[Model Answer] UPSC GSM3-2018/Q5: Discuss how Bose-Einstein Statistics revolutionized the field of Physics? (10 marks)

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  1. Question for UPSC Mains-GS3
  2. Introduction: Origin of Bose-Einstein Statistics
  3. Conclusion [Summery of the Body]
  4. Afterthoughts / Mistakes / Pitfalls

Question for UPSC Mains-GS3

Q. Discuss the work of ‘Bose-Einstein Statistics’ done by Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose and show how it revolutionized the field of Physics. (150 words, 10 marks)

प्रो. सत्येन्द्र नाथ बोस द्र।रा किए गए ‘बोस-आइन्स्टाइन सांख्यकी’ के कार्य पर चर्चा कीजिए और दर्शाइए की इसने किस प्रकार भौतिकी के क्षेत्र में क्रांति ला दी थी।

Relevance to Syllabus of UPSC GSM3: Achievements of Indians in science & technology.

Introduction: Origin of Bose-Einstein Statistics

  • In 1920s, while Prof. Satyendra Nath Bose was working in Decca University, he employed new statistical methods for counting of photon.
  • He sent his paper to Albert Einstein who recognized the value of his calculation, got it translated and published in a renowned German journal of Physics.
  • This paper turned out to a seminal one and the Bose’s statistical technique was named “Bose-Einstein Statistics.”
  • It revolutionized the field of Physics in two ways:
    • Improved the Standard Model of Particle Physics
    • Paved way for discovery of ‘God Particle’ & helped Peter Higgs won a Nobel.

I’ve lifted origin from NCERT Physics Textbook. To fill the word limit observe how I’ve narrated the “story” that he sent paper, Einstein got it translated and then published so on… Because in real exam, difficult to recall any concrete points of the B.E.statistics itself.

Bose-Einstein God Particle

Body-1: It improved std. model of particle physics

  • Particle Physics is an important branch of Physics.
  • The theoretical model of particle physics is called “Standard Model”.
  • Bose-Einstein statistics predicted that at very low temperature near absolute zero, all particles will condense into a single state, called Boson. This was a prediction made in 1920s. At that time, the experimental facilities were not capable of attaining the low temperatures to test such prediction.
  • Over the years, experiments related to Bose-Einstein Statistics were carried out. Ultimately, all the fundamental particles were classified into two categories A) “Fermions” after Italian scientist Enrico Fermi, and B) “Bosons” after Indian scientist Prof. Bose.
  • Thus, “Bose-Einstein Statistics” helped improving the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

To fill the word limit, observe how I elaborated the “story” that B.E. statistics couldn’t be tested in real life because they did not have low temperature lab.

Body-2: It helped discovering ‘God Particle’

  • In 1960s, Peter Higgs carried out further research using Bose-Einstein Statistics and wrote a paper about a very unstable particle that survives for a fraction of a second after its birth, and then it breaks apart producing other fundamental particles.
  • He called this particle “Higgs Boson Particle” or “God Particle”.
  • If scientists could produce such “God Particle” in laboratory, it could further improve the Standard Model and our understanding of the universe.
  • In early 2000s, World’s largest particle accelerator called ‘Large Hadron Collider (LHC)’ was setup at CERN’s laboratory in Europe. They carried out experiments and successfully discovered the God particle & confirmed the theory of Peter Higgs.
  • Subsequently, Peter Higgs was given a Nobel in Physics (2013).

To fill the word limit, observe how I elaborated the “story” of discovering God particle. B.E. statistics MAY OR MAY NOT be a very significant tool for CERN, we are only doing “GUESSMASTERGIRI TM only to embellish the story.

Conclusion [Summery of the Body]

  • Though, Prof. Bose was not awarded Nobel, the Bose-Einstein Statistics helped Peter Higgs win a Nobel, helped CERN scientists discover God particle & thus improved the Standard Model of Particle Physics and our understanding of the Universe.

Afterthoughts / Mistakes / Pitfalls

  • Satyendra Nath Bose was a self-taught scientist, he did not do PhD, So you should not write “Dr.Bose”. Better stick with “Prof. Bose”. Observe that question itself used the prefix “Prof.”
  • 2018 marked the 125th birthday of the famous physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. If UPSC had asked about God Particle or CERN experiment, then candidates could have written the answer with less effort, but ‘Bose-Einstein Statistics’ itself is a very pure theoretical question, hence tough, because neither NCERT, nor the routine Science-Tech books for competitive exam, nor even theHindu articles explain how this ‘statistics’ itself improved Physics subject.
  • This question has two components A) Discuss the statistical work itself B) how it revolutionized the field of Physics. In real exam, you wouldn’t have content for part-A, so the body is much likely to be focused around part-B.
  • Still, if your answer is centered around some of these keywords: “standard model”, “CERN”, “God Particle”, “Particle Physics”, “Higgs”, “Boson” – then it can be termed a good answer from a generalist layman.

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One Comment on “[Model Answer] UPSC GSM3-2018/Q5: Discuss how Bose-Einstein Statistics revolutionized the field of Physics? (10 marks)”

  1. Thank you for answering this question it is really easy to learn.

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