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http://swarajyamag.com/ideas/ka%E1%B9%87ada-the-greatest-unsung-indian/Subhash Kak19 Dec, 2015
Kaṇāda is perhaps the greatest physicist before Newton as he anticipated most of Newton's laws of motion.
The names of Indian sages and scientists are well-known to scholars and to the literate layperson. High praise has been given to astronomers and mathematicians ranging from Baudhāyana to Ramanujan, and poets and philosophers from Vyāsa to Aurobindo. To give just one example, the famous linguist Leonard Bloomfield called Pāṇini "one of the greatest monuments of human intelligence."
Sadly, one sage who is largely unsung is Kaṇāda, son of Ulūka, the author of the Vaiśeṣika Sūtra. Generally believed to have lived around 600 BC, he is credited with the idea of the atom as a passing footnote in history books. In A.L. Basham's well-regarded The Wonder that Was India, he gets cursory mention in one line.
In my own study of the Vaiśeṣika, I have become convinced that Kaṇāda is perhaps the greatest physicist before Newton. As I show in this column, he anticipated most of Newton's laws of motion. Further, he attempted something that no physicist to date has dared to do: he created a formal system that includes space, time, matter, as well as observers.