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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October 28, 2019