In our last article on Homi Bhabha facts we discussed about his education and his research. However, we did not speak about his contribution to India’s nuclear program that earned him the title of ‘Father of Indian Nuclear Programme’. We are going to learn about that. So, without further ado, let us start…
|Name||Homi Jehangir Bhabha|
|Birth Date||October 30, 1909|
|Death Date||January 24, 1966|
Fascinating Homi Bhabha Facts: 1-5
1. In 1939 when World War II broke out, Bhabha was in India for a short period of time. He was actually on a yearly vacation. However, the outbreak of the war prevented him from leaving India.
2. While he was strangled in India because of the war, he was approached by C.V. Raman – a Nobel Laureate – to become a reader in physics at the famous Indian Institute of Science located in Bengaluru.
3. Bhabha accepted the offer from C.V. Raman. While he was in India and working as a reader in Physics, he came in contact with Congress Party and it is at that point, he managed to convince the leaders of the party that India needs a nuclear program.
4. Nehru was one of those several Congress Leaders who were convinced with what Bhabha had to say.
5. However, it wasn’t until 1944 that Bhabha could start a separate unit in Indian Institute of Science. The unit was none other than Cosmic Ray Research Institute.
Fascinating Homi Bhabha Facts: 6-10
6. In 1944 itself, Bhabha wrote to Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and convinced the trustees that special facilities for working with cosmic rays, nuclear physics, high energy physics and other areas of physics were needed.
7. Convinced with Bhabha’s logic, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust gave the financial help to Bhabha that was required for establishing Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. The research facility was established in 1945 in Bombay.
8. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was also co-sponsored by Government of Bombay. The institute was initially established at Royal Yacht Club’s old buildings.
9. Soon after that it was realized by Bhabha that a new facility was required with completely new laboratory for conducting research on atomic energy because Tata Institute of Fundamental Research was not big enough and not well-equipped for the nature of the research.
10. Understanding this, the Bombay Government created a new facility in Trombay, which was named as Atomic Energy Establishment Trombay or AEET. This new facility started operating in 1954.
Fascinating Homi Bhabha Facts: 11-15
11. With the help of Bhabha, the Department of Atomic Energy was also formed in 1954.
12. In International Atomic Energy Forums, Bhabha was the person who represented India.
13. In 1955, he served as the President of United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. The conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland.
14. The reason why Homi Bhabha is considered as Father of Indian Nuclear Programme is that he is the one who came up with the vision of Three Stage Nuclear Power Program.
15. Bhabha stated that India has over 500,000 tons of Thorium reserves while the Uranium reserves were less than 1/10th of Thorium reserves.
Fascinating Homi Bhabha Facts: 16-20
16. According to Bhabha, natural Uranium can be used by first generation atomic power stations for starting the program. The Uranium would produce Plutonium.
17. The produced Plutonium can then be taken to the second generation atomic power stations. These second generation stations are designed for producing electricity and converting Thorium in depleted Uranium or U-233. Additionally, more Plutonium would be produced.
18. Finally, the breeder power stations (the third generation power stations) would produce more of depleted Uranium compared to the amount of Uranium being burned during power production course.
19. In 1966, on January 24, Bhabha was flying in Air India Flight 101. The flight crashed near Mont Blanc. He was on his way to attend Vienna Conference. He died in the crash. Official statement says that there was a misunderstanding between the aircraft pilot and Geneva Airport, which led to the crash.
20. Later, Gregory Douglas – a reported – interviewed Robert Crowley – a former operative of CIA and published everything in a book titled ‘Conversations with the Crow’. In that interview, Crowley stated that CIA eliminated Bhabha in order to cripple the nuclear program of India. He also said that CIA was also responsible for elimination of Lal Bahadur Shastri in the same year during Tashkent summit.
Homi Bhabha Fun Facts:
After Bhabha’s death, the Atomic Energy Establishment was renamed as Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
The radio telescope of Ooty, India was also an initiated of Homi Bhabha.
There are other institutes named after him – Homi Bhabha National Institute and Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education.
Homi Bhabha, in is free times, used to dabble with botany, opera, classical music and painting.
He received Padma Bhushan Award in 1954 because of his contributions into nuclear science.
Homi Bhabha was offered a post in Indian cabinet. Bhabha rejected that. He however offered his services as scientific adviser to former PMs – Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shashtri.