HIGH DILUTION A PARADOX?
Dr. Swarup Dutta
Research- in -Charge & Consultant Product Manager Allen's India Ltd.
Assistant General Secretary AFAHS
(Association for Advancement of Homoeopathic Science)
Hahnemann the propounder of the theory of ‘Similia similibus curentur’ developed a special process of dilution for use in Homoeopathic system of medicine, which created great deal of controversy.
Why Homoepathic science is being questioned?
The scientificity of no system of medicine is perhaps subject to more criticism and questions than that of Homoeopathy. The question that we have in our minds is –why?
Why only Homoeopathy, of all the methods of treatment, is under such a scrutiny by the scientific community?
The answer is simple – according to scientists, if Homoeopathy is to be accepted as a science then the scientific community has to reject a few of its established concepts which is graded as ‘laws’. Since the discovery of Homoeopathy in 1790 it was gaining popularity in leaps and bounds. The scientific community had no problems with it unless Hahnemann came up with a process called ‘Potentisation’ in 5th edition of Organon and a Chemist called Avogadro came up with a number in 1860 that changed Chemistry forever.
WHAT IS AVOGADRO’S NUMBER?
It was long after Avogadro that the idea of a mole was introduced. Since a molecular weight in grams (mole) of any substance contains the same number of molecules, then according to Avogadro's Principle, the molar volumes of all gases should be the same. The number of molecules in one mole is now called Avogadro's number. It must be emphasized that Avogadro, of course, had no knowledge of moles, or of the number that was to bear his name. Thus the number was never actually determined by Avogadro himself.
As we all know today, Avogadro's number is very large, the presently accepted value being 6.0221367 x 1023. The size of such a number is extremely difficult to comprehend. There are many awe-inspiring illustrations to help visualize the enormous size of this number. For example: An Avogadro's number of standard soft drink cans would cover the surface of the earth to a depth of over 200 miles.
- If you had Avogadro's number of unpopped popcorn kernels, and spread them across the United States of America, the country would be covered in popcorn to a depth of over 9 miles.
- If we were able to count atoms at the rate of 10 million per second, it would take about 2 billion years to count the atoms in one mole.
The Avogadro number (symbols: L, NA), also called the Avogadro constant is the number of "entities" (usually, atoms or molecules) in one mole, that is the number of carbon-12 atoms in 12 grams (0.012 kg) of unbound carbon-12 in its ground state. The current best estimate of this number is:
The value of the number was first indicated by Johann Josef Loschmidt, who in 1865 computed the number of particles in one cubic centimeter of gas in standard conditions. The term Loschmidt constant is thus more correctly applied for this latter value, which can be said to be proportional to the Avogadro number. However, in German language literature, "Loschmidt constant" is used to refer to both this usage, as well as the number of entities in a mole.
Avogadro's Law implies that the relationship occurring between the weights of same volumes of different gases (at the same temperature and pressure) corresponds to the relationship between respective molecular weights. Hence, relative molecular masses can be calculated from the masses of gas samples.
Avogadro developed this hypothesis after Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac had published in 1808 his law on volumes (and combining gases). The greatest difficulty Avogadro had to resolve was the huge confusion at that time regarding atoms and molecules – one of the most important contributions of Avogadro's work was clearly distinguishing one from the other, admitting that simple particles too could be composed of molecules, and that these are composed of atoms. For instance, John Dalton did not consider this possibility. Avogadro did not actually use the word "atom" as the words "atom" and "molecule" were used almost without difference. He considered that there were three kinds of "molecules," including an "elementary molecule" (our "atom"). Also, a keener attention was given to the definition of mass, as distinguished from weight.
In 1814 he published Mémoire sur les masses relatives des molécules des corps simples, ou densités presumees de leur gaz, et sur la constitution de quelques-uns de leur composés, pour servir de suite à l'Essai sur le même sujet, publié dans le Journal de Physique, juillet 1811 ,about gas densities.
In 1821 he published another memoria, Nouvelles considérations sur la théorie des proportions déterminées dans les combinaisons, et sur la détermination des masses des molécules des corps and little after Mémoire sur la manière de ramener les composès organiques aux lois ordinaires des proportions déterminées.
In 1841 he completed and published his work in ‘Fisica dei corpi ponderabili, ossia Trattato della costituzione materiale de' corpi’, 4 volumes.
HOW AVOGADROS HYPOTHESIS BECAME A PART OF SCIENCE ?
The scientific community did not reserve great attention to his theory, so Avogadro's hypothesis was not immediately accepted when announced. André-Marie Ampère too was able three years later to achieve the same result by another method (in his Sur la détermination des proportions dans lesquelles les corps se combinent d'après le nombre et la disposition respective des molécules dont leurs particules intégrantes sont composées), but the same indifferent regard was given to his theories as well.
Only with studies by Gerhardt, Laurent and Williamson on organic chemistry, was it possible to demonstrate that Avogadro's law was indispensable to explain why same quantities of molecules, brought to a vapour state, have the same volume.
Unfortunately, in the performance of related experiments, some inorganic substances showed exceptions to the law. The matter was finally concluded by Stanislao Cannizzaro, as announced at Karlsruhe Congress (1860, four years after Avogadro's death), where he explained that these exceptions happened because of molecular dissociations which occurred at certain temperatures, and that Avogadro's law could determine not only molar masses, but as a consequence, atomic masses too.
In 1911, a historic meeting took place in Turin to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the publication of Avogadro's classic 1811 memoir. King Victor Emmanuel III was there to pay homage to Avogadro. Thus Avogadro's great contribution to chemistry was recognised and he is recognised as a great Italian chemist. (Note: In 1911, Victor Emmanuel III was the King of a unified Italy with Rome instead or Turin as its capital. The unification of Italy did not happen during the life time of Avogadro. In fact, Avogadro's famous 1811 paper was written in French.)
Clausius, by his kinetic theory on gases, was able to give another confirmation of Avogadro's law. Not long after, in his researches regarding dilute solutions (and the consequent discovery of analogies between the behaviour of solutions and gases), J. H. van 't Hoff added his final consensus for the triumph of the Italian scientist, who since then has been considered the founder of the atomic-molecular theory.
HOW AVOGADRO’S NUMBER SHOOK HOMOEOPATHY ?
The Avogadro’s number shook the very basis of Homoepathic system of dilution. Making thereby the whole system of medicament unacceptable to the scientific world. Because on projection of Avogadro’s hypothesis to the Homoeopathic system of dilution, it was found that once the 12th Centesimal or 24th Decimal Homoeopathic dilution is surpassed, there cannot exist any atom or molecule of the original drug substance.
To be more precise ,the molecular weight of Ferrum Metallicum being 55.85,or molecular weight of Sodium Chloride being 58.44 or that of molecular weight of Aurum Metallicum being 197.0 ,therefore 55.85 grams of Ferrum Metallicum or 58.44 grams of Sodium Chloride or 197.0 grams of Gold contain a fixed number of molecules of the respective substance being 6.023x 1023 ( roughly 24 zeros after one).
Now if we start preparing homoeopathic medicines with the same quantity,while going to 2 C potency from 1 C potency we will have to take only one part out of hundred,which will contain only hundredth part of original number of molecules(i.e twenty two zeros after one).In the next potency it will be again hundredth part of that previous potency (i.e twenty zeros after one) and so on.
Thus at every higher potency two zeros being eliminated, once the 12th potency is reached there cannot be theoretically be any atom or molecule of the original drug substance present anymore.This was even supported by practical findings through highly sensitive instruments like TLC, High performance Liquid chromatography, UV Spectophotometry and NMR.
The question now is what is there in the medicine then and how it acts?
POTENTISATION OPPOSES LAW OF MASS ACTION AS WELL
Homeopathic potentisation process not only seems to be positioned against the well known Avogadro’s number but it opposes another very established law of Physics (The law of mass action).
In chemistry, Law of Mass Action has two aspects: 1) the equilibrium aspect, concerning the composition of a reaction mixture at equilibrium and 2) the kinetic aspect concerning the rate equations for elementary reactions. Both aspects stem from the research by Guldberg and Waage (1864-1879) in which equilibrium constants were derived by using kinetic data and the rate equation which they had proposed. Guldberg and Waage also recognised that chemical equilibrium is a dynamic process in which rates of reaction for the forward and backward reactions must be equal.
Taken as a statement about kinetics, the law states that the rate of an elementary reaction (a reaction that proceeds through only one transition state, that is one mechanistic step) is proportional to the product of the concentrations of that participating molecules. In modern chemistry this is derived using statistical mechanics.
Taken as a statement about equilibrium, that law gives an expression for the equilibrium constant, a quantity characterising chemical equilibrium. In modern chemistry this is derived using equilibrium thermodynamics.
In very simple words Higher the concentration stronger the chemical property of the substance.
Homoeopathic potencies on other hand states- higher the dilution (as opposed to concentration) stronger is the medicine. So scientists cannot accept both Homoeopathic potentisation process as well as these well established laws at the same time .
SO IS THERE ANY ANSWER TO THESE CHALLENGES?
Yes, there is an answer thanks to some spectacular discoveries of science in the late twentieth century and Dr.A.C.Dutta for collating these findings to establish the science of Homoeopathy on solid scientific grounds.The theory is based on Quantumphysics and will occupy a huge space if tried to be explained iin detail in this journal.So I will be very specific about it so that I can just point out a few more theories associated with modus operandi of Homoeopathic medicines.
RECENT RESEARCH BREAKS AN OLD JINX
Earlier the notion was that matter or mass cannot be created or destroyed .It was also considered that Energy and matter are two distinct realm in nature governed by separte laws.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING POTENTISATION?
Throughout the nineteenth century most physicist regard Newton’s dynamic laws as sacrosanct.But it became increasingly clear during the early years of twentieth century that many phenomena,especially those associated with radiation, defy explanation by Newtonian Physics.
Although no one had any notion about the way radiation and matter are relatedor by what process matter emits or absorbs radiation,one had any doubt that these questions would be answered in time by proper application of Newton’s laws of motion and Maxwell’s theory of electro magnetic field.
Max Planck’s discovery of the quantum action was an event of first order that changed the whole aspect of physics and deeply influenced all neighbouring sciences,from Chemistry to Biology.
Quantum mechanics is concerned with phenomenon that are of so small scale that they cannot be described in classical terms,such as the ultra micro doses of potentised Homoeopathic medicines.
It is an outgrowth of the concept that all forms of energy are related in discrete units or bundles called’quanta’and deals with interactions of matter and radiation in terms of observable quantities.
As opposed to the earlier notion that matter cannot be created or destroyed, it has now been observed that matter can be created, for instance by materialization of a quantum of electromagnetic energy (photon or gamma ray) into an electron positron pair or Positronium. Matter may also be destroyed by annihilation of this pair of pair elementary particles to pair of Gamma rays.
In the process of Homoeopathic potentisation the very first thing that occurs is the production of electromagnetic fields, due to friction between ethanol and molecules and glass surface.
According to recent findings fluctuation of electromagnetic fields in a single direction cause creation of matter(Positronium) from energy( Electromagnetic waves).The stability of these particles are said to depend on the surrounding medium and the bonds these particles form with each other.
Positronium is a single positive charge without any mass or negligible mass. So it is also called Light isotope of Hydrogen( atomic number being 1 and mass number being 0 as it has negligible mass unlike Hydrogen atom where Protons are positive charges with a mass)
According to Dr.A.C.Dutta, during potentisation, these light isotopes, influenced by the specific molecular fields of the original drug substance clump with each other imitating the drug molecule e.g 79 positronium particles positronium clump with each other to form a positronium complex or Light isotope of gold (atomic number 79)in the presence of Gold molecules (during potentisation).
At a certain stage these light isotopes (also functioning as auto-catalytic agents give birth to the next generation in increased number and this carries on even in the absence of original drug molecules( beyond the 12th Centesimal potency).
So though the number of particles of the original drug substance decrease with increasing potency,the number of these light isotopes(which are miniature clones of the original drug substance which have no or negligible mass) keep increasing.
So in other words the concentration of light isotopes or particles increase manifold with each increased potency making it stronger or more potent.
So there is no clash between Homoeopathic Potentisation and Avogadro’s number or Law of mass action.
This needs a separate chapter but to be very brief these light isotopes owing to their very small size penetrates to the level of the genes to correct mutations(as most diseases today are known to be an effect of genetic mutations or anomalies).This processis called Reverse Mutation and resembles ‘Hering’s law of cure’ almost exactly( diseases get cured in the reverse order of their first coming).\
It is important to mention here that the three Chronic miasms namele –Psora , Sycosis,and Syphilis also closely resemble the three types of genetic mutation namely Sub lethal(Psora),Semi lethal(Sycosis) and Lethal (Syphilis).
The acute diseases where such genetic mutation is not the actual cause, an antigen –antibody like reaction is said to cure the diseases and bring about cure.
So to conclude it can be safely stated Homoeopathy is perhaps a more advanced science than all other systems of medicine .It is a ‘Light isotopic mode of genetic treatment.’ Lets wait and watch what world scientists have to say about this therapeutic system – the Ball is now in their court.