Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose was an Indian physicist specializing in theoretical physics.

Updated: July 19, 2020


Satyendra Nath Bose  was an Indian physicist specializing in theoretical physics. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation for Bose-Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose 'Einstein condensate. He was born on 1st January 1894 and died on 4th February 1974.


Childhood of Satyendra Nath Bose:

Satyendra Nath Bose was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), the eldest of seven children in a Bengali Kayastha family. He was the only son, with six sisters after him. His ancestral home was in the village Bara Jagulia, in the then district of Nadia, in the Bengal Presidency.


Education of Satyendra Nath Bose:

Satyendra Nath Bose begin his schooling at the age of five, near his home. When his family moved to Goabagan, he was admitted into the New Indian School. In the final year of school, he was admitted into the Hindu School. He passed his entrance examination (matriculation) in 1909 and stood fifth in the order of merit. He next joined the intermediate science course at the Presidency College, Calcutta, where his teachers included Jagadish Chandra Bose, Sarada Prasanna Das, and Prafulla Chandra Ray. Satyendra Nath Bose chose mixed (applied) mathematics for his BSc and passed the examinations standing first in 1913 and again stood first in the MSc mixed mathematics exam in 1915. It is said that his marks in the MSc examination created a new record in the annuals of the University of Calcutta, which is yet to be surpassed. After completing his MSc, Bose joined the University of Calcutta as a research scholar in 1916 and started his studies in the theory of relativity.


Family of Satyendra Nath Bose:

In 1914, at age 20, Satyendra Nath Bose married Ushabati Ghosh, the 11-year-old daughter of a prominent Calcutta physician. They had nine children, two of whom died in early childhood.


Some facts about Satyendra Nath Bose:

  • In 1924, while working as a Reader at the Physics Department of the University of Dhaka, Satyendra Nath Bose wrote a paper deriving Planck's quantum radiation law without any reference to classical physics by using a novel way of counting states with identical particles.
  • IN 1926, he was then made Head of the Department of Physics at Dhaka University.
  • Satyendra Nath Bose designed equipment himself for an X-ray crystallography laboratory. He set up laboratories and libraries to make the department a center of research in X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, magnetic properties of matter, optical spectroscopy, wireless, and unified field theories.
  • He also published an equation of state for real gases with Meghnad Saha.
  • He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Science at Dhaka University until 1945.
  • Apart from physics, he did some research in biotechnology and literature (Bengali and English). 
  • As a polyglot, Bose was well versed in several languages such as Bengali, English, French, German and Sanskrit as well as the poetry of Lord Tennyson, Rabindranath Tagore and Kalidasa.
  • He could play the esraj, an Indian musical instrument similar to a violin.
  • He was actively involved in running night schools that came to be known as the Working Men's Institute.
  • In 1937, Rabindranath Tagore dedicated his only book on science, Visva-Parichay, to Satyendra Nath Bose.
  • Satyendra Nath Bose was honored with title Padma Vibhushan by the Indian Government in 1954.
  • In 1959, Satyendra Nath Bose was appointed as the National Professor, the highest honour in the country for a scholar, a position he held for 15 years.
  • In 1986, the S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences was established by an act of Parliament, Government of India, in Salt Lake, Calcutta.
  • Bose's work was evaluated by an expert of the Nobel Committee, Oskar Klein, who did not see his work worthy of a Nobel Prize.


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