S N Bose Project is a grandson's biographical research on the life and times of Professor Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974) — Indian mathematical-physicist, humanist, and multi-faceted genius ... a polymath in diverse fields of science, education, literature, music, politics, social reform, and philanthropy.

25 January 2007

Part III: Saha, Mahalanobis, Einstein and Tagore

After being the first to translate Einstein's Relativity theories from German to English, Saha and Bose continued to blossom in their career. They, along with P.C. Mahalanobis, who wrote the introduction, went on to have illustrious careers.

Meghnad Saha (1893-1956; Fellow Royal Society 1927; also here) went on to become world famous for his Saha Equation on the thermal ionization of elements, a basic tool to determine the spectra of stars and to determine the ionization elements of the stars. Among his many other notable achievements was the development of numerous scientific institutions in India, including the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, the journal Science and Culture (published by the Indian Science Association and started by Saha in 1934), and being in charge of river management and development for the Government of India. Saha and Bose were classmates since their childhood, and had a sometimes contentious, but always close, lifelong friendship.

Bose went on to discover Bose Statistics (1924), Fellow Royal Society 1958, and other things that we will cover in this Blog.

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis (1893-1972, Fellow Royal Society 1945) is considered the father of applied statistics in India, and was one of India's leading planners. He was, among other things, the founder of the Indian Statistical Institute, as well as personal secretary to the Poet Rabindranath Tagore (Asia's first Nobel Laureate winning for Literature in 1913). Indeed, there is a widely repeated anecdote that when Einstein met Tagore (possibly in 1930) and asked "How is that bright young man Bose?" Tagore was perplexed since the Bose that he did know (the famous physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose) was far from being a young man at that time. He is said to have asked his secretary, PC Mahalanobis, about this Bose, and Mahalanobis was said to have proclaimed, "Oh, he means Satyen Bose!"

Tagore was intrigued, and said that he would like to meet this Satyen. Mahalanobis facilitated an introduction that lead to an ongoing relationship till Tagore's death in 1941. Bose's mother was said to have said with pride that "it was Albert Einstein who told Gurudev about my son, and Gurudev himself asked to meet him..."

The relationship between Bose and Tagore blossomed around a mutually held passion of teaching science (and literature) in the "mother-tongue" of Bengali. Indeed, one of Tagore's last works was Viswa-Parichay [বিশ্ব-পরিচয়] (Our Universe 1937, translated by Indra Dutta 1958), a science primer written in Bengali, which he dedicated to Bose. Many years later, Bose went on to be appointed Vice-Chancellor of Tagore's university, Viswabharati (Santiniketan) in 1957.

But that's another story...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

i definitely love your posting way, very remarkable.
don't give up and keep penning for the simple reason that it just simply worth to look through it.
impatient to look into much more of your own well written articles, have a great day :)

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Спасибо понравилось ! Thanks !

Anonymous said...

Спасибо понравилось ! Thanks !

Anonymous said...

Спасибо понравилось ! Thanks !
Заходите и к нам! Хорошо?

Anonymous said...

Пасибо за материалы! :)
Respect blog.snbose.org

Anonymous said...

Bom dia, dei uma espreitadela este espaço online e refecti tanto,acho que tás a fazer muito bem!
Para a frente com o bom trabalho!
Au revoir

sampan chakraborty said...

i will give u ranking list made by lev landau,one of the great physicist of 20th century,and one of greatest author of science and a nobel laureate himself for physicist.the ranking was made on logarithmic scale where best point was 0 and lowest point was 5.sir issac newton got 0,einstein got 0.5,historical giant eugene wigner and satyendra bose along with all fathers of quantum mechanics bohr,dirac,heisenberg and schrodinger.landau gave himself initially 2.5,but later changed it to 2.this list was made in the article my life with landau:homage of a 4.5 to a 2.

one interesting thing to note here-that max plank,maxwell and enrico fermi(whose name was used for elementary particle fermion apart from boson)had been rated after satyendra bose.although it's a controversial list,but considering landau's status it does say lot.apart from this list in various booka and internet ranking had always placed him in top 50 physicist of all time.and most importantly he is always the highest ranked eastern physicist-after him abdus salam and hideti yukuwa comes.note india's 2 nobel winning physicist c.v raman and chandrasekhar had not featured in any top 200 list-but even without nobel he can stand within elite most category.