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Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose is known for working with Albert Einstein on the Bose-Einstein Condensate and as namesake of the boson, or “God particle.”
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Einstein had adopted Bose's idea and extended it to atoms, which led to the prediction of the existence of phenomena that became known as the Bose-Einstein Condensate, a dense collection of bosons—particles with integer spin that were named for Bose.
After his stay in Europe, Bose returned to the University of Dhaka in 1926. Although he did not have a doctorate, Einstein had recommended he be made a professor, and so Bose was made head of the physics department. But upon his return,
Bose did not publish for a significant period of time. According to a July 2012 New York Times article in which Bose is described as the "Father of the 'God Particle,'" the scientist's interests wandered into other fields, including philosophy, literature and the Indian independence movement. He published another physics paper in 1937 and in the early 1950s worked on unified field theories.
After 25 years in Dhaka, Bose moved back to Calcutta in 1945 and continued to research and teach there until his death in 1974.
Several Nobel Prizes were awarded for research related to the concepts of the boson and the Bose-Einstein Condensate. Bose was never awarded a Nobel Prize, despite his work on particle statistics, which clarified the behavior of photons and "opened the door to new ideas on statistics of Microsystems that obey the rules of quantum theory," according to physicist Jayant Narlikar, who said Bose's finding was one of the top 10 achievements of 20th-century Indian science.
But Bose himself responded simply when asked how he felt about the Nobel Prize snub: "I have got all the recognition I deserve."
The Indian government honored Bose in 1954 with the title Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India. Five years later, he was appointed as the National Professor, the highest honor in the country for a scholar. Bose remained in that position for 15 years. Bose also became an adviser to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, as well as president of the Indian Physical Society and the National Institute of Science. He was elected general president of the Indian Science Congress and president of the Indian Statistical Institute. In 1958, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society.
About 12 years after Bose's death on February 4, 1974, the Indian parliament established the S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences in Salt Lake, Calcutta.
Regardless of the honors and recognition his own country bestowed upon Bose, the international community failed, for the most part, to regard him as a scientist who made a major discovery. When in the summer of 2012 people celebrated the international cooperation that led to a breakthrough in identifying the existence of the boson particle, they credited British physicist Peter Higgs and the Higgs boson particle.
"Many in India were smarting over what they saw as a slight against one of their greatest scientist," The Huffington Post wrote in a July 10, 2012, article. The article also quoted an editorial written earlier that week in The Economic Times, which said, "Many people in this country [India] have been perplexed, and even annoyed, that the Indian half of the now-acknowledged 'God particle' is being carried in lower case."
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