Babylonians developed trigonometry 3700 years back, much earlier than Greeks

Babylonians developed trigonometry 3700 years back, much earlier than Greeks”

"The huge mystery, until now, was its goal - why the ancient scribes carried out the complex task of generating and sorting the numbers on the tablet", Mansfield said.

Australian scientists say the ancient Babylonians knew about a form of trigonometry far more advanced than the modern-day version.

He wrote the paper with UNSW Associate Professor Norman Wildberger.

Plimpton 322 was discovered in the early 1900s in southern Iraq by Edgar Banks, an archaeologist who the fictional character Indiana Jones was based on, the scientists said.

For decades mathematicians have puzzled over the four columns and 15 rows of numbers written on this particular tablet in its cuneiform script.

'The tablet not only contains the world's oldest trigonometric table; it is also the only completely accurate trigonometric table, because of the very different Babylonian approach to arithmetic and geometry'. "Plimpton 322 was a powerful tool that could have been used for surveying fields or making architectural calculations to build palaces, temples or step pyramids", said Mansfield, who first read about the tablet when preparing material for first-year math students.

After conducting a historiographical analysis of the tablet's purported goal, Mansfield and Wildberger took a closer look at the tablet and its inscriptions.

More news: Mexico, Canada Yawn At Trump's Threat To Blow Up NAFTA
More news: Organization in California to collect, donate solar eclipse glasses
More news: Deulofeu stars in Barca win over Betis in shadow of terror attack

Its use of ratio-based trigonometry rather than trigonometry based on angles and circles makes it the world's most accurate trigonometric table, Dr Mansfield says. It opens up new possibilities not just for modern mathematics research, but also for mathematics education.

Allen noted the most important finding from the tablet is the evidence of Pythagorean triples, indicating that Babylonians were seemingly aware of the Pythagorean theorem-years before Pythagoras.

Traditionally, Greek astronomer Hipparchus is credited with inventing trigonometry around 120 B.C. However, this tablet predates the astronomer by over 1,000 years. If the UNSW study does show how the tablet was used to find approximate solutions to equations involving triangles, only speculative historical context can determine exactly how the tablet was applied in day-to-day life said Wildberger. Its 15 rows describe a sequence of 15 right-angle triangles, which are steadily decreasing in inclination.

Building on previous research, Mansfield and Wildberger were able to show that two columns and 23 rows are missing-the original tablet contained six columns and 38 rows. In the study, the authors used the ancient base 60 system to demonstrate how scribes would have arrived at the numbers that were chiseled on Plimpton 322. Dr Daniel Mansfield of the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW attested to this benefit.

The ancient Babylonians had an advantage over our current counting system because they use base-60, instead of the base-10 system that we use.

"This is a rare example of the ancient world teaching us something new".

Like this


25 August 2017
Cavs trade Kyrie Irving to Celtics for package including Isaiah Thomas
Now that Irving has received his wish of being "the man", though, he should happily report to Boston before the upcoming campaign. Even if Thomas were to decide to sign with another team, the Cavs still could draft a top prospect to build with for the future.

25 August 2017
Is Pepper Potts engaged to Iron Man? New Instagram pic sparks buzz
Avengers: Infinity War lands on May 4, 2018, while the sequel is set for May 3, 2019. Marvel has released a few nuggets of information about Infinity War .

25 August 2017
Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 8 with smarter S Pen
Samsung said the Note8 will be available in mid-September in midnight black, orchid gray, maple gold and deep sea blue. Galaxy Note 8 will come with 64-bit Exynos 8895 octa-core processor in regions like India and other Asian countries.

23 August 2017
Phoenix prepares for President Trump rally
It appears Arpaio, like everybody else, will have to wait until Tuesday night's rally to learn what the president plans to do. Nor have they issued any alerts about the possibility of out-of-state extremist groups planning to attend, Williams said.

22 August 2017
Nasri completes Antalyaspor move from Man City
The playmaker played his part in two Premier League wins at the Etihad Stadium, while also winning the League Cup in 2013/14. Samir Nasri has completed his £8million move to Turkish side Antalyaspor, ending his six-year stay at Manchester City .

22 August 2017
North Korea resumes threats ahead of exercises
Donald Trump had promised "fire and fury" would hit North Korea if Kim Jong-un fired the missiles at the USA territory of Guam. Kim would "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees", a North Korean statement said last week.

22 August 2017
Clouds, rain may mar Monday's eclipse
The partial eclipse in Columbia is scheduled to begin around 1:13 p.m., with totality taking place around 2:41 p.m. For Wednesday , a 40 percent chance of scattered showers and storms mainly in northern and southern areas.

21 August 2017
Total says Maersk Oil $3 bln decommissioning liabilities taken into account
Total gains access to the Johan Sverdrup discovery (8.44%) and the UK's largest gas development, Culzean (49.99%). Total said the production it is buying from Maersk can generate free cash flow at less than $30 a barrel.

21 August 2017
Ton-up Dhawan powers India to big win over Sri Lanka
"The good thing is that he is capitalising on his purple patch.", Kohli said after India's massive 9 wicket victory in Dambulla . The Sanath Jayasuriya-led selection committee has fielded 40 players in ODIs since taking over in May previous year .

21 August 2017
Real Madrid ease past Deportivo in La Liga opener
Real has won five tourneys in the past four months: La Liga, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. Yet, the victory over Deportivo came once again at a price for Zidane after Sergio Ramos was sent off for two bookings.