Meghnad Saha


Meghnad Saha FRS (6 October 1893 – 16 February 1956) was an Indian astrophysicist who developed the Saha ionization equation, used to describe chemical and physical conditions in stars. His work allowed astronomers to accurately relate the spectral classes of stars to their actual temperatures. He was elected to the Parliament of India in 1952 from Calcutta.

Meghnad Saha was born in 1893 in a very poor family in Shaoratoli, a village near Dhaka-Bikrampur, in the former Bengal Presidency of British India (in present-day Village- Shaoratoli, Thana- Kaliakair, District- Gazipur, Bangladesh). Son of Jagannath Saha (a grocer) and Smt. Bhubneshwari Devi, Meghnad struggled to rise in life. During his early schooling he was forced to leave Dhaka Collegiate School because he participated in the Swadeshi movement. He earned his Indian School Certificate from Dhaka College. He was also a student at the Presidency College, Kolkata and Rajabazar Science College CU. As a student, Saha faced caste discrimination from his fellow upper-caste students. When Saha was at Eden Hindu Hostel, upper-caste students objected to him eating in the same dining hall because he was not from upper caste. He was also a professor at Allahabad University from 1923 to 1938, and thereafter a professor and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Calcutta until his death in 1956. He became Fellow of the Royal Society in 1927. He was president of the 21st session of the Indian Science Congress in 1934.

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