Satyendra Nath Bose: Google Doodle Indian Mathematician and physicists

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Satyendra Nath Bose: Google Doodle Indian Mathematician and physicists

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You can see Satyendra Nath Bose:Google Doodle Indian Mathematician and physicists. So Google Doodle Satyendra Nath Bos. Bose is perhaps still too close to us historically for a proper perspective. We have made an attempt to show him against the changing times when science was making rapid strides in India, and white doing so other personalities have been drawn into the canvas. We realize, however, the inadequacy of our attempt for Bose was a very complex personality. 

Born: 1 January 1894, Kolkata

Died: 4 February 1974, Kolkata

Spouse: Ushabati Bose (m. 1914–1974)

Education: University College of Science, Technology and Agriculture (1917–1921), MORE

Awards: Fellow of the Royal Society, Padma Vibhushan

Books: Satyen Bose in Dhaka

Parents: Surendranath Bose, Amodini Raichaudhuri

 You Know Satyendra Nath Bose ? 

The image of the idle genius who wasted his powers in intellectual small talk has persisted. It is the task of the biographer to find out if such an image was based on justifiable assumptions. The role of a father figure of Indian science was more or less thrust upon Professor Bose, yet he was grossly misunderstood by many. Between the admirers and the detractors, the legend has grown, and the man has been somewhat cast in the background. It would have taken years of research and labor to collect and sort all the materials which, however, are not easily obtainable. Bose’s habit of not keeping any record, letters or diary has further handicapped us; hence some of the information could not be verified.

The first thirty years of this century saw a conceptual revolution in physics. One of the fundamental discoveries associated with the new developments came from an unknown Indian—one Satyendra Nath Bose, a young physicist from Dacca University. Working in a country remote from the active centres of learning, he was dearly a man of extraordinary intellectual ability. Just how outstanding was the work done by Bose? It was so important that it went into the physics text-books almost immediately. 

Professor P.K. Kabir writes: Bose’s paper not only had an immediate and far-reaching impact on several basic problems in physics but it also provides the fundamental explanation of phenomena whose elucidation and elaboration has been the subject of at least three Nobel Prizes. It is a great pity that this token of honour was not accorded to S.N. Bose, whose work is undoubtedly the most important contribution to science made by any Indian so far. Professor M.G.K. Menon comments: I have never understood personally why Satyen Bose was never awarded a Nobel Prize nor have the many very distinguished scientists with whom I have conversed on this subject. 

The question that we should ask, in terms of the decades and centuries ahead, is not whether a scientist has received a Nobel Prize, but whether his name will survive in the pages of science that all will read, discuss and constantly use. In the latter category will come Satyen Bose. Bose-Einstein Statistics and the use of the word Bosons will live on a permanent basis in the history of science. For anybody working in any branch of science in India today it is difficult to imagine the primitive conditions in which Bose and his contemporaries had to do research. It was the formative period of modern science in India and, paradoxically enough, one of the most spectacular. Apart from Bose this was also the age which produced Saha, Raman, Mahalanobis and a host of other celebrities with substantial contributions to their credit. In order to evaluate the performance of these pioneers one must set them against the background of past traditions and the conditions in which modern science and technology evolved on Indian soil. Ancient Indians had a distinct role to play in the history of science and technology. Some of their observations about the origin and composition of matter as expounded by Kapil, Kanad and, later, by the Jain and Buddhist philosophers are surprisingly close to modern theories. It is all the more remarkable when we think that science in those days was more a part of philosophy and these scientific thinkers had no methods at their disposal to carry on experimental verifications of their theories. 

Even in the West, science became modern only after Galileo, who like a true scientist distrusted authority, particularly Aristotleian authority, and laid stress on observation and experiment. Ancient India saw the flourishing of some applied sciences, like astronomy, surgery and metallurgy. But due to various factors, such as political instability and foreign invasion, science suffered a total eclipse. After the 12th century, intellectual stagnation began in India. Some have attributed this to the decline of Buddhism, a system which encouraged science and education. 

Satyendra nath bose contribution to physics

The renaissance in Europe had no effect here, and the Dark Age continued till the coming of the British and the introduction of English education. The I9th century renaissance marks the real beginning of modern science in India. Many thinkers are of the opinion that progress in science is linked with happenings in history. The influence of history on science has been particularly effective in the case of India, because the birth of modern science in this country may be traced directly to certain historical developments. Modern science came to India under very peculiar circumstances. The British who came with the East India Company had superior technical skill and it did not take them long to realise that India had vast natural resources. It was under their initiative that experts from England were brought to explore and measure the extent of that wealth. They brought with them modern scientific methods and modern scientific ideas. Through their efforts the Trigonometric Survey of India, the Agricultural and Botanical Survey, the Mining Federation, the Geographical Survey, Planters Association, Chamber of Commerce, etc. came into being. 

The English traders-turned-rulers had their own interests in mind, but whatever be the motive it was through their effort that coal was discovered and extracted from Raniganj, petroleum from Assam and Burma and gold from Mysore. They started the railways even though it was for their own benefit. Eminent scientists like Lambton, Everest, Voysey came to India in this connection, but their work did not take root in Indian soil. Indian involvement in science was yet to begin. 

The Board of Directors or the officers of the East India Company had no intention of introducing any system of education in this country. There was no planning for improvement and the local people were deliberately kept away— this along with the absence of any initiative on the part of the Indians delayed the advent of modern science in India. The single individual to play the biggest role in deciding the future course of Indian science was Raja Ram Mohun Roy. 

A man of remarkable foresight, he was the first to realise that the only way India could save herself was through Western education. It must be kept in mind that the Raja and the members of the Tagore family had started educating themselves in English through their own efforts. The British government was still reluctant to introduce English education among the Indians. Ram Mohun Roy tried to convince the then Governor-General of the need for introducing such branches of science as mathematics, physics, chemistry and physiology in the curriculum. 

In 1781 Warren Hastings had started a madrasa in Calcutta and a college was established at Banaras in 1792 by Jonathan Duncan. Lutheran missionaries in south India and William Carey and other Baptist missionaries in Serampore also started maintained schools. Western learning in a wider sense was introduced by David Hare and Ram Mohun Roy who in 1816 established a college in Calcutta which later changed its name to Hindu College and, finally, in 1855 to Presidency College. The Christian missionaries founded a missionary college at Serampore in 1818, the Wilson School at Bombay in 1834 and the Madras Christian College at Madras in 1837. But the formation of the universities had to wait till the middle of the 19th century. By the famous Woods’ Despatch the three universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras came into being in 1857. Thus the dream of Raja Ram Mohun Roy found fulfilment at last.

P.C. Ray, a noted chemist, provided a splendid example of the scientist with a social conscience. He had no family; all his life was devoted to the twin cause of science and the people. His History of Hindu Chemistry is an indication of India gradually discovering her scientific past. Srinivas Ramanujan came from an uneducated family in an obscure village in the south. But his inborn genius in mathematics puzzled the best mathematicians of that time. It is difficult to explain this except by the fact that a man is always a product of the moment. Otherwise how does one explain this village boy having a clear idea of the latest mathematical theories? Unfortunately, he died too early to leave any lasting legacy/ like J.C. Rose or P.O. Ray did. Indian science was well on its way towards development early in the 20th century. This marked the renaissance of learning in India, though a belated renaissance. 

The ground was being prepared, while certain historic factors hastened the process. There can be no doubt that the British, though unwillingly, are to a great extent responsible for this happening. Postgraduate courses in science were started at the Calcutta University in 1913, mainly through the efforts of Sir Asutosh Mookerjee, but since the ground was ready, it did not take long to bear fruit. Within the first quarter of the present century three remarkable discoveries came out of India—thermal ionisation of Saha, Bose Statistics and Raman Effect. Apart from Saha, S.N. Bose and Raman, others who established themselves in their respective fields were J.C. Ghosh J. N. Mukherjee, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar and Birbal Sahani, to name a few. When Raman received the Nobel Prize in 1930, it lifted Indian science to an equal level with world science. But the time coincided with India’s struggle for freedom. 

The best brain and intellect of the country were drawn towards the freedom movement. So science had to wait till 1947 for a more expansive phase. Let us at this point digress a little to take account of the recent trends in world science. The pattern of growth which science in the West has been taking in recent years can be classified according to Bernal into three distinct phases. The first can be called the romantic phase. In this period science progressed and flourished round eminent personalities, such as Roentgen, Becquerel, the Curies, Rutherford, Einstein— names which became almost household words. However scientists in those days worked with very crude instruments. They could hope for no material benefit except the spiritual pleasure of getting at the truth. Science as a profession was rarely a paying one. In most cases ideas came to them in a flash and showed the way to a great discovery. 

The stage did not continue for a long time. The First World War intervened. It had a profound effect on the nature of scientific research in general, in view of the fact that the governments soon realised that the immense potentialities of science could be used very effectively in defence. A great deal of effort and patronage from the government changed the direction of science. From individual efforts it was suddenly transformed into governmentfinanced projects. Along with defence research/ other theoretical branches of research were also given equal patronage. Obviously no applied research is possible without a good theoretical background. The two World Wars, in spite of their disastrous consequences, advanced the pace of scientific research to a point which would have taken many years to reach under ordinary circumstances.

THE FORMATIVE YEARS (1894-1914) Satyendra Nath was born in Calcutta on the first of January, 1894, in a high caste Kayastha family with two generations of English education behind him. Both his grandfather and father held government jobs for which they had to leave their ancestral village Bara Jajuli, in the district of Nadia, about 48 km from Calcutta. Before the emergence of Calcutta as a metropolitan city in the late 18th century, Nadia used to be the centre for cultural and intellectual activities in Bengal. The scholars of this region were well known all over India. Nadia has a tradition of good manners and chaste diction. The dialect of Nadia has come to be accepted as standard Bengali. In the 19th century Bara Jajuli was a fairly prosperous village. It still has relics of old temples and ancient buildings. 

Google Doodle Indian Mathematician and physicists

The British administrative machinery had created new job opportunities which prompted a regular influx of the so-called ‘Bhadralok’ (respectable, white-collar workers) class towards the metropolis. The Bose family clearly fell into this pattern. The Kayasthas took to English education more readily than other castes and naturally they filled up all the important services and professions. Satyendra Nath’s grandfather Ambika Charan was on a government job which took him to remote places. When he was working as an accountant in Meerut (UP), he fell seriously ill. News was sent to his family. But when his son Surendra Nath (Satyendra Nath’s father) reached Meerut it was a day too late. Ambika Charan was dead. 

Ambika Charan’s family now moved from the village home to Calcutta, because Surendra Nath who had not yet finished his school had to work for a living. It was a hard time for the family, as the two sons, Surendra Nath and his younger brother, were still too young to take charge. Even though they owned a house at Calcutta in Ishwar Mill Lane, they had to live in a rented house in Jorabagan because their house had tenants who could not be persuaded to vacate. The house, incidentally, was built by Ambika Charan’s father. Even when Satyendra Nath was born, the family was still struggling to overcome the financial crisis. Surendra Nath, a young man with ambition and initiative, soon qualified himself for the post of an accountant and joined the executive engineering department of the East India Railway. His work took him all over Assam and north Bengal. He was also connected with the Sarah Bridge construction. 

He married Amodini Devi, the daughter of a renowned lawyer of Alipore, Motilal Roy Choudhury. The Roy Choudhurys were zamindars of Gaihati and were connoisseurs of art and culture. Motilal was personally acquainted with writers like Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Dinabandhu Mitra. One of the grandsons, Sri Anil Roy Choudhury, happens to be a reputed sitar player. To understand Surendra Nath it is necessary to have some idea of the spirit of the time which moulded his personality. The 19th century witnessed a new awakening in Bengal and in India. Politically and socially a nation was making its entrance into the modern age. Various forces were responsible for this change, such as the impact of British rule, the introduction of Western education, and the growth of a new economy, which together led to the creation of a middle-class intelligentsia, sensitive to the new winds of change. The new awareness brought about its inevitable consequence—an upsurge of nationalist movement. 

A significant feature of the nationalist movement in Bengal towards the end of the 19th century was the growth of what was known as the New Spirit. The spirit of self-help and emphasis on the necessity of building up Indian industries, art and culture were first evident in the annual sessions of the Hindu Mela. The trend had been developing and it reached a new stage with the Industrial Exhibition of 1896. Swadeshi stores were opened and campaign for swadeshi goods started. Surendra Nath was one of the founders of the Indian Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works which began on a very modest scale. It went into production at about the same time as Sir P.C. Ray’s Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works did. Surendra Nath was a very well-read man. His readings included the works of Marx and Engels. He was open to new ideas, was a man of strong moral principles and had a generous heart. He was in every way representative of his time. Meanwhile, a metropolitan society was slowly evolving and with it a new metropolitan culture. A new generation educated in town schools was slowly coming up with an outlook and attitude which were definitely urban. 

Satyendra Nath belonged to this generation. His metropolitan upbringing shaped his character to a great extent. Particularly those special qualities which go to the making of a typical Calcuttan were strikingly evident in his case. Bose’s was an inborn talent and would have flourished under any circumstances, but it was a happy coincidence that it found a congenial atmosphere to develop. He was a gifted child. Whenever his father went out, he gave his son sums on the cemented floor of a room which was used as a store. Here young Satyen would go on writing numbers to his heart’s content. It was a kind of game which kept the child out of mischief. 

Satyendra nath bose physicist

But Satyen was also the centre of attention in the family, being the only son in a family of six daughters. Surendra Nath lived with his brother and his family, as was usual in those days. He also had four sisters. Satyen’s schooling began at the age of five. At first he was put in Normal School which was close to their Jorabagan home. It was the same Normal School where Tagore was a student for some time. Later, when the family moved to their own house at Goabagan, he had to be put in the neighbouring New Indian School. It was a good school whose principal, Khudiram Bose was noted for his radical ideas in the field of education. In the course of time, Surendra Nath became anxious to put his son into an even better school where his talents would be sharpened by keener competition. And so in the final year of school, Satyen was admitted to the famous Hindu School, the school with a tradition behind it. 

The history of this school goes back to 1817, to the efforts of David Hare and Raja Ram Mohun Roy who spearheaded the movement which led to the foundation of the Hindu College, the oldest college established in India for imparting English education. It was the success of the Hindu college which proved the strength and extent of the popular demand for English education and helped in moulding the educational policy of the government which till then had done little to encourage modern education in India. In 1953 the government decided to take over the Hindu College under its direct management and the senior department of the college was then renamed the Presidency College. The junior department survived in the Hindu School.6 During the first decade of the present century, Hindu School and Hare School were two schools of distinction. When Satyendra Nath was a student, the rival Hare School had Ishan Ghose, the famous Pali scholar as its headmaster, of whom the Hare boys were justly proud. Hindu School had Rasamaya Mitra, who was not as great a scholar as Ghose, but an able headmaster and a devoted teacher. He had written a book on English composition, grammar and translation for the students. Hindu School had not only an excellent headmaster but other equally inspiring teachers. The Bengali teacher Sara t Chandra Shastri was primarily responsible for creating in the students a passion for Bengali language and literature. In the first class (which was the final class in school) the boys had to study English, Bengali, history, geography, mathematics and Sanskrit. 

The prescribed text-books were Gauri Sankar Dey’s Arithmetic and Algebra, Geometry by Hall and Stevens, World Geography by Dudley Stamp, Adhar Mukherjee’s History of India (the first chapter opened with the observation: ‘India is the epitome of the world’), and Row and Webb’s Grammar. In languages the prescribed books were university selections. As supplementary books they read Kipling’s Jungle Stories and in Bengali Sitar Vanabas by Vidyasagar, Kadambari and Jogen Bose’s life of Michael Madhusudan, Satyendra Nath, in spite of weak eyes since childhood, was a voracious reader. His favourite poets were Tennyson and Tagore. His school friend, Girijapati Bhattacharya tells us that he was particularly fond of In Memoriam and could recite the entire poem. He also knew Kalidasa’s Meghdoot by heart. The mathematics teacher, Upendranath Bakshi was a legend of the Hindu School. He was quick to recognise the signs of genius in the boy. Once he gave Satyen 110 marks out of 100 in a test examination, his argument being that Satyen did not skip any of the alternatives. Bakshi used to boast that one day Satyen would be a great mathematician, like Laplace or Cauchy. It is the mark of a good teacher to recognise talent and Bakshi was convinced that this boy, as far as his mathematical talent was concerned, was quite out of the ordinary. Apart from working out all the sums from prescribed textbooks, Satyen would solve similar sums from subsidiary text-books. Moreover, it was his practice to try them by diverse methods. 

The genius which later manifested itself as a wizard in numbers was blossoming during this period. Satyendra Nath was due to sit for his entrance examination in 1908. But unfortunately he was down with an attack of chicken-pox just two days before the examination. As a result he lost one year. He had to remain in Hindu School for one more year. But he took this opportunity to study advanced mathematics and Sanskrit classics. In the entrance examination of 1909 Satyen stood fifth in order of merit. The boy who stood first was Chandidas Bhattacharya of Hindu School, who unfortunately died the following year. Satyen had also done very well in Sanskrit, history and geography, but he opted for the science course. He joined the intermediate science classes at the Presidency College, Calcutta. 1909 was a significant year in the scientific history of Bengal, both in physics and in chemistry. As Acharya P.C Ray was to remark in his autobiography: In that memorable year some members of the brilliant group of students who were afterwards destined to play a conspicuous part in notable research took their admission in the Presidency College. The brightest among them was S.N. Bose. Then there were others like Jnan Chandra Ghosh, Jnanendra Nath Mukherjee, Nikhil Ranjan Sen, Pulin Behari Sarkar, Manik Lal Dey, Sailendra Nath Ghose and Amaresh Chakraborty. Meghnad Saha joined the Presidency College two years later. It was one of the most brilliant groups at the Presidency College, whose combined academic record remains unparalleled in the history of the Calcutta University. It may also be noted that P.C. Mahalanobis, Nilratan Dhar and S.K. Mitra were a few years senior to this group. Apart from setting the norm of scientific research, these people have been chiefly responsible for moulding the shape of future science policy and scientific research in India. Apart from their individual academic brilliance, this group was united by some common ideals. 

They were all nationalists at heart, some of them were indirectly connected with the freedom fighters; a few had closer links. 1905, the year of Einstein’s special theory of relativity, was also a crucial year in the political history of India. Satyen was then a boy of eleven, still in school, when Lord Curzon announced the partition of Bengal. Political thought and movement had reached a stage in Bengal which could no longer be tolerated by a reactionary imperialist like Lord Curzon. So he now planned to play his trump card and break the backbone of the movement. His first plan of operation was to crush the nationalist solidarity in Bengal. For some time a partition of Bengal on grounds of administrative necessity was being considered. Curzon equated the Congress with the Calcutta leaders and viewed the metropolis as ‘the centre of successful intrigue’. By dividing the Bengali-speaking population he expected to weaken their influence on the national movement. The divisions of Dacca, Chittagong and Rajshahi were to be taken out and joined to Assam. A new province called East Bengal and Assam would thus be formed with Dacca as capital. Contrary to the wishes of the people, he decided to split the province of Bengal in half, thus sparking off an already smouldering discontent. The educated Bengali rose up in protest, a wave of new patriotism swept over Bengal. Satyen and his generation grew into manhood in this atmosphere of inspired idealism. The most potent influence in the formative years of young Satyen’s life was the swadeshi movement, wrote his boyhood friend, Nirendranath Roy. 

The movement was given the semblance of a ritual by Tagore and the Tagore family. The day of Rakshabandhan (Rakhi-Bandhan) was chosen as a day of purification when every home would go without cooking. As a token of protest, a bonfire of British mil 1-made cloth would be made on every street corner. Every family would contribute its share of British goods, especially clothes and the young boys would have a merry time going from house to house pouring water “on the cooking stoves and collecting clothes for burning. This became a yearly ritual. The idea was that people were not doing it to spite the British but doing it as part of their duty—a part of dharma. Boycott of British goods was also in full swing. 

At the same time, there were secret societies formed with the objective of training the youth of the country physically and morally for Independence. Anusilan Samity was one of these societies which gave lessons in handling weapons and physical culture. Satyen along with his friend Jivantara Halder was involved to some extent in these secret activities. However, Satyen took a more active part in running the night school for the children of working class people. This was known as the Working Men’s Institute. The Institute held classes in the Keshab Academy in Maniktola Street. It was founded by an associate of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh and Barin Ghosh. D.N. Mallik, the famous professor of mathematics of the Presidency College, was the president of this school, even though he had no direct contact with the revolutionaries. The young students who conducted the classes were Nirendranath Roy, Satyen Bose, Girijapati Bhattacharyya, Pashupati Bhattacharyya and Harish Sinha. These classes continued till they passed their B.Sc. examinations.

satyendra nath bose contribution to mathematics

EARLY CAREER (1915-1920) Satyendra Nath, a bright star of the Calcutta University, was now ready for a career. But what were the prospects open before him? In those days jobs were difficult to get. While looking for a job, Satyendra Nath gave private tuition to a young prince of the Gauripur estate, Pramathesh Barua, who later became the renowned film-director and actor. Earlier he had applied for two jobs but was not selected on grounds of being overqualified. About this time the opportunity he was looking for presented itself. It came from Sir Asutosh Mookerjee, who integrated teaching and research at the university level for the first time in India. The swadeshi movement had already created in the people an urge for economic self-reliance, for new industries, trade and commerce. So far, the system of education did not provide the necessary training for scientific and technical personnel needed for the purpose. But things changed with Asutosh. 

Before 1908 just a few colleges had science in their curriculum. In 1916 Asutosh made a plan for converting the university from an affiliating body to a teaching organisation. He also introduced postgraduate teaching. So he immediately needed a band of teachers to set up the laboratories and to start classes. The donations of Sir Tarak Nath Palit and Sir Rash Behari Ghose enabled him to lay the foundations of the University College of Science at 92 Upper Circular Road. The road was later named after Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray. However, the biological sciences were housed at the residential building of Sir Tarak Nath Palit at Ballygunj Circular Road. Satyendra Nath and Meghnad were both appointed lecturers in the Applied Mathematics Department in 1916. But neither of them could get on well with the then Ghosh professor of applied mathematics, Dr Ganesh Prasad. With Sir Asutosh’s permission both of them were transferred to the Department of Physics, even though their formal training in physics was up to the B.Sc. level. The Physics Department was already facing a crisis. While Sir P.C. Ray was himself organising the Chemistry Department, the Department of Physics was virtually without a head. Dr D.M. Bose, who was appointed the Ghosh professor of physics, was sent to Germany for advanced training. But the World War intervened and he was interned there. The task of organising the department was therefore left to young people like Satyen Bose, Meghnad Saha, S.K. Mitra, Sailendra Nath Ghose (who later had to leave the country for his extreme political affiliations), Phanindra Nath Ghosh and others. 

The young men did such a good job that when C.V. Raman joined as Palit professor of physics, the department was running itself. Saha and Bose began to study modern physics on their own. They took German language lessons (where their classmate was Suniti Chatterjee) and discussed the new concepts in the subject which were undergoing swift changes. The quantum theory, the theory of relativity, and Bohr’s theory of the hydrogen spectrum heralded a new age in physics. The older teachers of physics in Calcutta had not kept pace with these revolutionary trends, but confined themselves to classical physics as embodied in the M.Sc. syllabus. The team selected by Sir Asutosh broke the old Barriers and made the M.Sc. course a really progressive one. It must be remembered that Saha and Bose were entirely self-taught in physics. The hurdles which they had to overcome were formidable. For one thing, they had no access to modern books. In those days Indian participation in international conferences and seminars was unthinkable. World War I was raging. While the young scientists were frantically looking for books and periodicals, they came upon an unexpected source. In the Bengal Engineering College at Sibpur, Howrah, there was a German professor, named P. J. Bruhl, who had an interesting career. He did his doctorate in botany, but for health reasons he was forbidden to expose himself to out-door activities. So he switched over to physics. The reason for which he came to India was its warm climate, which he needed. It was a stroke of good luck for Bose and Saha that Bruhl was an inspiring and sympathetic friend. Bruhl supplied them all the advanced text-books in physics, but they were in German. 

Some of these books were written by Max Planck. Saha had already learnt German and Bose had started taking lessons in German. For convenience the two friends divided the subjects. Saha was to specialise in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics and Bose on the theories of electromagnetism and relativity. Both of them were destined to make fundamental contributions in the respective fields of their choice—Saha in his theory of thermal ionisation which explained the physical conditions in stellar bodies and which is considered one of the ten major discoveries in astrophysics, and Bose for his Bose Statistics which is still playing a very vital role in the study of modern physics, in the field of elementary particles and in the field of super conductivity. Bose’s first research paper on The Influence of the Finite Volume of Molecules on the Equation of State’ was written jointly with Meghnad Saha. The physical behaviour of actual gases differs from the ideal gases which are so named because some ideal properties are hypothetically assigned to them for the sake of simplicity. 

This paper was published in the Philosophical Magazine of London in 1918. His next two papers were published in the ‘Bulletin of the Calcutta Mathematical Society in 1919 and 1920. They were on ‘The Stress Equations of Equilibrium’ and ‘The Horpol Hode’. Both these papers were based purely on mathematical problems. In 1920 Bose’s paper on ‘The deduction of Rydberg’s Law from the Quantum Theory of Spectral Emission’ was published in the Philosophical Magazine. It becomes evident from these papers that his command over mathematics was not only extraordinary but also that he wanted to probe the fundamentals. Around that time Bose, in collaboration with Saha, had translated Einstein’s papers on the theory of relativity from the original German. The book was published by the Calcutta University. Incidentally, it happens to be the first English version of those celebrated German papers. Things turned out more favourably for Saha, who submitted his Premchand Roychand studentship in 1919, his D.Sc. thesis in the same year and left for Europe in the middle of 1920 on the support of the Ghose Travelling fellowship. Bose could not establish a rapport with Sir Asutosh. On several occasions he differed with him, once concerning a particular mathematics question paper set by Sir Asutosh himself. 

In 1918 the war was over and D.M. Bose returned from Germany. Meanwhile Sir Asutosh had picked up another talent, C.V. Raman, from the Finance Department of the Government of India, who was conducting research on an honorary basis at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, and appointed him the Palit professor of physics in 1914. Prof. Raman joined the post in 1917. Meanwhile, Bose was looking for a better opportunity elsewhere. At that time a new university was being formed at Dacca and the authorities were looking for suitable teachers. Bose was offered a readership. When Asutosh came to know of this, he expressed his willingness to increase Bose’s salary. But Bose had already given his word to accept the appointment at Dacca. He did not go back on his word. To quote Dr D.M. Bose:


Satyendra Nath did most of his studying at night, by the light of an earthen lamp. During the day he was seldom alone, for he adored the company of good friends. The friends he chose were certainly the pick of his generation. By 1911 the house of the Bhattacharjee brothers, Pashupati and Girija, at Hirola Mitra Street had become almost like a second home to him. The Bhattacharjee's were a cultured family, had a fairly large collection of books and were music-lovers. It was here that Satyendra Nath received his first training in music and his first musical instrument was an esraj. Pashupati could sing very well. On the esraj Satyendra Nath would compose various ragas by permutation and combination of notes, Pashupati supplying the words; thus they had a very creative time. The evening progressed; they sat on the terrace discussing books, while the mother sent them refreshments, puri and halva. As a matter of fact Satyendra Nath spent more time in this house than in his own home, and there is reason to believe that the cultural atmosphere of this household influenced his mental make-up to a great extent. With his characteristic flair for acquiring gifted friends, he soon collected around him men like Niren Roy, Harish Singha, Harit Krishna Deb and Haripada Maiti. Jamini Ray was a friend of Pashupati and lived in the neighbourhood of Bagbazar. He too was a regular visitor. Then there were others, like Puma Chandra Sen, one of Satyendra Nath S class-fellows who became a deputy magistrate later. In this house was another interesting man of their age, Bhupal Bhusan Bhattacharjee. Though not directly related to the Bhattacharjee's, he was almost like a member of the family. Bhupal Bhusan had a natural gift for rhythm and he made various experiments with rhyme. In those days Tagore was ma king revolutionary experiments in poetic rhythm. So far the Bengali verse rhythm did not follow the Sanskrit method of double stress for combined letters (yukta varna). In Bengali verse a yukta varna was considered as one maim. 

Tagore was the first to break it up and his efforts were being enthusiastically welcomed by the young versifiers. Lines such as ‘Pancha sharey bhasma koray kozachok eki sanyasi visma maye diyecho tare charaye were very popular. Pashupati, who later became a close friend of Tagore, also tried his hand at writing. He wrote an appreciation of one of Tagore’s short stories called Megh O Roudra (Cloud and Sun). He gave it to Satyendra Nath. It must have inspired the young Satyen considerably, for within a couple of days he proposed that they bring out a hand-written journal. Satyen was to be the editor. 

It was to be called Manisha (Intellect). It came out when he was in the third year. One of the stories written by the editor was about his experiences in the jungles of Assam where his father lived, and which he used to visit during his holidays. The treatment showed considerable skill, but the account remained incomplete as the journal died after several issues. Unfortunately none of the copies are available now, but from the written account of some of the contributors; it seems there was nothing amateurish about the venture. Another of their favourite meeting grounds was Cornwallis Square, popularly known as ‘Hedua’. 

It has now been renamed Azad Hind Bagh. After class they used to spend hours here. Harti Krishna sang to them one Tagore song after another. Cornwallis Square in those days did not have a swimming club. The place was much less crowded. Sixty years later, on the eightieth birthday of Satyendra Nath, All India Radio, Calcutta, presented a programme in his honour which included as a surprise his favourite songs by which Harit Krishna Deb used to entertain the young Bose in their student days. The Bengalis' inordinate love for small talk is well-known and Satyendra Nath had cultivated this habit to perfection. To people not used to this way of life it may seem an exercise in futility/ but in proper perspective it can also be intellectually stimulating. The open-air meetings after class hours were not enough. The young people also met in the house of Harit Krishna, whose father Asim Krishna was a generous host. He bought his son an organ because his friends were keen on hearing him sing. To this haunt came many gifted people like Pramatha Chaudhary, Amritlal Basu and others.


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