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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Indian Nuke Scientist P K Iyengar is no more

The greatest mathematical genius Srinivasan Ramanujam was born this day 124 years ago.  He had no formal training in Mathematics but was a genius credited with Ramanujan conjecture – Ramanujan’s tau function given by Fourier coefficients….  He lived in Triplicane.

18th May 1974 the Buddha Jayanthi day will remain one of the most important days of the Nation – it was on that day Buddha smiled.

‘Smiling Buddha’ was the code name of the Project and the first detonation of contained nuclear explosion at Pokhran in Rajasthan,  placed India on the elitist map of Nations with nuke capability.  That was the  first confirmed nuclear test by a nation outside the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.  The head of the development team was Raja Ramanna. Other key personnel included P. K. Iyengar, Rajagopala Chidambaram, Nagapattinam Sambasiva Venkatesan, and Waman Dattatreya Patwardhan under the supervision of Homi N. Sethna.   To preserve secrecy, the project employed no more than 75 scientists and engineers from 1967–1974.   The nuclear weapons efforts were remarkably established in 1944 by Homi J. Bhabha who founded the nuclear institute Institute of Fundamental Research in 1944.

Padmanabhan Krishnagopalan Iyengar  born in 29th June 1931, an eminent Nuclear scientist who played a central role in those cold fission tests is no more.  He passed away in Mumbai at the BARC hospital in Trombay at 3.25pm on 21st Dec 2011.  

In 1971 he was transferred to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre where he was appointed the director of Physics Group  and became the key scientist in the development of India's first nuclear device. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 1975.  He became director of BARC in 1984 and was chairman of the atomic energy commission (AEC) between 1990 and 1993. Though Iyengar had contributed a great deal to various aspects of India's nuclear programme, he is best known for the part played in the country's first nuke test.  The interesting anecdote quoted is that a few hours before the N-test, Homi Sethna, then chairman of AEC was reported to have asked at Pokhran: "Whose head will roll if the device does not explode." To this Iyengar replied: "If the laws of physics works, it will work."   And it worked successfully ushering India into the elite nuclear weapons club, deceiving American spy satellites.

The Nation mourns the death of one of its glorious sons of the soil

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


  1. this overhyped madrasi would only steal credit from other and come up. The real work was always done by someone else.

  2. A comment in bad taste. Were you affected, did you anything personally on this and in what capacity are you making this. Even otherwise there is 'de mottuis dil nisi bonum' - say only good of the dead. Shruti you need to have your basics right - Sundar