Wednesday, 4 February 2015
He was an Indian physicist specializing in mathematical physics. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s. A self-taught scholar and a polyglot, he had a wide range of interests in varied fields including physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, mineralogy, philosophy, arts, literature and music.
As a polyglot, he was well versed in several languages such as Bengali, English, French, German and Sanskrit as well as the poetry of Lord Tennyson, Rabindranath Tagore and Kalidasa. He could also play the esraj, a musical instrument similar to a violin.
Along with Meghnad Saha, he prepared the first book in English based on German and French translations of original papers on Einstein's special and general relativity in 1919.
Though not accepted at once for publication, he sent the article(a paper deriving Planck's quantum radiation law without any reference to classical physics by using a novel way of counting states with identical particles) directly to Albert Einstein in Germany. Einstein, recognising the importance of the paper, translated it into German himself and submitted it on his behalf to the prestigious Zeitschrift für Physik. As a result of this recognition, he was able to work for two years in European X-ray and crystallography laboratories, during which he worked with Louis de Broglie, Marie Curie, and Einstein.
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