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Indian Journal of History of Science, 33(4)1998 PRAKASA STAMBHANABHIDA LAUHA OF MAHARSI BHARADVAJA (A novel IR transparent material of range 5000 to 1400 cnt!) N.G. Donore*, S.K. Macavia** & P. RAMACHANDRA Rao** (Received I June 1998; after revision 10 November 1998) ‘This paper deals with the description and preparation of ‘Prakasa Stambhandibhida Lauha'—~a novel non-hygroscopic i.r. transparent material having a range from 5000 to 1400cm-! (or 2 to 7 1)—as described in Amsu Bodhini of Maharshi Bharadvaja with acommentary by Bodhananda. The composition of constituent raw materials were mixed together in the ratio as described in the text and melted at a temperature of 265 kaksyq on an ancient temperature scale (about 940°) and then rapidly poured into a dye to produce a new material which is a non- hygroscopic non-opalent greenish yellow calcium glass. It will be important to note that it is novel in the sense that most of the known infra red transparent materials used for prisms and windows for cells are highly hygroscopic in nature such as LiF (upto 6,1) CaF, (2 t0 8.51), NaCl (upto 15,1) etc. and they need dry air environment for their working: Key Words : Novel infra-red transparent material, Prakdfa Stambhanabhida Lauha. INTRODUCTION Dhvanta Pramapaka Yantra of Maharsi Bhardvaja (Spectrometer/ monochroma- tor)! includes a description of some materials along with Prakasa Stambhanabhida Lauha in short. A project was taken up to study these materials. As a part of this project, this material was prepared in our laboratory and characterised it. This material has been originally described in Amsu Bodhini on page 76 * which is as follows: (a) ePnTachey wares a | ATTA CSTE AUTRE TUT | ypomahtareerciaetee | SATA Ueaht TUES es | waritaa fafirad aAeUrIT: | * Head, Dept. Physics, Harish Chandra P.G. College, Varanasi **National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jameshedpur 274 INDIAN JOURNAL OF HISTORY OF SCIENCE (b) UsTeerafirerqereed wy a 1 Wameqrifgertneaten Ware: | (oc) Trefarersfeet caret aya | Wrevaepencie: warrantee: | Prose form Note: (a) UsReernhte cay cerrerciie aware ten rarer eee wae, aera a SEPA: Car dd ANITA: fatter ater (> ) ware araforenpanpaned aye cerry eget eae WATT: TAPEAT (c) Gard aferdita waa var warereianiae: Urpeencite: wa For the English version of the above quotation to be meaningful, we first consider the four constituent materials cited above viz.. (1) khacara (2) bhitcukra - suramitradiksdra, (3) ayaskanta and (4) ruruka and try to identify the corresponding materials known to the modern scientific world. (a-1) The first amongst them khacara (a traveller in space) may be considered as, the most prominent star - sun - for our planet earth. Here we are concerned with the representative material of sun which is in according to Indian mythology is sphatika (quartz or silica - SiO) {a-2) The next material is bhicakra or suramitradi. The first term bhiwcakra indicates a material composed of earth having a spiral over the surface. The other synonym suramitra (a friend of Hindu dieties) which may be ccusidered as Visnu and the corresponding representative material saligrdma. In fact sitligrama > is a fossil from Spiti shale of Jurassic age, belonging to Phylum Cephalopoda (Amnonoidea), with the chemical composition as calcium carbonate (CaCO). The text suggests the use of the ksdira of this material. The calcination product of this material, therefore, is lime or calcium oxide (CaO). (a-3) The third material is ayaskdnta, means a material which attracts iron, obviously the material is the ore magnetite ((lodestone) or magnetic oxide having the chemical composition FeO, (a-4) The last material is ruruka. Ruru stands for young deer and therefore, ruruka means the material obtainable from young deer. It could represent the bone-ash from the bones of a young deer. Bone-ash is one of the chief constituents in glass making, Bone-ash is mainly tricalcium phosphate (Ca;P;0,). Inthe ancient period there were plenty of deers in Indian forests and their description is very common in Indian mythological texts. With the above interpretation, the prose form of the sloka under discussion can be expressed in the following form in English Version: (a) “Then 8 parts of khacara lauha (silica - SiO;), the twelfth in the serial number in the group of radiation absorbing materials, 5 parts of bhiicakra-suramitradi PRAKASA STANMBHANABHIDA LAUHA OF MAHARSI BHARADVAJA R ae ksdira (lime - CaO}. 4 parts of ayaskdnta (magnetic oxide - FeyO,) and six parts of ruruka (bone-ash - CayP,O,) are mixed in the proportion as given above (b) These are then melted together in bhrdmanika miasa (rotating crucible) at the temperature 265 kaksyaof the ancient temperature scale (about 940°, see discussion below), and then (c) it is rapidly poured into the yantrdsye (dye). und (d) in this way prakasa stambhanabhide lauha (ight absorbing/heat transmitting material) is prepared” Discussion 2a) This purt gives us the bhaga—the proportion in which the materials are to be mixed together. As the first step to commence the discussion, the term bhdga must be by weight, then only 8. 5, 4.and 6 parts (bhagas) respectively may become meaningful In “Metrology and Coinage in Ancient India and Contemporary World” +, ont of the authors of this paper has described Ayamani Lauha Sana (A.L. Sana) of 48 maser. a weight unit equivalent to musti unit of Caraka Samhité and also identified it with weight ‘H’ belonging to the first series of the weights discovered at Indus Valley by John Marshall. The weight of this musfi is given as 54.24 gms Itis the general practice that when one has to prepare or manufacture a certain base material by mixing various constituent raw materials in certain given proportions, the manufacturer's unit of the weight shouldbe a little more, so that after finish, the product is of the standard weight to cover the manufacturing losses of the constituent materials. If one tenth Joss of the material be the expectation, then the manufacturer's weight unit (say, manufacturer's ‘musfi’) will be such that its 9/10 must be the standard weight of one iusti, This means the manufacturer’s weight unit approximately will become 60.267 gms as~ (60.267 X 9)/10 = 54.24 gins. which is the weight of standard ‘musri’ unit as given above. Thus here we may take @ bhaga/bhagamsa as one manufacturer's musti equivalent to a weight of 60.267 gms or approximately 60.3 gms and hence 8, 5,4 and 6 bhagdmsa (parts) may be attributed with proper approximate weights as shown in table 1 Inthe following table 1, column (1) gives the constituent material with its identified chemical composition, column (2) the proportion, column (3) corresponding weight. column (4) the molecular weight of the constituent molecule, column (5) estimated number of the molecules with rounded integer and the last column (6) the constituent molecule with its probable number present in the ’final product with its relative percentage forming prakasa-stambhanabhida lauha, which leads for the empirical formula for this product