Raman, Chandrasekhara Venkata (1888-1970) was born at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu on 7 November 1888.He made enormous contributions to research in the areas of vibration, sound, musical instruments, ultrasonics, diffraction, photo electricity, colloidal particles, X-ray diffraction, magnetron, dielectrics, etc. In particular, his work on the scattering of light during this period brought him world-wide recognition. He was knighted in 1929, and in 1930, became the first Asian scientist to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discoveries relating to the scattering of light (the Raman Effect). After retirement, he established the Raman Research Institute at Bangalore, where he served as the Director. The Government of India conferred upon him its highest award, the Bharat Ratna in 1954.


Ramanujan, Srinivasa (1887-1920) was born in Erode, a small village in Tamil Nadu on 22 December 1887. His research paper on Bernoulli numbers, in 1911, brought him recognition and he became well known in Chennai as a mathematical genius. Ramanujan made outstanding contributions to analytical number theory, elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infinite series. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, dying of illness, malnutrition and possibly liver infection in 1920 at the age of 32. During his short lifetime, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 results (mostly identities and equations). Although a small number of these results were actually false and some were already known, most of his claims have now been proven correct.


Ray, Prafulla Chandra (1861-1944 CE) was born on 2 August 1861 in Raruli-Katipara, a village in the District of Khulna (in present day Bangladesh). His publications on mercurous nitrite and its derivatives brought him recognition from all over the world. Equally important was his role as a teacher - he inspired a generation of young chemists in India thereby building up an Indian school of chemistry. Prafulla Chandra believed that the progress of India could be achieved only by industrialization. He set up the first chemical factory in India, with very minimal resources, working from his home. In 1901, this pioneering effort resulted in the formation of the Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. He is the author of A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to the Middle of Sixteenth Century (1902).