Remembering the “Father of God Particle” SN Bose On His Birth Anniversary

Satyendra Nath Bose, widely known as “Father of the God Particle” was one of the most visionary mathematicians and theoretical physicists of India. Born on January 1, 1894 in Calcutta (currently Kolkata), Bose made groundbreaking contributions in the Physics community. As the world celebrates his 124th birth anniversary, we bring some interesting insights about this ingenious personality.

A Peek Into The Personal And Academic Life Of SN Bose

As a student, he had keen interest on many subjects including Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Arts, music, etc. Bose finished his BSc and MSc in Applied Mathematics and cleared both with a first rank in 1913 and 1915 respectively. He was an outstanding student all through his academic career. In 1916, he joined as a research scholar at the University of Calcutta where he studied the theory of relativity. That was the time when Quantum Theory was still infancy.

Since, it was the era of World War I, conditions were somehow not stable in India too. Journals and notes from the European countries stopped coming frequently which brought his research to a standstill since Quantum theory was emerging fast in Europe. Sir Asutosh Mookerjee, renowned mathematician and Vice Chancellor of University of Calcutta helped him to go through the tough times by permitting him access to his private library and advanced mathematics and physics books. In the last months of 1916, he started giving lectures on applied mathematics and by the year 1917, his lectures extended to mathematical Physics.

His Great Contributions To The World

SN Bose and one of his fellow-researcher, Meghnad Saha translated Albert Einstein’s special and general relativity papers and published them in the year 1919. Together they published many papers on theoretical Physics and pure Mathematics. By the year 1921, he was appointed as the Reader in Physics at the University of Dhaka, now capital of Bangladesh.

When Bose was in Dhaka, he wrote a paper that derived Plank’s quantum radiation law without any reference to classical physics by counting the states with identical properties. The paper did not get published at once, but he sent a copy of his paper to Albert Einstein in Germany. Knowing the importance of the paper, Einstein translated it to German himself and sent it to the Zeitschrift für Physik, one of the most prestigious scientific journals. This recognition led him to work in Europe for 2 years in the X-ray and crystallography laboratory.

At one of his classes at Dhaka, Bose was giving lectures on the theory of radiation and ultraviolet catastrophe where he found something unusual about the results it predicted. So, he replaced Boltzmann’s classical statistics with his own and later found satisfying results on his own. On June 1924, Bose sent this paper to Einstein with the title” Plank’s law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta” asking him to translate it in German and publish it. Einstein recognised the value and importance of his paper and published to the same journal mentioned earlier. Later, Einstein replied to him as an important step forward for his glorious work on the paper.

Einstein adopted his idea and applied it to the atoms that led to the existence of Bose-Einstein condensate which a dense collection of bosons (a class of elementary sub-atomic particles named after Bose).

Honors And Recognitions

Bose was awarded with Padma Vibhushan in the year 1954, the second highest civilian award in India. Later, at the age of 65 he was appointed as National Professor in the year 1959 which is the highest honor for a scholar, also became a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Bose never had a PhD degree and also, he did not win a Novel Prize even after being nominated by scientists of India, but he never regretted that. His love for science was so much more than these. His contribution to quantum statistics led the world to see with a new vision and he kept contributing till his last breath.

He died at the age of 80 on Feb 4, 1974 due to bronchial pneumonia in Calcutta.

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