Early Years of X-Ray Research in India
by S.C. Roy
Science and Culture, March-April 2015, pp. 72-75.
Abstract: X-ray was discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm C Roentgen using Crookes tube. While investigating Xray research work in India immediately after the discovery of X-rays under the project "History of X-ray Research in India" under the sponsorship of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), we have uncovered some new information in connection with the X-ray apparatus built by Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858-1937) and the research he had done, which, to the best knowledge of the author, has not been presented before. X-ray research in India has a history from the time of the discovery of X-rays. It is known that Jagadish Chandra Bose (JCB) had built an X-ray apparatus in 1897 while he was in Presidency Collge, Calcutta with the help of his assistant in Presidency College. We found out that his X-ray machine was used for clinical diagnostics in patients with broken bones by a physician no less than Sir Nilratan Sircar. However, because of unavailability of his apparatus in Bose Institute or in any museum or any authentic document, it raised some doubts in a section of people about the photographs he had taken using his machine. We have been able to find a press report published in the Calcutta based English daily The Amrita Bazar Patrika in its 5th May edition of 1898 which gives us some idea about his apparatus and the experiment he performed. Using the description available in this document we have tried to come up with a schematic diagram of the apparatus he had used. This report also contradicts the comments made by some authors that JCB had not taken X-ray photograph using Barium Platinocyanide before 1901.