10 July 1926 - 24 September 2004
(Photo K L Kamat)
Dr Raja Ramanna, the nuclear
scientist, died aged 78 following a heart attack, on September
24, 2004. He was the man behind India's first atomic test thirty
Born in Bangalore, he graduated in
science from Madras Christian College and completed his PhD in
physics at King's College London. In 1949 he joined the
Indian nuclear science programme under the leadership of Dr Homi
Ramanna headed the Bhabha
Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai for two periods (1972-78
and 1981-83). He was also chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy
Commission, and secretary of the department of atomic energy
from 1983 to 1987.
Dr. Ramanna's piano recital
"Ramanna was also a gifted musician,
and could play the piano as dextrously as he could speak about
atomic energy. Music was close to his heart, and one of the two
books he wrote was The Structure Of Music In Raga And Western
Systems (1993). The other was his autobiography, entitled Years
Of Pilgrimage (1991)."
Ramanna was interested in Buddhist
philosophy and remained director emeritus of the Bangalore-based
National Institute of Advanced Studies until his last days.
He is survived by his wife, two
daughters and a son.