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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Google celebrates Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose birthday with a doodle

Before the advent of twentieth century, science did not acknowledge the vitality of trees and plants. Then, on May 10,  1901, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose proved that plants are like any other life form. Bose proved that plants have a definite life cycle, a reproductive system and are aware of their surroundings. The demonstration took place in the Royal Society in London, England.  The science behind capturing radio waves was first demonstrated by Bose. While Marconi was celebrated for his invention, Bose remained unknown to many, as he never patented his work

Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose,[1858 – 1937) was a polymath, physicist, biologist, biophysicist, botanist and archaeologist, as well as an early writer of science fiction.  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. IEEE named him one of the fathers of radio science.  He also invented the crescograph. A crater on the moon has been named in his honour.

Born in Munshiganj, Bengal Presidency 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 because of 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.

Google today celebrates 158th  birthday of Jagdish Chandra Bose with a doodle.  The Google Doodle shows the scientist with crescograph, which is an instrument that he invented to measure growth in plants. It also determines environment effects on vegetation.

His invention, crescograph helped scientists better understand about cultivation of crops in an effective way.   Prior to his death in 1937,  Acharya J. C. Bose founded the Institute in 1917, with the purpose of investigating fully "the many and ever opening problems of the nascent science which includes both life and non-life". Acharya Bose s early career included many marvelously inventive and pioneering experiments on electromagnetism which, in J. J. Thomson s words, marked "the dawn of the revival in India, of interest in researches in the Physical Sciences", and on the commonality of the response of plants and inorganic materials to electric and mechanical stimuli. Those early successes lay behind the stated purpose. Bose s successors remained true to that purpose.

He was elected the Fellow of the Royal Society in 1920 for his amazing contributions and achievements. To recognise Mr Bose's achievements, a small-impact crater on the far side of the Moon is named after him. It is located close to Crater Bhabha and Crater Adler and has a reported diameter of 91 kilometres. Jagadish Chandra Bose was more than just a botanist. He was a polymath adept in mathematics, electromagnetism, microwave technology. He is even given the credit to be the first to successfully use microwaves as radio signals.

In November 1895, Bose presented a public demonstration at Town Hall in Calcutta where he sent an electromagnetic wave across 75 feet, passing through walls to remotely ring a bell and to explode some gunpowder. Bose is known as the father of wireless communication. He had invented the Mercury Coherer, a radio wave receiver that was used by Guglielmo Marconi to build an operational two-way radio.  Being a colonised Indian, Bose was denied access to laboratories. He would conduct his experiments only at his place. He would work inside a 24-square-feet room, which is hardly enough for any scientific experiment.  He was considered as the pioneer of Bengali science fiction. His book 'Polatok Toofan'(Absconding Storm) described how a cyclone could be averted by using a bottle of hair oil. It explained how oil changes the surface tension and holds water. His book 'Niruddesher Kahini'(Story of the Untraceable) was the first major Bengali science fiction.

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."

Media is highlighting the tribute by Google doodle –Independent Co Uk writes ~ :  Bangladeshi scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was born 158 years ago, and became a world leader in telecommunications with innumerable achievements to his name.  He was born in Munshiganj, historically known as Bikrampur, now a  district in central Bangladesh.  The writer needs to check his history – there was no Bangladesh prior to 1971 !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

30th Nov. 2016.

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