How Ancient India Contributed to Mathematics

  • 14 May 2019

European mathematicians initially found it hard to accept certain theories.

The number zero has been used since the 3rd century in India. There are numerous evidences that Indian mathematicians made mathematical discoveries centuries before the Europeans did. They had contributed to the advancement of trigonometry, algebra, arithmetic and negative numbers. Even the decimal system employed today originated from India.

Rules for negative numbers

Mathematician Brahmagupta called positive numbers "fortunes" and negative numbers "debts", which he described as "A fortune subtracted from zero is a debt," and "a debt subtracted from zero is a fortune".

This is the current rule used in modern mathematics, where if you subtract a negative number, it is the same as adding a positive number. Brahmagupta taught that the product of a debt and a fortune is a debt – a positive number multiplied by a negative is a negative.

European mathematicians were reluctant to accept negative numbers because they view numbers solely as a count method and negative numbers can't be used in that way. Indian and Chinese mathematicians, however, saw it as a way to calculate debts.

Basis for calculus

This reluctance to adopt negative numbers, and the number zero, held European mathematics back for years. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was one of the first Europeans to use zero and the negatives in his development of calculus in the late 17th century. Calculus is used to measure rates of changes and is especially important in modern physics.

Indian mathematician Bhāskara had already written about many of Leibniz's theories 500 years earlier. He had also spoken about the Doiphantine equations, that would not be rediscovered in Europe centuries later.

Photo source: Detechter

Suggested Articles

Popular-Kollywood-Producer-V-Swaminathan-Passes-Away Entertainment
  • 10 Aug 2020

Popular Kollywood Producer V. Swaminathan Passes Away!

Our deepest condolence to the actor's family and friends...

Nayanthara-Opens-Up-About-The-Time-She-Took-A-Break-From-Movies Entertainment
  • 10 Aug 2020

Nayanthara Opens Up About The Time She Took A Break From Movies!

Actress Nayanthara opens up about her past...

Actress-Radhika-s-Adorable-Grandkids-Will-Steal-Your-Heart Kollywood
  • 10 Aug 2020

Actress Radhika's Adorable Grandkids Will Steal Your Heart!

Check out their adorable pictures here...

Black-Eyed-Peas-Pays-Tribute-To-Indian-Action-In-Hilarious-Deep-Fake-Video Entertainment
  • 10 Aug 2020

Black Eyed Peas Pays Tribute To Indian Action In Hilarious "Deep Fake" Video!

American music group Black Eyed Peas has released the music video for their latest number "Action", and it is a hilarious tribute to action scenes in Indian cinema. 

Have-You-Seen-The-Interior-Of-Actress-Samantha-s-House Entertainment
  • 10 Aug 2020

Have You Seen The Interior Of Actress Samantha's House?

Check out Samantha's luxury house here...

How-Wealthy-Is-Actor-Vijay-Find-Out-Here Entertainment
  • 09 Aug 2020

How Wealthy Is Actor Vijay? Find Out Here...

Here's how much wealth Vijay has gathered throughout his career...