172. The tip of the hair

Motivated by my last post on “Nanotechnology”, I decided to confront a professional. A nanotechnologist to be exact. If nanotech can take your vision to 10 x 10 (-9), I wanted a discussion. I wasn’t that interested about the fact that scientists could make humans immortal using nanotechnology. I am convinced they can’t.

In fact, I had spoken to another leading scientist, an electronic engineer on what he thought of that news article to which he calmly said, “If man is going to think that he can solve all of life’s problems using science and technology, he is going to very disappointed. He needs to understand and admit that there are certain aspects that is beyond science. It will do him and others a lot of good“. I was thrilled to hear a leading scientist say this.

Anyways, later this afternoon, I had a quick 10 minutes meet with a nanotechnologist. I was excited. Science and spirituality coming together.

Nanotechnologist : Yes, Manoj…

Me : Well, I was reading my scriptures the other day…to be precise my Holy books, written more than 5000 years ago and I came across these verses that made me want to share it with you…to see what it means to you…perhaps, in nanotech terms.

And I proceeded to show him the following verse that I had saved on my machine.

balagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca
bhago jivah sa vijneyah sa canantyaya kalpate

“When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul.” (Svet. 5.9)

Similarly, in the Bhagavatam the same version is stated:

kesagra-sata-bhagasya satamsah sadrsatmakah
jivah suksma-svarupo ‘yam sankhyatito hi cit-kanah

“There are innumerable particles of spiritual atoms, which are measured as one ten-thousandth of the upper portion of the hair.”

He read the english translations and immediately lightened up. He said, “Hmmm…interesting…
I quickly gave him a paper which I was holding on to make notes. And he began his calculations.

Purport in maths

At the end of his writing spree, he said still thinking, “The scale used is absolutely right. Impressive..The Greeks also used a similar method to explain the atom“. I wrote that statement down in the paper (to the bottom right). He proceeded to talk a lot about how science had its origins in the early philosophical inquiries of man. “athāto brahma jijñāsā – now is the time to inquire about the absolute truth“, I recollected within me.

So, basically he deduced in the paper above that the size of the spirit soul can be approximately 1 nanometer (1 x 10-9). I can use this in my preaching activities, I thought. In case someone asks, “So…what is the size of the soul that you speak of? “. Almost boldly, I can say, “Sir…that would be 1 nanometer…any more questions? “.

The reason why I am saying “almost boldly” is because the nanotechnologist had made 3 assumptions in the above calculations:
(1) He said that the human hair could be around 100 micrometers
(2) And that the tip of the hair could be around 10 micrometer
(3) And that 1 nanometer is roughly equal to 6-10 atoms

No, that’s not good enough, I am thinking. I want the exact answer. No assumptions. So, I am trying to fix an appointment again to see if I can get him to split a hair into one-ten-thousandth times using the amazing power of nanotechnology. It’s my hair that’s on the line !

Will keep you updated.

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2 thoughts on “172. The tip of the hair

  1. Hare Krishna prabhu

    Dandavats. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Nice post!

    The size of the soul was calculated by scientist devotee, disciple of Srila Prabhupada, Sadaputa Das (Richard L Thompson).

    I do not remember the exact reference, but I think he estimated the size of the soul to be approximately
    2 angstrom units (which is 0.2 nanometers).

    I cannot find the exact reference but I remember reading this. Thought of sharing this with you.

    Haribol
    Anand

    Reply

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