Last updated

Bornc.598 CE
Diedc.668 CE
Known for
Scientific career
Fields Astronomy, mathematics
InfluencedVirtually all subsequent mathematics particularly Indian and Islamic mathematics

Brahmagupta (c.598c.668 CE) was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. He is the author of two early works on mathematics and astronomy: the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta (BSS, "correctly established doctrine of Brahma", dated 628), a theoretical treatise, and the Khaṇḍakhādyaka ("edible bite", dated 665), a more practical text.


Brahmagupta was the first to give rules to compute with zero . The texts composed by Brahmagupta were in elliptic verse[ clarification needed ] in Sanskrit, as was common practice in Indian mathematics. As no proofs are given, it is not known how Brahmagupta's results were derived. [1]

Life and career

Brahmagupta was born in 598 CE according to his own statement. He lived in Bhillamāla in Gurjaradesa [2] (modern Bhinmal in Rajasthan, India) during the reign of the Chavda dynasty ruler, Vyagrahamukha. He was the son of Jishnugupta and was a Hindu by religion, in particular, a Shaivite. [3] He lived and worked there for a good part of his life. Prithudaka Svamin, a later commentator, called him Bhillamalacharya, the teacher from Bhillamala. [4]

Bhillamala was the capital of the Gurjaradesa, the second-largest kingdom of Western India, comprising southern Rajasthan and northern Gujarat in modern-day India. It was also a centre of learning for mathematics and astronomy. Brahmagupta became an astronomer of the Brahmapaksha school, one of the four major schools of Indian astronomy during this period. He studied the five traditional Siddhantas on Indian astronomy as well as the work of other astronomers including Aryabhata I, Latadeva, Pradyumna, Varahamihira, Simha, Srisena, Vijayanandin and Vishnuchandra. [4]

In the year 628, at the age of 30, he composed the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta ("improved treatise of Brahma") which is believed to be a revised version of the received Siddhanta of the Brahmapaksha school of astronomy. Scholars state that he incorporated a great deal of originality to his revision, adding a considerable amount of new material. The book consists of 24 chapters with 1008 verses in the ārya metre. A good deal of it is astronomy, but it also contains key chapters on mathematics, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry and algorithmics, which are believed to contain new insights due to Brahmagupta himself. [4] [5] [6]

Later, Brahmagupta moved to Ujjaini, Avanti, [7] which was also a major centre for astronomy in central India. At the age of 67, he composed his next well-known work Khanda-khādyaka, a practical manual of Indian astronomy in the karana category meant to be used by students. [7]

Brahmagupta died in 668 CE, and he is presumed to have died in Ujjain.


Brahmagupta composed the following treatises:


Brahmagupta's mathematical advances were carried on further by Bhāskara II, a lineal descendant in Ujjain, who described Brahmagupta as the ganaka-chakra-chudamani (the gem of the circle of mathematicians). Prithudaka Svamin wrote commentaries on both of his works, rendering difficult verses into simpler language and adding illustrations. Lalla and Bhattotpala in the 8th and 9th centuries wrote commentaries on the Khanda-khadyaka. [9] Further commentaries continued to be written into the 12th century. [7]

A few decades after the death of Brahmagupta, Sindh came under the Arab Caliphate in 712 CE. Expeditions were sent into Gurjaradesa ("Al-Baylaman in Jurz", as per Arab historians). The kingdom of Bhillamala seems to have been annihilated but Ujjain repulsed the attacks. The court of Caliph Al-Mansur (754–775) received an embassy from Sindh, including an astrologer called Kanaka, who brought (possibly memorised) astronomical texts, including those of Brahmagupta. Brahmagupta's texts were translated into Arabic by Muhammad al-Fazari, an astronomer in Al-Mansur's court under the names Sindhind and Arakhand. An immediate outcome was the spread of the decimal number system used in the texts. The mathematician Al-Khwarizmi (800–850 CE) wrote a text called al-Jam wal-tafriq bi hisal-al-Hind (Addition and Subtraction in Indian Arithmetic), which was translated into Latin in the 13th century as Algorithmi de numero indorum. Through these texts, the decimal number system and Brahmagupta's algorithms for arithmetic have spread throughout the world. Al-Khwarizmi also wrote his own version of Sindhind, drawing on Al-Fazari's version and incorporating Ptolemaic elements. Indian astronomic material circulated widely for centuries, even passing into medieval Latin texts. [10] [11] [12]

The historian of science George Sarton called Brahmagupta "one of the greatest scientists of his race and the greatest of his time." [7]



Brahmagupta gave the solution of the general linear equation in chapter eighteen of Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta,

The difference between rupas, when inverted and divided by the difference of the [coefficients] of the unknowns, is the unknown in the equation. The rupas are [subtracted on the side] below that from which the square and the unknown are to be subtracted. [13]

which is a solution for the equation bx + c = dx + e where rupas refers to the constants c and e. The solution given is equivalent to x = ec/bd. He further gave two equivalent solutions to the general quadratic equation

18.44. Diminish by the middle [number] the square-root of the rupas multiplied by four times the square and increased by the square of the middle [number]; divide the remainder by twice the square. [The result is] the middle [number].
18.45. Whatever is the square-root of the rupas multiplied by the square [and] increased by the square of half the unknown, diminish that by half the unknown [and] divide [the remainder] by its square. [The result is] the unknown. [13]

which are, respectively, solutions for the equation ax2 + bx = c equivalent to,


He went on to solve systems of simultaneous indeterminate equations stating that the desired variable must first be isolated, and then the equation must be divided by the desired variable's coefficient. In particular, he recommended using "the pulverizer" to solve equations with multiple unknowns.

18.51. Subtract the colors different from the first color. [The remainder] divided by the first [color's coefficient] is the measure of the first. [Terms] two by two [are] considered [when reduced to] similar divisors, [and so on] repeatedly. If there are many [colors], the pulverizer [is to be used]. [13]

Like the algebra of Diophantus, the algebra of Brahmagupta was syncopated. Addition was indicated by placing the numbers side by side, subtraction by placing a dot over the subtrahend, and division by placing the divisor below the dividend, similar to our notation but without the bar. Multiplication, evolution, and unknown quantities were represented by abbreviations of appropriate terms. [14] The extent of Greek influence on this syncopation, if any, is not known and it is possible that both Greek and Indian syncopation may be derived from a common Babylonian source. [14]


The four fundamental operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) were known to many cultures before Brahmagupta. This current system is based on the Hindu–Arabic numeral system and first appeared in the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta. Brahmagupta describes multiplication in the following way:

The multiplicand is repeated like a string for cattle, as often as there are integrant portions in the multiplier and is repeatedly multiplied by them and the products are added together. It is multiplication. Or the multiplicand is repeated as many times as there are component parts in the multiplier. [15]

Indian arithmetic was known in Medieval Europe as modus Indorum meaning "method of the Indians". In the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta, four methods for multiplication were described, including gomūtrikā, which is said to be close to the present day methods. [16] In the beginning of chapter twelve of his Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta, entitled "Calculation", Brahmagupta details operations on fractions. The reader is expected to know the basic arithmetic operations as far as taking the square root, although he explains how to find the cube and cube-root of an integer and later gives rules facilitating the computation of squares and square roots. He then gives rules for dealing with five types of combinations of fractions: a/c + b/c; a/c × b/d; a/1 + b/d; a/c + b/d × a/c = a(d + b)/cd; and a/cb/d × a/c = a(db)/cd. [17]


Brahmagupta then goes on to give the sum of the squares and cubes of the first n integers.

12.20. The sum of the squares is that [sum] multiplied by twice the [number of] step[s] increased by one [and] divided by three. The sum of the cubes is the square of that [sum] Piles of these with identical balls [can also be computed]. [18]

Here Brahmagupta found the result in terms of the sum of the first n integers, rather than in terms of n as is the modern practice. [19]

He gives the sum of the squares of the first n natural numbers as n(n + 1)(2n + 1)/6 and the sum of the cubes of the first n natural numbers as (n(n + 1)/2)2


Brahmagupta's Brahmasphuṭasiddhānta is the first book that provides rules for arithmetic manipulations that apply to zero and to negative numbers. [20] The Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta is the earliest known text to treat zero as a number in its own right, rather than as simply a placeholder digit in representing another number as was done by the Babylonians or as a symbol for a lack of quantity as was done by Ptolemy and the Romans. In chapter eighteen of his Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta, Brahmagupta describes operations on negative numbers. He first describes addition and subtraction,

18.30. [The sum] of two positives is positives, of two negatives negative; of a positive and a negative [the sum] is their difference; if they are equal it is zero. The sum of a negative and zero is negative, [that] of a positive and zero positive, [and that] of two zeros zero.


18.32. A negative minus zero is negative, a positive [minus zero] positive; zero [minus zero] is zero. When a positive is to be subtracted from a negative or a negative from a positive, then it is to be added. [13]

He goes on to describe multiplication,

18.33. The product of a negative and a positive is negative, of two negatives positive, and of positives positive; the product of zero and a negative, of zero and a positive, or of two zeros is zero. [13]

But his description of division by zero differs from our modern understanding:

18.34. A positive divided by a positive or a negative divided by a negative is positive; a zero divided by a zero is zero; a positive divided by a negative is negative; a negative divided by a positive is [also] negative.
18.35. A negative or a positive divided by zero has that [zero] as its divisor, or zero divided by a negative or a positive [has that negative or positive as its divisor]. The square of a negative or of a positive is positive; [the square] of zero is zero. That of which [the square] is the square is [its] square-root. [13]

Here Brahmagupta states that 0/0 = 0 and as for the question of a/0 where a ≠ 0 he did not commit himself. [21] His rules for arithmetic on negative numbers and zero are quite close to the modern understanding, except that in modern mathematics division by zero is left undefined.

Diophantine analysis

Pythagorean triplets

In chapter twelve of his Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta, Brahmagupta provides a formula useful for generating Pythagorean triples:

12.39. The height of a mountain multiplied by a given multiplier is the distance to a city; it is not erased. When it is divided by the multiplier increased by two it is the leap of one of the two who make the same journey. [22]

Or, in other words, if d = mx/x + 2, then a traveller who "leaps" vertically upwards a distance d from the top of a mountain of height m, and then travels in a straight line to a city at a horizontal distance mx from the base of the mountain, travels the same distance as one who descends vertically down the mountain and then travels along the horizontal to the city. [22] Stated geometrically, this says that if a right-angled triangle has a base of length a = mx and altitude of length b = m + d, then the length, c, of its hypotenuse is given by c = m(1 + x) − d. And, indeed, elementary algebraic manipulation shows that a2 + b2 = c2 whenever d has the value stated. Also, if m and x are rational, so are d, a, b and c. A Pythagorean triple can therefore be obtained from a, b and c by multiplying each of them by the least common multiple of their denominators.

Pell's equation

Brahmagupta went on to give a recurrence relation for generating solutions to certain instances of Diophantine equations of the second degree such as Nx2 + 1 = y2 (called Pell's equation) by using the Euclidean algorithm. The Euclidean algorithm was known to him as the "pulverizer" since it breaks numbers down into ever smaller pieces. [23]

The nature of squares:
18.64. [Put down] twice the square-root of a given square by a multiplier and increased or diminished by an arbitrary [number]. The product of the first [pair], multiplied by the multiplier, with the product of the last [pair], is the last computed.
18.65. The sum of the thunderbolt products is the first. The additive is equal to the product of the additives. The two square-roots, divided by the additive or the subtractive, are the additive rupas. [13]

The key to his solution was the identity, [24]

which is a generalisation of an identity that was discovered by Diophantus,

Using his identity and the fact that if (x1, y1) and (x2, y2) are solutions to the equations x2Ny2 = k1 and x2Ny2 = k2, respectively, then (x1x2 + Ny1y2, x1y2 + x2y1) is a solution to x2Ny2 = k1k2, he was able to find integral solutions to Pell's equation through a series of equations of the form x2Ny2 = ki. Brahmagupta was not able to apply his solution uniformly for all possible values of N, rather he was only able to show that if x2Ny2 = k has an integer solution for k = ±1, ±2, or ±4, then x2Ny2 = 1 has a solution. The solution of the general Pell's equation would have to wait for Bhāskara II in c.1150 CE. [24]


Brahmagupta's formula

Diagram for reference Brahmaguptas formula.svg
Diagram for reference

Brahmagupta's most famous result in geometry is his formula for cyclic quadrilaterals. Given the lengths of the sides of any cyclic quadrilateral, Brahmagupta gave an approximate and an exact formula for the figure's area,

12.21. The approximate area is the product of the halves of the sums of the sides and opposite sides of a triangle and a quadrilateral. The accurate [area] is the square root from the product of the halves of the sums of the sides diminished by [each] side of the quadrilateral. [18]

So given the lengths p, q, r and s of a cyclic quadrilateral, the approximate area is p + r/2 · q + s/2 while, letting t = p + q + r + s/2 , the exact area is


Although Brahmagupta does not explicitly state that these quadrilaterals are cyclic, it is apparent from his rules that this is the case. [25] Heron's formula is a special case of this formula and it can be derived by setting one of the sides equal to zero.


Brahmagupta dedicated a substantial portion of his work to geometry. One theorem gives the lengths of the two segments a triangle's base is divided into by its altitude:

12.22. The base decreased and increased by the difference between the squares of the sides divided by the base; when divided by two they are the true segments. The perpendicular [altitude] is the square-root from the square of a side diminished by the square of its segment. [18]

Thus the lengths of the two segments are 1/2(b ± c2a2/b).

He further gives a theorem on rational triangles. A triangle with rational sides a, b, c and rational area is of the form:

for some rational numbers u, v, and w. [26]

Brahmagupta's theorem

Brahmagupta's theorem states that AF = FD. Brahmaguptra's theorem.svg
Brahmagupta's theorem states that AF = FD.

Brahmagupta continues,

12.23. The square-root of the sum of the two products of the sides and opposite sides of a non-unequal quadrilateral is the diagonal. The square of the diagonal is diminished by the square of half the sum of the base and the top; the square-root is the perpendicular [altitudes]. [18]

So, in a "non-unequal" cyclic quadrilateral (that is, an isosceles trapezoid), the length of each diagonal is pr + qs.

He continues to give formulas for the lengths and areas of geometric figures, such as the circumradius of an isosceles trapezoid and a scalene quadrilateral, and the lengths of diagonals in a scalene cyclic quadrilateral. This leads up to Brahmagupta's famous theorem,

12.30–31. Imaging two triangles within [a cyclic quadrilateral] with unequal sides, the two diagonals are the two bases. Their two segments are separately the upper and lower segments [formed] at the intersection of the diagonals. The two [lower segments] of the two diagonals are two sides in a triangle; the base [of the quadrilateral is the base of the triangle]. Its perpendicular is the lower portion of the [central] perpendicular; the upper portion of the [central] perpendicular is half of the sum of the [sides] perpendiculars diminished by the lower [portion of the central perpendicular]. [18]


In verse 40, he gives values of π,

12.40. The diameter and the square of the radius [each] multiplied by 3 are [respectively] the practical circumference and the area [of a circle]. The accurate [values] are the square-roots from the squares of those two multiplied by ten. [18]

So Brahmagupta uses 3 as a "practical" value of π, and as an "accurate" value of π. The error in this "accurate" value is less than 1%.[ citation needed ]

Measurements and constructions

In some of the verses before verse 40, Brahmagupta gives constructions of various figures with arbitrary sides. He essentially manipulated right triangles to produce isosceles triangles, scalene triangles, rectangles, isosceles trapezoids, isosceles trapezoids with three equal sides, and a scalene cyclic quadrilateral.

After giving the value of pi, he deals with the geometry of plane figures and solids, such as finding volumes and surface areas (or empty spaces dug out of solids). He finds the volume of rectangular prisms, pyramids, and the frustum of a square pyramid. He further finds the average depth of a series of pits. For the volume of a frustum of a pyramid, he gives the "pragmatic" value as the depth times the square of the mean of the edges of the top and bottom faces, and he gives the "superficial" volume as the depth times their mean area. [27]


Sine table

In Chapter 2 of his Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta, entitled Planetary True Longitudes, Brahmagupta presents a sine table:

2.2–5. The sines: The Progenitors, twins; Ursa Major, twins, the Vedas; the gods, fires, six; flavors, dice, the gods; the moon, five, the sky, the moon; the moon, arrows, suns [...] [28]

Here Brahmagupta uses names of objects to represent the digits of place-value numerals, as was common with numerical data in Sanskrit treatises. Progenitors represents the 14 Progenitors ("Manu") in Indian cosmology or 14, "twins" means 2, "Ursa Major" represents the seven stars of Ursa Major or 7, "Vedas" refers to the 4 Vedas or 4, dice represents the number of sides of the tradition die or 6, and so on. This information can be translated into the list of sines, 214, 427, 638, 846, 1051, 1251, 1446, 1635, 1817, 1991, 2156, 2312, 1459, 2594, 2719, 2832, 2933, 3021, 3096, 3159, 3207, 3242, 3263, and 3270, with the radius being 3270. [29]

Interpolation formula

In 665 Brahmagupta devised and used a special case of the Newton–Stirling interpolation formula of the second-order to interpolate new values of the sine function from other values already tabulated. [30] The formula gives an estimate for the value of a function f at a value a + xh of its argument (with h > 0 and −1 ≤ x ≤ 1) when its value is already known at ah, a and a + h.

The formula for the estimate is:

where Δ is the first-order forward-difference operator, i.e.


Brahmagupta directed a great deal of criticism towards the work of rival astronomers, and his Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta displays one of the earliest schisms among Indian mathematicians. The division was primarily about the application of mathematics to the physical world, rather than about the mathematics itself. In Brahmagupta's case, the disagreements stemmed largely from the choice of astronomical parameters and theories. [31] Critiques of rival theories appear throughout the first ten astronomical chapters and the eleventh chapter is entirely devoted to criticism of these theories, although no criticisms appear in the twelfth and eighteenth chapters. [31]

Some of the important contributions made by Brahmagupta in astronomy are his methods for calculating the position of heavenly bodies over time (ephemerides), their rising and setting, conjunctions, and the calculation of solar and lunar eclipses. [32]

In chapter seven of his Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta, entitled Lunar Crescent, Brahmagupta rebuts the idea that the Moon is farther from the Earth than the Sun.[ clarification needed ] He does this by explaining the illumination of the Moon by the Sun. [33]

1. If the moon were above the sun, how would the power of waxing and waning, etc., be produced from calculation of the longitude of the moon? The near half would always be bright.

2. In the same way that the half seen by the sun of a pot standing in sunlight is bright, and the unseen half dark, so is [the illumination] of the moon [if it is] beneath the sun.

3. The brightness is increased in the direction of the sun. At the end of a bright [i.e. waxing] half-month, the near half is bright and the far half dark. Hence, the elevation of the horns [of the crescent can be derived] from calculation. [...] [34]

He explains that since the Moon is closer to the Earth than the Sun, the degree of the illuminated part of the Moon depends on the relative positions of the Sun and the Moon, and this can be computed from the size of the angle between the two bodies. [33]

Further work exploring the longitudes of the planets, diurnal rotation, lunar and solar eclipses, risings and settings, the moon's crescent and conjunctions of the planets, are discussed in his treatise Khandakhadyaka.

See also

Citations and footnotes

  1. Brahmagupta biography, Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland, November 2000
  2. Sachau, Edward C. (1910), Alberuni's India, Volume I, London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Trubner, p. 153 via, Brahma-siddhānta, so-called from Brahman, composed by Brahmagupta, the son of Jishnu, from the town of Bhillamāla between Multān and Anhilwāra, 16 yojana from the latter place (?)
  3. Bhattacharyya 2011 , p. 185: "Brahmagupta, one of the most celebrated mathematicians of the East, indeed of the world, was born in the year 598 CE, in the town of Bhillamala during the reign of King Vyaghramukh of the Chapa Dynasty."
  4. 1 2 3 Gupta 2008, p. 162.
  5. Bhattacharyya 2011, pp. 185–186.
  6. Bose, Sen & Subbarayappa 1971.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Gupta 2008, p. 163.
  8. 1 2 3 Pingree, David E. (1970–1994). Pingree's Census of the Exact Sciences in Sanskrit. APS. pp. A4, 256 ff., A5, 239-240 et passim.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  9. Bhattacharyya 2011, p. 185.
  10. Avari 2013, p. 32.
  11. Young, M. J. L.; Latham, J. D.; Serjeant, R. B. (2 November 2006), Religion, Learning and Science in the 'Abbasid Period, Cambridge University Press, pp. 302–303, ISBN   978-0-521-02887-5
  12. van Bladel, Kevin (28 November 2014), "Eighth Century Indian Astronomy in the Two Cities of Peace", in Asad Q. Ahmed; Benham Sadeghi; Robert G. Hoyland (eds.), Islamic Cultures, Islamic Contexts: Essays in Honor of Professor Patricia Crone, BRILL, pp. 257–294, ISBN   978-90-04-28171-4
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Plofker (2007 , pp. 428–434)
  14. 1 2 Boyer (1991 , "China and India" p. 221) "he was the first one to give a general solution of the linear Diophantine equation ax + by = c, where a, b, and c are integers. [...] It is greatly to the credit of Brahmagupta that he gave all integral solutions of the linear Diophantine equation, whereas Diophantus himself had been satisfied to give one particular solution of an indeterminate equation. Inasmuch as Brahmagupta used some of the same examples as Diophantus, we see again the likelihood of Greek influence in India – or the possibility that they both made use of a common source, possibly from Babylonia. It is interesting to note also that the algebra of Brahmagupta, like that of Diophantus, was syncopated. Addition was indicated by juxtaposition, subtraction by placing a dot over the subtrahend, and division by placing the divisor below the dividend, as in our fractional notation but without the bar. The operations of multiplication and evolution (the taking of roots), as well as unknown quantities, were represented by abbreviations of appropriate words."
  15. Brahmagupta; Bhāskara II (1817). Algebra, with Arithmetic and Mensuration, from the Sanscrit of Brahmegupta and Bháscara. Translated by Henry Thomas Colebrooke. John Murray. p. 319.
  16. Tiwari, Sarju (1992), Mathematics in History, Culture, Philosophy, and Science: From Ancient Times to Modern Age, Mittal Publications, pp. 91–, ISBN   978-81-7099-404-6
  17. Plofker (2007 , pp. 422) The reader is apparently expected to be familiar with basic arithmetic operations as far as the square-root; Brahmagupta merely notes some points about applying them to fractions. The procedures for finding the cube and cube-root of an integer, however, are described (compared the latter to Aryabhata's very similar formulation). They are followed by rules for five types of combinations: [...]
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Plofker (2007 , pp. 421–427)
  19. Plofker (2007 , p. 423) Here the sums of the squares and cubes of the first n integers are defined in terms of the sum of the n integers itself;
  20. Kaplan, Robert (1999). The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero. London: Allen Lane/The Penguin Press. pp. 68–75.
  21. Boyer (1991 , p. 220): However, here again Brahmagupta spoiled matters somewhat by asserting that 0 ÷ 0 = 0, and on the touchy matter of a ÷ 0, he did not commit himself.
  22. 1 2 Plofker (2007 , p. 426)
  23. Stillwell (2004 , pp. 44–46): In the seventh century CE the Indian mathematician Brahmagupta gave a recurrence relation for generating solutions of x2Dy2= 1, as we shall see in Chapter 5. The Indians called the Euclidean algorithm the "pulverizer" because it breaks numbers down to smaller and smaller pieces. To obtain a recurrence one has to know that a rectangle proportional to the original eventually recurs, a fact that was rigorously proved only in 1768 by Lagrange.
  24. 1 2 Stillwell (2004 , pp. 72–74)
  25. Plofker (2007 , p. 424) Brahmagupta does not explicitly state that he is discussing only figures inscribed in circles, but it is implied by these rules for computing their circumradius.
  26. Stillwell (2004 , p. 77)
  27. Plofker (2007 , p. 427) After the geometry of plane figures, Brahmagupta discusses the computation of volumes and surface areas of solids (or empty spaces dug out of solids). His straightforward rules for the volumes of a rectangular prism and pyramid are followed by a more ambiguous one, which may refer to finding the average depth of a sequence of puts with different depths. The next formula apparently deals with the volume of a frustum of a square pyramid, where the "pragmatic" volume is the depth times the square of the mean of the edges of the top and bottom faces, while the "superficial" volume is the depth times their mean area.
  28. Plofker (2007 , p. 419)
  29. Plofker (2007 , pp. 419–420) Brahmagupta's sine table, like much other numerical data in Sanskrit treatises, is encoded mostly in concrete-number notation that uses names of objects to represent the digits of place-value numerals, starting with the least significant. [...]
    There are fourteen Progenitors ("Manu") in Indian cosmology; "twins" of course stands for 2; the seven stars of Ursa Major (the "Sages") for 7, the four Vedas, and the four sides of the traditional dice used in gambling, for 6, and so on. Thus Brahmagupta enumerates his first six sine-values as 214, 427, 638, 846, 1051, 1251. (His remaining eighteen sines are 1446, 1635, 1817, 1991, 2156, 2312, 1459, 2594, 2719, 2832, 2933, 3021, 3096, 3159, 3207, 3242, 3263, 3270). The Paitamahasiddhanta, however, specifies an initial sine-value of 225 (although the rest of its sine-table is lost), implying a trigonometric radius of R = 3438 approx= C(')/2π: a tradition followed, as we have seen, by Aryabhata. Nobody knows why Brahmagupta chose instead to normalize these values to R = 3270.
  30. Joseph (2000, pp.285–86).
  31. 1 2 Plofker (2007 , pp. 418–419)
  32. Teresi, Dick (2002). Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science . Simon and Schuster. p.  135. ISBN   0-7432-4379-X.
  33. 1 2 Plofker (2007 , pp. 419–420) Brahmagupta discusses the illumination of the moon by the sun, rebutting an idea maintained in scriptures: namely, that the moon is farther from the earth than the sun is. In fact, as he explains, because the moon is closer the extent of the illuminated portion of the moon depends on the relative positions of the moon and the sun, and can be computed from the size of the angular separation α between them.
  34. Plofker (2007 , p. 420)

Related Research Articles

Number Mathematical description of the common concept

A number is a mathematical object used to count, measure, and label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with number words. More universally, individual numbers can be represented by symbols, called numerals; for example, "5" is a numeral that represents the number five. As only a relatively small number of symbols can be memorized, basic numerals are commonly organized in a numeral system, which is an organized way to represent any number. The most common numeral system is the Hindu–Arabic numeral system, which allows for the representation of any number using a combination of ten fundamental numeric symbols, called digits. In addition to their use in counting and measuring, numerals are often used for labels, for ordering, and for codes. In common usage, a numeral is not clearly distinguished from the number that it represents.

In algebra, a quadratic equation is any equation that can be rearranged in standard form as

Imaginary unit Principal square root of −1

The imaginary unit or unit imaginary number is a solution to the quadratic equation x2 + 1 = 0. Although there is no real number with this property, i can be used to extend the real numbers to what are called complex numbers, using addition and multiplication. A simple example of the use of i in a complex number is 2 + 3i.

Partial differential equation Multivariable functions and their partial derivatives

In mathematics, a partial differential equation (PDE) is an equation which imposes relations between the various partial derivatives of a multivariable function.

Quadratic formula formula that provides the solutions to a quadratic equation

In elementary algebra, the quadratic formula is a formula that provides the solution(s) to a quadratic equation. There are other ways of solving a quadratic equation instead of using the quadratic formula, such as factoring, completing the square, graphing and others.

Exponentiation Mathematical operation

Exponentiation is a mathematical operation, written as bn, involving two numbers, the baseb and the exponent or powern, and pronounced as "b raised to the power of n". When n is a positive integer, exponentiation corresponds to repeated multiplication of the base: that is, bn is the product of multiplying n bases:

Negative number Real number that is strictly less than zero

In mathematics, a negative number represents an opposite. In the real number system, a negative number is a number that is less than zero. Negative numbers are often used to represent the magnitude of a loss or deficiency. A debt that is owed may be thought of as a negative asset, a decrease in some quantity may be thought of as a negative increase. If a quantity, such as the charge on an electron, may have either of two opposite senses, then one may choose to distinguish between those senses—perhaps arbitrarily—as positive and negative. Negative numbers are used to describe values on a scale that goes below zero, such as the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales for temperature. The laws of arithmetic for negative numbers ensure that the common-sense idea of an opposite is reflected in arithmetic. For example, −(−3) = 3 because the opposite of an opposite is the original value.

Cubic equation Polynomial equation of degree 3

In algebra, a cubic equation in one variable is an equation of the form

Division by zero The result yielded by a real number when divided by zero

In mathematics, division by zero is division where the divisor (denominator) is zero. Such a division can be formally expressed as where a is the dividend (numerator). In ordinary arithmetic, the expression has no meaning, as there is no number which, when multiplied by 0, gives a, and so division by zero is undefined. Since any number multiplied by zero is zero, the expression is also undefined; when it is the form of a limit, it is an indeterminate form. Historically, one of the earliest recorded references to the mathematical impossibility of assigning a value to is contained in Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley's criticism of infinitesimal calculus in 1734 in The Analyst.

In algebra, the Brahmagupta–Fibonacci identity expresses the product of two sums of two squares as a sum of two squares in two different ways. Hence the set of all sums of two squares is closed under multiplication. Specifically, the identity says

In mathematics, an algebraic equation or polynomial equation is an equation of the form

Bhāskara II

Bhāskara also known as Bhāskarācārya, and as Bhāskara II to avoid confusion with Bhāskara I, was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. He was born in Bijapur in Karnataka.

Bhāskara was a 7th-century mathematician and astronomer, who was the first to write numbers in the Hindu decimal system with a circle for the zero, and who gave a unique and remarkable rational approximation of the sine function in his commentary on Aryabhata's work. This commentary, Āryabhaṭīyabhāṣya, written in 629 CE, is among the oldest known prose works in Sanskrit on mathematics and astronomy. He also wrote two astronomical works in the line of Aryabhata's school, the Mahābhāskarīya and the Laghubhāskarīya.

Indian mathematics emerged in the Indian subcontinent from 1200 BC until the end of the 18th century. In the classical period of Indian mathematics, important contributions were made by scholars like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara II, and Varāhamihira. The decimal number system in use today was first recorded in Indian mathematics. Indian mathematicians made early contributions to the study of the concept of zero as a number, negative numbers, arithmetic, and algebra. In addition, trigonometry was further advanced in India, and, in particular, the modern definitions of sine and cosine were developed there. These mathematical concepts were transmitted to the Middle East, China, and Europe and led to further developments that now form the foundations of many areas of mathematics.

The Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta is the main work of Brahmagupta, written c. 628. This text of mathematical astronomy contains significant mathematical content, including a good understanding of the role of zero, rules for manipulating both negative and positive numbers, a method for computing square roots, methods of solving linear and quadratic equations, and rules for summing series, Brahmagupta's identity, and Brahmagupta’s theorem.

The chakravala method is a cyclic algorithm to solve indeterminate quadratic equations, including Pell's equation. It is commonly attributed to Bhāskara II, although some attribute it to Jayadeva. Jayadeva pointed out that Brahmagupta's approach to solving equations of this type could be generalized, and he then described this general method, which was later refined by Bhāskara II in his Bijaganita treatise. He called it the Chakravala method: chakra meaning "wheel" in Sanskrit, a reference to the cyclic nature of the algorithm. C.-O. Selenius held that no European performances at the time of Bhāskara, nor much later, exceeded its marvellous height of mathematical complexity.

In algebra, Brahmagupta's identity says that, for given , the product of two numbers of the form is itself a number of that form. In other words, the set of such numbers is closed under multiplication. Specifically:

Algebra can essentially be considered as doing computations similar to those of arithmetic but with non-numerical mathematical objects. However, until the 19th century, algebra consisted essentially of the theory of equations. For example, the fundamental theorem of algebra belongs to the theory of equations and is not, nowadays, considered as belonging to algebra.

In mathematics, an extraneous solution is a solution, such as that to an equation, that emerges from the process of solving the problem but is not a valid solution to the problem. A missing solution is a solution that is a valid solution to the problem, but disappeared during the process of solving the problem. Both are frequently the consequence of performing operations that are not invertible for some or all values of the variables, which prevents the chain of logical implications in the proof from being bidirectional.

Optic equation

In number theory, the optic equation is an equation that requires the sum of the reciprocals of two positive integers a and b to equal the reciprocal of a third positive integer c:


Further reading