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai laid the foundation for bringing India to the international stage in space research. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

India’s nuclear and space research program
It was he who inspired Bharat Homi Jehangir Bhabha to work on the nuclear power plant and persuaded the Government of India to take the necessary steps for it. The concept of India’s space program was his contribution and ISRO could be established only because of his efforts. He also became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India after Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha. 
Dr. Sarabhai made a huge contribution not only to science but also to its participation in society and economic development. In the capabilities of space science, he emphasized the use of communication, meteorology, weather forecasting, exploration of natural resources, etc. The development of satellite television broadcasting became possible in India only because of the rocket technology promoted by him.

How strange is our solar system, why such a planetary system could not be discovered?




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