Imprints Collection


Prof. S. Ramaseshan

Sivaraj Ramaseshan (October 10, 1923 – December 29, 2003) was an Indian scientist well known for his work in the field of crystallography. Ramaseshan served as Director of the Indian Institute of Science and was awarded the Padma Bhushan from Government of India. He was associated with RRI as Prof. Emiritus from 1984 until his demise in 2003.

Early Years and Education

Prof. S. Ramaseshan was born at Calcutta to S. Sivaramakrishnan and Sitalakshmi. He had early education at Nagpur. He obtained BSc Hons degree from Nagpur University in 1943 and MSc in 1945. He obtained Associateship at IISC in 1948 and DSc in 1949 form Nagpur University.


Prof. Ramaseshan started his career as Research Assistant at IISc in 1945 and rose to the level of Director of IISc during 1981-84. He was lecturer at IISc during 1949-53, Assistant Professor during 1953-62. He was Professor and head of Department of Physics at IIT, Madras during 1962-66. He joined NAL, Materials Science division as Head during 1966-79. He moved back to IISc as Joint Director in 1979. He was Direcor of IISc during 1981-84. He also worked at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, New York during 1954-55; He was the Honorary Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Raman Research Institute from 1984-2003.

Scientific Work

As an expert in crystallography, Prof. Ramaseshan established the multiwave anomalous X-ray scattering method for the determination of phases of reflection, partial structure factors of binary liquids and glasses, static displacements and polarization vectors. He proposed the use of anomalous neutron scattering for solving very large structures. He showed that the resistivity anomaly in liquid caesium is due to anomalous electron scattering during the Fermi 6s-5d electron collapse. He formulated and verified laws governing cleavages in crystals. He discovered the icosahedral coordination in ionic solids and developed new techniques for low temperature crystallography. Also discovered in optics, Fresnel diffraction in transparent spheres and spheroids; the optical activity of neutrons in halimagnetic structures; the identity of Pancharatnam spherical excess theorem with the Berry phase; the monograph on crystal optics based on the Poincare sphere. In condensed matter physics, Ramaseshan established the first high pressure laboratory in India; predicted pressure-induced optical activity; predicted and verified the existence pressure-induced liquid crystallinity; determined the critical point in solid-solid isostructural transformation of SmS. He was the first one to establish materials science laboratory in India. He designed and fabricated the first nutation damper for India's satellite Aryabhata; FRP Porous tubes for desalination; materials and processes for India's first heart valve prosthesis.

After the demise of Sir. C.V. Raman, Prof. Ramaseshan was elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the Indian Academy of Sciences. He was primarily responsible for running the affairs of the Academy. He became the President in 1983 and he looked after the affairs upto 1997. His contribution towards the flagship journal of the Academy "Current Science" in improving its quality and quantity in terms of circulation is worth appreciation.


Prof. Ramaseshan was elected the Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences in 1955 and Fellow of Indian National Science Academy in 1972. He also had the honor of being Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow during 1977-79.

Awards & Distinctions

In 1966, Ramaseshan was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award. This was followed by the Vasvik Award in 1980 and the INSA Aryabhata Medal in 1985.Ramaseshan is also a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1985 from Government of India.


Reading and listening to music were the hobbies of Prof. Ramaseshan

Born 10 October 1923
Calcutta, India
Died 29 December 2003 (aged 80)
Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Field: Crystallography, High Pressure Studies, Magneto Optics
Institutions Indian Institute of Science (1945-1984)
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1962-1966)
National Aeronautical Laboratory (1966-1979) Raman Reseach Institute (1984-2003)
Alma mater Nagpur University
Awards Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (1966)
Vasvik Award (1980)
INSA Aryabhata Medal (1985)
Padma Bhushan, GOI (1985)

Back to Imprints Collection

C. V. Raman Avenue, Sadashivanagar, Bangalore - 560 080, India
Phone: (80) 23610122 Fax: (80) 23610492 Telegrams: RAMANINST e-mail: