Chanchal Kumar Majumdar obtained his PhD (1965) from University of California, San Diego, USA and specialized in physics of condensed matter. He served as the Associate Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai (1966-75); Palit Professor of Physics, University of Calcutta, Kolkata (1975-82); Head, Department of Magnetism, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata (1982-87); and Director, SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata (1987).
Academic and Research Achievements: Majumdar had worked on the effective mass of positrons in metals, the two dimensional angular correlation of positron annihilation radiation, the three-magnon bound state equation, the stress relaxation in soda-lime glass, the critical isotherm of the Ising model and of the Lennard-Jones gas and corrosion in iron and determination of Fe2+ / Fe3+ ratio in iron minerals by Mossbauer effect. Majumdar made an important contribution in the area of disordered solids. The time dependence of the stress relaxation in stabilized soda-lime glass was earlier studied by R Douglas, S F Edwards and others. Majumdar provided a simple explanation for the form of the non-exponential decay and a formula which gives the right order of magnitude of the long time scales involved. Majumdar pioneered computational studies in condensed matter physics in India. He and his coworkers applied state-of-the-art computational techniques to a variety of important problems like electronic band structure calculations of alpha and gamma-cerium, lower bound to the ground state energy of the Heisenberg Hamiltonian on a triangular lattice and the thermodynamic and dynamic properties of finite-sized spin chains and clusters.
Other Contributions: Majumdar was a Member, Indo-US Subcommission in Physics, Indian Commission for Cooperation with Unesco, Commission on Planning Higher Education in West Bengal, UGC Physics Panel, and physical research advisory committees of CSIR and DST. He also served as editor of: Indian Journal of Physics News, and member of editorial board of Pramana.
Awards and Honours: Majumdar received the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1976); MN Saha Medal of Asiatic Society (1978); PA Pandya Award of Indian Physics Association (1979); UGC National Lecturer (1978-79); MN Saha Award of UGC (1983) and SN Bose Medal of INSA (1989). He was a Fellow, Indian Physical Society (President, 1988-90), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, New York Academy of Sciences, and American Physical Society.