Nabamita Bhattacharjee has been a teacher with Vedantu for more than 2+ years. Passionate about science, she pursued her MSc degree in Nanoscience and technology. Her history of working in the higher education industry fuels her passion to teach children from classes 6-8 about the fascinating inventions of science.
Did you know that after C.V. Raman discovered the scattering of light and won the Nobel prize for Physics, a chemical analysis technique called Raman spectroscopy was also discovered? National Science Day which is celebrated in commemoration of the Raman Effect- is the inelastic scattering of photons by matter, meaning that there is both an exchange of energy and a change in the light’s direction. This has given a simple yet fascinating explanation of how light interacts with atoms, molecules, and compounds. This discovery in Physics asserted the proof that light is quantum in nature, revolutionizing future discoveries.
Here are 5 lesser-known facts about the Raman Effect and how it can help scientific findings:
- The study of molecules: Through the Raman Effect, homonuclear and trinuclear molecules such as Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Sulphur Dioxide, Carbon Dioxide and Water can be studied accurately. This helps determine the structural nature of the molecules whether they are linear, angular, symmetrical, or asymmetrical.
- The binding force of an atom: Two atoms or more are packed together to make a molecule. Separating the atoms requires some amount of basis electrostatic energy to divide the negatively charged electrons and positively charged nucleus. This force is required to break the two which is referred to as binding force. Scattering of light can help understand the binding force of the atom, the nature and the strength of the force that holds the crystal together.
- Electrolytic dissociation and Hydrolysis: Electrolytic dissociation is a process where chemicals made up of various compounds are split into smaller particles. This process is used to break down molecules or crystals into ions, and the by-product is energy or solvent. Whereas hydrolysis is the reaction of chemicals with water, decomposing water and the substance. Through the Raman Effect, the phenomenon of electrolytic dissociation and the degree of hydrolysis can be studied amongst acids, bases and salts and insights based on them can be derived.
- Classifying compounds: Organic compounds are of two types, open chain, and close chain compounds. While open-chain compounds are those where the carbon atoms are linked in a linear or branched fashion, close chain compounds are those that have compounds in the structure of rings. Often to differentiate between them, the Raman spectroscopy is used.
- Structure of molecules and compounds: By studying the vibrations of a molecule or compound, a structural fingerprint is formed through which information that corresponds with a molecule or a compound can be determined. The interaction of light with the chemical bonding of the material can also detail information about the phase polymorphy, crystallinity and molecular interactions.
C.V. Raman was an inspired scientist driven to understand the reason behind why the icebergs and the Mediterranean Sea had different shades of striking blue. He went on to discover and envision the true reason behind how light travels through a medium and scatters. This landmark effect is now being used across the world to characterize materials, identify pharmaceutical chemicals, identify pigments in old paintings and detect explosives using lasers from a distance.