Meghnad Saha

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Meghnad Saha

Born: 6 October 1893

Died: 16 February 1956

  • He was a Bengali Indian astrophysicist best known for his development of the Saha ionization equation, used to describe chemical and physical conditions in stars.
  • Cecilia Payne was the first scientist to relate a star’s spectrum to its temperature, using his work in developing thermal ionization equations that have been foundational in the fields of astrophysics and astrochemistry.
  • He was repeatedly and unsuccessfully nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • He was also politically active and was elected into the Parliament of India in 1952.
  • He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1930 by Debendra Mohan Bose and Sisir Kumar Mitra.
  • The Nobel Committee evaluated Saha’s work.
  • It was seen as a useful application, but not a “discovery.”
  • Thus he was not awarded the Prize. Saha was nominated again for the Prize in 1937 and 1940 by Arthur Compton; and in 1939, 1951 and 1955 by Mitra.
  • The Committee held to its previous decision.

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