From Academic Kids

Brahmagupta (ब्रह्मगुप्त) (598-668) was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. He was the head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, and during his tenure there wrote two texts on mathematics and astronomy: the Brahmasphutasiddhanta in 628, and the Khandakhadyaka in 665.

The Brahmasphutasiddhanta is the earliest known text other than the Mayan number system to treat zero as a number in its own right. It goes well beyond that, however, stating rules for arithmetic on negative numbers and zero which are quite close to the modern understanding. The major divergence is that Brahmagupta attempted to define division by zero, which is left undefined in modern mathematics. His definition is not terribly useful; for instance, he states that 0/0 = 0.

Brahmasphutasiddhanta has four and a half chapters devoted to pure math while the twelfth chapter, the Ganita, as the title reflects, deals with arithmetic progressions and a bit of geometry. The eighteenth chapter of Brahmagupta's work is called the Kuttaka. This is usually associated with the Aryabhata's method for solving the indeterminate equation ax - by = c. But here Kuttaka means algebra. Brahmagupta was the inventor of the method of solving indeterminate equations of the second degree (ie. the solution of the equation Nx^2 + 1 = y^2). He was also the first to use algebra to solve astronomical problems. It was through Brahmagupta's Brahma Sphuta Siddhanta that the Arabs came to know of Indian astronomy. The Famous King Khalif Abbasid Al Mansoor(712-775) founded Baghdad, which is situated on the banks of the Tigris, and made it a center of learning. The King invited a scholar of Ujjain by the name of Kanka in 770 A.D. Kanka used the Brahma Sphuta Siddhanta to explained the Hindu system of arithmetic astronomy. Al Fazaii translated Brahmugupta's work into Arabic upon the request of the King. Some of the important contributions made by Brahmagupta in astronomy are: methods for calculations of the motions and places of various planets, their rising and setting, conjunctions, and the calculation of eclipses of the sun and the moon. Brahmagupta criticized the Puranic view that the earth was flat or hollow like a bowl. Instead, he observed that the earth and heaven were round. However he wrongfully believed that the earth did not move.

See also

External links

fr:Brahmagupta it:Brahmagupta sa:ब्रह्मगुप्त: sl:Brahmagupta


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