Friday, August 6, 2010

soap bubbles and humongous numbers - फेनिल-बुद्बुद


Soap bubble
= phenila-budbuda
= फेनिल-बुद्बुद

फेनिल = soap. That which foams.
बुद्बुद = bubble. This is an onomatopoeia word, based on the sound bubbles make.

The बुद्बुद is used as a metaphor for this world.

The scales that Indians have thought (and used) in numbers and time, is staggering. rAmAyaNa (रामायण) has mention of numbers upto 10^60 [yuddha kANDa, 28:33-38], that is 1 followed by 60 zeros, which is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to be precise. This was in connection with the size of rAma's army. Of course the number is not exact and surely an exaggeration, but the main point is that vAlmIki (वाल्मीकि) explains the NAMES of the place values in the number system upto 10^60.

100 = 1 shatam (शतं)
100,000 shatam = 10^7 = 1 koTi (कोटि)
100,000 koTi = 10^12 = 1 nIla (नील) or sha~Nku (शंकु) or sha~Nkha (शंख)
100,000 sha~Nku = 10^17 = 1 mahA-sha~Nku (महा-शंकु)
100,000 mahA-sha~Nku = 10^22 = 1 vRinda (वृन्द)
100,000 vRinda = 10^27 = 1 mahA-vRinda (महा-वृन्द)
100,000 mahA-vRinda = 10^32 = 1 padma (पद्म)
100,000 padma = 10^37 = 1 mahA-padma (महा-पद्म)
100,000 mahA-padma = 10^42 = 1 kharva (खर्व)
100,000 kharva = 10^47 = 1 mahA-kharva (महा-खर्व)
1000 mahA-kharva = 10^50 = 1 samudra (समुद्र) (yes, multiplied by 1000 and not 100,000)
100,000 samudra = 10^55 = 1 ogha (ओघ)
100,000 ogha = 10^60 = 1 mahaugha (महौघ, महा-ओघ)

How do you do that with Roman numerals?

Thinking upon this, makes you wonder that without this simple concept of place value and zero, not much science would have progressed. No calculus for sure, and no going to the moon. How do you do logarithms in Roman again? There is not enough praise for this simple but far reaching counting system.

The same was true for time scale. From a fraction of a second (nimiSha निमिष) all the way to mahAyuga (महायुग) (4,320,000 years), the scale went full range [bhAgavat-purANa].

The age of creation itself is mentioned indirectly. The Tower of Hanoi problem is originally an Indian problem. It has 64 disks of varying sizes, that need to be moved from one peg to another following certain rules. It is said that a priest sits in the temple of brahmA (ब्रह्मा), making the moves without error, and when he is done, the creation will restart. So much for 2012! Mathematically it will take 2^64 moves. If one correct move is made every second, even then the time taken comes to 585 billion years. Now that is an order of time not thought of anywhere else! Trademark Indian thought.


Except modern astronomy, which feels not only comfortable with such large numbers but would not exist in lack of them! That is why a light-year is not a measure of time, but of distance, the distance light would travel in a year (6 trillion miles, 10^16 meters). And then there is the radius of the observable universe at 46.5 x 10^9 light years = 46.5 x 10^22 kilometers = 465,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilometers!

To just go crazy thinking more such 'fictional' numbers, :) :) which make no sense to anyone but astronomers and those who believe in them, check out Light Year. And then, when you are all excited, read some of the purANas, they will appear more believable, even if unfathomable! LOL!


Seeing all this, our human life is what - a bubble on the surface of a fast flowing stream? That won't even be noticeable cosmically. Now, this doesn't mean one needs to go in depression :) but just that 'This too shall pass' - so have neither gloom nor pride.

In Hindi there is a beautiful couplet that goes:
pAnI kerA budabudA, asa mAnasa kI jAta |
dekhata hI chhipa jAyegA, jyo tArA parabhAta ||
(पानी केरा बुदबुदा, अस मानस की जात | देखत ही छिप जाएगा ज्यो तारा परभात ||)
i.e. water produced bubble, such is human birth. it will set in no time, like a morning star.

Enjoy before the bubble bursts!

[There is a lot more to write on this theme, but for sake of brevity, I will stop here, maybe some other time.]

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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
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4 comments:

thiruthiru said...

If not now, Continue as early as possible please! Atleast a fraction of our youngsters shall realise our great but forgotten (or made to forget?) values.
Raguveeradayal,
Thiruppullani

shashi said...

dhanyavAda, raghuveer.

Rajiv said...

Nice post, Shashi ji.

Anonymous said...

Dear friends of Ancient astronomical histories, Maths and science,

1) Planetary timings and its use in astronomy and Horoscope numerics.

Rahu and Ketu timings 18 years = 2x3x3 means in 180 years Rahu Ketu has 10 Cycles.
Sani - Saturn has timing 30 years= 2x3x5 means in 180 years SATURN has 6 Cycles.
Guru - Jupiter has timing 12 years= 2x3x2x means in 180 years SATURN has 15 Cycles
Mangal - MARS has timing of 1.88years means in 180 years SATURN has 96 Cycles
Sukra - Venus has timing of 224 days means in 180 years VENUS has 293 Cycles

Calculating the L SA = Smallest Common Multiple of those numbers 2x2x3 x3 x5 =180 years.
Means at this interval all those planets are in same position as before 180 years.

So Horoscope do not see the difference of those of horoscopes of 180 years apart and human do not survive beyond this time.

2) Now according to PURANas let us check those with this astronomical data

MahaYUGA is said timing of 4 320000 years means it has 24000 cycles of 180 years
KALIYUGA is said timing of 4 32000 years means it has 2400 cycles of 180 years

4) ALSO an astronomical observations SUN and MOON during near time of Equinox and RAMNAVMI. Are as follows

A) MOON: Moon near Earth 20 March 2007 and as higher gravitation and Kepler's Laws Object has higher speed when close to centre – MOON has moved 15.1 degree in 24 hours.

B) And when Moon was FARTHEST from the Earth on 3 APRIL 2007 LOWER gravitation and Kepler's Laws Object has SLOWER speed when further away from the centre – MOON has moved 12 degree in 24 hours

AVERAGE speed of the MOON remains about 13 Degree and when the moon remains at MEAN distance from the Earth in the middle timings of A (20 March 2007) and B (3 APRIL 2007).

ALSO MOON Month is about 28 and a half day but as LUNAR distance is variable the duration of the LUNAR month is also variable. In past time LUNAR month was 30 days as said in PURANs. So can you calculate the LUNAR distance for the 30 days Lunar MONTH ! also when it was possible and when again as moon is slowly going away from the Earth.

C) EARTH near SUN on 4 Jan 2007 and as higher gravitation and Kepler's Laws EARTH has higher speed when close to SUN and so Earth moved 1.01’11” > 1 degree in 24 hours.

D) And when EARTH was FARTHEST from the SUN on 8 JULY 2007 LOWER gravitation and Kepler's Laws EARTH has SLOWER speed when further away from the SUN – EARTH has moved 0.57’ 11” < 1 degree in 24 hours.

AVERAGE speed of the EARTH remains about <1 Degree and when the Earth remains at MEAN AU distance from the SUN at present time in the timings of EQUNOX days. 20/21 MARCH and 22/23 September.

ALSO EARTH YEAR is about 365.25 days but as AU distance is variable the duration of the EARTH’s Year is also variable. In past time EARTH’s Year was 360 days as said in PURANs. So can you calculate the AU – SUN EARTH distance for the 360 days EARTH’s Year! also when it was possible and when again the EARTH is closing to the SUN to make Year of 360 days?

Hints What should be MEAN AU distance to make the Earth speed of 1 degree around the sun? use Capler’s calculations. And reduce the AU by some 1% and calculate and try again to find out accurate AU distance for EARTH year of 360 days

Dr. BHUDIA Science Group Of INDIA
President:'Kutch Science Foundation'.
Founder :'Kutch Amateurs Astronomers Club - Bhuj - Kutch'.

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