first BBC Radio 4 programme 'The Indian Particle Man' - which I wrote
and presented - was a biography of the Indian physicist Prof S.N.Bose
Bose was a multi-talented man who made his mark in science in 1924 when
he wrote a research paper that became one of the foundations of quantum
theory. He worked with some of the great scientists of his
times including Marie Curie and Einstein, was a musician, a scholar of
literature and poetry, a translator (he was the first person to
translate Einstein's work on relativity into English from the original
German), and a nationalist. (The photograph on the right was taken in
1925, while Bose was working in Paris with Marie Curie.)
As part of the programme - which was first broadcast on 12th January
2005 - I was privileged to interview not only one of Bose's former
students, but also Falguni Sarkar who is one of his grandsons.
The pictures below were taken during the making of the programme in the
autumn of 2004, and the left-hand image shows Falguni and myself at the
BBC Marylebone studios sharing a joke after we had recorded our
interview. I was also delighted to meet the actor Saeed
Jaffrey (see right-hand image below) whose films include My Beautiful
Laundrette, A Passage to India, and Ghandi, and who provided the voice
of Bose for us by reading excerpts from some of his letters and
click the pics to enlarge
In May 2006, The
Indian Particle Man was shortlisted
for 'The best scripted/edited radio programme on a science subject'
category of the Syngenta
ABSW Science Writers' Awards 2005. The picture below was
taken at the Awards Dinner at the Royal Society on 19th July 2006. It
shows my radio production business partner and producer of the
programme Julian Mayers and I at the pre-dinner drinks reception
click pic to enlarge
taken by Jeff
Jones. Copyright: ABSW.
Reproduced with permission.
If you would like to read excerpts from the reviews, a message from
Falguni, or find out more about Bose, please page down.
Excerpts from reviews:-
"Fascinating portrait of a remarkable Indian physicist...compellingly
revealed by Dr Sharon Ann Holgate..."
Radio 'Choices' by
Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph, Wed 12/1/05.
"...Dr Sharon Ann Holgate presents a portrait of the largely forgotten
Bose...and pays tribute to his achievements..."
'Pick of the Day' by
Fiona Sturges, The Independent Review, The Independent, Wed 12/1/05.
"....Physicist Sharon Ann Holgate tells the story of a remarkable man."
'Radio Choice' by Chris
Campling, The Times 'T2' supplement, Wed 12/1/05.
"...Sharon Ann Holgate tells the colourful story of a scientist,
linguist and all-round genius..."
'Pick of the Day', Daily
Mail 'Weekend' supplement, Sat Jan 8th 2005.
"Dr Sharon Ann Holgate tells the story of the forgotten Indian
physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose...Holgate reveals how Einstein in fact
helped him gain a Visa to travel to Europe and how Bose's ideas changed
the focus of his research..."
'Radio Choice', by
Stephanie Billen, The Observer Magazine, Sun 9th Jan 2005.
"...profile of a remarkable man..."
'Pick of the Day' by Paul
Donovan, The Sunday Times 'Culture' supplement, Jan 9th 2005.
"Satyendra Nath Bose ...became the first Indian scientist to gain
international recognition...so why don't we know more about him? Dr
Sharon Ann Holgate, author and broadcaster, tells the story."
'Radio Choice' by Gillian
Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph Television and Radio Supplement, 8-14th
"...Bose sent his take on Planck's radiation law to Einstein in 1924.
Einstein gave it the thumbs up, sent it to a journal and, hey presto, a
new star of physics was born..."
Focus, February 2005.
Articles about the
from Falguni Sarkar:
own article on the making of the programme - "Bose makes a quantum leap
into the limelight" - was written for members of the Institute of
Physics, and appeared in their Interactions magazine in February
I met Dr. Sharon Ann Holgate while researching the life and times of my
grandfather, Professor S.N. Bose, the Indian physicist who, along with
Albert Einstein, revolutionized the world of physics in the early part
of the 20th Century. The group of particles known as "bosons"
are named after Bose, as is an entire field of physical and statistical
inquiry called Bose-Einstein Statistics.
Not being a scientist myself, I was more interested in the biography of
this extraordinary man than the science itself. But needless
to say, understanding the science, and the significance of Bose's work,
was important if I were to understand the man himself.
The challenge of making accessible complex theoretical ideas is always
daunting. However, Dr. Holgate's approach to science and her
passion of making science understandable, and situated within a wider
context of the physical universe and our place in it, is refreshing,
and indeed, a valuable contribution for us all. Bose himself
struggled to make the scientific world accessible for all, and in that
sense, Dr. Holgate continues in that tradition.
I worked with Dr. Holgate in the production of The Indian Particle Man
which recounts the life and contributions of S.N. Bose. I
thank her and her colleagues at BBC Radio for their work and dedication
to this topic.
I also am excited about the information presented in Dr. Holgate's
website. I hope that people find this information valuable
and of interest, and that it helps increase their understanding of not
only science, but the men and women who have made significant
contributions to science.
Copyright: Falguni Sarkar, January 2005.
Borders, Stretching Boundaries' edited by Stephan F.von Welck, Manohar,
2000 (ISBN 81-7304-349-3) contains several interesting passages about
Bose and his work including a chapter about the co-operation between
Einstein and Bose, as well as a chapter on Einstein written by Bose
- The August 2000
edition of Siliconeer,
a South Asian Monthly Magazine on Technology, Culture and Lifestyle has
a long biographical article entitled 'Ode to Grandpa' by Bose's
Falguni Sarkar. This includes a selection of family photographs of
- The article
'Atomic Spin-Offs for the 21st Century' by
W.Wayt Gibbs in September 2004's edition of Scientific
concludes with a section on Bose-Einstein condensates, which charts
their history and where research in the field was heading at that time.
you would like more information on Bose-Einstein condensation, you can
visit the Nobel
and check out the 2001 Nobel Prize for Physics.