Piara Singh Gill

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Professor Piara Singh Gill, (28 October 1911 - 23 March 2002) was a scientist (physicist). He was a pioneer in cosmic ray nuclear physics and worked on the American Manhattan project [1]. Moreover, he was the first Director of Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO) of India. [2] He was research fellow of Chicago University (1940)[3]. He was research Professorship fellow of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) (1947), Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD) with the Atomic Energy Commission in New Delhi. Professor & Head in the Department of Physics at Aligarh University (1949), Director of Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO) (1959) and Professor Emeritus Punjab Agricultural University (1971) [4].

Personal life

Photo of Professor Piara Singh Gill.

He was born in 28 October 1911 in a Jat Sikh Gill family in the village of Chela in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. He attended Khalsa High School in Mahilpur (1928) and left for America in 1929. He graduated with a bachelors and Master's degree from University of Southern California. He worked for his PhD in Physics at University of Chicago under the supervision and guidance of Arthur Compton, the Nobel Prize winner Scientist. He received his PhD in Physics from University of Chicago in March 1940. He was a good friend and close colleague of Homi J. Bhabha, who offered him the research fellow Professorship at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1947 [5]. He was also a close friend of Nehru, who was one of the people he impressed with his scientific breakthroughs. [6], he offered him the post of Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD) with the Atomic Energy Commission in New Delhi and he also asked him to become the first Director of Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO) of India[7]. He as its Director established (CSIO) as a leader in advanced scientific instrument design in Asia [8]. Moreover, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, was a close colleague and friend who he worked with on the Manhattan project. Dr. Oppenheimer asked Professor Gill to present a paper at the California Institute of Technology at a conference arranged to celebrate the 80th birthday of Professor Robert Millikan, winner of the 1928 Physics Nobel Prize. Professor Piara Singh Gill was a key advisor and planner to Nehru on India's nuclear weapons strategy in the 1950-60s [9]. Some free excerpts from Professor Piara Singh Gill's autobiography can be read at Google Books (click on reference to read)[10].

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External links


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