Satyendra Nath Bose, an Indian scientist and mathematician, is honoured in today’s Doodle for his contribution to the Bose-Einstein Condensate. He delivered his quantum formulations to Albert Einstein on this day in 1924, and Einstein immediately recognised it as a key quantum mechanics discovery.
Bose’s rise to stardom began in academia. Bose’s enthusiasm in mathematics was stifled by his father, an accountant, who would create an arithmetic homework for him to solve each day before going for work. Bose began studying for a Bachelor of Science degree at Presidency College in Calcutta at the age of 15, and later received a Master’s in Applied Mathematics at the University of Calcutta. He confirmed his prestigious academic position by graduating first in his class for both degrees.
By the end of 1917, Bose had begun offering physics lectures. While teaching postgraduate students Planck’s radiation formula, he began to question how particles were measured and began to test his own theories. He published his findings in a study titled Planck’s Law and the Hypothesis of Light Quanta, which he submitted to The Philosophical Magazine, a prestigious research magazine. His research was turned down, much to his surprise. He made the courageous decision to mail his manuscript to Albert Einstein at that time.
The significance of the discovery was quickly realised by Einstein, who applied Bose’s formula to a wide spectrum of events. Bose’s theoretical paper became one of quantum theory’s most important results. The Indian government honoured Bose’s outstanding contributions to physics by awarding the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s highest civilian honour. He was also named National Professor, India’s highest honour for academics.
Bose went on to become the president of a number of scientific organisations, including the Indian Physical Society, the National Institute of Science, the Indian Science Congress, and the Indian Statistical Institute. He eventually became a Fellow of the Royal Society and served as an adviser to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Any particle that currently corresponds to Bose’s statistics is referred to be a boson in his honour. His work has resulted in numerous scientific advances, including the discovery of the particle accelerator and the God particle.
Thank you, Satyendra Nath Bose, for changing physics forever. Your finding threw quantum mechanics for a loop!