Archana Bhattacharyya earned her BSc (Hons) and MSc degrees in Physics from the University of Delhi in 1967 and 1969, respectively, holding a National Science Talent Scholarship (1964-69). She received PhD degree in Physics from Northwestern University (1975), working in the area of theoretical condensed matter Physics. She joined the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), Bombay in 1978. During 1986-87 she worked with the group of KC Yeh at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and during 1998-2000 she was a Senior NRC Resident Research Associate at the Air Force Resaerch Laboratory in Massachussetts, USA. She was the Director of IIG during 2005-2010. Currently, she is an Emeritus Scientist at IIG.
Academic and Research Achievements: At IIG, Bhattacharyya embarked on a study of ionospheric irregularities produced by plasma instabilities in earth's ionosphere and scattering of radio waves by ionospheric irregularities. She was the first in India to utilize the digital data of amplitude and phase scintillations on VHF radio waves transmitted from the geostationary satellite ATS-6 for studying these irregularities. She developed a method for solving the fourth moment equation for ionospheric scintillations. She used scintillation data to study the dynamics and evolution of the irregularities in a way that has led to the identification of nascent irregularities produced due to magnetic storms. She has put forward a new theory for the development of equatorial plasma bubbles with associated magnetic field fluctuations.
Other Contributions: During Dr. Bhattacharyya's tenure as Director of IIG, a new regional centre of IIG, namely the Dr KS Krishnan Geomagnetic Research Laboratory at Allahabad started functioning with experimental facilities for upper atmospheric as well as palaeomagnetic research. She has served as the Chairperson of the Interdivisional Commission for Developing Countries in the International Association for Geomagnetism and Aernomy (IAGA) during 2007-2011 and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of IAGA. She has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics (American Geophysical Union), Pramana, and the Indian Journal of Radio & Space Physics.
Awards and Honours: Archana Bhattacharyya was awarded the Dr KS Krishnan Gold Medal by the University of Delhi (1969). She has been conferred the Professor KR Ramanathan Memorial Lecture and Medal by the Indian Geophysical Union (2008). She is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Sciences, India.