29. Finding The Basic Building Blocks Of The Universe-Atomic Theory

What are the basic building blocks of this universe? Even today, modern scientists are not in a position to answer this question. Finally scientists of Particle Physics (a branch of Physics) are accepting the oriental views and trying to understand the ancient Indian perception about the universe.

Let us now look into perceptional changes that happened over centuries among the so-called modern scientific community influenced by western outlook.

450 BC : Preliminary Atomic theory, propounded by Democritus says that atoms are indivisible particles of the matter.

300 BC : Aristotle had postulated that Universe is made up of four elements earth, air, water and fire.

17th century AD:

a) Dalton's atomic theory : Dalton is the first person to propound atomic theory that the smallest particles of matter are atoms, but each atom of different element differs in size and shape from the other element. Atoms combine in definite ratio of weights to form molecules without atoms getting broken down.

b) Newton proposed a mechanical universe that consists of smallest indivisible particles of matter. According to Newton, time is an absolute and uni-dimensional. Space is three dimensional (Length, Breadth and Height). Time and space is not related to each other.

19th century AD:

1840 AD : Michael Faraday had proved with his experiments about Electro-Magnetism. He had explained the charged fields around a particle, both negatively and positively charged fields.

1895 AD : Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-Rays.

1897 AD: JJ Thomson discovered the negatively charged particles of an atom called electrons.

20th Century AD:

1905 AD: Albert Einstein had proposed the special theory of relativity. Accordingly

a) He had given famous equation e=mc(square) through which he had postulated that the matter is the manifestation of energy; energy and matter are inter convertible.

b) Time and space or inter-related and are relative to each other.

c) Light has dual nature; Light rays are waves as well as energy particles. Scientists of later years have found photons (particles of light) as predicted by Einstein.

Einstein's special theory of relatively had changed the domain of physical science. A new branch of physical science evolved called "Atomic Physics" or "Nuclear Physics" or "Particle Physics" or "Quantum Physics"

1911-1913 : Neilbhor and Ruther Ford had postulated the orbital structure of atom.

Accordingly in every atom there shall be a nucleus. Around the nucleus, there shall be negatively charged particles called electrons moving in a structured orbit. In the nucleus, there shall be positively charged particles called protons and neutrally charged particles called neutrons. If electrons orbit around the nucleus in a structured way, the atom remains stable. In an excited state, if electrons jump from one orbit to another orbit, they gain in strength or lose in strength changing the structure of atom.

1927 : Warner Hesinburg proved through his "theory of Uncertainty" that the electron is not a particle and its structure cannot be determined easily as it continuously changes its position.

The journey of investigation of finding the fundamental building blocks of universe continued within the atom and today we have around 200 sub-atomic particles.

What are the basic Building Blocks of universe? - Indian perception

Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Shad-Darshanas (among them Sankhya, Vaishesika, Nyaya Darshanas) had postulated many theories about universe and its atomic structure in their own perspective.

In the sixth century BC, Kanaad Maharshi had written Vaisheshika Sastra and had postulated verses about structure of Universe from the atomic point of view.

The words "Anu" and "Parmaanu" are the Sanskrit words that are used to describe the atom and sub atomic particles.

Vaisheshika Darshana has 373 verses spread over twelve chapters.

Vaisheshika Darshana had described the universe as the interplay of seven aspects or states of material things. They are (1) Sravyam (Matter) (2) Guna (Quality) (3) Karma (Action) (4) Samanya (Generic species) (5) Vishesha (unique trait) (6) Samavaya (inherence or integrated part of the whole) (7) Abhava (Non existence).

Vaisheshika Darshana has 373 verses spread over twelve chapters.

Vaisheshika Darshana-Verse; (1.4)

Dravyam (Matter) is again subdivided into nine aspects they are (1) Prithvi (Earth) (2) Jala (Water) (3) Teja (Light) (4) Vayu (Gas) (5) Akasa (Ether) (6) Dik (Direction - space dimension) (7) Kala (Time) (8) Manas (Mind) (9) Atma (Soul). Vaisheshika Darshana-Verse; (1.5)

Vaisheshika Darshana-Verse; (1.5)

As described by Kanaad maharshi, the mind and atman were also considered as the aspects of matter. Today modern science is also considering the perception of mind in atomic structural analysis. Vaisheshika Darshana-Verse (7-1-22)

Vaisheshika Darshana-Verse (7-1-22)

Parmaanus get influenced by Atman (person).

Vaisheshika Darshana-Verse (7-1-20)

Parmaanu is always in continous state of motion.

There are two states of matter. One is "anu sthiti" (micro level state) another is "mahat sthiti" (macro level state). Vaisheshika Darshana-Verse (7-1-11)

When matter is continuously divided into sub atomic particles (parmaanus) it reaches a state , wherein divided further, the particle looses its basic nature and identity. Vaisheshika Darshana-Verse (7-1-12-14)

Ancient Indians perceived the relativity of time and space.

Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmasutras, Bhagwad Gita and other classical texts of India considered this universe as one unit, pervaded by Paramatma (cosmic soul). Indians perceive that whatever is in micro-cosm is also in the macro-cosm and are intimately connected. The modern string theory also reveals the same about the universal truth.

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