In the Preface, Rajinder Singh, the author of this volume, recounts his achievements in the history of Indian Science. I felt humbled by his track record of 100 research publications and 39 books in this domain. So this volume is 40th in the series. He also recounts the reasons for undertaking this onerous task: “In 2021, on the Women Science Day, in Chandigarh, the Society for the Promotion of Science and Technology of India invited prominent female scientists from different fields of research, to deliver lectures. Professor Suman Bala Beri, formerly at the Punjab University (PU) Chandigarh, was one of them. I was fascinated by her life story, as she is the first female Professor of the Physics Department, PU. In addition to that, she is one of the first female Indian scientists to work on high energy particle physics”. He acknowledges the help of Prof. Arun Kumar Grover, Ex-VC PU, for providing moral support and help.
The Foreword to this volume is written by Prof. Bindu Bambah, Ex-Senior Professor of University of Hyderabad, and herself a prominent Theoretical Particle Physicist. Bindu writes: “I have known her for nearly 50 years, half a century of ups and downs. How can one write objectively about a person one has known since childhood, as a teacher, friend and physicist? So, if my words sound subjective, it is with a reason. There is emotion involved, and with feeling invariably comes subjectivity”. Bindu ends her write up by paying glowing tributes to Suman: “This book is a biography of one such a “Violet”, and I hope it spreads the fragrance of her life as a role model for coming generations of women. Let them be inspired by a life in Physics that overcame many hurdles, many downfalls, and many losses but still survived to be part of not only the top quark discovery but the Higgs search as well”.
In his message, Prof. Arun Kumar Grover, Ex-VC of PU Chandigarh, narrates how he motivated Rajinder Singh to write biographies of BM Anand and Suman Beri: “In March 2021, he proposed to write a biography of Suman Beri and I offered to assist him in collation of relevant material available in PU and TIFR and also put him in contact with scientists who have known her”.
In the Introduction to this volume, author writes: “Suman Beri is one of the inventors of top quark, single top quark and Higgs boson. She is one of the top ten Indian physicists with highest h-index. She is honoured by different institutions. She is one of the persons who work for the promotion of girls’ education. To the best of my knowledge, there is no book which deals with her life and science. The present book intends to fill the gap”.