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Homi Jehangir Bhabha

Homi Jehangir Bhabha was born in Bombay in 1909, and is considered the father of India's nuclear program. After studying in India, he attended Caius College of Cambridge University, where he received undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics.

He studied the latter under Paul Dirac, who later shared a Nobel Prize with Erwin Schrödinger. While working as a research student of theoretical physics in the successful Cavendish Laboratory in 1932, he won a traveling fellowship which he used to study with Enrico Fermi in Rome. He divided his time between working at Cambridge and working with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen while completing his doctorate.

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Bhabha published a number of influential papers in theoretical physics during his time in Western Europe, which had a tendency to win him awards and fellowships. Most notably, he was the author of "The Absorbtion of Cosmic Radiation" and "The Passage of Fast Electrons and the Theory of Cosmic Showers," and his work in electron-positron scattering earned the phenomenon the name "Bhabha Scattering."

When World War II broke out in September of 1939, Bhabha was vacationing in India. Current events convinced him to remain in the country, where his impressive academic credentials allowed him to serve multiple civic, political, intellectual, and eventually international posts. He was a Reader in the Physics Department of the Indian Institute of Science, founded the Cosmic Ray Research Unit and Institute, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and established the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

After India gained independence in 1947, Bhabha created the Atomic Energy Commission of India and represented his country in International Atomic Energy Forums. He also served as President of the United Nations Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva in 1955. Bhabha was killed in the Air India Flight 101 disaster near Mount Blanc in 1966. Though conspiracy theorists suspect sabotage intended to impede India's nuclear program, the cause of the accident remains a mystery.