MAN WITHOUT A "NOBEL"
author Leo Tolstoy has remarked in his short story entitled The
Exile: God sees the truth, but waits…. This is exactly what happened,
in case of J. C. Bose. Today, the world knows Marconi, an Italian
experimentalist, as the inventor of radio waves. But it was Bose,
who first invented a device called Mercury Coherer, which could
transmit and receive radio waves. It is used in mercury tube and
telephone. One of Marconi’s close friends, Luigi Solari, a lieutenant
in the Italian Navy, drew Marconi’s attention towards Bose’s invention.
He made minor changes in the devices, such as the U–tube was turned
into straight tube. A device just a replica of the Bose’s instrument
was presented for a patent by Marconi, on September 9, 1901. He
was credited by the world for sending the radio signals across
the Atlantic Ocean, for the first time.
He was invited to deliver a lecture on his invention at the Royal
Society of England on June 13, 1902. During the speech, he did
not even care to acknowledge the name of J. C. Bose whose pioneering
efforts bore him the fruits.
Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was the original propounder of the theory
of Radio Physics and Bose and Marconi used his research findings.
Hertz died in 1894. Marconi won the Noble Prize in Physics in
1909. If Hertz had been alive then he would probably have shared
was interviewed by the McClure magazine, the interviewer questioned,
"What is the difference between these electrical waves, that
can penetrate through mountains, buildings etc., and Hertz waves
?" Marconi uttered, "I can't say that, since
I am not a scientist. In fact, I doubt whether any scientist knows
it at all. But I can have a faint guess, that it may have something
to do with waves…" The irony was, the person lacking the
knowledge about the radio wave was awarded the Nobel Prize and
honored as the father of solid state and microwaves. Moreover,
the person, who actually devised the instrument from which the
microwaves generated and transmitted for the first time, was left
unrecognized and unsung in the history of science. Even one of
the assistants and a biographer of Marconi, Mr. Vivian, clearly
mentioned that it was nothing but the mercury coherer that Marconi
used. In several writings, even Marconi admitted that he had no
education or knowledge about radio waves.
lifetime Bose never considered all the dark games being played
behind him. His belief was : It is the
invention, which is of importance for the mankind, not the inventor.
He never expressed grief for not receiving the prestigious Nobel
several instruments, which have industrial applications even today.
He was offered money and could have made a fortune but never accepted
it. He never chased money and permitted anyone to use the fruits
of his researches. He was very generous and noble; who never exploited
the patents granted for personal and monetary gain. He talked
about his inventions as if they were open to the entire world
to adopt and accept for practical and money–making purposes. His
patriotic zeal is displayed in the following words:
"The spirit of our national culture demands that we
should for ever be free from the desecration of utilizing knowledge
for personal gain".
HIS FRIENDLY NATURE
Besides science, Bose was
also interested in literature. Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel
Prize winning Indian poet, was a close friend of J.C. Bose. When
Tagore visited Bose for the first time, he was not present. So
Tagore put a flower bouquet on his desk, and these flowers came
to form a link of friendship between the two great personalities.
Bose always enjoyed his company. It was Tagore who encouraged
him to spread the message of his scientific breakthrough all over
the world. In those days, Rabindranath Tagore was not famous in
the West. J. C. Bose helped him in publishing some of his stories.
At the fag end of his life, Tagore wrote that his brothers, their
families and several servants surrounded him in his huge mansion.
Though he felt alone only Jagdishbabu helped him escape loneliness.
Not only Tagore,
but also three other renowned personalities- Albert Einstein,
Romain Rolland and George Bernard Shaw had intimate friendship
with J.C. Bose.
Bose was a simple man bereft of ego and warm at heart. This helped
him develop friendships with many a great personalities of his