India's Contribution to Science & Technology

The Technology & Economic Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to Technological and Economic developments in India. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby vina » 08 Oct 2009 08:19

The only exception to this rule we know of is Ramanujam


I would beg to differ. Though Ramanujam was not part of "formal" academia, he was a star even before he recognized and had the strongest backing of something called Madras Mathematics Society or something, akin to a SIG for Maths back in those days, backed by no guesses - Tam Brahms in Boor-o-cracy. The point is the folks who aspired and did become boor-o-crats and laayurrs those days were highly educated people, many of them with science and maths degrees from top colleges of those days. For Ramanjam, much of the credit for discovering and nurturing his talent goes there. I would not doubt it if that group actually sent Ramnujam's work to England in those days and put up the cash for him to go to England (I dont know the facts here, just guesses, if anyone knows better, pls fill in).

vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby vina » 08 Oct 2009 08:25

Stan_Savljevic wrote:I am waiting to see how long it will take MK and his gang to say something about Venky and his TN connection. So far I have nt seen a single article. But the news came out much before yesterday night. Bah, it took them a week to recognize Anand had won the world championship and Anand is from TN.

For the record, just one article that says President has said congrats. I know he is Indian-american and all that, but still... lets see....


Stan, I doubt Dr Artiste or any of his ilk will utter nary a word. Their mind is just too casteist to think of any other way and hard wired into caste - vote catching calculations. Remember in the shoot out by the Korean American guy in CMU ? where a Civil Engg Ass Prof from TN was killed ?. The entire TN establishment was all sympathy and milk and honey with TV channels showing that man's old mother, brother, everything and then the generous help from the govt in financing his bro's travel to US and all ?.

It has never happened before , why now ?. It was that the Ass Prof was a OBC/ Non brahm and of course Dr Artise and the establishment went all out to embrace "one of their own" . Note I am not saying that embracing him was wrong, on the contrary, I welcome it, but the point is if that Ass Prof had been a Tam Brahm and the family back home was a middle to upper middle class Tam Brahm in say Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy or whatever, there would have been total and absolute silence from the Govt and not a finger would have been lifted.

Rahul M
Forum Moderator
Posts: 16859
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 21:09
Location: Skies over BRFATA
Contact:

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Rahul M » 08 Oct 2009 08:31

vina wrote:
The only exception to this rule we know of is Ramanujam


I would beg to differ. Though Ramanujam was not part of "formal" academia, he was a star even before he recognized and had the strongest backing of something called Madras Mathematics Society or something, akin to a SIG for Maths back in those days, backed by no guesses - Tam Brahms in Boor-o-cracy. The point is the folks who aspired and did become boor-o-crats and laayurrs those days were highly educated people, many of them with science and maths degrees from top colleges of those days. For Ramanjam, much of the credit for discovering and nurturing his talent goes there. I would not doubt it if that group actually sent Ramnujam's work to England in those days and put up the cash for him to go to England (I dont know the facts here, just guesses, if anyone knows better, pls fill in).

yup, me too forgotten the details but all these happened.

I don't know if MS people were tambrams (they were bureaucrats all right) or not but they did provide much needed support when the genius was finding it difficult to pass college. :wink:
(on account of refusal to pursue any subject other than mathematics. before this phase he was a brilliant student in all subjects)

SwamyG
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16102
Joined: 11 Apr 2007 09:22

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby SwamyG » 08 Oct 2009 08:38

Bade
How is it not about caste? We are talking about tamilian Brahmins?

George J
BRFite
Posts: 312
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby George J » 08 Oct 2009 08:43

Alright right MS University Baroda gets a Parking Lot, it now joins Presidency College, Madras with two and Punjab University Lahore.......and still the IIT don't have a single one. Any old enough (or not banned) on BRF to remember the Camry Chaser Debates? :twisted:

vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby vina » 08 Oct 2009 08:44

SwamyG wrote:Folks, touting about caste


It has nothing to do with caste. See, the Brahmin / Non Brahmin divide is nowhere as strong mentally anywhere else in India , except TN. And mind you , most other states (kerala, Bengal , North India in general etc) had a far stronger case to make in terms historically of brahmin domination and caste based social oppression .

The consequence of the Dravidian politics (indeed, it's entire mobilization strategy) was to isolate a microscopically minute community which did not have the electoral strenght in numbers to vote them out. It was a pure majoritarian politics and politics of envy, hate and jealousy.

So I really miss no opportunity to rub it in, when there is clear evidence that despite all the efforts of the Dravidian parties, the Tam Brahms are doing very well indeed, thank you. Also note, this IT/Vity which again is S. Indian brahmin dominated and a huge area of jealousy because the Dravidian parties were busy fighting out the politics of reservation and cornering govt jobs and pelf and patronage, the Tam Brahms were forced to strike out on their own and thanks to the rise of IT/Vity and the de regulation/liberalization and growth of private sector, have enjoyed strong upward mobility, global integration and greater wealth and living stds --> result more envy, coz the Dravidian parties read the tea leaves wrong.

A consequence of all this global integration , migration etc is that TN (esp the interior 2nd tier cities) is getting emptied out of it's whatever Brahm population is left. Even the old ones are moving out to live with their kids (either in metros in India and abroad) and given the high intermarriage rates (both within India and outside), it will be safe to say that in maybe 3 to 4 generations outside of Madras there will be next to no Tam Brahms in TN and in any case, Tam Brahms may not exist as a distinct community .

Bade
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7212
Joined: 23 May 2002 11:31
Location: badenberg in US administered part of America

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Bade » 08 Oct 2009 08:46

Because, there are enough examples of non-TamilBrahms like Bengali Brahmins as well as non-Brahmins who have shown similar accomplishments.

The commonality of success for the two groups separated by 1500 km was the connection to the British Raj.

Stan_Savljevic
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3522
Joined: 21 Apr 2006 15:40

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 08 Oct 2009 08:52

Bade wrote:SwamyG, it is about connections to the active centers and a network of active supporters what makes anyone successful.

This is certainly true. Nobel laureates nominate people for the award. I was reading the "biography" of one of the two (?) double laureates, John Bardeen getting curious after walking past his office once. His first award was too much politics with Brattain and Bardeen on one side and Shockley on the other. All three worked at the old Bell facility in NJ (?), and Shockley was supposed to have been the boss of BB. But BB felt takleef that Shockley kept the FET design to himself when BB came up with an explanation for BJT action. In fact, Shockley after this Bell labs venture (he was super-smart apparently) went on to explain IQ vs race in California somewhere.

Bardeen had a pedigree of mentors who were all Nobel laureates and even if transistor invention was breath-taking to say the least, he did get some help in getting nominated "on time." But what happens later is the funny story. Bardeen wants one of his postdoc and co-worker to get the award for their joint work on the theory of superconductivity. But he realizes his odds on getting the award are close to zero because he has one Nobel. He also feels like he cant get the award unless that whole field is recognized in some sense. So one year he nominates someone who has done work, precursory to his work on superconductivity. And couple of years later, he becomes the first (?) person to hold two nobels. In fact, in his later years he had one more controversial theory going against the whole physics community. People were ridiculing him etc., and if that theory had been proven, the author goes on to conjecture that Bardeen might have been treble laureate.

My somewhere level respect for Bardeen took a heavy beating after reading the book. The other aspect is people who win nobels are all connected in some broad sense. Even if some of them are heavyweights, many of Bardeen's mentors are nobel laureates, some even getting the award after Bardeen. Many of Bardeen's friends are laureates etc. While many of this could be like associating with like, it is also true that networking at the highest layers of society is a necessary phenomenon for success and how people are perceived. In some sense, people who are intellectually smart and perceived as so are also street smart, but not necessarily vice versa. That is why all this mit, stan, cal, berk education are all not much but getting to the right place to get the right access into the right loopholes. If you dont get there when you are young, you are gonna face a battle against the "current" and eventually you may get there assuming you dont give up. But with the same amount of effort, if you had "luck" and the right network on your side, you become the smartest and the greatest. Fact is the west controls this access to super-stardom even today, so the bottomline to short-circuit oneself to fame lies not in India, in a very broad measure. Too bad...

negi
BRF Oldie
Posts: 13099
Joined: 27 Jul 2006 17:51
Location: Ban se dar nahin lagta , chootiyon se lagta hai .

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby negi » 08 Oct 2009 09:03

Nice post Stan garu and it makes perfect sense specially when all our Nobel laureates in STEM have studied and carried out their research abroad except Dr. C. V. Raman who again won it back in 1930 when the American juggernaut had not yet attained cruising speed .

Perhaps explains why Dr. SN Bose missed out too , hain ?

--nothing to take away from the other Scientists just an observation fwiw

Bade
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7212
Joined: 23 May 2002 11:31
Location: badenberg in US administered part of America

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Bade » 08 Oct 2009 09:05

Stan, from your last few sentences ( which I agree completely) the latest Nobel by V. Ramakrishnan shows his fight to the top. The CV is very interesting. He surely is a persevering type looking at the track.

Another trivia, except for Khurana, all the India connected Nobels(in sciences) have a physics background. Even the most recent one.

BTW, Bardeen's son is also a physicist (HEP) at Fermi in Chicago.

g.sarkar
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2151
Joined: 09 Jul 2005 12:22
Location: MERCED, California

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby g.sarkar » 08 Oct 2009 09:08

Rahul M wrote:Kolkata newspapers had this peculiar attachment to nobel prizes from India. the kolkata connection (which in fact was there for most of them) was almost declared to be a criterion for an Indian to get the nobel ! Regarding JC Bose, he probably deserved it more than many.

In this regard let me tell an interesting anecdote as told to me by my father long ago. He is no more, so I can not get more details in this respect. My father was studying Electrical Engineering in IISc, Bangalore around 1946-49 or thereabouts. That time Sir CV Raman had not yet built his own research organization and was with IISc as a Director or something. He gave one lecture per year to each batch. Anyway before joining IISc he was in a Calcutta research institute (Perhaps Saha Institute?). He left that and had come to Bangalore. He had a very low opinion of Bengalis and often made disparaging remarks about them. (The Calcutta Bhadraloks ofcourse whispered that he made off with details of experiments that he made, but were not really his as he did his work as a paid employee.) So no love was lost. For example once he said what Bose did in his later years was not proper science. But what took the cake was his remark that Bengal had contributed nothing to India and should be given to Burma! Now, my father said that this remark was very aptly refuted by a Madrasi English paper (Hindu?) that wrote a long article defending the contribution of Bengalis, starting from Raja Rammohun Roy to Tagore and Dr. S.N. Bose. Now remember, Bengal has a long connection to Madras through Swami Vivekananda.
Gautam

Stan_Savljevic
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3522
Joined: 21 Apr 2006 15:40

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 08 Oct 2009 09:22

WB and TN connections are far more than meets the eye. No INC govt in god knows how long, language jingoists in many sense, british east india company connection, beating back the two nawabs, both versions of the Presidency College have enough reasons to celebrate, two biggest provinces before 47 etc. As an aside, the politics in BD and TN are exact mirror images IMHO -- the feuds, the cheap-skateness, nurturing terrorists for the sake of populism, highest levels of stupidity in the name of h&d, hounding out one set of people, taking over nearby places by steady migration (Blore vs NE), you name it.

Bade
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7212
Joined: 23 May 2002 11:31
Location: badenberg in US administered part of America

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Bade » 08 Oct 2009 09:24

CV Raman was at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (currently located in Jadavpur opposite the University) but in those days somewhere near College Row I think far up in North Calcutta.

He was known to make harsh remarks about even his own family members. I think there is a quote in Wali's book on Chandrasekhar, where he commented upon how ugly S.C.'s mom was. I distinctly recollect reading it somewhere...maybe in the same book. S. Chandrasekhar himself did not see eye to eye with his uncle, one of the many reasons why he did not return to India.

There is also another story known in Calcutta circles, about how it was Dr. Krishnan (his student) who actually saw the Raman effect and has not received at least part credit. Do not know how far this is true.

Another anecdote about CV Raman i read was that he was so sure to win the Nobel, that he had booked for a passage well in advance in successive years till he actually won it, just in case. :twisted: He was one arrogant guy for sure !

vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby vina » 08 Oct 2009 09:35

He was known to make harsh remarks about even his own family members. I think there is a quote in Wali's book on Chandrasekhar, where he commented upon how ugly S.C.'s mom was


That is funny. I know of one woman who refused to marry CV Raman because he was "ugly" :(( :(( . She married one of my dad's uncles instead :oops:!

Bade
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7212
Joined: 23 May 2002 11:31
Location: badenberg in US administered part of America

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Bade » 08 Oct 2009 09:51

He was married on 6 May 1907 to Lokasundari Ammal with whom he had one son, Radhakrishnan.

His son later became director of Raman Research Institute. From what I heard a great guy unlike the father. He also had a non-linear path to academics, despite his nobel dad.

ArmenT
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 4239
Joined: 10 Sep 2007 05:57
Location: Loud, Proud, Ugly American

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby ArmenT » 08 Oct 2009 11:52

Funny thing about scientists' sons. Bill Shockley Jr. is also a really nice guy, totally unlike his dad. Matter of fact, he even despises his dad somewhat.

Vipul
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3727
Joined: 15 Jan 2005 03:30

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Vipul » 08 Oct 2009 18:31

How India missed another Nobel Prize this year.

First, it was Jagadish Chandra Bose at the turn of the century, who was the first to demonstrate wireless signaling in 1895. Later, he even created a radio wave receiver called the 'coherer' from iron and mercury. Though he showed no interest in patenting it, Bose demonstrated his inventions in Kolkata [ Images ] and London [ Images ].

Sir Neville Mott, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1978, in fact commented that Bose had foreseen the 'n' and 'p' type semiconductors, and was 'sixty years ahead of his time.' However, the Nobel Prize in Physics for wireless communication was awarded to Guglielmo Marconi in 1909, 14 years after Bose had demonstrated the possibility.

Then came Satyendranath Bose, who sent a paper on the statistics of quanta of light–photons to Albert Einstein.

Einstein supported the paper and got it published in Zeitschrift der Physik in 1924, and that in turn gave birth to the now famous Bose-Einstein statistics and the term 'Bosons' for all those elementary particles that follow it.

Even though three Nobel Prizes have been awarded for works based on Bose statistics, the originator of the idea was never awarded one.

Moving on, G N Ramachandran deserved a Nobel for his work on bio-molecular structures in general and, more particularly, the triple helical structure of collagen. E C George Sudarshan produced pioneering contributions to Quantum Optics and coherence, but his work was ignored, and Roy Glauber was awarded the Physics Nobel in 2005 for the same work.

And so to this week: The press release issued by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on the Nobel Prize for Physics for 2009 says 'one half' of the prize has been awarded to Charles K Kao 'for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication.'

What the Academy omitted to note was that Moga, Punjab-born Narinder Singh Kapany, widely considered the Father of Fibre Optics, and, in this capacity, featured in a 1999 Fortune magazine article on the 'Unsung Heroes of the 20th Century', had far the stronger claim.

Charles Kao in a 1996 paper put forward the idea of using glass fibres for communication using light; he tirelessly evangelised it and fully deserves a share of the Prize. However, the fact remains that it was Kapany who first demonstrated successfully that light can be transmitted through bent glass fibres during his doctoral work at the Imperial College of Science in London in the early fifties, and published the findings in a paper in Nature in 1954.

Since then, Kapany irelessly developed applications of fibre optics for endoscopy during the fifties and later coined the term Fibre Optics in an article in Scientific American in 1960. His body of work provided the basis for the developments of any and all applications in communications.

In a book published in 2007 by Rupa & Co titled Sand to Silicon: The Amazing Story of Digital Technology, I had written of the respective contributions of Kapany and Kao to the field of Fiber Optics. A relevant excerpt (pages: 154-159):

'Very few Indians know that an Indian, Narinder Singh Kapany, a pioneer in the field, coined the term (Fibre Optics) in 1960. We will come to his story later on, but before that let us look at what fibre optics is. It all started with queries like: Can we channel light through a curved path, even though we know that light travels in a straight line?'

'Why is that important? Well, suppose you want to examine an internal organ of the human body for diagnostic or surgical purposes. You would need a flexible pipe carrying light. Similarly, if you want to communicate by using light signals, you cannot send light through the air for long distances; you need a flexible cable carrying light over such distances.'

'The periscopes we made as class projects when we were in school, using cardboard tubes and pieces of mirror, are actually devices to bend light. Bending light at right angles as in a periscope was simple. Bending light along a smooth curve is not so easy. But it can be done, and that is what is done in optic fibre cables.'

'For centuries people have built canals or viaducts to direct water for irrigation or domestic use. These channels achieve maximum effect if the walls or embankments do not leak.'

'Similarly, if we have a pipe whose insides are coated with a reflecting material, then photons or waves can be directed along easily without getting absorbed by the wall material.'

'A light wave gets reflected millions of times inside such a pipe (the number depending on the length and diameter of the pipe and the narrowness of the light beam).'

'This creates the biggest problem for pipes carrying light. Even if we can get coatings with 99.99 per cent reflectivity, the tiny 'leakage' of 0.01 per cent on each reflection can result in a near-zero signal after 10,000 reflections.'

'Here a phenomenon called total internal reflection comes to the rescue. If we send a light beam from water into air, it behaves peculiarly as we increase the angle between the incident ray and the perpendicular.'

'We reach a point when any increase in the angle of incidence results in the light not leaving the water and, instead, getting reflected back entirely. This phenomenon is called total internal reflection.'

'Any surface, however finely polished, absorbs some light, and hence repeated reflections weaken a beam.'

'But total internal reflection is a hundred per cent, which means that if we make a piece of glass as non-absorbent as possible, and if we use total internal reflection, we can carry a beam of light over long distances inside a strand of glass.'

'This is the principle used in fibre optics.'

'The idea is not new. In the 1840s, Swiss physicist Daniel Collandon and French physicist Jacques Babinet showed that light could be guided along jets of water.'

'British physicist John Tyndall popularised the idea further through his public demonstrations in 1854, guiding light in a jet of water flowing from a tank.'

'Since then this method has been commonly used in water fountains. If we keep sources of light that change their colour periodically at the fountainhead, it appears as if differently coloured water is springing out of the fountain.'

'Later many scientists conceived of bent quartz rods carrying light, and even patented some of these inventions. But it took a long time for these ideas to be converted into commercially viable products. One of the main hurdles was the considerable absorption of light inside glass rods.'

'Narinder Singh Kapany recounted to the author, "When I was a high school student at Dehradun in the beautiful foothills of the Himalayas, it occurred to me that light need not travel in a straight line, that it could be bent. I carried the idea to college. Actually it was not an idea but the statement of a problem. When I worked in the ordnance factory in Dehradun after my graduation, I tried using right-angled prisms to bend light.'

'However, when I went to London to study at the Imperial College and started working on my thesis, my advisor, Dr Hopkins, suggested that I try glass cylinders instead of prisms. So I thought of a bundle of thin glass fibres, which could be bent easily. Initially my primary interest was to use them in medical instruments for looking inside the human body. The broad potential of optic fibres did not dawn on me till 1955. It was then that I coined the term fibre optics."'

'Kapany and others were trying to use a glass fibre as a light pipe or, technically speaking, a 'dielectric wave guide'. But drawing a fibre of optical quality, free from impurities, was not an easy job. Kapany went to the Pilkington Glass Company, which manufactured glass fibre for non-optical purposes. For the company, the optical quality of the glass was not important.'

'"I took some optical glass and requested them to draw fiber from that," says Kapany. "I also told them that I was going to use it to transmit light. They were perplexed, but humoured me."'

'A few months later Pilkington sent spools of fibre made of green glass, which is used to make beer bottles. "They had ignored the optical glass I had given them. I spent months making bundles of fibre from what they had supplied and trying to transmit light through them, but no light came out. That was because it was not optical glass. So I had to cut the bundle to short lengths and then use a bright carbon arc source."'

'Kapany was confronted with another problem. A naked glass fibre did not guide the light well. Due to surface defects, more light was leaking out than he had expected. To transmit a large image he would have needed a bundle of fibres containing several hundred strands; but contact between adjacent fibers led to loss of image resolution.'

'Several people then suggested the idea of cladding the fibre. Cladding, when made of glass of a lower refractive index than the core, reduced leakages and also prevented damage to the core. Finally, Kapany was successful; he and Hopkins published the results in 1954 in the British journal Nature.'

'Kapany then migrated to the US and worked further in fibre optics while teaching at Rochester and the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1960, with the invention of lasers, a new chapter opened in applied physics. From 1955 to 1965 Kapany was the lead author of dozens of technical and popular papers on the subject. His writings spread the gospel of fibre optics, casting him as a pioneer in the field.'

'His popular article on fibre optics in Scientific American in 1960 finally established the new term (fibre optics); the article constitutes a reference point for the subject even today. In November 1999, Fortune magazine published profiles of seven people who have greatly influenced life in the twentieth century but are unsung heroes. Kapany was one of them.'

'If we go back into the history of modern communications involving electrical impulses, we find that Alexander Graham Bell patented an optical telephone system in 1880. He called this a 'photophone'. Bell converted speech into electrical impulses, which he converted into light flashes.'

'A photosensitive receiver converted the signals back into electrical impulses, which were then converted into speech. But the atmosphere does not transmit light as reliably as wires do; there is heavy atmospheric absorption, which can get worse with fog, rain and other impediments.'

'As there were no strong and directional light sources like lasers at that time, optical communications went into hibernation. Bell's earlier invention, the telephone, proved far more practical. If Bell yearned to send signals through the air, far ahead of his time, we cannot blame him; after all, it's such a pain digging and laying cables.'

'In the 1950s, as telephone networks spread, telecommunications engineers sought more transmission bandwidth. Light, as a carrying medium, promised the maximum bandwidth. Naturally, optic fibres attracted attention. But the loss of intensity of the signal was as high as a decibel per metre.'

'This was fine for looking inside the body, but communications operated over much longer distances and could not tolerate losses of more than ten to twenty decibels per kilometre. Now what do decibels have to do with it? Why is signal loss per kilometre measured in decibels?'

'The human ear is sensitive to sound on a logarithmic scale; that is why the decibel scale came into being in audio engineering, in the first place.'

'If a signal gets reduced to half its strength over one kilometre because of absorption, after two kilometres it will become a fourth of its original strength. That is why communication engineers use the decibel scale to describe signal attenuation in cables.'

'In the early 1969s signal loss in glass fiber was one decibel per metre, which meant that after traversing ten metres of the fiber the signal was reduced to a tenth of its original strength.'

'After twenty metres the signal was a mere hundredth its original strength. As you can imagine, after traversing a kilometre no perceptible signal was left.'

'A small team at the Standard Telecommunications Laboratories in the UK was not put off by this drawback. This group was headed by Antoni Karbowiak, and later by a young Shanghai-born engineer, Charles Kao.'

'Kao studied the problem carefully and worked out a proposal for long-distance communications through glass fibres. He presented a paper at a London meeting of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1966, pointing out that the optic fibre of those days had an information-carrying capacity of one GHz, or an equivalent of 200 TV channels, or more than 200,000 telephone channels.'

'Although the best available low-loss material then showed a loss of about 1,000 decibels/kilometre (dB/km), he claimed that materials with losses of just 10 to 20 dB/km would eventually be developed.'

'With Kao almost evangelistically promoting the prospects of fibre communications, and the British Post Office (the forerunner to British Telecom) showing interest in developing such a network, laboratories around the world tried to make low-loss fibre. It took four years to reach Kao's goal of 20dB/km.'

'At the Corning Glass Works (now Corning Inc), Robert Maurer, Donald Keck and Peter Schultz used fused silica to achieve the feat. The Corning breakthrough opened the door to fibre-optic communications. In the same year, Bell Labs and a team at the Ioffe Physical Institute in Leningrad (now St Petersburg [ Images ]) made the first semiconductor lasers, able to emit a continuous wave at room temperature.'

'Over the next several years, fibre losses dropped dramatically, aided by improved fabrication methods and by the shift to longer wavelengths where fibers have inherently lower attenuation.'

'Today's fibres are so transparent that if the Pacific Ocean, which is several kilometres deep, were to be made of this glass we could see the ocean bed!'

'Note one point here. The absorption of light in glass depends not only on the chemical composition of the glass but also on the wavelength of light that is transmitted through it. It has been found that there are three windows with very low attenuation: One is around 900 nanometres, the next at 1,300 nm and the last one at 1,550 nm.'

'Once engineers could develop lasers with those wavelengths, they were in business. This happened in the 1970s and 1980s, thanks to Herbert Kroemer's hetero-structures and many hard-working experimentalists.'

The excerpt ends here. While working on this book and particularly this chapter, I had thought that with the world now firmly ensconced in the era of communications, it wouldn't be long before Narinder Kapany's pioneering work in the field was recognised with the Nobel Prize.

Now, two years later, I find that the name of the pioneer of fibre optics has been added to a very long list of Indians who, though richly deserving of the ultimate accolade, the Nobel Prize, have been mysteriously passed over by the august members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

SwamyG
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16102
Joined: 11 Apr 2007 09:22

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby SwamyG » 08 Oct 2009 18:54

There is no need to highlight the caste factor when a person of Indian origin wins something.

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6741
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Amber G. » 09 Oct 2009 06:20

Chandrashekar was born in Peshawar

Minor correction - Dr. Chandra was born in Lahore. His father, C.S. Iyer was brother of C. V Raman

Also FYI there was a popular article about Fiber optics in one of India's paper Vigyan in Hindi ( "Resho Ka Prakash Vigyan") (In 1960's - almost around the same time as Scientific American article) by Prof Mehta ( who was in Princeton around that time, but had a quite a bit of association with U or R too ) talking in details about Fiber optics. I will dig up the article if I can...

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6741
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Amber G. » 09 Oct 2009 06:56

Okay I dug it up. and read that 40 year old article.. (I have been called pack rat as I keep old magazines and saved articles) The article is May 1961 Vigyan (with reference to November 1960 SA article and quite a bit of information. ... there is a paragraph there .. (rough English translation by me)

"Illinois Institute of Technology's -Armer(?) Research Foundation's Dr Narendra S Kapany's research is very facinating and admirable and any one more interested in this subject should read his articles in Journal of Optical Society's 1957 .." .

I am still impressed by the prediction made by Dr Mehta (in that article - which is described as "inspired by Kapany's SA article") coming true to life. (It predicts with uncanny truth about fiber's use in telecommunications, diagonistic medicine etc.(Had a cartoon of a doctor looking through a fiber optic equipment at the patient's stomach and asking the patient" Hain, yah kya? bukhar mein Ber aur Kachoriyon bhi?" :) ). .. Article ends with (again my translation of original Hindi) "..in very near future this [practical use of fibers] will be integrated seamlessly in daily aspects of our life "

Bade
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7212
Joined: 23 May 2002 11:31
Location: badenberg in US administered part of America

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Bade » 09 Oct 2009 08:20

There is record of letters exchanged between CV Raman and S.C. in CurrSci, which shows a view different from what I said of the relationship between the two greats.

http://www.ias.ac.in/j_archive/currsci/ ... wpage.html

sanjaykumar
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4142
Joined: 16 Oct 2005 05:51

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby sanjaykumar » 09 Oct 2009 09:41

Now, two years later, I find that the name of the pioneer of fibre optics has been added to a very long list of Indians who, though richly deserving of the ultimate accolade, the Nobel Prize, have been mysteriously passed over by the august members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Very annoying-Kapany's work ignored. Indians need to do something.

Parenthetically Shockley apparently would not have scored in the 'genius' category on the IQ scales he used to promote his race.

vera_k
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3004
Joined: 20 Nov 2006 13:45

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby vera_k » 09 Oct 2009 12:22

sanjaykumar wrote:Very annoying-Kapany's work ignored. Indians need to do something.


The committee was certainly aware of Kapany's work. It seems that the prize does not necessarily go to the people who first describe a concept.

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/phys ... yadv09.pdf

vina
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6046
Joined: 11 May 2005 06:56
Location: Doing Nijikaran, Udharikaran and Baazarikaran to Commies and Assorted Leftists

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby vina » 09 Oct 2009 13:41

Hmm. Bored at work. Friday. Opened today's edition of The TOI(let) and in the middle pages there was a write up by Chidanand Rajghatta - TOI(let)'s US correspondent about Venkatraman Ramakrishnan's family. He went on and on about how science is in the family's genes and that the lone black sheep is his son Raman Ramakrishnan , who became a Cellist and how people are betting what Veky would do with his share of the Nobel, buy a car for his son or a Stradivarius.

Well, I googled around and found something that is guaranteed to get Bade Saar's goat for sure. Evidently Raman Ramakrishnan has an undergrad in Physics from Harvard and then decided to go to Julliard to become a musician :shock: .

So if a No-bell Peas Price winner's son can go to Haarbird for undergrad in Fyzzics, and then go on to become a musician, why cant his country cousins back in the old country do undergrad in the EyeEyeTea Madrassas and then go on to do YumYess or YumBeeYea or even PeeYechhDee and then go on to become entrepreneurs saar? So Bade Saar , next time you knock on boor EyeEyeTea undergrads for not becoming TFTA scientists, I am going to remind you of sauce for the goose and gander :twisted: :twisted: .

Hmm. All this talk about MyooSick reminds me of a quote from T.N Seshan.

Palghat Brahmins become one of the four. Cook, Crook, Carnatic Musician or Civil Servant. Since I was not one of the other three, I became a civil servant :rotfl:


Well, the poor kid did not become a Carnatic Musician. But making soe allowances since he grew up in Massa and from his mom's name she seems like a Yankee Yehudi , I guess being a cellist is okay, since he doesn't seem to be one of the other three.

Stan_Savljevic
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3522
Joined: 21 Apr 2006 15:40

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 09 Oct 2009 23:36

Ok GoTN was actually fast, here is the press release
http://www.tn.gov.in/pressrelease/pr081 ... 09_692.pdf
It is in Tamil though, so many may scratch their heads on what it says. After Sir CVR and SC, he has made the whole Tam society famous. And I congratulate him on behalf of the Tam society, signed MK.

Not too bad....

SwamyG
BRF Oldie
Posts: 16102
Joined: 11 Apr 2007 09:22

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby SwamyG » 09 Oct 2009 23:45

In my every day observations, I noticed that people who are good in Mathematics are usually gifted when it comes to Music. Some time back I ran a google search and plethora of articles sprung up on the different theories on Maths-Music association.

Bade
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7212
Joined: 23 May 2002 11:31
Location: badenberg in US administered part of America

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Bade » 10 Oct 2009 00:25

So if a No-bell Peas Price winner's son can go to Haarbird for undergrad in Fyzzics, and then go on to become a musician, why cant his country cousins back in the old country do undergrad in the EyeEyeTea Madrassas and then go on to do YumYess or YumBeeYea or even PeeYechhDee and then go on to become entrepreneurs saar? So Bade Saar , next time you knock on boor EyeEyeTea undergrads for not becoming TFTA scientists, I am going to remind you of sauce for the goose and gander :twisted: :twisted: .


But, vina saar all the three tambrahms nobels are for fizziks people onlee...many eyeeyetians have been warming chairs in fizziks, but no nobel to show so far...is it fair to discount one pedigree(physics) and promote another(TamBrahms) common to all. I am waiting for the non-physics eyeeyetians to do something more than just a pan-iit jamboree with kilton sahab and in future with Ombaba.

vera_k
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3004
Joined: 20 Nov 2006 13:45

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby vera_k » 10 Oct 2009 06:55

^^^

But aren't the IIT only an engineering/applied sciences school? Why would one expect them to produce Nobel winners?

Stan_Savljevic
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3522
Joined: 21 Apr 2006 15:40

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 10 Oct 2009 07:52

vera_k wrote:But aren't the IIT only an engineering/applied sciences school? Why would one expect them to produce Nobel winners?

They also have phy, chem, math departments, but not on a giant scale like in other places. Bio department, there may be new additions. But yea when Nehru made the mandate, he focussed on applied engineering and technology. The applied part soon gave way long back. Why Nehru did nt think of another chain of pure science schools still beats me? May be resource constraints....

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6741
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Amber G. » 10 Oct 2009 20:19

Bade wrote:There is record of letters exchanged between CV Raman and S.C. in CurrSci, which shows a view different from what I said of the relationship between the two greats.

http://www.ias.ac.in/j_archive/currsci/ ... wpage.html

There are a few boxes full of personal letters of SC with his family in Cambridge archives. Wali's book quotes some and gives a little bit more complex picture between the family dynamics. My impression is SC (and his father) wanted SC to come out of CVR's shadow and make a name of himself.

I have met both CVR and SC and (One nephew of CVR was my classmate and a close friend - so I have spent some time f CVR's brothers family) Goes without saying that they were all great and generous and the family (few generations down too) has quite a few talented, gifted and remarkable people ..

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6741
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Amber G. » 10 Oct 2009 20:25

vera_k wrote:^^^

But aren't the IIT only an engineering/applied sciences school? Why would one expect them to produce Nobel winners?


Physics/Math depts there are nothing to sneeze at.. IIT/K' for example, earned quite a bit of respect in pure math circles when 2 undergraduates and their professor published Primes in P..

Bade
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7212
Joined: 23 May 2002 11:31
Location: badenberg in US administered part of America

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Bade » 19 Oct 2009 20:27

Unlocked, chemistry of a Nobel rivalry - Scientist talks about the ribosome race
Ramakrishnan says: “It is clear that Ada began the effort but it is not clear she would have been able to do it alone —otherwise obviously they would not have given the two of us, Tom and me, the prize.”

He adds: “Tom and I have always been rivals but very friendly. I am a consultant for his antibiotic design company, which he founded. I have known him since I was a post-doctoral Fellow at Yale where he is a professor, and his collaborator was my post-doctoral mentor — Peter Moore. That is how I got into ribosomes.”


and more interesting personal notes to read...

Neela
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3632
Joined: 30 Jul 2004 15:05
Location: Spectator in the dossier diplomacy tennis match

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Neela » 21 Oct 2009 11:53

Gentlemen,

I often engage in writing mails myself on issues supporting India. But here is something that I need Mathematicians/Maths fans to do.

Prof.Marcus du Sautoy is doing some great service in the United Kingdom popularizing Maths. He comes often on radio and TV. And in general a very open person. He recently aired a programme called Story of Maths where he traces the origins of Mathematics.
His home page is here: http://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/~dusautoy/


As far as I know, he is the first person to have acknowledged the works of Kerala School of Mathematicians in public domain in the West
See here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/31 ... nswer.html

It therefore came as a huge shock to me to discover recently that a school of Indian mathematicians in Kerala in south India arrived at this formula several centuries earlier. It should, in fact, be called the Madhava formula, in honour of the Hindu scholar who first hit upon it.

π was not the only great mathematical discovery made in India. Negative numbers and zero – concepts that in Europe, as late as the 14th century, were viewed with huge suspicion – were being conjured with on the subcontinent as early as the seventh century.



It is important that we use this guy and pass on more details to him.
So someone eqipped with a good idea of Indian Maths/Astronomy books like Surya Siddhanta, Panchange etc should contact him and let him know the details.

CHeers

csharma
BRFite
Posts: 639
Joined: 12 Jul 1999 11:31

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby csharma » 21 Oct 2009 12:12

There are other western sources that have recently talked about Indian discovery of calculus centuries ahead of Newton.

http://www.physorg.com/news106238636.html

Dr George Gheverghese Joseph from The University of Manchester says the 'Kerala School' identified the 'infinite series'- one of the basic components of calculus - in about 1350.

The discovery is currently - and wrongly - attributed in books to Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibnitz at the end of the seventeenth centuries.

The team from the Universities of Manchester and Exeter reveal the Kerala School also discovered what amounted to the Pi series and used it to calculate Pi correct to 9, 10 and later 17 decimal places.

And there is strong circumstantial evidence that the Indians passed on their discoveries to mathematically knowledgeable Jesuit missionaries who visited India during the fifteenth century.

That knowledge, they argue, may have eventually been passed on to Newton himself.


Another book on Indian mathematics.

http://books.google.com/books?id=QlbzjN ... q=&f=false

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6741
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Amber G. » 14 Nov 2009 01:11

x-post
Chandrayaan's discovery of water on moon is confirmed by latest findings ... from NYtimes:
Water found on moon
There is water on the Moon, scientists stated unequivocally on Friday, and considerable amounts of it
<snip>
The satellite, known as Lcross (pronounced L-cross), slammed into a crater near the Moon’s south pole a month ago. The impact carved out a hole 60- to 100-feet wide and kicked up at least 24 gallons of water.
<snip>

Stan_Savljevic
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3522
Joined: 21 Apr 2006 15:40

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 15 Jan 2010 04:32

ISM scientist creates ‘cyclone’ --- Patent sought for equipment that rids coal of impurities
http://telegraphindia.com/1100115/jsp/j ... 986325.jsp

Varoon Shekhar
BRFite
Posts: 1901
Joined: 03 Jan 2010 23:26

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 23 Feb 2010 17:57

Achievement by an NRI/PIO- electricity in a box ( from Economic Times)


WASHINGTON: The world of energy and entrepreneurship is crackling with electric anticipation this week after an India-born scientist-CEO provided
a sneak peek over the weekend at a clean and efficient model of power generation-in-a-box that could eliminate the traditional grid and challenge monopolies.

Supporters are claiming KR Sridhar’s "Bloom box," scheduled for a big-splash unveiling in Silivon Valley on Wednesday, could be the Holy Grail of the world’s energy quest; and even skeptics agree that it is a unique "power-plant-in-a-box." What acres of power grid can generate, Sridhar’s Bloom Box can crank out in a fraction of the footprint -- in a squeaky clean manner too.

It is already being done -- on the campuses of Google and eBay among others. FedEx, Wal-Mart and Staples are among a score of Fortune 100 companies that have signed up as clients. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, among those who endorse the technology, is on the Board of Directors of Sridhar’s Bloom Energy, an eight-year old stealth start-up that raised more than $ 400 million from Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists at a time the region’s economy was in a tail-spin.

At its heart, Sridhar’s Bloom Box claims to be a game-changing fuel cell device that consists of a stack of ceramic disks coated with secret green and black "inks." The disks are separated by cheap metal plates. Stacking the ceramic disks into a bread loaf-sized unit, says Sridhar, can produce one kilowatt of electricity, enough to power an American home – or four Indian homes.

The unit can be scaled up, installed anywhere, and be connected to an electrical grid just like you would connect your PC to the Internet. Hydrocarbons such as natural gas or biofuel (stored separately) are pumped into the Bloom Box to produce clean, scaled-up, and reliable electricity. The company says the unit does not vibrate, emits no sound, and has no smell, although Sridhar admits to some initial, but minor, glitches at some installations.

A hoax it is not, although some are suggesting there is a lot of hype around the launch -- somewhat like with that of the Segway transporter that was much bally-hooed but did not live up to its billing. As with Segway, the big catch right now is cost. Large-sized Bloom Boxes of the kind installed at some Silicon Valley campuses costs around $ 700,000 to $ 800,000. Sridhar estimates that a Bloom Box for the residential market could be out within a decade for as little as $3,000 to produce electricity 24/7/365. "In five to ten years, we would like to be in every home," Sridhar told CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday night.

But Silicon Valley, whose major venture capitalist Kleiner Perkins’ bankrolled Bloom Energy, is endorsing the technology. EBay said it has already saved $100,000 in electricity costs since its 5 boxes were installed nine months ago. It even claims that the Bloom boxes generate more power than the 3,000 solar panels at its headquarters. Google has a 400 kilowatt installation from Bloom at its Mountain View headquarters. California’s governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be at the launch, which is to take place on the eBay campus.

The man at the center of all the excitement is Dr KR Sridhar, 49, who, prior to founding Bloom Energy, was a professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering as well as director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona. He is also, literally, a rocket scientist, having served as an advisor to NASA in the areas of nanotechnology and planetary missions. Sridhar initially developed the idea behind the Bloom Box while working with NASA, as a means of producing oxygen for astronauts landing on Mars.

Dr Sridhar received his Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras, India, and moved to in the 1980s to the US, where he earned an MS in Nuclear Engineering and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, home to such start ups as Netscape.

On Sunday, CBS’ 60 Minutes homed in on Sridhar’s breakthrough technology, bringing huge attention to Bloom Energy’s bare-bones website that ran a cryptic visual saying ''Be the Solution'' -- and a clock counting down to Wednesday’s launch.

biswas
BRFite
Posts: 503
Joined: 02 Nov 2009 20:42
Location: Ozzieland

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby biswas » 23 Feb 2010 18:16

Varoon Shekhar wrote:Achievement by an NRI/PIO- electricity in a box ( from Economic Times)

This is big. Hope India reaps benefits.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology

Postby svinayak » 23 Feb 2010 20:55

http://www.nowpublic.com/environment/bl ... 80564.html
It is called a Bloom Box. Bloom energy fuel cell clean energy sources were unveiled this weekend on 60 minutes as the founder of the Bloom Box, K.R. Sridhar invited CBS's Leslie Stahl for a sneak peak at this new energy source.

Bloom Energy Stock Symbol: A start up does not have a stock symbol as far as I can tell

In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that's inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Well over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it, and one of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard.

Source: cbsnews.com

The Bloom Energy and its Bloom Box is one of many start ups who have jumped into the alternative energy market using fuel cells. The technology has plenty of potential but right now it is very expensive and these start ups like Bloom Energy are not making money.

Bloom lost $85 million in 2008, according to venture capitalists that have seen its business plan, roughly on par with other fuel-cell companies building energy boxes much like Bloom’s.

Google told Fortune that it has a 400 kilowatt installation from Bloom at its headquarters in Mountain View, California. But the real test, analysts say, is whether Google feels confident enough to use Bloom boxes to power its vast server farms upon which its business depends



Return to “Technology & Economic Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests