We live in a world where plenty of innovation and inventions had already been done. Though now it seems obvious how certain things work or how they were created, in the past when something didn’t exist, creating it was a whole new level of genius. Similarly, when one has to theorize of minuscule particles and their properties that were incorrect and cannot be observed by eye and or even some instruments, it takes a completely new perspective to see life. When we think of geniuses from the 1900s we think of Albert Einstein, but one physicist from India who is forgotten in the realm of quantum mechanics who collaborated with him during those times and discovered a new state of particle, his name was Satyendra Nath Bose.
Bose was born in Calcutta on 1 January 1894 to his father, Surendranath Bose, and his mother, Amodini Devi. He was the eldest among seven siblings and the only male followed by six sisters. Bose was a brilliant student, he was always scoring good academic scores and even stood fifth in the order of Merit during his matriculation of 1909. He then came on top as he graduated with a bachelor of science in mixed mathematics in 1913, following this he once again stood first in the exam of 1915’s MSc mixed mathematics. Though he was achieving great feats, he was married at the age of 20 to an 11-year-old named Ushabati Ghosh, later he became the father of 9 children but two of them died in early childhood.
He was also multilingual, as he was proficient in English, Bengali, Sanskrit, French, and German and he also had an interest in music as he was also capable of playing esraj, a type of Indian musical instrument. Later on, he became a lecturer in the department of physics from the years 1916 to 1921. During this time, along with his former classmate and friend, Meghnad Saha, he translated Albert Einstein’s theory of special and general relativity from German and French papers in 1919, and in 1921 he was deemed as a Reader of the Department of Physics at the University of Dhaka. In 1924 he wrote a paper deriving Plank’s quantum radiation law without any reference to motion physics. Though upon submission of this paper it was not published, he sent it directly to Albert Einstein.
Satyendra Nath Bose Contributions
These are contributions that were provided to the world by Bose.
- Bose-Einstein Statistics: During a lecture on radiation and ultraviolet catastrophe as he was explaining the concept to his students, he wanted to show them that the present theory was not enough as the predicted results did not match the experimental results. While showing the discrepancies he realized that the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution is inaccurate for microscopic particles, he later derived his own experiment using Einstein’s photon concept and compiled his lecture into the article, Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta and sent it to Albert Einstein. It was sent along with a letter stating, that he had previously sent a letter to him on the translation of General Relativity and told Einstein about the entire science behind his derivation and politely asked him to publish it in German stating that it will benefit all the students of Einstein. Seeing the gesture, Einstein translated and published his paper in Zeitschrift für Physik under the name of Bose.
- Bosons: Named after Bose, bosons are also deemed as God particles. As bosons are the ones that regulate and control the interactions between physical forces such as electromagnetism, and they could also be responsible for gravity as well. Bosons also have an integer value of spin, meaning it is either -1, 0, 1, 2, and so on. Bose actually figured out how a group of identical photons would behave in certain situations and some new discoveries in the dual nature of matter as wave and particle. This was in the letter and article that was sent to Einstein by him. Though at the time Bose himself didn’t fully understand the breakthrough he had made, Einstein clearly did. The term boson was first used by a physicist named Paul Dirac to describe Bose-Einstein statistics, which describes one of two ways in which a group of non-interacting may occupy a set level of energy states.
- Bose-Einstein Condensate: When boson gases at low densities are cooled to temperatures near absolute zero they exhibit a state of matter known as Bose-Einstein condensate, in which a large number of bosons occupy the lowest quantum state, meaning the atoms are barely moving relative to each other as they have almost no free energy available to do so. They clump together and enter states of similar energy.
- Other Contributions: Though these were groundbreaking contributions, his work was not limited to them. As he also contributed to the fields of biotechnology and literature. In addition to that, he strongly believed that regional languages were essential to a state and promoted Bengali as much as he could. He translated multiple research papers into Bengali for future generations.
His life was what can be considered of a perfect student and scientist. Not only was he brilliant, but he was also exceptional at it, later on, he went to Germany to work alongside Albert Einstein and Marie Curie. But unlike people of today, he didn’t abandon his nation and upon completion of his work, he returned to India and devoted the rest of his life to improving his region and educating others. He was also nominated for Nobel Price but didn’t receive one, though he was rewarded with many national awards.