Science & Technology in India

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  1. Ancient Astronomy
    • Movements of planets came to be emphasized and close observed.
    • Jyotishvedanga texts: established systematic categories in astronomy.
    • Aryabhattiya: by Aryabhatta, contains separate sections on astronomical definitions, methods of determining position of planets, description of movmnt of sun&moon and calculation of eclipses.
    • Reason he gave for eclipse: earth was sphere & rotated on its axis & when shadow of earth fell on moon -> lunar eclipse & when shadow of moon fell on earth -> solar eclipse.
    • Orthodox theory: eclipse -> demons swallow planet.
    • Aryabhatta deviated from Vedic Astronomy & gave it scientific outlook, bcam guideline for later astronomers.
    • Varahamihira's Panch Siddhantika: summary of 5 schools of astronomy present in his time.
  2. Ancient Mathematics
    • Harappan Townplanning: points to good knowledg of measurmnt & geomety.
    • By 3 AD: mathematics a separate stream of study.
    • Indian mathematics supposd to orign from Sulvasutras.
    • Apastamba: 2 BC, intro practical geometry - acute, obtuse & right angle, this helpd constrct five altars where king offrrd sacrifce.
    • 3 Main contribs: Notation system, Decimal system and Zero.
    • Notation & Numerals to west by Arabs. Numerals replacd Roman Numrals.
    • Zero: discvrd in India 2BC, Brahmagupta credited, first mention Brahmasputa Siddhanta, he gave rule of using 0 with other numbers.
    • Aryabhatta discvrd algebra. formulated area of triangle -> led to Trigonometry.
  3. Ancient Medicine
    • Diseases, cure & medicines mentiond 1st time in Atharva Veda.
    • Some diseases mentind Fever, cough, conumption, diarrhoea, dropsy, sores, leprosy and seizure.
    • belvd caused by demons & evil spirit entering bodies. So remedies magical charms & spells.
    • Around 600 BC: Takshila & Taranasi emergd centres of medicine & learning.
    • Two imp texts: Charaksamhita(Charak) & Sushrutsamhita(Sushruta). Their work reachd as far as China, Central Asia in various languages. Both texts bcam predecessors of develpmnt of Indian medicine.
    • Charaksamhita: plants & herbs for medicinal purposes.
    • 4AD: Surgery a separate stream. Sushruta pioneer of this discipline. He mentiond 100+ surgical instruments & methods of operations, bone setting, cataract etc
    • Surgeons in ancient india knew plastic surgery
    • All parts of plants - roots, barks, flowers, leaves etc. used. Stress laid on diet.
    • surgery suffered in early medieval time as act of dissecting with razor bcam work or barbar.
  4. Ancient Metallurgy
    • Highly developed Metallurgy -> glazed potteries, bronze & copper artefacts found in Indus valley excavations.
    • Vedic people aware fermenting grain & fruits, tanning leather, dyeing.
    • By 1 AD: there was mass prodctn of metals like iron, copper, silver, gold & alloys like brass & bronze.
    • High Quality of alloying: iron pillar in Qutub Minar complex.
    • Alkali & acids produced & utilised for making medicines.
    • Technology for producng dyes & colors. Textile dyeing popular. Ajanta frescoes -> quality of colors -> survive till day.
    • 2 mtrs. high bronze image of Buddha, Sultanganj, Bhagalpur.
  5. Ancient Geography
    • ppl wer clear about their own physical geogrphy, of China & also westrn countrs.
    • unaware of their position on earth & the distances with other countrs.
    • Indians contributed to ship building. In ancient period, voyages & navigation not familiar foray for Indians.
    • Lothal (Gujarat): has remains of a dockyard proving trade flourished in those days by sea.
    • Early medieval period with devlpmnt of concept of Tirth & Tirtha Yatra a vast mass of geographcal information accumulated & finally compiled as parts of puranas.
    • Many sthala purana also complied.
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Science & Technology in India
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