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Jagadish Chandra Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose, an eminent Indian scientist, made pioneering contributions in electronics, plant science, and radio physics. Fascinated by science since his youth, he conducted groundbreaking experiments on the Mimosa pudica plant, showing its unique ability to close its leaves upon touch. His work in 1887 revealed a rudimentary plant nervous system. Bose also explored science fiction alongside his research in radio and microwave optics, leaving a lasting impact on science.

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Early Life

Jagadish Chandra Bose entered the world in 1858 in Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day Bangladesh). Growing up, he attended a local Bengali Medium school for his education. Later, he embarked on his academic journey at St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. Initially aspiring to pursue medicine, health setbacks thwarted his plans. However, undeterred, he immersed himself in scientific exploration alongside the esteemed Nobel Laureate Lord Rayleigh at the University of Cambridge. Upon returning to his homeland, India, he found his calling as a professor of physics at the prestigious Presidency College of the University of Calcutta.

Contribution to Science

Jagadish Chandra Bose, a renowned Bengali scientist, is celebrated for his multifaceted contributions to various fields such as physics, botany, and radio science. Widely regarded as the pioneer of radio science, he achieved a significant milestone in 1894 by utilizing semiconductor junctions to detect radio signals. Additionally, Bose constructed groundbreaking devices like the Crescograph, designed to measure plant reactions to different stimuli. In 1895, he submitted a paper detailing his discoveries to the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Beyond his scientific endeavors, Bose also left a lasting impact as an early science fiction writer. He delved into the realm of wireless telegraphy as early as 1893, envisioning electromagnetic waves traversing space at the speed of light. Notably, his experimentation on plants’ electrical responses was documented in his 1895 publication in the Journal of Scientific Instruments, showcasing his innovative approach to botanical research.


Jagadish Chandra Bose, a renowned Indian scientist, pioneered the scientific study of plants in India. He introduced groundbreaking inventions such as the Crescograph, an instrument utilized to measure plant growth accurately. Moreover, he devised a method to stain living tissues with fluorescent dyes, enabling their observation under microscopes. Through his meticulous experiments, Bose demonstrated that plants possess the capacity to respond to external stimuli. Furthermore, his investigations extended to animals, particularly frogs, revealing similar responsiveness to stimuli. His profound insights established the notion of a life force within all living organisms, capable of reacting to environmental cues such as light and heat. Bose’s research laid the foundation for subsequent studies on plant senses undertaken by notable scientists like Charles Darwin and Robert Hooke.

Crystal Detector

Bose created the Crystal Detector, an early wireless radio receiver. It could pick up signals from about 60 meters away without wires or antennae, aiding ship-to-ship communication in World War I and World War II. Its popularity declined after the war due to its bulky size.

Awards and Honours

Due to his ground-breaking investigations, Jagadish Chandra Bose left a lasting legacy in India as well as in the world. He was the recipient of numerous accolades and honours.

  • He was made a Knight in 1917 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1920 for his paper on “The Electromagnetic Radiation and Polarisation of Electric Rays“. He was the first Indian scientist to receive this honour in the field of physics.
  • In 1928, he became a member of the Vienna Academy of Sciences.
  • He was the president of the Indian Science Congress’s 14th session in 1927.
  • In 1929, he became a member of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters.
  • Along with Einstein, Curie, and Millikan, he represented Asia on the League of Nations International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
  • He has a lunar crater named in his honour.


  • He died on 23rd November 1937 in Giridih, Bihar.


Jagadish Chandra Bose was a polymath renowned for his contributions to various scientific fields, including botany and telecommunications. Widely regarded as one of the pioneers of radio science, Bose delved into the study of microwaves and made significant breakthroughs. Notably, in 1895, he demonstrated wireless communication for the first time by utilizing semiconductor junctions to detect radio signals. While Bose’s early research focused on plant countenance, his passion eventually shifted towards animal physiology, which he pursued at Calcutta Medical College under the guidance of Professor John Perry. His studies at the college were supported by an Indian Civil Service Scholarship granted by the British Government.

Read also: Subhash Chandra Bose

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