Meghnad Saha (6 October 1893 – 16 February 1956) was a pioneer in Astrophysics in India. He made a remarkable contribution to the field of Astrophysics. His study of the thermal ionisation of elements led him to formulate what is known as the Saha equation. This equation is one of the basic tools for the interpretation of the spectra of stars in astrophysics. By studying the spectra of various stars, one can find their temperature and from that, using Saha's equation, determine the ionisation state of the various elements making up the star.
He also invented an instrument to measure the weight and pressure of solar rays and contributed to the construction of several scientific institutions, including Allahabad University's Physics Department and the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Calcutta. He founded the journal Science and Culture and served as its editor until his death. He was the driving force behind the formation of several scientific societies, including the National Academy of Science (1930), the Indian Physical Society (1934), and the Indian Institute of Science (1935). During 1953-1956, he was the Director of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. The Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, founded in 1943 in Kolkata, is named after him.
Saha was an active parliament member in education, refugee and rehabilitation, atomic energy, multipurpose river projects and flood control, and long-term planning. He was India's chief architect of river planning, and he created the original Damodar Valley Project plan.
Meghnad Saha’s Research Publications:
- “On Maxwell’s Stresses” (Philosophical Magazine, 1917)
- “On the Limit of Interference in the Fabry-Perot Interferometer” (Physical Review, 1917)
- “On A New Theorem in Elasticity” (Journal of the Asiatic Society, Bengal, 1918)
- “On the Dynamics of the Electron” (Phil. Mag. 1918)
- “On the Pressure of Light” (Journal of the Asiatic Society, Bengal, 1928)
- “On the Influence of Finite Volume of Molecules on the Equation of State” (Phil. Mag, 1918).
- “On the Mechanical and Electro-dynamical Properties of the Electron” (Physical Review, 1919).
- “On the Radiation Pressure and the Quantum Theory” (Astrophysical Journal, 1919)
- “On the Fundamental Law of Electrical Action” (Phil. Mag. 1919)
Books written by Meghnad Saha:
- The Principles of Relativity (with S.N. Bose) Calcutta University, Calcutta, 1920
- Treatise on Heat (with B.N. Srivastava), Indian Press, Allahabad, 1931
- Junior Text-Book on Heat (with B.N. Srivastava), Indian Press, Allahabad, 1932
- Treatise on Modern Physics, Vol-1 (with N.K. Saha) Indian Press, Allahabad, 1934
- My Experience in Soviet Russia, Bookman Inc, Calcutta, 1947
Read more at https://vigyanprasar.gov.in/saha-meghnad/
Research projects in the field of Astrophysics: https://www.indiascienceandtechnology.gov.in/research?field_area_id=All&keyword=astrophysics
Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP): https://www.indiascienceandtechnology.gov.in/organisations/ministry-and-departments/department-atomic-energy-dae-govt-india/saha-institute-nuclear-physics-sinp