Syama Das Chatterjee earned his DSc (1946) from the University of Calcutta. His areas of specialization were Nuclear Physics, Cosmic Rays and Solid-State Physics. He was a Professor of Physics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata (1956-69), Visiting Professor, Technical University, Munich, Germany (1963-66) a Senior Scientist, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata (1970-77), Professor Emeritus (1977) and a Visiting Scientist at Variable Energy Cyclotron (BARC), Kolkata.
Academic and Research Achievements: Chatterjee discovered the spontaneous fission of uranium simultaneously with and independently of Petrazhak and Flerov. He isolated 60Co chemically for the first time from inactive neutron-irradiated 59Co and extracted and purified He gas (99.98%) and other noble gases from natural gas emanating from thermal springs of India. He also fabricated B10F3-filled (at high pressure) ionization chamber and proportional counter and suggested possibilities of Mossbauer effect by cooling in liquid helium.
Other Contributions: Dr Chatterjee started the SD Chatterjee Research Foundation in Kolkata and was its Director (1985-95). He was a Life Member of Royal Institution (UK), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (USA), American Physical Society, Instrumentation and Measurement Society (USA) and Laser and Electro Optics Society (USA).
Awards and Honours: Dr Chatterjee was a recipient of Woodburn Medal of IACS (1948), the MN Saha Memorial Medal of Asiatic Society (1982), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Centenary Plaque (1984) and MN Saha Memorial Plaque of Indian Science News Association (1984). He was also a Fellow of New York Academy of Sciences.