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The Higgs bit we know. But the boson? Western science is overlooking India’s contribution With yesterday’s announcement of the latest findings in the search for the Higgs boson, the elusive particle is on everyone’s mind. This kind of fame is relatively rare, even for important scientific discoveries; but the Higgs boson has been called, or miscalled, the God particle, enabling it to pass into the realm of popular scientific lore, like the discovery of the smallpox vaccine, the structure of DNA, or the theory of relativity. It would be difficult for most people to understand its significance, just as it would be to comprehend the notion of relativity, but such problems are overcome by locating science in personalities as well as cultural and national traditions. The first thing that you and I know about the Higgs boson is that it’s named after Peter Higgs, a physicist at Edinburgh University who made the discovery — although the original insight, in one of those recurrent back stories of science, was Philip Anderson’s. Still, we have Higgs, and Edinburgh, and western civilisation to fall back on. The rest — “the Higgs boson is a hypothetical elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. It belongs to a class of particles known as bosons ...” — we needn’t worry too much about. But maybe we should worry just enough to ask, “What is a boson?” since the word tends to come up as soon as Higgs does. Is it, an ignoramus such myself would ask, akin to an atom or a molecule? It is, in fact, along with the fermion (named after Enrico Fermi), one of the two fundamental classes of subatomic particles.
The word must surely have some European genealogy? In fact, “boson” is derived from Satyendra Nath Bose, an Indian physicist from Kolkata who, in 1924, realised that the statistical method used to analyse most 19th-century work on the thermal behaviour of gases was inadequate.
When his meticulously researched paper sent for publication was returned by the Philosophical Magazine from London with not-so-flattering remarks, Satyendranath Bose did not lose heart. He was so sure of his finding. This was in 1924. Born on January 1, 1894, Bose studied in Calcutta and was brilliant in his studies. His classmate was the other great (also forgotten) Meghnad Saha, and the legendary Jagdish Chandra Bose was his teacher. At 22, Bose was appointed lecturer in Calcutta University, along with Saha. In 1921, he joined the then newly created Dacca University as Reader in Physics. He had a couple of papers published by the same journal earlier, co-authored with Saha. It was here while teaching that he wrote this paper for deriving the Planck's Law. His paper was titled ‘Planck's Law and Light Quantum Hypothesis.'
Albert Einstein's Nobel Prize-winning paper explained the photoelectric effect based on Planck's quanta as photons in 1905. (Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for this paper, not for his papers on Relativity!) But many of his colleagues were not fully convinced of his yet-to-be-developed photon theory. The world was waiting for a new theory on fundamental particles to fill the gaps. Under these circumstances, Bose re-sent the paper to Albert Einstein in June 1924, with a fervent appeal for his perusal and opinion. “Though a complete stranger to you, I do not feel any hesitation in making such a request,” he wrote. (He was being modest; he had earlier translated Einstein's Relativity papers into English with Einstein's permission). Little could he have foreseen the impact this was going to have. Einstein immediately recognised the significance of this paper. This paper was going to substantiate and revolutionise his theory of photoelectric effect. Einstein himself translated Bose's paper into German and sent it to Zeitschrift für Physik with his endorsement for publication. With his demigod status, Einstein's words carried much weight. It was promptly published, and immediately Bose shot into prominence.
Originally posted by luciddream
reply to post by flyingdonkey
Altho im not sure, but there are many finding and inventions in history where someone else takes the credit... i think in this day and age, people will find a way to give credit to people where it applies.
Even if the Indian Physicist did theorize it, it was Peter Higgs who got the funding and had the system going.