B Anantha Dasannacharya joined the Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay [now Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, (BARC)] after doing BSc and received MSc and PhD degrees by research from Bombay University under the guidance of Raja Ramanna and tutelage of PK Iyengar and G Venkataraman while working at BARC. He worked under BN Brockhouse at Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, Canada (1961-67) on neutron scattering by germanium and liquid argon. He was an expert Scientist of International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna at Philippines Atomic Research Centre (1966-67). He was a Guest Scientist at Institute fur Festkorperforschung, Julich, Germany (1973-75); Royal Society-INSA exchange Fellow at (then) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Atomic Energy Research Establishment, UK (1981) and INSA-JSPS (Japan) Exchange Fellow (1994). He worked in various positions at BARC such as Scientific Officer (1958-86); Head, Nuclear Physics Division (1987-90); Director, Solid State and Spectroscopy Group (1990-96) and Additional Director, Multi-disciplinary Technology Group (1993- 1996). He became Director (1995) of Inter University Consortium for Department of Atomic Energy Facilities (IUC-DAEF) (now called UGC-DAE Centre for Scientific Research), Indore.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dasannacharya participated in designing and building the first automatic powder diffractometer and neutron inelastic scattering spectrometer in India under PK Iyengar: which led to his measuring the antiferromagnetic structure of FeSn2 and phonons in Fe. While in Canada, he made classic determination of the time-dependent pair correlation function in liquid argon. In India, he initiated neutron scattering experiments on low temperature molecular liquids (spherical top CH4/CD4 and symmetric top NH3) and solid NH3 giving quantitative information on the nature of their molecular dynamics. Later, in Germany, with his experiments onnon-superfluid liquid helium he tested the limits of classical hydrodynamics. He was the first to use the polarization dependence of inelastic incoherent scattering to identify the character of librational motion in crystal hydrates. He developed the technique of measuring phonons using filter detector spectrometer leading to demonstration of non-locality of psuedopotential in Be. He did some of the early measurements of Stochastic rotational motion of molecular groups in solids and was involved in the first neutronic measurement of quantum mechanical tunneling. He initiated 'small angle neutron scattering studies' at BARC by designing and building a SANS instrument at Cirus Reactor leading to an extensive field of research. His innovations include 'multiplane analyser' and 'delta-T window analyser' , the latter forming the base of long term Indo-UK collaboration for Indians using the most intense pulsed neutron source in the world. He utillised the combination of open beam/perfect crystal to design tandem spectrometers, which permit improved intensity and resolution and also make for improved neutron economy. He has published more than 200 articles, edited several books and guided several PhD and MPhil students.
Other Contributions: As Director, IUC-DAEF he contributed to expanding the number of university scientists, utilizing major facilities of DAE at Mumbai, Kolkata, Indore and Kalpakkam and establishing the best Low Temperature Laboratory in India, within the university system, at Indore. At BARC, he was responsible for the activities of different Divisions, namely Solid State Physics, Spectroscopy, Laser and Plasma Technology, etc. He has served on the INSA Council (2000-02); was President, Indian Physics Association (1995-97) and Chairman, Mumbai-Pune Chapter of Materials Research Society of India (1993-96).
Awards and Honours: Dasannacharya has been a recipient of the Mahendralal Sircar Award of the Indian Association for Cultivation of Science and the Homi Jehangir Bhabha Medal of INSA (1999). He is a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.