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» 07/05/2012
INDIA
The "God particle" is (also) Indian
It was Satyendra Nath Bose, Calcutta physicist, who in the '20s theorized the existence of indistinguishable elementary particles, called "bosons" in his honor. Yesterday, CERN in Geneva confirmed the observation of the Higgs boson, which gives particles mass. Over 100 Indian scientists have participated in the experiment.

Mumbai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The "God particle" has a father and not (only) the British Peter Higgs: his name is Satyendra Nath Bose and he was an Indian physicist. It was he who - along with Albert Einstein - in  the 1920s studied and theorized about the statistics of indistinguishable elementary particles ("Bose-Einstein"), later called bosons in his honor. Yet the world continues to celebrate the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN in Geneva, made yesterday, and nobody seems to remember Nath Bose's vital contribution to Peter Higgs' theory formulated in the 60s.

Born in Calcutta in 1894, Satyendra Nath Bose was the first of seven children. His father, Surendranath Bose, worked in the Engineering department of the East Indian Railway Company. He graduated in physics and was a polyglot (he spoke Bengali, English, French, German and Sanskrit). Satyendra Bose taught at the University of Calcutta and to Dhaka (now capital of Bangladesh). It was precisely in those years that he investigated Planck's law, without reference to classical physics. In 1924, he sent the results of his research to Albert Einstein describing a statistical model that will lead to the discovery of indistinguishable elementary particles.

But even in life, Satyendra Nath Bose did not get much recognition for his studies: although many scientists received the Nobel Prize in physics for research on bosons, the Swedish Academy never awarded the prize to the scientist.

The Higgs boson is the particle that provides mass to all other subatomic particles of matter, which make up matter. The first to hypothesize its existence was the British physicist Peter Higgs in 1964. Since then, several studies have questioned how it can be reproduced in order to prove its existence. Yesterday, CERN in Geneva confirmed the observation of such a particle, thanks to experiments performed with the super accelerator LHC (Large Hadron Collider). For most, the Higgs boson is known as the "God particle" because of a popular physics book by Leon Lederman, called The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What Is the Question? (1993).

About 3 thousand scientists and physicists from around the world have participated in the experiment at CERN. Of these, over 100 were Indians.

 


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by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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