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Jagadish Chandra Bose

Born in Mymensingh (Bengal) in 1858, Bose was schooled first in Calcutta, then, as of 1880, in England (London and Cambridge). In 1885 he returned to India, where he went on to teach physics at Calcutta's Presidency College for over thirty years.

During his time at Presidency College, he was able to conduct his research, even if treated unfairly and discriminated against because he was a “native”. Interested in electromagnetism, he pursued an experiment with microwaves (about 5 mm) and, in a public demonstration that took place on November 1894 in Calcutta, Bose used them to make a bell ring remotely and some gunpowder explode.

In 1896, during a conference in London, he met Marconi, who at the time was conducting experiments for the Post Office. No correspondence ensued, also because Bose, very much contrary to patents, always manifested his indifference to the economic aspect of his research.

In Calcutta, he continued his work on electromagnetic waves for a few years, incidentally being the first to experiment semiconductors as detectors.

After 1900, his interest turned to plant physiology, studying in particular the effect of microwaves on plant tissues. He invented the “crescograph”, an instrument used to record plant growth. He applied his sensitivity research to metals as well, exposing them to electric stimulus. A member of numerous academies and institutions, he was invested with the title of “Sir” in 1916. He later founded and directed the Bose Institute. In 1937 he died in Giridih (Bengal).

The antecedence question – raised for almost all inventions but in particular for the radio and wireless – closely concerns Bose. It's undeniable that by pursuing an autonomous line of research, Bose was among the first to achieve a series of significant experimental results. Perhaps he can be considered to hold, together with Telsa, a sort of chronologic record. Both however, for various reasons and modalities, ignored and neglected the field of radiotelegraphy, which was instead Marconi's chosen field. Nevertheless they both belong by right to the pantheon of communication at a distance.

 

 

 

 

   

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