Professor Ram Kumar Varma

(March 31, 1935-May 14, 2014)


Professor Ram Kumar Varma, former Director, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, suddenly passed away on May 14, 2005.  He was 79.


Prof. Varma, was born on March 31, 1935 in Sardhana, Meerut, U.P. He obtained his B.Sc. (1953) from Agra Univeristy and M. Sc. (1956) from Lucknow University. He then joined Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, in 1956 as a Research Assistant. Subsequently, in 1961, he moved to University of California at La Jolla as a Ph.D. student to work under the supervision of Marshal Rosenbluth. After obtaining his Ph. D. degree in 1965, he spent a year at the NASA Langley Research Center, USA, as NRC-NASA Resident Research Associate. Thereafter, he returned back to TIFR in 1966.


Prof. Varma joined Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, in 1968 and initiated plasma physics activity that later led to provide the nucleus for the formation of Institute of Plasma Research (IPR). He served as the Director of PRL from 1987 to 1995. During this period, he initiated numerous new activities, and carried out reorganization of research areas which laid the foundation of a long lasting vision for PRL. After his superannuation from PRL, he continued to remain active as an Emeritus Scientist and Honorary Fellow.


Prof. Varma was a scientist par excellence. He worked in the areas of plasma physics, astrophysics, and quantum-classical relationships. He is well recognized and internationally acclaimed for his work in plasma physics. His most quoted work pertains to plasmas in the mirror machines with the equations given by him known in the literature as the "Varma equations" and the mode (branch) predicted, and subsequently observed,  named as the "Varma mode/branch". Another equation, the Rosenbluth-Varma equation relating to the same problem has also been so quoted. He worked out a new coupled mode, the "Alfven-Varma mode". His work on the tokamak plasma has led to the "Varma pinch", while another work on dusty plasmas has led to the "Varma kinetic equation".


His most significant work pertains to the dynamics of charged particles in a magnetic field. He postulated through both theoretical and experimental work the existence of a new quantum entity designated as transition amplitude wave (TAW). It has predicted some very unusual and unexpected phenomena and opened the possibility of fundamentally new class of matter-wave phenomena occurring at a macroscopic level. It gives a new perspective on the division of physical phenomena into macro-classical and micro-classical domains, and the emergence of a new class of quantum phenomena; the macro-quantum dynamics. 


Prof. Varma earned recognition for his work from many quarters. He was elected as the fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the H.C. Shah Gold Medal in 1977. He was Founder-President of the Plasma Society of India (1978-92), and Chairman of National Committee for Space Research. He served as Co-Director of the Plasma Physics College at International Center of Theoretical Physics,  Trieste, Italy, from 1979 to 1985.

He was an exceptionally humane and kind-hearted person with rare grace and poise in dealing with colleagues and subordinates. As a person, Prof. Varma was a multi-dimensional, multi faceted talent. Besides being a erudite thinker and a scientist, he was a singer par excellence, a Tabla exponent, an artist and a painter, a carpenter and a person with a fine sense of humor. All of these rolled into a single persona, made him a rare individual who touched all who he met.  

He will be sorely missed not only by his immediate family members and friends, but by the scientific community at large.


He was a Life member of PSSI.

Dr. Parvez Guzdar

July 29, 1950 - July 15, 2011


Dr. Parvez N. Guzdar, of Columbia MD, USA, passed away on July 15, 2011.


Born in Calcutta, India, Dr. Guzdar emigrated to the U.S. in 1976 to pursue post-doctoral work at Princeton University. In 1979, he moved to Maryland, beginning a 30+ year career at the Institute for Plasma Research at the University of Maryland as a Research Scientist.


He was a Life member of PSSI.


Link to Dr. Parvez Guzdar's page

Prof. Padma Kant Shukla

July 07, 1950 - January 26, 2013


Prof. Padma Kant Shukla, distinguished Professor and first International Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department of Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB) Germany, passed away on 26th January 2013 in New Delhi where he had come to receive the "Hind Rattan Award" bestowed upon him by the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, in cooperation with the NRI Welfare Society of India.


Born in village Tulapur (UP) and was educated in Varanasi. After his Ph.D. in Physics from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India at the age of 22, he moved to Umeň University (UmU), Sweden in January 1972, and obtained his second doctorate degree in Theoretical Plasma Physics from UmU in 1975. He has lived in Bochum and worked at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany since January 1973, becoming a German Citizen in 1993.


He was a Life member of PSSI.


Link to Dr. Padma Kant Shukla's webpage

© PSSI 2009

Home Home Page | Acheivements | About PSSI | Executive Committee |  Past Committes | Members |  Categories |  How to become a member ? |  Member details |  Member Data Update | Awards |  Buti Young Scientist Award |  Sholapurwala Awards |  PSSI Poster Awards |  PSSI Oral Awards |  Parvez Guzdar AWard | Scholarship | Contact | Conferences & Meetings |  Recent Meetings | Newsletter | Accounts |  Audited Accounts | General Body Meeting |  Past GBMs | Obituaries | PLASMA Conf. PLASMA Conference |  About Plasma-2016 |  PSC-2014 |  Past Plasma Conferences |  Abstract Books | PSC Series PSC Series | Past PSC |