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Debendra Mohan Bose was an Indian physicist who made contributions in the field of cosmic rays, artificial radioactivity and neutron physics.He was the longest serving Director (1938–1967) of Bose Institute. He served as the President of the Indian Science News Association, and was the editor of its journal Science and Culture for about 25 years. He also served as the treasurer of the Visva-Bharati University.Bose was the nephew of the famous physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose.

Debendra Mohan Bose was born in Calcutta in a famous Brahmo family. He was the youngest son of Mohini Mohan Bose, one of the first Indians to proceed to U.S.A to qualify himself in homeopathy. Ananda Mohan Bose was his paternal uncle, while Jagadish Chandra Bose was his maternal uncle.After his father’s untimely death, Debendra’s education was supervised by his uncle J C Bose.
Debendra’s plan of getting a degree in engineering from the Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur was cut short when he suffered a severe malaria attack. Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, a close friend of J C Bose, suggested him to pursue physics instead. In 1906, Debendra Bose obtained his MA degree from the University of Calcutta in first class. He worked as a research scholar under J C Bose for one year, during which he participated in his uncle’s biophysical and plant physiological investigations.

In 1907, he joined the Christ’s College, Cambridge, and worked with prominent physicists including J. J. Thomson and Charles Thomson Rees Wilson at the Cavendish Laboratory. In 1910, he joined the Royal College of Science in London, from where he obtained a diploma and a B.Sc. (first class) in Physics in 1912. Later, he returned to Calcutta and taught physics in the City College, Kolkata in 1913.

In 1914, D M Bose was appointed the Rashbehary Ghosh Professor of Physics in the newly founded Calcutta University College of Science. He was awarded the Ghosh Travel Fellowship for studying abroad, and chose to study advanced physics for two years at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In Berlin, Debendra was assigned to Professor Erich Regener’s laboratory. His stay in Germany got extended to five years due to World War I. During this period, he worked on the development of a new type of cloud chamber, and was successful in photographing the tracks of recoil protons produced during the passage of fast moving alpha particles in the chamber. The results of his preliminary investigations were publhished in the journal Physikalische Zeitschrift in 1916 (a full paper was later published in Zeitschrift fur Physik in 1922). In March 1919, returned to India after obtaining a Ph.D.

In July 1919, DM Bose re-joined the Calcutta University as Rashbehary Ghosh Professor of Physics. In 1935, he succeeded Professor C. V. Raman as the Palit Professor of Physics. He was one of the only two Indian physicists (the other being M. N. Saha) who participated at the Como conference (11–20 September 1927) held at Lake Como in Italy. The conference featured 60 invited participants from 14 countries, including 11 Nobel laureates.DM Bose encouraged several of his junior collegaues at the Calcutta University to pursue research. He gave Satyendra Nath Bose two books of Max Planck, Thermodynamik and Warmestrahlung (unavailable in India then). This led to SN Bose’s interest in Planck’s hypothesis and his deduction on a combinatorial basis of Planck’s formula in 1925.In 1938, DM Bose became the Director of Bose Institute after the death of the Institute’s founder JC Bose. In 1945, Bose was inducted as a nuclear chemistry expert in the Atomic Energy Committee of CSIR. The committee later became the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

As director of the Bose Institute, D M Bose expanded the activities of the existing departments and also opened the new department of microbiology. He was a dedicated worker of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj and was served several years as its office bearer (President, Secretary & Treasurer). He was the General President of the Indian Science Congress Session in 1953 at Lucknow. Bose served as the director of the Bose Institute till 1967, when his arthritis and other health problems forced him to take retirement. In the later years of his life, he became more interested in philosophy focusing on the relationship between religion and science. He died on the morning of 2 June 1975.