“We owe a great deal to the ancient Indians for teaching us to count.
The Indian culture, as one of the world’s oldest civilizations, has a long history of science and technology. India was a country of sages and philosophers, as well as scholars and scientists, in ancient times. According to research, India was actively contributing to the field of science and technology centuries before modern laboratories were set up, from creating the best steel in the world to teaching the world how to count.
Many of the old Indian thoughts and methodologies have shaped and strengthened the foundations of modern science and technology. While some of these ground-breaking achievements have been recognised, the majority of people are still unaware of them.
So, today on account of Teacher’s day, let’s find out how India has been teaching technology to the rest of the world, while they were still catching up:
1. The invention of zero
The mathematical numeral “zero,” one of the most important inventions of all time, requires little explanation. Aryabhata, a mathematician, was the first to invent a symbol for zero, and it was because of his efforts that mathematical processes such as addition and subtraction began to use the digit zero. The idea of zero and its incorporation into the place-value system also enabled the use of only ten symbols to express numbers of any size.
The first modern equivalent of numeral zero comes from a Hindu astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta in 628. His symbol to depict the numeral was a dot underneath a number
2. The decimal system
India devised the innovative decimal system, which allows all numbers to be expressed using only ten symbols. Each symbol in this system was given a positional as well as an absolute value. This technique enabled the use of arithmetic in practical inventions considerably faster and easier due to the simplicity of the decimal notation, which aided in calculating.
3. The number system
Indians established a system of various symbols for each number from one to nine as early as 500 BCE. The Arabs adopted this notation system and named it the hind numbers. Centuries later, the western world adopted this notation system, referring to it as Arabic numerals because it was brought to them by Arab traders.
4. Binary digits
Computer programmes are written in binary digits, which is the most basic language. Binary is simply a set of two numbers, 1 and 0, whose combinations are known as bits and bytes. Pingala, a Vedic philosopher, originally introduced the binary number system in his book Chandahstra, which is the earliest known Sanskrit treatise on prosody ( the study of poetic metres and verse).
5. World’s first atomic theory
Kanad, one of ancient India’s most famous scientists, is supposed to have invented the atomic theory centuries before John Dalton was born. He proposed the presence of anu, or little indestructible particles similar to those found in an atom. He also claimed that anu can exist in two states: absolute rest and motion. He also believed that atoms of the same substance united in a particular and synchronised manner to generate dvyanuka (diatomic molecules) and tryanuka (triatomic molecules).
6. Heliocentric theory about the solar system
Much before the world came up with the fact that the earth is round and rotates around the sun, ancient Indian mathematicians used their mathematical skills to produce accurate astronomical interpretations. Aryabhatta was the most important of them all, and his treatise, Aryabhatiya, was the pinnacle of astrological knowledge at the time. He properly proposed the heliocentric theory, which states that the Earth is round, rotates on its own axis, and circles around the Sun. He also predicted solar and lunar eclipses, as well as the length of the day and the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
7. Medical technology
Charaka produced the Charaka Samhita, a basic treatise on the ancient science of Ayurveda, long before Hippocrates was born. Charaka, known as the Father of Indian Medicine, was the first physician to write a treatise that included the concepts of digestion, metabolism, and immunity. For two millennia, Charaka’s ancient preventative medicine manual was a standard work on the subject, and it was translated into numerous foreign languages, including Arabic and Latin. India also taught the world how to perform plastic and cataract surgeries as early as the 6th Century BC.