I don't often cross the streams and show my book-reading folks the science writing I also do -- but this is the best thing I've done all year.
Click here to meet S.N. Bose, self-taught physicist. And not the easy kind of self-taught. When he wanted to learn modern physics in Calcutta in 1915 or so, he couldn't get a hold of the text books. Finally he managed to borrow a set, but they were written in German. So, naturally, he taught himself German.
He would eventually do work on minerology, chemistry, geology, anthropology, zoology, engineering, and literature in both Bengali and English. But in physics he's remembered as one (when he is remembered) as one of the fathers of quantum mechanics. He's the Bose in boson, the Bose in Bose-Einstein Condensates, the Bose in Bose statistics. Without his mathematical insights we wouldn’t have superconductivity, or lasers. Which means you wouldn't be reading this right now.
And yet he's been almost forgotten. He really shouldn't be. Go help me unforget him.