Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose


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Indian plant physiologist and physicist, noted for his studies of plant sensitivity. He was knighted in 1917.

Born at Mymensingh in what is now Bangladesh, Bose attended St Xavier's College in Calcutta before moving to London to study medicine. Obtaining a scholarship to Christ's College, Cambridge, Bose graduated in natural sciences in 1884. On his return to India he was appointed professor of physics at Presidency College, Calcutta. His earliest work was concerned with very short radio waves and yielded an improved form of coherer – a device for their detection – and a general theory regarding the response of inorganic materials to external stimuli. Bose extended his researches to the responses of living organisms, especially plants, and designed the crescograph, an instrument for automatically detecting and recording plant movements. This demonstrated how movements change during growth and how they can be affected by injury and other stimulation. Bose published his findings in Response in the Living and Nonliving (1902), which was coolly received by the scientific establishment. He wrote many other papers and books on plant sensitivity, the physiology of sap flow, and photosynthesis, including The Physiology of Photosynthesis (1924) and Tropic Movements of Plants (1929). Following his official retirement in 1915, he founded the Bose Research Institute, Calcutta, two years later. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1920.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Science and Mathematics.

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