India: Boson Gets No Respect

India annoyed that late scientist Bose is getting little attention
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 10, 2012 3:33 PM CDT
India: Boson Gets No Respect
A portrait of Indian scientist Satyendranath Bose is displayed at the Bengal Science Society in Kolkata, India.   (Bikas Das)

While much of the world was celebrating the international cooperation that led to last week's breakthrough in identifying the existence of the Higgs boson particle, many in India were smarting over what they saw as a slight against one of their greatest scientists. Media covering the story gave lots of credit to British physicist Peter Higgs for theorizing the elusive subatomic "God particle," but little was said about the late Satyendranath Bose, the Indian after whom the boson is named.

Despite the fact that Bose had little direct involvement in theorizing the Higgs boson itself, in India the lack of attention given to one of their own was seen as an insult too big to ignore. "He is a forgotten hero," the government lamented in a lengthy statement, noting that Bose was never awarded a Nobel Prize though "at least 10 scientists have been awarded the Nobel" in the same field. Bose and Albert Einstein devised the two basic classes of subatomic particles. Their work describes how photons can be considered particles as well as waves—such as in a laser beam. All particles that follow such behavior, including the Higgs boson, are called bosons. (Read more Satyendranath Bose stories.)

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