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Chandrasekhar, Subramaniam, (1910-1995) a nephew of Sir C.V. Raman, was born on 19 October 1910 in Lahore, (now in Pakistan). His first scientific paper, Compton Scattering and the New Statistics, was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 1928. On the basis of this paper he was accepted as a research student by R.H. Fowler at the University of Cambridge. On the voyage to England, he developed the theory of white dwarf stars, showing that a star of mass greater than 1.4 times themass of the sun could not become a white dwarf. This limit is now known as the Chandrasekhar limit.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983 for his theoretical work on the physical processes of importance to the structure of stars and their evolution. Chandra was a popular teacher who guided over fifty students to their Ph.D.s including some who went on to win the Nobel Prize themselves!! His research explored nearly all branches of theoretical astrophysics and he published ten books, each covering a different topic, including one on the relationship between art and science

 

Charaka, sometimes spelled Caraka, born c. 300 BCE was one of the principal contributors to the ancient art and science of Ayurveda, a system of medicine and lifestyle developed in Ancient India. He is sometimes referred to as the Father of Indian Medicine. His famous Ayurvedic treatise CharakaSamhita. The treatise contains many such remarks which are held in reverence even today. Some of them are in the fields of physiology, etiology and embryology.

Charaka was the first physician to present the concept of digestion, metabolism and immunity. According to his translations of the Vedas, a body functions because it contains three dosha or principles, namely movement (vata), transformation (pitta) and lubrication and stability (kapha). The doshas are also sometimes called humours, namely, bile, phlegm and wind. These dosha are produced when dhatus (blood, flesh and marrow) act upon the food eaten. For the same quantity of food eaten, one body, however, produces dosha in an amount different from another body. That is why one body is different from another. For instance, it is weightier, stronger, and more energetic. Further, illness is caused when the balance among the three dosha in a human body is disturbed. To restore the balance he prescribed medicinal drugs. Although he was aware of germs in the body, he did not give them any importance.

Charaka knew the fundamentals of genetics. For instance, he knew the factors determining the sex of a child. A genetic defect in a child, like lameness or blindness, he said, was not due to any defect in the mother or the father, but in the ovum or sperm of the parents (an accepted fact today). Charaka studied the anatomy of the human body and various organs. He gave 360 as the total number of bones, including teeth, present in the body. He wrongly believed that the heart had one cavity, but he was right when he considered it to be a controlling centre. He claimed that the heart was connected to the entire body through 13 main channels. Apart from these channels, there were countless other ones of varying sizes which supplied not only nutrients to various tissues but also provided passage to waste products. He also claimed that any obstruction in the main channels led to a disease or deformity in the body.

 

The CharakaSamhita contains 120 adhyayas (chapters), divided into 8 parts.

 

       Sutra Sthana

       NidanSthana

       VimanSthana

       SharirSthana

       IndriyaSthana

       ChikitsaSthana

       KalpaSthana

       Siddhi Sthana