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Jagadis C. Bose

posted Nov 28, 2014, 3:51 AM by Chalaka Salpadoru   [ updated Jul 18, 2019, 12:32 AM by Upali Salpadoru ]

Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose. 

1858 – 1937


 If, Chandra Bose patented his inventions,             Bangladesh would have been a richer country.             When Marconi demonstrated,                                    “Trans-Atlantic Signalling” hardly anybody knew that the receiver he used was a design made by this forgotten scientist. 

 Although Chandra Bose made many demonstrations of remote control, using short waves he was primarily a practical Biologist and a Philosopher.  He showed that all organic and inorganic matter behave in a similar manner according to changes in the environment. He was the first to detect “Metal fatigue”. “Anybody is free to use my discoveries”, was his motto.

        Date of Birth:- November 30th.   Country of Birth:- Bangladesh.


 Chandra Bose was born in a village close to Dhaka, in Bangladesh as the son of Bhagawan Chandra Bose who was a Civil Servant under the British rule. Unlike his colleagues, he sent  his son to a vernacular school for the Primary education. As his father was a leader in Brahmo Samaj they were not caste minded. 

1869 Age 11Yrs.

 In Hare School on his right   was a   fisherman’s son and on his left sat the son of a Muslim attendant of his father. “I never realized that there existed a ‘problem’ common to the two communities, Hindus and Muslims.” he had written.

1875  Age 17 Yrs.

At St. Xavier’s College he was taught by Father Eugene Lafont who imparted a deep interest in natural sciences.

1877  Age 19Yrs.  

 He joined The University of Calcutta for a Bachelor course in Science.

1879  Age 21Yrs.

 He obtained his BSc, degree and joined the University of London, hoping to be a doctor according to the wishes of his father. His father did not want his son to get into his boots as a civil servant to serve a colonial government. As the odors in the dissecting rooms was interfering with his health, he was compelled to give it up Through a prominent past student of Christ College Cambridge, his brother-in-law, he gained admission for a course in Natural science. There he came under the guidance of eminent scientists of the day such as John Strutt (Lord Raleigh) Francis Darwin (son of Charles Darwin) and James Dewar.

1884  Age 21Yrs.

 He achieved a Tripos in Natural Science and sailed back home.

  A letter from the eminent ecologist Henry Fawcett to Viceroy of India helped him to get an appointment at The Presidency College. As the Assistant Professor of physics, The Principal accepted him with the greatest reluctance.  

 The authorities underestimated him but loaded him with a full quota of duties. He most obediently complied. But when he discovered that he was offered only one-third the salary of the school's European professors at the same level, he protested in his own style. He worked with dedication but refused to accept the salary for three consecutive years.

 Chandra Bose was not given any time or a place for any kind of research. He managed to creep into a small room adjoining a bathroom and engage himself in research activities far into the night.

 Due to his extraordinary skill, knowledge, intelligence and attitude Bose soon became the most popular lecturer at the institution.  The Director and the Principal could not keep a blind eye to this. Finally they decided to pay him three year arrears and provide the essential facilities for his research.

 His research was on short radio waves ranging from 1 cm. to 5mm.  wavelength  He described them as follows; “The invisible light, (‘Adrisi alok’) can easily pass through brick walls, buildings etc. Therefore, messages can be transmitted by means of it without the mediation of wires”.

 All his peers in the field were experimenting with long radio waves. According to him he did not have facilities to those. More over short waves had a distinct advantage over the long radio waves in many aspects.

 Radio signal detector , called a ‘coherer’ (Radio receiver) had been already discovered by a French Scientist Édouard Branly, Chandra Bose based on that invented a much more sophisticated iron-mercury-iron-coherer.  In the meantime Nikolai Tesla in USA., demonstrated remote control to guide a boat. The same year Bose got a bell to ring at a distance when he ignited gunpowder at the Town Hall in Kolkata. 

1887  Age 24 Yrs.

He married Abala, the daughter of Durga Mohan Das, the Brahmo reformer. (In 1882, she entered Madras Medical College but did not continue).

 Bose was facing great financial crisis at this time. He was not accepting his salary. His father too had got into debt.

1896  Age 33 Yrs.

On the 18th of January The Electrician commented as follows:

"Should Professor Bose succeed in perfecting and patenting his ‘Coherer’, we may in time see the whole system of coast lighting throughout the navigable world revolutionized by a Bengali scientist working single handed in our Presidency College Laboratory"

“The inventor of ‘Wireless Telecommunications’, Bose was not interested in patenting his invention”.  Was another remark.

1898 Age 35 Yrs.

He made several inventions with regard to microwave transmitting and receiving. He was the first to use semiconducting crystals to detect radio waves. Unfortunately this technology lay dormant for another fifty years.

His accomplishments in the field of physical science would have been ample to qualify as a trend setting scientist of the world.  But he turned his physicist eye towards the life of plants. Up to the point those generations remembered him as a Botanist rather than a Physicist. He made a very sensitive instrument called ‘Cresco graph’, to study the sensitivity and growth movements in plants. It could magnify a movement 10,000 times and even record the positions periodically.

He also used a very sensitive galvanometer to study electrical signals produced by plants in response to various stimuli. (Read: - What a plant feels,)

1901 Age 38 Yrs.

“There was a packed Hall in London to listen to the scientist Chandra Bose. He dipped the roots of a plant in  water. He attached the plant to an instrument.  A screen showed a speck of light moving to and fro. Then he added a poison into the water. The vibrations became faster and shaky. After a few seconds slowed down and finally stopped.”  This was the dying painful movements of a plant cell.

 In December Guglielmo Marconi was able to send a Radio signal over 2000 miles.

 In December Marconi demonstrated. “Trans-Atlantic wireless signalling”. This was celebrated globally but the fact that he used a receiver discovered by Jagdish Bose was never mentioned.

Chandra Bose made the comment, “Anybody is free to use my research”

1902   Age 39Yrs.

 He published a book “Response in the Living and Non-living”.

 He even scrutinized non-living matter for responses for stimuli such as stress and heat. He discovered that even metals always exhibit an electrical change in response to stimuli. It was only much later that the modern scientists discovered ‘metal fatigue’

"the living response in all its diverse modifications is only a repetition of responses seen in the inorganic and that the phenomena of response are determined, not by the play of an unknowable and arbitrary vital force, but by the working of laws that know no change, acting equally and uniformly throughout the organic and inorganic matter."

1903 Age 40 Yrs.

 He was made a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire.

1912 Age  49 Yrs.

 He became a Companion of the Order of the Star of India.

1926   Age 63Yrs.

 He published his second book “The Nervous Mechanism of Plants”.

1937  Age 78 Yrs.

 Death. The cause of death is unknown.