Jagadish Chandra Bose

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Not to be confused with Satyendra Nath Bose.
Acharya Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose
জগদীশ চন্দ্র বসু
CSI, CIE, FRS
J.C.Bose.JPG
Jagadish Chandra Bose in Royal Institution, London
Born (1858-11-30)30 November 1858
Bikrampur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Bikrampur, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Died 23 November 1937(1937-11-23) (aged 78)
Giridih, Bengal Presidency, British India
Residence Kolkata, Bengal Presidency, British India
Nationality British Indian
Fields Physics, Biophysics, Biology, Botany, Archaeology, Bengali Literature, Bengali Science Fiction
Institutions University of Calcutta
University of Cambridge
University of London
Alma mater St. Xavier's College, Calcutta
Christ's College, Cambridge
Academic advisors John Strutt (Rayleigh)
Notable students Satyendra Nath Bose, Meghnad Saha
Known for Millimetre waves
Radio
Crescograph Plant science
Notable awards Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) (1903)
Companion of the Order of the Star of India (CSI) (1911)
Knight Bachelor (1917)

Acharya Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose,[1] CSI,[2] CIE,[3] FRS[4] (Bengali: জগদীশ চন্দ্র বসু; 30 November 1858 – 23 November 1937) was a Bengali polymath, physicist, biologist, botanist, archaeologist, as well as an early writer of science fiction.[5] He pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made very significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent.[6] IEEE named him one of the fathers of radio science.[7] He is also considered the father of Bengali science fiction. He also invented the crescograph.

Born in Bikrampur (present day Munshiganj District near Dhaka in Bangladesh) during the British Raj, Bose graduated from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. He then went to the University of London to study medicine, but could not pursue studies in medicine due to health problems. Instead, he conducted his research with the Nobel Laureate Lord Rayleigh at Cambridge and returned to India. He then joined the Presidency College of University of Calcutta as a Professor of Physics. There, despite racial discrimination and a lack of funding and equipment, Bose carried on his scientific research. He made remarkable progress in his research of remote wireless signalling and was the first to use semiconductor junctions to detect radio signals. However, instead of trying to gain commercial benefit from this invention, Bose made his inventions public in order to allow others to further develop his research.

Bose subsequently made a number of pioneering discoveries in plant physiology. He used his own invention, the crescograph, to measure plant response to various stimuli, and thereby scientifically proved parallelism between animal and plant tissues. Although Bose filed for a patent for one of his inventions due to peer pressure, his reluctance to any form of patenting was well known. To facilitate his research, he constructed automatic recorders capable of registering extremely slight movements; these instruments produced some striking results, such as Bose's demonstration of an apparent power of feeling in plants, exemplified by the quivering of injured plants. His books include Response in the Living and Non-Living (1902) and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants (1926).

Early life and education[edit]

Jagadish Chandra Bose

Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was born in Bikrampur, Bengal, (now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh) on 30 November 1858. His father, Bhagawan Chandra Bose, was a Brahmo and leader of the Brahmo Samaj and worked as a deputy magistrate/ assistant commissioner in Faridpur,[8] Bardhaman and other places.[9] His family hailed from the village Rarikhal, Bikrampur, in the current day Munshiganj District of Bangladesh.[10]

Bose's education started in a vernacular school, because his father believed that one must know one's own mother tongue before beginning English, and that one should know also one's own people.[11] Speaking at the Bikrampur Conference in 1915, Bose said:

“At that time, sending children to English schools was an aristocratic status symbol. In the vernacular school, to which I was sent, the son of the Muslim attendant of my father sat on my right side, and the son of a fisherman sat on my left. They were my playmates. I listened spellbound to their stories of birds, animals and aquatic creatures. Perhaps these stories created in my mind a keen interest in investigating the workings of Nature. When I returned home from school accompanied by my school fellows, my mother welcomed and fed all of us without discrimination. Although she was an orthodox old-fashioned lady, she never considered herself guilty of impiety by treating these ‘untouchables’ as her own children. It was because of my childhood friendship with them that I could never feel that there were ‘creatures’ who might be labelled ‘low-caste’. I never realised that there existed a ‘problem’ common to the two communities, Hindus and Muslims.”[9]

Bose joined the Hare School in 1869 and then St. Xavier's School at Kolkata. In 1875, he passed the Entrance Examination (equivalent to school graduation) of University of Calcutta and was admitted to St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. At St. Xavier's, Bose came in contact with Jesuit Father Eugene Lafont, who played a significant role in developing his interest to natural science.[9][10] He received a bachelor's degree from University of Calcutta in 1879.[8]

Bose wanted to go to England to compete for the Indian Civil Service. However, his father, a civil servant himself, cancelled the plan. He wished his son to be a scholar, who would “rule nobody but himself.”[12] Bose went to England to study Medicine at the University of London. However, he had to quit because of ill health.[13] The odour in the dissection rooms is also said to have exacerbated his illness.[8]

Through the recommendation of Anandamohan Bose, his brother-in-law (sister's husband) and the first Indian wrangler, he secured admission in Christ's College, Cambridge to study Natural Science. He received the Natural Science Tripos from the University of Cambridge and a BSc from the University of London in 1884.[14] Among Bose's teachers at Cambridge were Lord Rayleigh, Michael Foster, James Dewar, Francis Darwin, Francis Balfour, and Sidney Vines. At the time when Bose was a student at Cambridge, Prafulla Chandra Roy was a student at Edinburgh. They met in London and became intimate friends.[8][9] Later he was married to Abala Bose, the renowned feminist, and social worker.[15]

On the second day of a two-day seminar held on the occasion of 150th anniversary of Jagadish Chandra Bose on 28–29 July at The Asiatic Society, Kolkata Professor Shibaji Raha, Director of the Bose Institute, Kolkata told in his valedictory address that he had personally checked the register of the Cambridge University to confirm the fact that in addition to Tripos he received an MA as well from it in 1884.

Joining Presidency College[edit]

Photo of Jagadish Bose and his wife Abala Bose, at the home of Edwin Herbert Lewis in Chicago; from the September 1915 issue of The Hindusthanee Student.

Bose returned to India in 1885, carrying a letter from Fawcett, the economist to Lord Ripon, Viceroy of India. On Lord Ripon's request, Sir Alfred Croft, the Director of Public Instruction, appointed Bose officiating professor of physics in Presidency College. The principal, C. H. Tawney, protested against the appointment but had to accept it.[16]

Bose was not provided with facilities for research. On the contrary, he was a 'victim of racialism' with regard to his salary.[16] In those days, an Indian professor was paid Rs. 200 per month, while his European counterpart received Rs. 300 per month. Since Bose was officiating, he was offered a salary of only Rs. 100 per month.[17] As a form of protest, Bose refused to accept the salary cheque and continued his teaching assignment for three years without accepting any salary.[16][18] After time, the Director of Public Instruction and the Principal of the Presidency College relented, and Bose's appointment was made permanent with retrospective effect. He was given the full salary for the previous three years in a lump sum.[8]

Presidency College lacked a proper laboratory. Bose had to conduct his research in a small 24-square-foot (2.2 m2) room.[8] He devised equipment for the research with the help of one untrained tinsmith.[16] Sister Nivedita wrote, "I was horrified to find the way in which a great worker could be subjected to continuous annoyance and petty difficulties ... The college routine was made as arduous as possible for him, so that he could not have the time he needed for investigation." After his daily grind, he carried out his research far into the night, in a small room in his college.[16]

Moreover, the policy of the British government for its colonies was not conducive to attempts at original research. Bose spent his own money for making experimental equipment. Within a decade of his joining Presidency College, he emerged a pioneer in the incipient research field of wireless waves.[16]

Radio research[edit]

Bose's 60 GHz microwave apparatus at the Bose Institute, Kolkata, India. His receiver (left) used a galena crystal detector inside a horn antenna and galvanometer to detect microwaves. Bose invented the crystal radio detector, waveguide, horn antenna, and other apparatus used at microwave frequencies.

The Scottish theoretical physicist James Clerk Maxwell mathematically predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves of diverse wavelengths, but he died in 1879 before his prediction was experimentally verified. British physicist Oliver Lodge demonstrated the existence of Maxwell's waves transmitted along wires in 1887–88. The German physicist Heinrich Hertz showed experimentally, in 1888, the existence of electromagnetic waves in free space. Subsequently, Lodge pursued Hertz's work and delivered a commemorative lecture in June 1894 (after Hertz's death) and published it in book form. Lodge's work caught the attention of scientists in different countries including Bose in India.[19]

The first remarkable aspect of Bose's follow up microwave research was that he reduced the waves to the millimetre level (about 5 mm wavelength). He realised the disadvantages of long waves for studying their light-like properties.[19]

During a November 1894 (or 1895[19]) public demonstration at Town Hall of Kolkata, Bose ignited gunpowder and rang a bell at a distance using millimetre range wavelength microwaves.[18] Lieutenant Governor Sir William Mackenzie witnessed Bose's demonstration in the Kolkata Town Hall. Bose wrote in a Bengali essay, Adrisya Alok (Invisible Light), "The invisible light can easily pass through brick walls, buildings etc. Therefore, messages can be transmitted by means of it without the mediation of wires."[19] In Russia, Popov performed similar experiments. In December 1895, Popov's records indicate that he hoped for distant signalling with radio waves.[20]

Bose's first scientific paper, "On polarisation of electric rays by double-refracting crystals" was communicated to the Asiatic Society of Bengal in May 1895, within a year of Lodge's paper. His second paper was communicated to the Royal Society of London by Lord Rayleigh in October 1895. In December 1895, the London journal the Electrician (Vol. 36) published Bose's paper, "On a new electro-polariscope". At that time, the word 'coherer', coined by Lodge, was used in the English-speaking world for Hertzian wave receivers or detectors. The Electrician readily commented on Bose's coherer. (December 1895). The Englishman (18 January 1896) quoted from the Electrician and commented as follows:

”Should Professor Bose succeed in perfecting and patenting his ‘Coherer’, we may in time see the whole system of coast lighting throughout the navigable world revolutionised by a Bengali scientist working single handed in our Presidency College Laboratory.”

Bose planned to "perfect his coherer" but never thought of patenting it.[19]

Diagram of microwave receiver and transmitter apparatus, from Bose's 1897 paper.

In May 1897, two years after Bose's public demonstration in Kolkata, Guglielmo Marconi conducted his wireless signalling experiment on Salisbury Plain.[20] Bose went to London on a lecture tour in 1896 and met Marconi, who was conducting wireless experiments for the British post office. In an interview, Bose expressed disinterest in commercial telegraphy and suggested others use his research work. In 1899, Bose announced the development of a "iron-mercury-iron coherer with telephone detector" in a paper presented at the Royal Society, London.[21]

Bose's demonstration of remote wireless signalling has priority over Marconi.[20][22] He was the first to use a semiconductor junction to detect radio waves, and he invented various now commonplace microwave components.[20] In 1954, Pearson and Brattain gave priority to Bose for the use of a semi-conducting crystal as a detector of radio waves.[20] Further work at millimetre wavelengths was almost non-existent for nearly 50 years. In 1897, Bose described to the Royal Institution in London his research carried out in Kolkata at millimetre wavelengths. He used waveguides, horn antennas, dielectric lenses, various polarisers and even semiconductors at frequencies as high as 60 GHz;[20] much of his original equipment is still in existence, now at the Bose Institute in Kolkata. A 1.3 mm multi-beam receiver now in use on the NRAO 12 Metre Telescope, Arizona, US, incorporates concepts from his original 1897 papers.[20]

Sir Nevill Mott, Nobel Laureate in 1977 for his own contributions to solid-state electronics, remarked that "J.C. Bose was at least 60 years ahead of his time. In fact, he had anticipated the existence of P-type and N-type semiconductors."[20]

Plant research[edit]

His major contribution in the field of biophysics was the demonstration of the electrical nature of the conduction of various stimuli (e.g., wounds, chemical agents) in plants, which were earlier thought to be of a chemical nature. These claims were later proven experimentally.[23] He was also the first to study the action of microwaves in plant tissues and corresponding changes in the cell membrane potential. He researched the mechanism of the seasonal effect on plants, the effect of chemical inhibitors on plant stimuli and the effect of temperature. From the analysis of the variation of the cell membrane potential of plants under different circumstances, he hypothesised that plants can "feel pain, understand affection etc."

Study of metal fatigue and cell response[edit]

Bose lecturing on the "nervous system" of plants at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1926.

Bose performed a comparative study of the fatigue response of various metals and organic tissue in plants. He subjected metals to a combination of mechanical, thermal, chemical, and electrical stimuli and noted the similarities between metals and cells. Bose's experiments demonstrated a cyclical fatigue response in both stimulated cells and metals, as well as a distinctive cyclical fatigue and recovery response across multiple types of stimuli in both living cells and metals.

Bose documented a characteristic electrical response curve of plant cells to electrical stimulus, as well as the decrease and eventual absence of this response in plants treated with anaesthetics or poison. The response was also absent in zinc treated with oxalic acid. He noted a similarity in reduction of elasticity between cooled metal wires and organic cells, as well as an impact on the recovery cycle period of the metal.[24][25]

Science fiction[edit]

In 1896, Bose wrote Niruddesher Kahini, the first major work in Bengali science fiction. Later, he added the story in the Abyakta book as Palatak Tuphan. He was the first science fiction writer in the Bengali language.[26][27] It has been translated into English by Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay. [28]

Bose and patents[edit]

The inventor of "Wireless Telecommunications", Bose was not interested in patenting his invention. In his Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution, London, he made public his construction of the coherer. Thus The Electric Engineer expressed "surprise that no secret was at any time made as to its construction, so that it has been open to all the world to adopt it for practical and possibly moneymaking purposes."[8] Bose declined an offer from a wireless apparatus manufacturer for signing a remunerative agreement. Bose also recorded his attitude towards patents in his inaugural lecture at the foundation of the Bose Institute on 30 November 1917.

Legacy[edit]

Acharya Bhavan, the residence of J C Bose built in 1902, has been turned to museum.[29]

Bose's place in history has now been re-evaluated, and he is credited with the invention of the first wireless detection device and the discovery of millimetre length electromagnetic waves and considered a pioneer in the field of biophysics.[21]

Many of his instruments are still on display and remain largely usable now, over 100 years later. They include various antennas, polarisers, and waveguides, which remain in use in modern forms today.

To commemorate his birth centenary in 1958, the JBNSTS scholarship programme was started in West Bengal. In the same year, India issued a postage stamp bearing his portrait.[30]

On 14 September 2012, Bose's experimental work in millimetre-band radio was recognised as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the first such recognition of a discovery in India.[31]

Publications[edit]

Journals
  • Nature published about 27 papers.
  • Bose J.C. (1902). "On Elektromotive Wave accompanying Mechanical Disturbance in Metals in Contact with Electrolyte". Proc. Roy. Soc. 70 (459–466): 273–294. doi:10.1098/rspl.1902.0029. 
  • Bose J.C. (1902). "Sur la response electrique de la matiere vivante et animee soumise ä une excitation.—Deux proceeds d'observation de la reponse de la matiere vivante". Journal de Physique 4 (1): 481–491. 
Books
Other
  • J.C. Bose, Collected Physical Papers. New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., 1927
  • Abyakta (Bengali), 1922

Honours[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Page 3597 of Issue 30022. London-gazette.co.uk (17 April 1917). Retrieved on 1 September 2010.
  2. ^ Page 9359 of Issue 28559. London-gazette.co.uk (8 December 1911). Retrieved on 1 September 2010.
  3. ^ Page 4 of Issue 27511. London-gazette.co.uk (30 December 1902). Retrieved on 1 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b Saha, M. N. (1940). "Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose. 1858–1937". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 3 (8): 2–0. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1940.0001. 
  5. ^ A versatile genius, Frontline 21 (24), 2004.
  6. ^ Chatterjee, Santimay and Chatterjee, Enakshi, Satyendranath Bose, 2002 reprint, p. 5, National Book Trust, ISBN 81-237-0492-5
  7. ^ Sen, A. K. (1997). "Sir J.C. Bose and radio science". Microwave Symposium Digest 2 (8–13): 557–560. doi:10.1109/MWSYM.1997.602854. ISBN 0-7803-3814-6. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Mahanti, Subodh. "Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose". Biographies of Scientists. Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Retrieved 12 March 2007. 
  9. ^ a b c d Mukherji, pp. 3–10.
  10. ^ a b Murshed, Md Mahbub. "Bose, (Sir) Jagadish Chandra". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Retrieved 12 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "Jagadish Chandra Bose". FamousScientists.org. Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  12. ^ "Pursuit and Promotion of Science : The Indian Experience". Indian National Science Academy. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  13. ^ "Jagadish Chandra Bose". People. Calcuttaweb.com. Retrieved 10 March 2007. 
  14. ^ "Bose, Jagadis Chandra (BS881JC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  15. ^ Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), 1976/1998, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, (Bengali), p23, ISBN 81-85626-65-0
  16. ^ a b c d e f Mukherji, pp. 11–13
  17. ^ Gangopadhyay, Sunil, Protham Alo, 2002 edition, p. 377, Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd.. ISBN 81-7215-362-7
  18. ^ a b "Jagadish Chandra Bose" (PDF). Pursuit and Promotion of Science: The Indian Experience (Chapter 2). Indian National Science Academy. 2001. pp. 22–25. Retrieved 12 March 2007. 
  19. ^ a b c d e Mukherji, pp. 14–25
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Emerson, D. T. (1997). "The work of Jagadis Chandra Bose: 100 years of MM-wave research". IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Research 45 (12): 2267–2273. doi:10.1109/MWSYM.1997.602853. ISBN 9780986488511.  reprinted in Igor Grigorov, Ed., Antentop, Vol. 2, No.3, pp. 87–96.
  21. ^ a b Bondyopadhyay, P.K. (January 1998). "Sir J. C. Bose's Diode Detector Received Marconi's First Transatlantic Wireless Signal of December 1901 (The "Italian Navy Coherer" Scandal Revisited)". Proceedings of the IEEE 86 (1): 259–285. doi:10.1109/5.658778. 
  22. ^ Jagadish Chandra Bose: The Real Inventor of Marconi’s Wireless Receiver; Varun Aggarwal, NSIT, Delhi, India
  23. ^ Wildon, D. C.; Thain, J. F.; Minchin, P. E. H.; Gubb, I. R.; Reilly, A. J.; Skipper, Y. D.; Doherty, H. M.; O'Donnell, P. J.; Bowles, D. J. (1992). "Electrical signalling and systemic proteinase inhibitor induction in the wounded plant". Nature 360 (6399): 62–5. Bibcode:1992Natur.360...62W. doi:10.1038/360062a0. 
  24. ^ Response in the Living and Non-Living by Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose – Project Gutenberg. Gutenberg.org (3 August 2006). Retrieved on 2012-07-07.
  25. ^ Jagadis Bose (2009). Response in the Living and Non-Living. Plasticine. ISBN 978-0-9802976-9-0. 
  26. ^ http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/bengal
  27. ^ "Symposium at Christ's College to celebrate a genius". University of Cambridge. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  28. ^ <http://strangehorizons.com/2013/20130930/3bose-f.shtml>
  29. ^ Acharya Bhavan Opens Its Doors to Visitors. Times of India. 3 July 2011.
  30. ^ "J C Bose: The Scientist Who Proved That Plants Too Can Feel". Phila Mirror: The Indian Philately Journal. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  31. ^ "First IEEE Milestones in India: The work of J.C. Bose and C.V. Raman to be recognized". the Institute. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  32. ^ "A new name now for grand old Indian Botanical Gardens". The Hindu. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Mukherji, Visvapriya, Jagadish Chandra Bose, second edition, 1994, Builders of Modern India series, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, ISBN 81-230-0047-2.

Further reading[edit]

  • Geddes, Patrick (1920). The Life and Work of Sir Jagadis C. Bose. London: Longmans. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  • Pearson G.L., Brattain W.H. (1955). "History of Semiconductor Research". Proc. IRE 43 (12): 1794–1806. doi:10.1109/JRPROC.1955.278042. 
  • J.M. Payne & P.R. Jewell, "The Upgrade of the NRAO 8-beam Receiver," in Multi-feed Systems for Radio Telescopes, D.T. Emerson & J.M. Payne, Eds. San Francisco: ASP Conference Series, 1995, vol. 75, p. 144
  • Fleming, J. A. (1908). The principles of electric wave telegraphy. London: New York and.
  • Yogananda, Paramhansa (1946). "India's Great Scientist, J.C. Bose". Autobiography of a Yogi (1st ed.). New York: Philosophical Library. pp. 65–74. 

External links[edit]