65 Aryabhata Facts: The Mathematician Who Discovered Zero | Kidadl


65 Aryabhata Facts: The Mathematician Who Discovered Zero

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'Aryabhatiya' was notably popular in South India, where several mathematicians wrote about him.

Aryabhata correctly concluded that the planets and the Moon reflect sunlight. He went on to correct the flawed notion that eclipses were due to the shadows of the Moon and Earth and gave the correct explanation.

Born in Kusumapura, Pataliputra, or today's Patna, India in 476 CE, Aryabhata became one of the greatest Indian mathematicians-astronomers to be alive during the classic period of Indian astronomy and Indian mathematics. Notable contributions by Aryabhata are 'Arya-Siddhanta and 'Āryabhatīya'. He is also regarded as an early physicist due to his ideas about the relativity of motion. Bhaskara I, a mathematician, referred to Aryabhata as 'one belonging to the Asmaka country' or 'āsmakīya'. The Asmaka people settled in central India between the Godavari and Narmada rivers during the time of Buddha. It is also certain that Aryabhata spent some time living in Kusumapura for his advanced studies. In his work 'Aryabhtiya', Aryabhata mentions 'Lanka' several times, but it is an abstraction that stands for the position on the equator corresponding to the longitude as his Ujjayni.

Facts About Aryabhata

Aryabhata was one of the first astronomers to come up with a continuous counting system for solar days and assigned a number to each day.

  • A few pieces of archeological evidence indicate that Aryabhata was from the current day Kodungallur region of ancient Kerala.
  • Back in the day, Patliputra was a major communication network and a learning hub, helping Aryabhata with his discoveries.
  • It has also been speculated that Aryabhata was the head of the Nalanda University, Patliputra.
  • Unlike Brahmi numerals, Aryabhata made use of the Sanskrit tradition to denote alphabets and letters.
  • Due to his explanations and work on the planetary systems, he was given the 'Father of Algebra' title.
  • There are four divisions to his astronomical discoveries: heliocentrism, sidereal periods, eclipses, and the solar system.
  • Due to its verses and chapters, 'Aryabhatiya' was named 'Ashmakatantra' by Bhaskar I.
  • It is believed that Aryabhata spent most of his life in Kusumapura in Patliputra.
  • Although the exact time and place of his death are unknown, he died at the age of 74.
  • The first chapter of 'Aryabhatiya', called 'Gitikapada', has huge units of time and introduces a contrasting cosmology.
  • The second chapter of 'Aryabhatiya' called Ganitapada, has 33 verses that cover various equations, geometric and arithmetic progression, and mensuration.
  • The third chapter of 'Aryabhatiya' called 'Kalakriyapada', explains the week with seven-day with a name for each day, planetary positions, and contrasting units of time.
  • The fourth chapter of 'Aryabhatiya' called 'Golapada' explains zodiacs on the horizon, causes of night and day, the shape of our planet, trigonometric or geometric features of the celestial sphere.
  • It is believed that he used the term 'asana' or 'approaching' for the value of pi, to not only state the approximation but also state that the value is irrational or incommensurable.
  • When he solved the Diophantine equations, he called the solution 'kuttak' or 'breaking into pieces' method.
  • Aryabhata's astronomy system was known as the 'audayaka system,' in which dawn was determined at the equator or 'Lanka' and day from 'Uday'.
  • A few suggest that one of his works has been translated into the Arabic text called 'Al-nanf' or 'Al-ntf.'

Aryabhata's Inventions And Discoveries

Aryabhata's contribution includes many treatises on astronomy and mathematics, and some of these works are lost. 'Aryabhatiya' was his major work that covered astronomy and mathematics.

  • The mathematical position of 'Aryabhatiya' involves spherical trigonometry, plane trigonometry, algebra, arithmetic, and many other topics.
  • A lost work of his called 'Arya-Siddhanta' came to light because of his contemporary, a polymath called Varahamihira, and through later famous mathematicians, Bhaskara I and Bahmagupta.
  • The 'Arya-Siddhanta' had descriptions of many astronomical instruments, like a shadow instrument and a gnomon.
  • 'Aryabhatiya' is written in sutra literature. The text is divided into four chapters and has 108 verses, with 13 introductory verses.
  • In verse form, Aryabhata invented many things in the fields of astronomy and mathematics.
  • 'Aryabhatiya' is also popular for the description of the relativity of motion.
  • He also worked on the place value system that was first seen in the Bakhshali Manuscript of the third century.
  • Aryabhata did not use any kind of symbol for zero.
  • Georges Ifra, a French mathematician, argues that zero was included in the place value system of Aryabhata.
  • He was right when he insisted that our planet rotates on its axis every day and that the possible star movement is a relative motion due to the rotation of the Earth.
  • Aryabhata also worked on the estimation of pi and may have concluded the irrationality of pi.
  • Aryabhata discovered the formula for the area of a triangle in Ganitapada, the second chapter of 'Aryabhatiya'.
  • Aryabhata's calculations for the calendar have been used in India for the fixing of the Hindu calendar.
  • Aryabhata gave solutions to summarize the series of cubes and squares in his work, 'Aryabhatiya'.
  • Aryabhata also described the geocentric model of our solar system, presenting the Moon and Sun as being carried by epicycles.
  • Aryabhata provided a scientific explanation of lunar and solar eclipses.
  • He also calculated the length of the sidereal year and the Earth's diameter.
  • Aryabhata may have believed that all planets have elliptical orbits and are not circular.
Aryabhata did not name his works 'Aryabhtia,' but his contemporaries did.

Aryabhata's Family

Aryabhata is also known as Aryabhata the Elder or Aryabhata I. He is called Aryabhata I to avoid confusion between him and an Indian mathematician of the 10th century with the same name.

  • Aryabhata I is the earliest known Indian mathematician and astronomer.
  • He was born during the rule of the Gupta dynasty, also known as the Gupta era.
  • The year and place of his birth were estimated based on his influential works.
  • There is not much known about Aryabhata's family.
  • In his work 'Aryabhatiya', he states that his age was 23—3,600 years after 'Kali Yuga'.
  • As per his writings, the year was estimated at 499 CE, implying that he was born in 476 CE.
  • It was Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, a Persian chronicler and one of the most famous mathematicians, who suggested that Aryabhata must be called Aryabhata I.
  • The estimated birth date of Aryabhata is April 13, 476.
  • There is no authentic mention or data available about his parents.
  • As per S. Pillai, a scholar, Aryabhata the elder was married.
  • S. Pillai also states that Aryahata had a son called Devarajan, who was later a scholar of astrology.
  • After receiving early education in Kusumpur, Aryabhata attended Nalanda University for his higher education.
  • At Nalanda University, he not only studied Upanishads, Vedas, and philosophical texts but also studied Sanskrit, Apabramsa, and Prakrit languages.
  • Aryabhata is known for setting up an astronomical observatory at the Sun Temple located in Bihar's Taregana.
  • Aryabhata died in 550 CE in Patliputra, which was then under the Gupta Empire.

Aryabhata's Legacy

Not only did the work of Aryabhata influence the Indian astronomical tradition, but also many nearby cultures through translations. In the Islamic Golden Age, the Arabic translation was highly influential.

  • Al-Khwarizmi, a Persian polymath, cited a few of Aryabhata's works.
  • Al-Biruni, in the 10th century, said that the followers of Aryabhata believed that our planet rotated on its axis.
  • The definitions provided by Aryabhata for cosine, sine, inverse sine, and versine led to the birth of trigonometry.
  • His methods of astronomical calculation were very influential. They were used for the computation of Arabic astronomical tables.
  • The Jalali calendar that was introduced in 1073 CE was based on Aryabhata's calendric calculations.
  • Modern Afghanistan and Iran use a version of the Jalali calendar as their national calendar.
  • The government of Bihar established Patna's Aryabhata Knowledge University.
  • The 2008 Bihar State University Act governs the Aryabhata Knowledge University.
  • The first satellite of India and also a lunar crater are named Aryabhata in his honor.
  • The back of India's two-rupee note also featured the Aryabhata satellite.
  • The Aryabhata Maths Competition, an inter-school competition, was also named after him.
  • ISRO scientists discovered a bacteria species in the stratosphere in 2009 and named it Bacillus aryabhata.
  • For centuries, The Tables of Toledo in Latin were translated from Aryabhata's astronomical tables, and for centuries, they were the most precise ephemeris used in Europe.
  • The Greeks have also translated and adapted the works of Aryabhata.
  • The ARIES, or Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational Sciences, researches atmospheric sciences, astrophysics, and astronomy. It is located close to Nainital in India.

<p>With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.</p>

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