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Science and Technology in India


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Title: Science and Technology in India

Science and Technology in India
  • Satyen Mukherjee
  • 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
  • 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
  • 6. Mark Twain "India has two million gods, and
    worships them all. In religion all other
    countries are paupers India is the only
  • 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 wont
    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."

  • 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."

  • 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.Indias 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

Overview modern period
  • The British education system, aimed at producing
    able civil and administrative services
    candidates, exposed a number of Indians to
    foreign institutions.118 Sir Jagadis Chandra
    Bose (18581937), Satyendra Nath Bose
    (18941974), Meghnad Saha (18931956), P. C.
    Mahalanobis (18931972), Sir C. V. Raman
    (18881970), Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
    (19101995), Homi Bhabha (19091966), Srinivasa
    Ramanujan (18871920), Vikram Sarabhai
    (19191971), Hargobind Khorana (1922), and
    Harish Chandra (19231983) are a few of the
    notable scholars of this period.118

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.

  • 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
  • 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

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 freecan 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,
  • viya dambar akasasa sunya yama rama vedasky (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 numerala
    dot or an open circlethere is no record until
    628, though it is recorded as if well-understood
    at that time so its 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 didnt 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
  • http//

Science _ Sushruta Samhita Susruta is the
Father of Surgery 6 century BC
  • The Sushruta Samhita 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
  • 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
    Brahmi 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.2

Cataract in the Human Eyemagnified view seen on
examination with a slit lamp. Indian surgeon
Susruta performed cataract surgery by the 6th
century BCE.
Medicine - Charak Samhita
  • The Caraka Sa?hita 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 Susruta Sa?hita it
    is now identified worldwide as an important early
    source of medical understanding and practice,
    independent of ancient Greece. 1

  • 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 Sa?hita means collected' or
    'compendium. The original source of this text is
    identified as the Agnivesa Tantra (a treatise by
    Agnivesa), based on the teachings of Punarvasu
    Atreya and Caraka is said to have redacted this
    work (Agnivesakr?te tantre Caraka
    pratisa?skr?te). Later, another scholar,
    Dridhabala extended it further (Aprapte
    Dridhabala sampurite). The work as extant dates
    to the Maurya period (roughly 3rd century BCE).

Boson Satyendranath Bose - Bose-Einstein
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 Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, FRS (Tamil
?????????? C.V. Raman
  • Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, FRS (Tamil
    ?????????? ??????????) (7 November 1888  21
    November 1970) was an Indian physicist and Nobel
    laureate in physics recognised for his work on
    the molecular scattering of light and for the
    discovery of the Raman effect, which is named
    after him.

Jagadish Chandra Bose????? ?????? ???Sir
Jagadish Chandra Bose, CSI, CIE, FRS
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, CSI, CIE, FRS
(Bengali ????? ?????? ??? Jôgodish Chôndro
Boshu) (November 30, 1858 November 23, 1937)
was a Bengali polymath a physicist, biologist,
botanist, archaeologist, and writer of science
fiction.1 He pioneered the investigation of
radio and microwave optics, made very significant
contributions to plant science, and laid the
foundations of experimental science in the Indian
subcontinent.2 He is considered one of the
fathers of radio science,3 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 Bose????? ?????? ???Sir
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.

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  • 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.

  • Indias 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 governments 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