Satyendra Nath Bose

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S N Bose Time Line 

The following is a partial time of the life of S N Bose's life.  The information was gathered from various sources, including the two volume S N Bose: The Man and His Work, eds. Santimoy Chatterjee (Principal Editor), et al. (S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Calcutta, India 1994), published on the occasion of the centenary of S N Bose's birth.  The data provided is far from complete, and should only be used for informational purposes.




Born: Surendranath Bose, Bose's father (d: 1964). Worked for East India Railway as an accountant. Later founded Indian Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works.


Born: M.N. Saha (1893-1956) lifelong friend and colleague of Bose.


1 January: Satyendra Nath Bose is born in family residence, 22 Iswar Mill Lane, Goabagan, Calcutta.

Bose is the only male child to be followed by six sisters. Father, Surendranath (1868-1964) was an accountant in the Executive Engineering Department of the East India Railway, who later founded the Indian Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works, a small unit dealing in chemicals. Mother Amodini (b:??? d: 1939)


Bose admitted to The Normal School in North Calcutta.


16 October: The Partition of Bengal. The day is declared a day of mourning throughout Bengal, with a day's fast, a closure of shops and institutions, people tying rakhis on each other's hands, demonstrations, and two huge rallies; giving a fillip to the Swadeshi movement.


Bose appears for the Entrance Examination of the Calcutta University, and stands fifth in order of merit. The same year he joins the intermediate classes in science at the Presidency College, where his classmates include Jnan Chandra Ghosh (1894-1959), Jnanendranath Mukherjee (1893-1983), Nikhilranjan Sen (1894-1963).


Bose stands first in the intermediate science examination of the Calcutta University from Presidency College, and is awarded the Duff Scholarship for the best performance in Physics. He joins the BSc classes at Presidency College the same year, and meets M.N. Saha (1893-1956) as classmate, beginning years of scientific collaboration and a lifelong friendship.


Taraknath Palit (1893-1956), an eminent lawyer, executes two Trust Deeds in favor of the University of Calcutta, the effect of which is to vest in the University, lands and money of the aggregate value of 1 million 500 thousand rupees in aid of the foundation of a University College of Science and Technology and the maintenance of two professorships, one in Chemistry and the other in Physics, and scholarships for advanced students in science to enable them to carry on research or investigations abroad, with the stipulation that the 'chairs shall always be filled by Indians.'


Bose stands first in the BSc Examination of the Calcutta University, with Honours in Mixed Mathematics, from Presidency College, and is awarded the Harischandra Prize and the Herschel Gold Medal for being the Best in Mathematics and the Manmathanath Bhattacharya Gold Medal for standing first in the BSc Examination. M.N. Saha stands second, and Nikhilranjan Sen third.


7 May: Bose marries Ushabati Ghosh. The have 9 children, 7 of whom survive.


Calcutta University publishes The Principle of Relativity, containing the original papers by Einstein and H. Minkowski, translated from German by Saha and Bose, with an historical introduction by P C Mahalanobis.


15 July: University of Dacca begins functioning.

Bose joins the new faculty of the University of Dacca as a Reader in the Department of Physics, with J C Ghosh as his colleague in the Department of Chemistry. He starts teaching quantum theory and acutely feels the lack of a logically satisfactory derivation of Planck's Law. He attempts to provide one in his own way.


M N Saha, Professor of Physics, Allahabad University, meets Bose in Dacca, and draws his attention to the papers of Pauli (1923) and Einstein and Ehrenfest (1923), published in Zeitschrift fur Physik. Bose studies them and produces his celebrated paper, 'Planck's Law and the Light-Quantum Hypothesis'. He sends the paper to Philosophical Magazine. but receives no response.

4 June: Bose sends his paper to Einstein, with an accompanying letter asking him for his opinion and 'to arrange for its publications in Zeitschrift fur Physik.'

15 June: Bose sends another paper, 'Thermal Equilibrium in the Radiation Field in the Presence of Matter', to Einstein. 

July 2: Einstein sends Bose a postcard informing him that he has 'translated your work [the first paper] and communicated it to Zeitschrift fur Physik for publication', and tells him that his work 'signified an important step forward and I liked it very much ... You are the first to derive the factor quantum theoretically, even though because of the polarization factor 2 not wholly rigorously. It is a beautiful step forward.' The Journal receives the paper on the same day and publishes it in its August issue under the title 'Plancks Gestez und Lichtquantemhypothese', with a note by Einstein at the end: 'Bose's derivation of Planck's law signifies, in my opinion, an important step forward. The method used here gives also the quantum theory of an ideal gas, as I shall show elsewhere.'

7 July: Zeitschrift fur Physik receives Bose's second paper translated and communicated by Einstein, and publishes it in its September issue. 

 July 10: Einstein presents his first paper on Bose's counting method to the Prussian Academy, in which he extends Bose's method to ordinary material atoms.

September: Bose sails from Bombay on board a "steamer" (steamship) of the Lloyd Triestine Line, for Paris.

18 October: Bose reaches Paris. Bose lands up at the Indian Students' Association on 17 Rue du Sommerand which housed Indian students living in Paris. Many of them were nationalist agitators, but many well known figures, like Rabindranath Tagore, passed through there as well. Bose makes a lot of friends, and begins his communication with Einstein in Berlin. On Langevin's recommendation, Bose has the opportunity of working on X-ray Spectroscopy at the laboratory of Maurice de Broglie.

Bose writes letter to P J Hartog, Vice Chancellor, Dhaka University, stating that "Madame Curie also has given me hopes of allowing me facilities for work in the Radium Institute from the beginning of the new year."


8 October. Bose, in Berlin, writes to Einstein seeking an appointment.

November. First Bose-Einstein meeting in Berlin, followed by several meetings and encounters with the leading German scientists : 'I was very friendly with Franck, Einstein, Born, Ewald, Szilard and Mark,' Bose would later recall.


Bose applies for a Professor's post at Dhaka University, with recommendations from Einstein, Langevin, and Mark. Later in the year, he returns to Dhaka, and is appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Physics.


Bose is appointed Dean, Faculty of Science, Dacca (Dhaka) University.


Bose comes down to Calcutta to see Arnold Sommerfeld, and attends Raman's talk on the discovery of the new radiation.


Bose contributes his first article in Bengali, Bijnaner Sankat (Crisis in Science) to the first issue of Parichay, a major Bengali periodical, beginning his campaign for the dissemination and teaching of scientific ideas through 'the mother tongue'.


Rabindranath Tagore dedicates his first book on science — Visva-Parichay (Introduction to the Universe) — to Bose.


3 January. In his presidential address at the Thirty-first Indian Science Congress, Bose speaks on 'The Classical Determinism and the Quantum Theory'..


Bose returns to Calcutta as Khaira Professor of Physics at Calcutta University, and becomes President of the Indian Physical Society (in the latter position he would continue till 1948).


14 August: Pakistan Independence, includes East Pakistan which becomes Bangladesh in 1971.

August 15: Indian Independence


25 January. Bose launches the Bangiya Vijnan Parishad (Science Association of Bengal), and its monthly organ, Jnan O Vijnan (Knowledge and Science), to popularize science in and through Bengali.


26 January. The Republic Day Honours List shows Bose as Padmavibhushan, one of the highest national honours conferred by the President of India.

3 May. Bose is sworn in as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament, on a special nomination made by the President of India.


Bose retires from the post of Khaira Professor at Calcutta University.

16 February Meghnad Saha dies.

July. Bose takes over as Vice-Chancellor of the Visva-Bharati University (Tagore's University).


Bose is elected Fellow of the Royal Society, and visits London via Paris for the occasion. He is nominated by P A M Dirac who was surprised that Bose was not FRS by then.


Bose leaves Visva Bharati.

Bose is appointed National Professor.


January. Niels Bohr visits India to attend the Indian Science Congress session at Bombay, where he gives two lectures; and comes to Calcutta to deliver the M N Saha Memorial lecture at the M N Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Calcutta University College of Science; the session is chaired by Bose.


1 January. Bose is felicitated on his seventieth birthday, at the Mahajati Sadan auditorium, with Prafullachandra Sen, then Chief Minister of the State, as President of the Celebration Committee.

Bose's father dies at the age of 96.


Bose elected President of the Asiatic Society.


March 26: East Pakistan gains independence from Pakistan after 9 months of war. Renames the country Bangladesh.


29 December. Bose speaks at the inaugural session of a Seminar on the Scientific Contributions of Professor S N Bose, held at the Calcutta Mathematical Society.


1 January. Bose's eightieth birth anniversary is celebrated throughout the country. The fiftieth year of Bose Statistics is commemorated at the Bose Institute, Calcutta.

4 February. Satyendra Nath Bose dies in his home in Goa Bagan, North Calcutta, India. He is one month past his 80th Birthday, and 50 years after the discovery of Bose Statistics. Thousands line his funeral procession to the Ganges River. A nation mourns.


Scientists working in the United States announce the discovery of the Bose-Einstein Condensate, a phenomenon that Einstein predicted 70 years ago using Bose Statistics.


The Swedish Academy announces the prize awards to Professors Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman of the University of Colorado, USA and Professor Wolfgang Ketterle of MIT, USA.