Monday, January 7, 2008

Indians used nanotechnology 2,000 years ago

VISAKHAPATNAM: Indian craftsmen and artisans used nanotechnology extensively about 2000 years ago to make weapons and long lasting cave paintings, a Nobel laureate of Chemistry said here.
However, the craftsmen were completely unaware that they were practising carbon nano-techniques that are the most sought after in the current age.
Citing examples of the Damascus blades used in the famous sword of Tipu Sultan and paintings in the Ajanta, caves Nobel laureate Robert Curl Jr said studies have found existence of carbon nano particles in both.
On the sword, scientists found carbon nanotubes, which are cylindrical arrangements of carbon atoms first discovered in 1991 and now made in laboratories all over the world.
“Our ancestors have been unwittingly using nanotechnology for over 2,000 years (in the Ajanta paintings) and carbon nano for about 500 years. Carbon nanotechnology is much older than carbon nanoscience,” Curl said at the ongoing 95th Indian Science Congress here.
The 74-year-old scientist from the US shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Richard Smalley and Harold Kroto for the discovery of the carbon cage compounds, known as fullerenes.