Famous Indian Scientists
Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao
Prof. Kotcherlakota Rangadhama Rao (9 September 1898 ? 20 June 1972) was an Indian physicist in the field of Spectroscopy. Rangadhama Rao is best known for his work on spectroscopy, his role in the development of Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR), and his long association with the physics laboratories of Andhra University. In his later years, he became known for his position as the Principal of all the colleges of Andhra University before their divisions into separate colleges, viz., AU College of Arts and Commerce, AU College of Engineering, AU College of Law, AU College of Pharmacy and AU College of Science and Technology. Rangadhama Rao was known both for his scientific ability and his interpersonal relations and volatile personality
In 1924, Dr. K. Rangadhama Rao joined Dr. A.L.Narayan as a research scholar in University of Madras. Both of them worked tenaciously to build up a first rate spectroscopic laboratory second to none in the country. They had then with them a constant deviation spectrograph, a small quartz spectrograph and a medium quartz spectrograph. All these were of low dispersion and low resolving power. At this stage of their work, they required an instrument of high dispersion and high resolving power, which they could not afford. So, K.R.Rao went to Calcutta, where a ten-foot concave grating was available in the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science of which C. V. Raman was Director and with the facilities provided there, they further extended their work on analysis of spectra in the visible and ultraviolet regions. He was guided in his research career by Prof. A.Fowler at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London in 1930 in Atomic Spectra for two years for which he was awarded the D.Sc. Degree from London University. In 1930, he had the opportunity of working under Prof. F.Paschen at the Physikalische Technische Reichsanstalt in Berlin for six months and under Prof. Manne Seigbahn in Upsala, Sweden on Vacuum Spectroscopy for another six months. His interest in the field of Spectroscopy was so much that he built a Vacuum Spectrograph of his design with his own expenses at Potsdam, Germany. Prof. K.R.Rao's contribution towards physics has placed him in a high position even in his times. His contributions include development of Diatomic and Polyatomic Molecular Spectroscopy laboratory dealing with High Resolution Vibrational structure in electronic transitions, U.V.Absorption, Infrared Absorption, Raman scattering, Fluorescence and Phosphorescence and Crystal Spectra. He also reached the level of construction of microwave test benches and using these techniques he created different lines of investigations in dielectrics. He contributed to the development of Radio Frequency Spectroscopy which branched into Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectroscopy. In India, work on NQR was first initiated by Prof. K. Rangadhama Rao in the Physics laboratories of Andhra University.
Kotcherlakota Rangdhama Rao was the Principal of Andhra University Colleges from 1949-57. He was appointed as Emeritus Professor of Physics at Andhra University (1966?72) and was special officer for the establishment of Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi (1954).