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Piara Singh Gill

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Piara Singh Gill

Born: 28 October 1911

Died: 23 March 2002

  • He was an Indian nuclear physicist who was a pioneer in cosmic ray nuclear physics and worked on the American Manhattan Project.
  • He was the first Director of the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) of India.
  • He was a research fellow at the University of Chicago (1940).
  • He researched Professorship fellow of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) (1947), Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD) with the Atomic Energy Commission in New Delhi.
  • Professor and Head of the Department of Physics at Aligarh University (1949), Director of Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO) (1959) and Professor Emeritus at Punjab Agricultural University (1971).
  • He was a close friend of Nehru, who was impressed by his scientific knowledge.
  • Nehru offered him the post of Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD) with the Atomic Energy Commission in New Delhi and asked him to become the first Director of Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO) of India.
  • As its Director he established CSIO as a leader in advanced scientific instrument design in Asia.
  • He was a key advisor to Nehru on India’s nuclear weapons strategy in the 1950-60s.
  • Robert Oppenheimer was a close colleague and friend.
  • Oppenheimer asked him to present a paper at the California Institute of Technology at a conference arranged to celebrate the 80th birthday of Professor Robert Millikan, winner of the 1928 Physics Nobel Prize.

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