Vishnu Ganesh Bhide obtained his PhD degree (1954) from the Nagpur University and again PhD (1955) from the University of London, UK. His specialization was in Spectroscopy. He was Professor and Head, Physics Department, Institute of Science, Bombay (1956-66); Scientist (Director's grade), National Physical Laboratory (1975-82); Professor and Chairman, School of Energy Studies, State Bank of India Chair (1982-84); Vice-Chancellor, University of Poona (1984-88); and Director, Inter-University Consortium for DAE Facilities (1989-90).
Academic and Research Achievements: Bhide developed a new method based on multiple beam interference technique to delineate ferroelectric domains and to study domain dynamics. His work on audio frequency electroluminescence in ferroelectrics, demonstrated domain switching and the existence of a very thin layer of low dielectric constant on the surface of ferroelectric BaTiO3 crystals. Bhide pioneered research work on Mossbauer spectroscopy in the country, using the Mossbauer spectrometer he himself made. Using this technique he brought out the existence of temperature dependent soft mode, which disappears at about the Curie temperature and causes ferroelectric phase transition. Along with his students, he developed know-how for making liquid crystal displays. Bhide's reports, Cryogenics: Survey and Outlook and Solar Energy: Hope and Challenge, not only initiated research in these two important fields in the country but formed the basis for subsequent developments. He also contributed to the development of amorphous silicon solar cells.
Other Contributions: Bhide made many pioneering contributions to science education. He was chairman of the Physics Study Group, which brought out textbooks for Standards VII-XII on behalf of NCERT. He was Member, International Commission on the Applications of Mossbauer Effect; Chairman, Asian Working Group on Solar Energy; Director, International Solar Energy; Director, International Solar Energy Society; and Scientific Adviser, Union Cabinet Secretariat (1973-75). Bhide edited eleven books and served as Member of Editorial Boards of: Pramana, Proceedings of Indian National Science Academy and Journal of Physics Education.
Awards and Honours: Bhide was a recipient of Sir CV Raman Award; MN Saha Memorial Award (1978); K Rangadhama Rao Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (1990); and Padma Shri (1992). He was also conferred upon Parulekar Memorial Lectures; MB Kinkhede Memorial Lectures; Professor VN Thatte Memorial Lectures; and several others. He was a Fellow of Royal Astronomical Society; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and Maharashtra Academy of Sciences. He was Founder Fellow of Indian Cryogenic Council. He was President, Physics Section of Indian Science Congress (1971). Bhide was Secretary (1971-74) and Treasurer (1981-84) of INSA.