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Biography of Meghnad Saha
Meghnad Saha (1893-1956) was an Indian astrophysicist who made significant contributions to the field of astrophysics and spectroscopy. He is best known for his theory of thermal ionization, which explains the behavior of matter at high temperatures.
Saha was born on October 6, 1893, in Shaoratoli village, East Bengal (now Bangladesh). He studied at Dhaka College and later at Presidency College in Calcutta, where he earned his BSc and MSc degrees in physics. In 1917, he joined the University of Calcutta as a lecturer in physics.
In 1919, Saha became interested in the field of astrophysics and began studying the spectra of stars. He proposed a theory to explain the presence of certain spectral lines in the spectra of stars, which he called the Saha ionization equation. The theory was based on the idea that at high temperatures, atoms in a gas can lose or gain electrons, becoming ions. The theory became the foundation of modern astrophysics, and Saha was awarded the Royal Society of London’s Hughes Medal in 1927 for his work.
In 1932, Saha became the first Indian to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. He also served as the president of the Indian Science Congress in 1937 and was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in 1954.
Saha was also involved in the Indian independence movement and was a member of the Indian National Congress. He was elected to the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1946 and served as the minister of education in the government of West Bengal from 1948 to 1951.
Saha died on February 16, 1956, in New Delhi, India. His contributions to astrophysics and his role in the Indian independence movement continue to be celebrated in India and around the world.