"AGARA mudhala Ezhutthellam AADHI Bhagawan Mudattre Ulagu"
Wondering what the above verses from Thirukurral written by Thiruvalluvar somewhere around 300 BC is doing in this special report about nanotechnology?
" Annuvai Thulaithu Ezhkadalai Purati Kuruga Tharitha Kurral" - Ouvvay
Such is the ingenuity of its author, that he has compressed within its narrow limits all the branches of knowledge, as if he had hollowed an atom, and enclosed all the waters of the seven seas in it.
The above is a commentary written by a Tamil poet about the masterpiece. Read on if you are one who believes that our ancestors knew more about subjects like astronomy, maths, physics, biology and even medicine. If you don't, we have already given you solid evidence.
Now you have a reason to agree that the concept of existence of atoms, the fundamental constituent of all matter has existed form times immemorial. This is not all; it is even known that the ancient people had a good knowledge about how to manipulate atoms and molecules even.
It was not until 15 years ago that scientists began to discuss about a new technology called nanotechnology and it has taken so long for the world to accept and realize the potential and scope of the technology which was once considered impossible or rather an eccentric concept. Nanotechnology refers to the construction of extremely small machines from nanometer size units that are about 10-9 meter or one billionth of a meter. Numerous Government organizations and multinational companies are now willing to invest millions and millions of dollars for developing the same.
All the matter in the universe is made up of atoms. An atom so small than even what you can imagine, is arranged in different forms to account for the variability in the various forms of matter. For example, charcoal and diamond are made up of atoms of the same element carbon. It is the spatial arrangement of these atoms in a particular plane that makes all the difference.
The systematic study, manipulation and modification of these nanometer size particles however require complex instrumentation. The parallel advancements taking place in the field of science and technology and the implementation of novel theoretical ideas to practice have facilitated the upcoming of this field in a big way.
Even with the very little knowledge that is currently available regarding nanotechnology, scientists have manufactured transistors measuring 130 nanometers. With our ever increasing knowledge of nanoscience and the ability to engineer new products and services, it would not be far before the entire history can be compressed inside our pockets or the life system extended by specially designed molecules that mimic the living systems. While doing so, caution has to be taken to ensure that the cost of production does not exceed the cost of raw materials and other resources. This is just the beginning.