Candrashekhar Venkata Raman (well known as CV Raman)  was born on November 7th 1888 in the small village of Thiruvanaikkava near Trichinopoly, Madras Presidency (now Tiruchirapalli, state of Tamil Nadu, India) in Southern India, the son of Chandrashekara Aiyar, who became the Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the Mrs. A.V.N.College in Vishakapatnam when his son was three years old, and Parvati Ammal, who belonged to a family famous for Sanskrit Scholarship. Young Raman received an early interest in science and music from his father and a strong personality and sense of self-reliance from his mother. He attended the A.V.N. College and then the Presidency College of the University of Madras, from which he received his BA degree in 1904 at the age of 15, ranking first in his class and winning the gold medals for Physics and English. While still an undergraduate, he began research on acoustics and optics and published his first article (in the Philosophical magazine) in 1906 at the age of 18. He received his MA degree with highest honors in January 1907.

In the summer of 1921 Raman represented his University at the British Empire Universities Congress at Oxford and lectured on the theory of stringed instruments before the Royal Society of London. Returning home by the way of the Mediterranean Sea, he was fascinated by its opalescent, deep blue color and attempted to discover the cause. Rejecting Lord Rayleigh’s explanation that it was caused by the reflection from the sky, in 1922 Raman showed that the scattering of light by water molecules could account for the color of the sea exactly as the scattering of light by air molecules accounted for the color of the sky.