How Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose proved plants have life 115 years ago
Jagadish Chandra Bose was a multi-talented Indian scientist who also invented wireless communication.
India Today Web Desk
New Delhi, May 10, 2016, UPDATED: November 23, 2018 10:43 IST
Jagadish Chandra Bose proved that plants are like any other life form. He proved that plants have a definite life cycle, a reproductive system and are aware of their surroundings.
Before the advent of the 20th century, science did not acknowledge the vitality of trees and plants. Then, on May 10, 1901, Jagadish Chandra Bose proved that plants are like any other life form.
Bose proved that plants have a definite life cycle, a reproductive system and are aware of their surroundings. The demonstration took place in the Royal Society in London, England. (and on that same trip, he did the same demonstration in Washington DC, although the key politicians that could have benefitted from this information, “weren’t available.” ~ Don Chapin)
Here is how he proved that plants have life:
- Bose used his invention to introduce the world of plants to the humans. His invention – the Crescograph – showed how plants move
- The Bose Crescograph has a series of gears and a smoked glass plate that record the movement of a plant’s tip under a magnetic scale of 1/10000
- The plate catches the reflection of the plant and it was marked according to the movement of the plant. The plant was dipped in bromide, a poison. The pulse beat of the plant was shown as a light spot on the smoked plate. The spots became unsteady once the plant started to take in the poison, proving that plants have life
- Bose showed how plants behave differently under different environmental factors such as temperature, chemicals, electricity, gases, and humidity
- He showed the electrical nature of conduction among several stimuli in plants, which were earlier believed to have a chemical nature
- Bose was the first to study the action of microwaves in plant tissues and the changes in the plant cell membrane potential
- Through this study, he proved that plants are sensitive to pain and affection
Jagadish Chandra Bose was more than just a botanist. He was a polymath adept in mathematics, electromagnetism, microwave technology. He is even given the credit to be the first to successfully use microwaves as radio signals.
Here are some amazing facts you must know about Jagadish Chandra Bose:
- In November 1895, Bose presented a public demonstration at Town Hall in Calcutta where he sent an electromagnetic wave across 75 feet, passing through walls to remotely ring a bell and to explode some gunpowder
- Bose is known as the father of wireless communication. He had invented the Mercury Coherer, a radio wave receiver that was used by Guglielmo Marconi to build an operational two- way radio
- The science behind capturing radio waves was first demonstrated by Bose. While Marconi was celebrated for his invention, Bose remained unknown to many, as he never patented his work
- Bose was appointed as a professor in Presidency College (now University) in Calcutta by the order of Lord Ripon on his return from London
- Being a colonised Indian, Bose was denied access to laboratories. He would conduct his experiments only at his place. He would work inside a 24-square-feet room, which is hardly enough for any scientific experiment
- He was considered as the pioneer of Bengali science fiction. His book ‘Polatok Toofan’ (Absconding Storm) described how a cyclone could be averted by using a bottle of hair oil. It explained how oil changes the surface tension and holds water
- His book ‘Niruddesher Kahini’ (Story of the Untraceable) was the first major Bengali science fiction
- Jagadish Chandra Bose was one of the most influential teachers of his time. Two of his students were Meghnad Saha and Satyendra Nath Bose
- There is a small crater on the moon named after Jagadish Chandra Bose. The Bose Crater is located at the far side of the moon close to Crater Bhabha and Crater Adler and has a diameter of 91 kilometres.