BIBHA CHOWDHURI​

About Her

Bibha Chowdhuri was an Indian Physicist known for her investigation into Cosmic rays. She was born in Calcutta on 3rd July, 1913.Her father Banku Behari Chowdhuri was a doctor by profession. They were zamindars of Bhandarhati in the district of Hooghly in Bengal. Her mother Urmila Devi practiced Brahma Samaj, which held them believed that young woman should be allowed to go to school. Bibha Chowdhuri was the middle child of the five siblings with one brother. She took her last breath on 2nd June, 1991 in Calcutta.

Education:

Bibha Chowdhuri started her school from Bethune School in Calcutta. She obtained her B.Sc. degree from Scottish Church College with honours in physics. She completed her M.Sc. in 1936 from Calcutta University in physics. After that she joined Bose Institute in 1939 and worked with Debendra Mohan Bose.

UNKNOWN FACTS:

  • Bibha Chowdhhuri was the first high energy physicist of India and the first woman scientists to be recruited at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
  • She was the only girl student in class of 1934-36 during her master degree.
  • She was the third woman to receive the post graduate degree in physics of Calcutta University.
  • She was the first to measure the mass of meson, while she was in Bose Institute, from the ‘stars’ formed in the photographic emulsion when exposed to cosmic rays.                                                                                                                                
  • Unfortunately, during her life time she had not received accolades such as being elected to the Fellowships of academics or awards in recognition of her pioneering work.

PHD THESIS:

 Bibha Chowdhuri presented a historical survey of Extensive Air Showers(EAS) at the beginning of her PhD thesis. She gave a short review of: “General structure of extensive showers”, “Spread of showers”, “Origin of showers”, and “Penetrating components in extensive showers”.

Her Works

Bibha Chowdhuri joined Bose Institute after completing her M.Sc. and worked with Debendra Mohan Bose. They experimentally observed and carried out a significant study on meson. Meson was hypothesized to have a mass greater than that of electron and less than that of proton. But the study was incomplete due to lack of sensitive emulsion plates. Then she went to Manchester for completion of her PhD. Bibha Chowdhuri presented a historical survey of Extensive Air Showers(EAS) at the beginning of her PhD thesis. She gave a short review of: “General structure of extensive showers”, “Spread of showers”, “Origin of showers”, and “Penetrating components in extensive showers”. She proved that the density of penetrating events is proportional to the total particle density of an extensive shower. After returning back in India, she joined Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). During this time, her study at cosmic ray contributed heavily to the discovery of K mesons. Later she joined Physical Research Laboratory and conducted experiment at Kolar Gold Fields. After her retirement she moved to Kolkata to work at Saha Institute of Nuclear physics.

Important Publication on Her

Memories

Scroll to Top