Dr Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry
Dr. Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry is one of the founders of Pakistan’s nuclear program and is also regarded as ‘father of nuclear physics in Pakistan’. He is one of the finest scientists produced by Pakistan and have been awarded various awards and honors in an illustrious career.
Dr. Rafi completed his Doctoral from prestigious Cambridge University under the supervision of one of the world’s most illustrious scientist, Ernst Rutherford. Many years later, his own students including Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, working under his supervision, rose to national prominence which in itself is a hallmark of his career and services to Pakistan.
Apart from his many contributions to this nation, one unforgettable mention is that at the time of partition, he was head of Physics department at Aligarh University in India. He was requested personally by Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru to stay in India but he considered the letter sent to him by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah personally and joined Government College, Lahore where he later established High Tension Laboratory. This institution and work done here went on to become foundations of Pakistan’s nuclear program.
Dr. Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry did his MSc in Physics in 1929 from Aligarh University and established a record which remained unbroken for a number of years. He won two Gold medals, one for securing the first position in Physics and the other for overall first position in MSc (all science subjects). Impressed by Dr. Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry’s academic achievements, Nawab of Bhopal awarded him a scholarship to move on to Cambridge for his Ph.D. at Cavendish Laboratory under the supervision of Lord Rutherford. He completed his doctorate in 1932.
Dr. Rafi. Muhammad Chaudhry is the pioneer of experimental nuclear research in Pakistan and also the founder of “High Tension Laboratory” (in 1952) at GC University Lahore now “Centre for Advanced Studies in Physics” (CASP). At the High Tension Laboratory research in fundamental problems of Physics concerning gaseous discharges, ion and electron impact phenomena, nuclear physics, radioactivity and cosmic rays were carried out. He regarded this laboratory as a major contribution to the Physics of Pakistan and indeed many top physicists in the country were trained at this laboratory.
In recognition of his service, he was awarded Sitara-e-Khidmat (1964), Sitara-e-Imtiaz (1982) and Hilal-e-Imtiaz (2005).
The GC University set up Dr. Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry Chair in experimental Physics to recognize his services to Pakistan, and to the discipline of Physics. It is hoped that the person who occupies this Chair will help in raising the standards of teaching and research in the GC University. Besides, he will act as an important link between GCU and other national and international science organizations.
GCU has recently appointed Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zakaullah as Professor, Dr. Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry Chair.