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SATYENDRA NATH BOSE – THE SCIENTIST

Satyendra Nath Bose played a major role in developing the quantum statistics along with theoretical physics.

Satyendra Nath Bose - The Scientist

Satyendra Nath Bose played a major role in developing the quantum statistics along with theoretical physics. Bose-Einstein statistics was named after him since Albert Einstein used Bose’s ideas for devising system for quantum mechanics. The subatomic particles in quantum physics of a finite mass were termed as Bosons in his honour.

Satyendra Nath Bose was born on 1st January 1894 in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India and died on 4th February 1974 in Calcutta, India. His primary education was done in a local English language school in the colonial period by Britishers. He was transferred to a Bengali language school after the decision of Britishers to divide Bengal into two. His teachers made him love the subject science and mathematics.

EDUCATION, CAREER AND WORK

In 1915, SN Bose completed his Masters of Science in Mathematics from Presidency College in Calcutta. He stood first in his class. Despite having a scarcity of laboratory materials and textbooks, he continued his research in the field of physics. At the University of Calcutta, he later became a lecturer of physics. He saw to the fact that the physics department had all required necessities and textbooks.

He developed a liking towards statistical mechanics after reading a book by J Willard Gibbs. In 1919, SN Bose and Meghnad Saha wrote first anthologies in English regarding the principle of relativity by Einstein. He published his paper in Philosophical Magazine in 1920 regarding quantum statistics.

He researched and studied about statistics of photons. Photons carry energy in wave and particle form without having any mass or charge of their own. He became enthralled with Planck’s theory of heat radiation which talks about the energy distribution of the radiation emitted by a black body.

In 1923, he wrote ‘Planck’s law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta’, but couldn’t get it published. Despite the fact that Albert Einstein couldn’t prove his own theory, SN Bose proved Einstein’s theory that the electromagnetic radiation consisted of an atomic structure that had measurable electromagnetic energy. He proved it by treating radiation like an ideal gas and showed the consistency of Einstein’s model with the Planck’s law. He sent his paper to Albert Einstein for getting it published.

Albert Einstein translated the paper into German and got it published in 1924. The support from Albert Einstein made his name famous in the realm of physics. Einstein worked on Bose’s work for forming Bose-Einstein statistics. The particles relating to the laws were named as bosons (after Bose) or fermions (after Enrico Fermi).

From 1952 to 1956, Bose served as the dean of the Faculty of Science in Calcutta University. From 1918 to 1956, SN Bose wrote twenty-six scientific papers which were published relating to mathematical statistics, x-ray crystallography, unified field theory, thermoluminescence, electromagnetic properties of ionosphere etc. He rose at a time when British rule made it nearly impossible for a Native Indian to succeed.

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Ø  In 1948, he founded the Science Association of Bengali.

Ø  In 1954, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India for his contribution to science and research field.

Ø  He became President of Indian Physical Society along with the National Institute of Science.

Ø  In 1958, he became Fellow of the Royal Society.

Ø  In 1959, he was bestowed with the highest honour for a scholar in the country by being appointed as the National Professor. He retained his position for 15 years,

Ø  In 1986, Parliament act by the Government of India established the Satyendra Nath Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences in Calcutta.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SATYENDRA NATH BOSE

  1.     While studying in Hindu High School, Satyendra Nath Bose managed to bag 110 marks out of 100 for solving his mathematics paper. This happened because his solutions for some problems were solved by multiple methods. He loved science and was known in his school for that.
  2.     While he was in school only, he and his friends made some scientific instruments along with construction of a telescope.
  3.     He got married to Usha Devi at the ripe age of 20. They had nine children out of which two faced death in childhood.
  4.     In 1924, he discovered the Bose-Einstein condensate phenomenon. Despite having no higher educational qualification, and being a Master’s in Science, he was sent to Europe tour by the Dhaka University.
  5.     He even worked along with Albert Einstein in Berlin.
  6.     In 1954, he achieved the Padma Bhushan award.
  7.     Even though various scientists received Nobel Prize for research in the field of Bose-Einstein Condensate, Satyendra Nath Bose never received a Nobel Prize for his work.
  8.     ‘Visva- Parichay’ was the only science book written by Rabindra Nath Tagore. He dedicated the book to Satyendra Nath Bose.
  9.     In the field of particle physics, a class of subatomic elementary particles were named as Bosons in his honour.