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Atomic Theory first conceptualised by Indian sage Acharya Kanad about 2,600 years ago

Acharya Kanad is believed to proactively note down his theories and concepts and also used to make his work available for the common population

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Representational Image. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

August 31, 2016:  A man born in Prabhas Kshetra in the year 600 BC, went around the streets of Pragya, a pilgrimage destination by collecting grains and flowers, offered to the temple, littered by the devotees.

A surprised and intrigued crowd inquired the reason behind Kashyap’s actions; to which the man replied- An individual grain may seem worthless, but a collection of grains make up a person’s meal, and a collection of many meals can feed an entire family, and what is mankind but a collection of many families .Thus even a single grain is as valuable as all the riches in the world.

This man thus earned the title of Kanad , which means ’kan’ in Sanskrit and when translated in English means- “The smallest particle”. Acharya Kanad’s real name was Kashyap.

Kanad was always known to be extremely observant of his surroundings, and often developed and understood the most complex of ideas through the simplest of means. He developed his own theory ‘Anu’ , the atom when he noticed that he wasn’t able to physically disintegrate a piece of food item beyond a limit. He conceptualised the Idea that objects can be disintegrated into smaller particles up to a point where further splitting was impossible. He named this indivisible particle as Anu or parmanu, both of which means the atom.

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He also proposed the idea of the combination of atoms to form a bigger substance, which exhibited properties of the parent atoms, which became visible to the human eye after the combination had enough atoms involved, which resulted in increased size. He named the resultant substance as Dwinuka (Binary molecule). Evidence in History claimed that kanad said, ”Every object of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with each other to form molecules.”

Kanad is believed to proactively note down his theories and concepts and also used to make his work available for the common population and therefore this genius earned the title of ‘Acharya,’  the Sanskrit translation of ‘Teacher’.

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Acharya Kanad was the founder of Vaisheshika School of Philosophy where he used to teach adn share his ideas about the atom as well as the nature of the universe. Acharya wrote a book too on his research– Vaisheshik Darshan, and hence he came to be known as ‘The Father of Atomic Theory’.

However, there are claims of ambiguity in regards to the origin of the Idea of the Atom. The origin is credited to the early Greeks by some, while others attributed the origin of the concept to the Indians.

– by Usman Zafar of NewsGram. Twitter: @HalkiSiChuban

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A New Method To Track Rats, Researchers Suggest

Researchers have found that rats can be baited to or repelled from locations using pheromones found in the scents of other rats

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A rat caught in a rat trap. Wikimedia Commons

Researchers have found that rats can be baited to or repelled from locations using pheromones found in the scents of other rats.

Rats cost the world’s economy more than $300 billion a year. In addition to causing fines and business closures, rats spread disease, start fires and disable motor vehicles.

For the study published in The Journal of Urban Ecology, over a one year period researchers trapped and implanted microchips in city rats in a waste recycling centre in Brooklyn, New York.

“If we can pinpoint the scents and contexts that are most useful, then we increase our chances of creating novel control tools, but further research is needed under a broad range of conditions,” said study researchers from Fordham University, Columbia University and Arrow Exterminators Inc.

To overcome issues in using GPS to track movement in dense urban environments, they utilised radio-frequency identification sensors.

Rats, Tracking, Research, Disease
Rats cost the world’s economy more than $300 billion a year. In addition to causing fines and business closures, rats spread disease, start fires and disable motor vehicles. Wikimedia Commons

Male and female scents were then placed on, or near, these sensors and replaced every two weeks.

To determine whether risk impacted the findings, the research team positioned these devices in sheltered, safe areas that rats were familiar with and also in more risky, open environments where rats were vulnerable to predation.

According to the study, rats reacted differently to male and female scents.

In general, when rats responded to sensors with male scents, risk was unimportant. Rats briefly visited male scents equally in exposed and sheltered areas, and then stayed away.

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Female scents, however, were visited significantly more often than male scents (0.2 visits/day compared to 5.02 visits/day).

This implies that attractants may be more useful near sheltered areas while deterrent scents may be more useful in exposed areas where animals are vulnerable to predators.

These findings address a knowledge gap about rat scent preference that could assist in urban wildlife management tools, such as the deployment of baits or immuno-contraceptives. (IANS)