Homi Jehangir Bhabha was born in Mumbai, on October 30, 1909 and lived up to January 24, 1966. He was an Indian nuclear physicist of Parsi-Zoroastrian heritage who had a major role in the development of the Indian atomic energy program and is considered to be the father of India's nuclear program.

Education and furtherance

He studied at the Elphinstone College and the Royal Institute of Science. He received his doctorate from the University of Cambridge in 1934.

Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac,(OM, FRS (August 8, 1902 – October 20, 1984), a British theoretical physicist and a founder of the field of quantum mechanics), greatly influenced Bhabha during his study of Mechanical Engineering at University of Cambridge, to pursue an education in theoretical physics. As research scientist at the Cavendish Laboratory, at Cambridge, he was stranded in India as a result of the Second World War, and set up the Cosmic Ray Research Unit at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore under C. V. Raman in 1939. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on March 20, 1941.

With the help of J. R. D. Tata, he established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at Mumbai. With the end of the War and Indian Independence, he received the blessings of Nehru for efforts in India, towards peaceful development of atomic energy. He established the Atomic Energy Commission of India in 1948. He represented India in International Atomic Energy Forums, and as President of the United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, in Geneva in 1955. He was a pioneer of nuclear physics in his time and is considered the father of nuclear sciences in India. The construction of India's first atomic power plant began at Tarapur Maharashtra in 1963. Two years later a plutonium plant was installed. The climax came on May 18 1974 when Indian scientists exploded a nuclear device at Pokhran in Rajasthan. India became the sixth country to join the nuclear club.

He died in an air crash invloving an Air India Boeing 707 near Mont Blanc in 1966. Conspiracy theories point to a sabotage intended at impeding India's nuclear program, but his death still remains a mystery.

After his death, the Atomic Energy Establishment was renamed as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in his honour. Bhabha also encouraged research in electronics, space science, radio astronomy and microbiology. The famous radio telescope at Ooty, India was his initiation, and it became a reality in 1970.

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