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Science and Technology in India SatyenMukherjee For Lipilekha March 15, 2009
India in the words of eminent personalities • 1. Will Durant, American historian: "India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all". • 2. Albert Einstein, American scientist: "We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.“
India in the words of eminent personalities • 3. Mark Twain, American author: "India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only." • 4. Romain Rolland, French scholar : "If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India."
India in the words of eminent personalities • 5. Mark Twain: "So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked." • 6. Mark Twain: "India has two million gods, and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire." • 7. Max Mueller, German scholar: If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.
India in the words of eminent personalities • 8. Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA: "India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border." • 9. Keith Bellows, VP - National Geographic Society : "There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds... I had been seeing the world in black & white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor."
India • 10. A Rough Guide to India: "It is impossible not to be astonished by India. Nowhere on Earth does humanity present itself in such a dizzying, creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues. Enriched by successive waves of migration and marauders from distant lands, every one of them left an indelible imprint which was absorbed into the Indian way of life. Every aspect of the country presents itself on a massive, exaggerated scale, worthy in comparison only to the superlative mountains that overshadow it. It is this variety which provides a breathtaking ensemble for experiences that is uniquely Indian. Perhaps the only thing more difficult than to be indifferent to India would be to describe or understand India completely. There are perhaps very few nations in the world with the enormous variety that India has to offer. Modern day India represents the largest democracy in the world with a seamless picture of unity in diversity unparalleled anywhere else."
Overview • The history of philosophy, scientific discoveries and development in India dates back to theVedic era. It is believed that, ancient Indian scholars had developed geometric theorems before Pythagoras who did in the sixth century B.C. The concept of squares, rectangles, circles, triangles, fractions, and the ability to express the number ten to the twelfth power, algebraic formulas, and astronomy have all their origins in Vedic literature; some are as early as 1500 B.C. The decimal system was already in use during the Harappan civilization. This is evident in their use of weights and measures. Moreover, the concepts of astronomy, metaphysics, and perennial movement are all embodied in the Rig Veda. Although the Chinese used a decimal based counting system, it was the formal notational system of the Indians that reached the west through the Arabs.India’s development in the field of science and technology was substantial from British period. In 1947 when India got her independence, the process of development was further enhanced by receiving funds from the government. Today for the government, science and technology is an important part of its five-year plans.
Overview modern period • The British education system, aimed at producing able civil and administrative services candidates, exposed a number of Indians to foreign institutions.Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose (1858–1937), SatyendraNath Bose (1894–1974), MeghnadSaha (1893–1956), P. C. Mahalanobis (1893–1972), Sir C. V. Raman (1888–1970), Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910–1995), HomiBhabha (1909–1966), SrinivasaRamanujan (1887–1920), Vikram Sarabhai (1919–1971), Hargobind Khorana (1922–), and Harish Chandra (1923–1983) are a few of the notable scholars of this period.
Concept of Zero - Aryabhatta 476-550 AD Patliputra (Patna) • Aryabhatta lived in Patliputra where he wrote his famous treatise the "Aryabhatta-siddhanta" but more famously the "Aryabhatiya", the only work to have survived. It contains mathematical and astronomical theories that have been revealed to be quite accurate in modern mathematics. For instance he wrote that if 4 is added to 100 and then multiplied by 8 then added to 62,000 then divided by 20,000 the answer will be equal to the circumference of a circle of diameter twenty thousand. This calculates to 3.1416 close to the actual value Pi (3.14159). But his greatest contribution has to be zero. His other works include algebra, arithmetic, trigonometry, quadratic equations and the sine table.
Aryabhatta • He already knew that the earth spins on its axis, the earth moves round the sun and the moon rotates round the earth. He talks about the position of the planets in relation to its movement around the sun. He refers to the light of the planets and the moon as reflection from the sun. He goes as far as to explain the eclipse of the moon and the sun, day and night, the contours of the earth, the length of the year exactly as 365 days. He even computed the circumference of the earth as 24835 miles which is close to modern day calculation of 24900 miles. • This remarkable man was a genius and continues to baffle many mathematicians of today. His works was then later adopted by the Greeks and then the Arabs.
The concept of Zero • India: 458 A.D. • The final independent invention of the zero was in India. However, the time and the independence of this invention has been debated. Some say that Babylonian astronomy, with its zero, was passed on to Hindu astronomers but there is no absolute proof of this, so most scholars give the Hindus credit for coming up with zero on their own. • The reason the date of the Hindu zero is in question is because of how it came to be. • Most existing ancient Indian mathematical texts are really copies that are at most a few hundred years old. And these copies are copies of copies of copies passed through the ages. But the transcriptions are error free…can you imagine copying a math book without making any errors? Were the Hindus very good proofreaders? They had a trick. • Math problems were written in verse and could be easily memorised, chanted, or sung. Each word in the verse corresponded to a number. For example, • viyadambarakasasasunyayamaramavedasky (0) atmosphere (0) space (0) void (0) primordial couple (2) Rama (3) Veda (4) 0 0 0 0 2 3 4 • Indian place notation moved from left to right with ones place coming first. So the phrase above translates to 4,230,000. • Using a vocabulary of symbolic words to note zero is known from the 458 AD cosmology text Lokavibhaga. But as a more traditional numeral—a dot or an open circle—there is no record until 628, though it is recorded as if well-understood at that time so it’s likely zero as a symbol was used before 628. • Which it probably was, considering that 30 years previously, an inscription of a date using a zero symbol in the Hindu manner was made in Cambodia. • A striking note about the Hindu zero is that, unlike the Babylonian and Mayan zero, the Hindu zero symbol came to be understood as meaning “nothing.” This is probably because of the use of number words that preceded the symbolic zero.
The concept of Zero • Spreading Outward: China, Arabia and Europe • The Hindus influenced the numeration of nearby locales, and introduced the zero to the Chinese and to the Arabs who developed the modern day shape of numerals and passed them, along with zero, to the Europeans in the 12th century. • Although China independently invented place value, they didn’t make the leap to zero until it was introduced to them by a Buddhist astronomer (by way of India) in 718.
The concept of Zero • Number vs. Numeral • A number is a quantity, an abstraction of a collection of things; a numeral is a man-made symbol that represents the number. • Zero as Symbol • 1 + 10 = • 1 + 0 = • 10 - 1 = • 0 - 1 = • Zero as Number • 1 x 10 = • 1 x 0 = • 10 / 1 = • 0 / 1= • [Answers. symbol column: 11, 9, 10, 10. number column: 1, -1, 0, 0]
A method for multiplications using graphical technique: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvpLN5KJg0c
Science _ SushrutaSamhita – Susruta is the “Father of Surgery” 6 century BC • The SushrutaSamhita is a Sanskrit text on surgery, attributed to Sushruta, (6th century BCE), the "father of Surgery". The original manuscript has not survived, and only "copies of copies and revisions of revisions" exist. The Bower Manuscript holds some of the most important information related to the early Ayurvedic documents. • The text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century CE. Amongst the eight divisions of medical knowledge, surgery was considered the most important branch. The text was translated into Arabic in the 8th century. However, Richard Salomon states that the earliest confirmed specimens of India's earliest written script, the Brāhmī script, are rock-cut inscriptions called the Edicts of Ashoka and are dated to the 3rd century BC; any excavated evidence for writing in India that may predate these Edicts (such as graffiti on pottery shards from Sri Lanka that may date to the 4th century BC) are controversial and their dating ambiguous.
Susruta Cataract in the Human Eye—magnified view seen on examination with a slit lamp. Indian surgeon Susrutaperformed cataract surgery by the 6th century BCE.
Medicine - CharakSamhita • The CarakaSaṃhitā Sutra is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic text on internal medicine written by Caraka. It is believed to be the oldest of the three ancient treatises of Ayurveda. It is central to the modern-day practice of Ayurvedic medicine; and, along with the SuśrutaSaṃhitā it is now identified worldwide as an important early source of medical understanding and practice, independent of ancient Greece. [1
Charak • The text, written in Sanskrit, is the work of several authors and may represent the work of a school of thought. The term Caraka is said to apply to ‘wandering scholars’ or ‘wandering physicians’; and ‘Saṃhitā’ means ‘collected' or 'compendium’. The original source of this text is identified as the AgniveśaTantra (a treatise by Agniveśa), based on the teachings of PunarvasuAtreya and Caraka is said to have redacted this work (Agniveśakr̥tetantreCarakapratisaṃskr̥te). Later, another scholar, Dridhabala extended it further (AprapteDridhabalasampurite). The work as extant dates to the Maurya period (roughly 3rd century BCE).
Boson – Satyendranath Bose - Bose-Einstein Statistics In particle physics, bosons are particles which obey Bose-Einstein statistics; they are named after Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein. In contrast to fermions, which obey Fermi-Dirac statistics, several bosons can occupy the same quantum state. Thus, bosons with the same energy can occupy the same place in space. Therefore bosons are often force carrier particles while fermions are usually associated with matter, though the distinction between the two concepts is not clear cut in quantum physics.
Higgs Boson • When you get on the scale in the morning, you may be hoping that it registers a smaller number than the day before -- you may be hoping that you've lost weight. It's the quantity of mass in you, plus the force of gravity, that determines your weight. But what determines your mass?That's one of the most-asked, most-hotly pursued questions in physics today. Many of the experiments circulating in the world's particle accelerators are looking into the mechanism that gives rise to mass. Scientists at CERN, as well as at Fermilab in Illinois, are hoping to find what they call the "Higgs boson." Higgs, they believe, is a particle, or set of particles, that might give others mass.
Higgs Boson • The idea of one particle giving another mass is a bit counter-intuitive... Isn't mass an inherent characteristic of matter? If not, how can one entity impart mass on all the others by simply floating by and interacting with them? • An oft-cited analogy describes it well: Imagine you're at a Hollywood party. The crowd is rather thick, and evenly distributed around the room, chatting. When the big star arrives, the people nearest the door gather around her. As she moves through the party, she attracts the people closest to her, and those she moves away from return to their other conversations. By gathering a fawning cluster of people around her, she's gained momentum, an indication of mass. She's harder to slow down than she would be without the crowd. Once she's stopped, it's harder to get her going again.
Sir ChandrasekharaVenkata Raman, FRS (Tamil: சந்திரசேகர C.V. Raman • Sir ChandrasekharaVenkata Raman, FRS (Tamil: சந்திரசேகர வெங்கடராமன) (7 November 1888 – 21 November 1970) was an Indianphysicist and Nobel laureate in physicsrecognised for his work on the molecular scattering of light and for the discovery of the Raman effect, which is named after him.
Jagadish Chandra Boseজগদীশচন্দ্রবসুSir Jagadish Chandra Bose, CSI, CIE, FRS Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, CSI, CIE, FRS (Bengali: জগদীশ চন্দ্র বসু Jôgodish Chôndro Boshu) (November 30, 1858 – November 23, 1937) was a Bengalipolymath: a physicist, biologist, botanist, archaeologist, and writer of science fiction. He pioneered the investigation of radio and microwaveoptics, made very significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimentalscience in the Indian subcontinent. He is considered one of the fathers of radio science, and is also considered the father of Bengali science fiction. He was the first from the Indian subcontinent to get a US patent, in 1904. b
Jagadish Chandra Boseজগদীশচন্দ্রবসুSir Jagadish Chandra Bose, CSI, CIE, FRS • Born in Bengal during the British Raj, Bose graduated from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. He then went to the University of London to study medicine, but couldn't complete his studies due to health problems. He returned to India and joined the Presidency College as a Professor of Physics. There, despite racial discrimination and a lack of funding and equipment, Bose carried on his scientific research. He made remarkable progress in his research of remote wireless signaling and was the first to use semiconductor junctions to detect radio signals. However, instead of trying to gain commercial benefit from this invention Bose made his inventions public in order to allow others to develop on his research. Subsequently, he made some pioneering discoveries in plant physiology. He used his own invention crescograph to measure plant response to various stimuli, and thereby scientifically proved parallelism between animal and plant tissues. Although Bose filed for patent for one of his inventions due to peer pressure, his reluctance to any form of patenting was well known. Now, some 70 years of after his death, he is being recognised for many of his contributions to modern science.
Overview • Today, one can easily realize that India has achieved significant success in varied fields of science and technology in global arena. India can boast of leading scientists and their path breaking research. The government-sponsored scientific and technical developments have aided research in diverse areas such as agriculture, medical, biotechnology, cold regions research, communications, environment, industry, mining, nuclear power, space, and transportation.. Now India has expertise in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, liquid crystals, condensed matter physics, molecular biology, virology, and crystallography, software technoloy, nuclear power and defense research and development.
Overview • India’s technological discoveries in the fields of pharmacology, brain surgery, medicine, artificial colors and glazes, metallurgy, recrystallization, chemistry, the decimal system, geometry, astronomy, and language and linguistics (systematic linguistic analysis having originated in India with Panini's fourth-century B.C. Sanskrit grammar, the Ashtadhyayi) have led to the practical applications in various allied sectors.The government’s early “Scientific Policy Resolution – 1958” states that, "by all appropriate means, the cultivation of science and scientific research in all its aspects – pure, applied, and educational" should be encouraged. In 1983, the government issued a similar statement, which, while stressing the importance of international cooperation and the diffusion of scientific knowledge, put considerable emphasis on self-reliance and the development of indigenous technology. The goals are to be achieved restlessly with the cooperation from individuals and institutions as well, so as to make India a prosperous and developed nation in the world.
Higgs Boson • The question of mass has been an especially puzzling one, and has left the Higgs boson as the single missing piece of the Standard Model yet to be spotted. The Standard Model describes three of nature's four forces: electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Electromagnetism has been fairly well understood for many decades. Recently, physicists have learned much more about the strong force, which binds the elements of atomic nuclei together, and the weak force, which governs radioactivity and hydrogen fusion (which generates the sun's energy). • Electromagnetism describes how particles interact with photons, tiny packets of electromagnetic radiation. In a similar way, the weak force describes how two other entities, the W and Z particles, interact with electrons, quarks, neutrinos and others. There is one very important difference between these two interactions: photons have no mass, while the masses of W and Z are huge. In fact, they are some of the most massive particles known. • The first inclination is to assume that W and Z simply exist and interact with other elemental particles. But for mathematical reasons, the giant masses of W and Z raise inconsistencies in the Standard Model. To address this, physicists postulate that there must be at least one other particle -- the Higgs boson. • The simplest theories predict only one boson, but others say there might be several. In fact, the search for the Higgs particle(s) is some of the most exciting research happening, because it could lead to completely new discoveries in particle physics. Some theorists say it could bring to light entirely new types of strong interactions, and others believe research will reveal a new fundamental physical symmetry called "supersymmetry."