Jagdish Chandra Bose 161st Birth Anniversary: Remembering The Prominent Indian Scientist Who Discovered Life in Plants, Invented Wireless Communication
Jagdish Chandra Bose (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

The nation celebrates the 161st birth anniversary of Jagdish Chandra Bose on November 30. Jagdish Chandra Bose was one of the prominent scientists of India. Around 118 years ago, Bose proved by experimentation that plants have life. With his experiment, he established that plants are also sensitive to heat, cold, and various other external stimuli. His discovery laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent. He was also credited with the invention of wireless telecommunication. National Science Day 2018: The Theme For This Year Is Science and Technology For a Sustainable Future.

Jagdish Chandra Bose was born in a Bengali Kayastha family in Munsiganj, Bengal Presidency, now part of Bangladesh. His father, Bhagawan Chandra Bose, was a leading member of the Brahmo Samaj and worked as a deputy magistrate and assistant commissioner in Faridpur. Bose graduated from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata and then went to the University of London to study medicine, but could not pursue studies in medicine because of health problems. However, he conducted his research with the Nobel Laureate Lord Rayleigh at Cambridge.

In 1895, Jagdish Chandra Bose made the first public demonstration of radio waves in the Kolkata town hall. During the demonstration, he at a distance of 75 feet, he remotely rang an electric bell and ignited a small charge of gunpowder by using microwave signals instead of the low and medium frequency waves that Guglielmo Marconi was working with. One of the important works of Bose in radio was the detection of electromagnetic waves. He was the first to use a semiconductor junction to detect radio waves. National Science Day 2018: PM Modi Salutes 'Science Lovers', Says Scientists Are Making India Proud.

His major contribution in the field of biophysics was the demonstration of the electrical nature of the conduction of various stimuli (e.g., wounds, chemical agents) in plants, which were earlier thought to be of a chemical nature. Bose was also the first to study the action of microwaves in plant tissues and corresponding changes in the cell membrane potential. Bose performed a comparative study of the fatigue response of various metals and organic tissue in plants.

Jagdish Chandra Bose was elected the Fellow of the Royal Society in 1920 for his contributions in science. Bose authored two books; "Response in the Living and Non-living" (1902) and ‘The Nervous Mechanism of Plants’ (1926). He died aged 78, on November 23 in 1937, in Giridih, India.