On Saturday, 4 June, Google paid tribute to Indian physicist and mathematician Satyendra Nath Bose with a special doodle. Famous for his contributions to the Bose-Einstein Condensate, it was on this day in 1924 that Bose sent his quantum formulations to noted physicist Albert Einstein, who recognised it as a significant discovery.
Who was Satyendra Nath Bose?
Bose, who was born in 1894, was interested in various subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, mineralogy, philosophy, arts, literature, and music. His father, who was an accountant, used to write an arithmetic problem for him to solve every day, fuelling his interest in the subject.
He started pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at Calcutta’s Presidency College when he was 15. Bose later earned a Master’s in Applied Mathematics from the University of Calcutta. Graduating at the top of his class in both degrees, he soon solidified his position in the world of academia.
Bose began giving lectures on physics by the end of 1917. While he was teaching his postgraduate students Planck’s radiation formula, he questioned the way particles were counted, and even began experimenting with his own theories
The noted mathematician and physicist documented his research in a report called Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta, and sent it to The Philosophical Magazine, a prominent science journal. To his surprise, his research was rejected by the journal. Not one to give up, he decided to mail his paper to Albert Einstein. Bose’s move worked. Einstein immediately recognised the potential of his research.
Watch the video on Bose's Google Doodle:
Significance of his theory:
Einstein applied Bose’s formula to a wide range of phenomena. The theoretical paper soon became one of the most important findings in quantum theory. Several scientific breakthroughs have been built upon his work, including the discovery of the God particle and the particle accelerator.
Awards and honours received by Bose:
Satyendra Nath Bose received many honours in his life. The Indian government awarded him the Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to physics. He was also appointed as National Professor, the highest honour for scholars in the country. Bose later served as the president of several scientific institutions such as National Institute of Science, Indian Physical Society and Indian Statistical Institute. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society.