Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Indian physicist, c 1910-1920.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (1888-1970) was responsible for showing that light scattered by molecules will show lower and higher frequency components - a discovery since known as the Raman effect. His discovery led to one of the earliest confirmations of quantum theory - that energy does not have a continuous range of values but instead is radiated (absorbed) discontinuously in multiples of indivisible units called quanta. Raman was knighted in 1929, and the following year received the Nobel Prize for Physics.