Meghnad Saha

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Saha, Meghnad

(māgnäd` sä`hä), 1893–1956, Indian physicist. He was a professor at Allahabad Univ. from 1923 to 1938 and a professor and physics department head at Calcutta Univ. from 1938. His theory of high-temperature ionization of elements and its application to stellar atmospheres, expressed in the Saha equation, is fundamental to modern astrophysics; subsequent development of his ideas has led to increased knowledge of the pressure and temperature distributions of stellar atmospheres.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Saha, Meghnad


Born Oct. 6, 1893, in Scoratali, Dacca (now in Bangladesh); died Feb. 16, 1956, in New Delhi. Indian physicist and astrophysicist.

Saha graduated from the University of Calcutta in 1915. He was a docent there from 1916 to 1921 and a professor from 1921 to 1923 and from 1938 to 1955. Between 1923 and 1938 he was a professor at the University of Allahabad. Saha’s most important work dealt with the high-temperature ionization of gases. What is known as the Saha equation was first stated by him, and the physics of stellar atmospheres is based on his ionization theory. Saha was the author of papers on thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, astrophysics, the theory of propagation of radio waves, and nuclear physics. He played an important role in the founding of the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Calcutta in 1951 and served as its honorary director.

Saha was elected to the House of the People of the Indian parliamentin 1951. In 1927 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London.


Professor Meghnad Saha: His Life, Work, and Philosophy. Calcutta, 1954.
Kothari, D. S. “Meghnad Saha (1893–1956).” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1959, vol. 5, 217–36. (Contains bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Delhi, April 22 -- A new film "The Quantum Indians" celebrating the lives of India's 3 great yet almost forgotten scientists Satyendra Nath Bose, Sir CV Raman and Meghnad Saha was awarded The National Film Award on the 16th of April 2014 as the Best Educational Film of 2013.
There are many scientists like Jagdish Chandra Bose, S N Bose, Meghnad Saha, Dr Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai etc who made much more lasting and important contribution to science compared to Dr Rao, who comes as occupying posts in government most of the time due to proximity to power.
The 100-year-old physics laboratory where physicist Meghnad Saha, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and many other famous names had taught and worked, was recently renovated, was inaugurated by former President APJ Abdul Kalam on March 11 this year.
The book shows how personal links with Nehru helped Bhabha work his way through Delhi and have a dedicated wing in the government for atomic energy that nobody could question and did not include critics such as Meghnad Saha.
C V Raman, Meghnad Saha, J C Bose, Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan and other great pioneers of Indian science."
Raman, who in 1930 won the Nobel prize for theoretical physics; and Meghnad Saha, a leading astrophysicist who publicly contested Gandhi's critique of modern science and technology and became an advisor to the early Nehru government of the development of heavy industry.
scientists like Jagdish Chandra Bose, S N Bose, Meghnad Saha, Dr Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai who made much more lasting and important contribution to science compared to Dr Rao