Sunday, July 8, 2012

Indian greatest scientist Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose was born on 1st January 1894 in Calcutta (now Kolkata).

He was an Indian physicist specializing in mathematical physics. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate. The class of particles known as bosons was named after him by Paul Dirac. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954 by the Government of India.

A self-taught scholar and a polyglot, he had a wide range of interests in varied fields including physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, mineralogy, philosophy, arts, literature and music. He served on many research and development committees in independent India.

He was the eldest of seven children and only son, with six sisters after him. His father, Surendranath Bose, worked in the Engineering Department of the East Indian Railway Company. He married Ushabati at the age of 20. They had nine children. Two of them died in their early childhood. When he died in 1974, he left behind his wife, two sons, and five daughters.

His ancestral home was in village Bara Jagulia, in the District of Nadia, about 48 kilometers from Calcutta. His schooling began at the age of five. His first school was near his home. Later, when his family moved to Goabagan, he was admitted to the New Indian School. In the final year of school, he was admitted to the Hindu School. He passed his entrance examination/ matriculation in 1909 and stood fifth in the order of merit. He next joined the intermediate science course at the Presidency College, Calcutta, where he was taught by illustrious teachers as Jagadis Chandra Bose and Prafulla Chandra Ray. Meghnad Saha came from Dacca/Dhaka and joined the same college two years later. P C Mahalanobis and Sisir Kumar Mitra were a few years senior to them. Satyendra Nath Bose chose mixed (applied) mathematics for his B.Sc. and passed the examinations standing first in 1913 and again stood first in the M.Sc. mixed mathematics exam in 1915. It is said that his marks in the M.Sc. examination created a new record in the annals of the University of Calcutta,--which is yet to be surpassed.

After completing his M.Sc., Bose joined the University of Calcutta as a research scholar in 1916 and started his studies in the theory of relativity. It was an exciting era in the history of scientific progress. The quantum theory had just appeared on the horizon and important results had started pouring in.

Bose attended Hindu School in Calcutta, and later attended Presidency College, also in Calcutta, earning the highest marks at each institution while fellow student Meghnad Saha came second.[6] He came in contact with teachers such as Jagadish Chandra Bose and Prafulla Chandra Roy who provided inspiration to aim high in life. From 1916 to 1921 he was a lecturer in the physics department of the University of Calcutta. Along with Saha, Bose prepared the first book in English based on German & French translations of original papers on Einstein's special and general relativity in 1919. In 1921, he joined as Reader the department of Physics of the then recently founded University of Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) by the then Vice Chancellor of University of Calcutta Sir Asutosh Mukherjee, himself a distinguished mathematician, a high court judge & with strong interest in physics. Bose set up whole new departments, including laboratories, to teach advanced courses for M.Sc. & B.Sc. honors and taught Thermodynamics as well as Maxwell's Theory of Electromagnetism.

Satyendra Nath Bose, along with Saha, presented several papers in theoretical physics and pure mathematics 1918 onwards. In 1924, while working as a Reader at the Physics Department of the University of Dhaka, Bose wrote a paper deriving Planck's quantum radiation law without any reference to classical physics and using a novel way of counting states with identical particles. This paper was seminal in creating the very important field of quantum statistics. Though not accepted at once for publication, he sent the article directly to Albert Einstein in Germany. Einstein, recognizing the importance of the paper, translated it into German himself and submitted it on Bose's behalf to the prestigious Zeitschrift fur Physik. As a result of this recognition, Bose was able to work for two years in European X-ray and crystallography laboratories, during which he worked with Louis de Broglie, Marie Curie, and Einstein.

After his stay in Europe, Bose returned to Dhaka in 1926. He was made Head of the Department of Physics. He continued teaching at Dhaka University and guiding. Bose designed equipments himself for a X-ray crystallography laboratory. He set up laboratories and libraries to make the department a center of research in X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, magnetic properties of matter, optical spectroscopy, wireless, and unified field theories. He also published an equation of state for real gases with Meghnad Saha. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Science at Dhaka University until 1945. When the partition of India became imminent, he returned to Calcutta to take up the prestigious Khaira chair and taught at Calcutta University until 1956. He insisted every student to design his own equipment using local materials and local technicians. He was made professor emeritus on his retirement. He then became Vice Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University in Shanti Niketan. He returned to the Calcutta university to continue research in nuclear physics and complete earlier works in organic chemistry. In subsequent years, he worked in applied research such as extraction of helium in hot springs of Bakreswar.

A Polyglot, he was well versed in several languages such as Bengali, English, French, German and Sanskrit as well as poetry of Lord Tennyson, Rabindranath Tagore and Kalidasa. He could also play the esraj, a musical instrument similar to a violin. He was actively involved in running night schools that came to be known as the Working Men's Institute.

In 1937, Rabindranath Tagore dedicated his only book on science, Visva-Parichay, to Satyendra Nath Bose. He was honored with title Padma Vibhushan by the Indian Government in 1954. In 1959, he was appointed as the National Professor, the highest honor in the country for a scholar, which he held for 15 years. In 1986 S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences was established by an act of Parliament, Government of India, in Salt Lake, Calcutta in honour of this world renowned Indian scientist.

Bose became an adviser to then newly formed Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. He was the President of Indian Physical Society and the National Institute of Science. He was elected General President of the Indian Science Congress. He was the Vice President and then President of Indian Statistical Institute. In 1958 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was nominated as member of Rajya Sabha. Apart from physics he did some research in Biotechnology and literature (Bengali, English). He made deep studies in chemistry, geology, zoology, anthropology, engineering and other sciences. Being a Bengali, he devoted a lot of time to promoting Bengali as a teaching language, translating scientific papers into it, and promoting the development of the region.

Source: Wikipedia

1 comment:

Emma Caron said...

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