The Polymath : Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose

"The true laboratory is the mind, where behind illusions we uncover the laws of truth”, J.C.Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose has no parallel in the world of science. He was a polymath in the truest sense. He was a biologist, physicist, botanist, archaeologist, biophysicst, a science fiction writer and a lot more combined together. He championed the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made considerable contributions to plant science and laid the foundation of experimental science in India.Through his innovative experiments, he was able to demonstrate that the life force residing in the living and non-living world is the same, illustrating the unity in creation irrespective of its endless manifestations. He held high moral standards as a scientist and believed firmly that scientific inventions should be made freely available to mankind. He was totally against the patent system. Though it is his path breaking inventions in the field of Botany which has made him famous, his contributions in other domains got recognized decades later only.

Bose’s place in history has now been re-evaluated. He is now credited with inventing the first wireless detection device, discovering millimetre length electromagnetic waves and being a pioneer in the field of biophysics.

Many of his instruments are still on display and remain largely usable now, over 100 years later, including various antennas, polarisers, and waveguides, which are used in it’s modern forms today.

Books : Response in the Living and Non-Living (1902) and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants (1926). In 1896, Bose wrote Niruddesher Kahini (The Story of the Missing One), a short story that was later expanded and added to Abyakta collection in 1921 with the new title Palatak Tuphan (Runaway Cyclone). It was one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

 “J.C. Bose was at least 60 years ahead of his time. In fact, he had anticipated the existence of P-type and N-type semiconductors.”, Sir Nevill Mott

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