Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bhaskaracharya - A Great Discoverer

Bhaskaracharya – Born Genius – Mathematician/Astronomer

Bhaskaracharya also known as Bhaskara was a born genius, an Indian mathematician and an astronomer. He was born nearBijjada Bida, present day Bijapur district in modern day Karnataka state South India in the Deshastha Brahmin family. He was the head of an astronomical observatory at Ujjain which was a leading mathematical centre of ancient India.

He had made significant contribution to mathematical as well as astronomical knowledge in the 12th century and is called the greatest mathematician of medieval India. He lived in the Sahyadri region. His great-great-great-grandfather held hereditary post as court scholar as well as his son and other descendants.

His father was an astrologer who taught him mathematic which was later passed on to his son who in turn helped to set up a school in 1207 for the study of Bhaskara’s writings.Siddhanta Shiromani – Sanskrit for Crown of Treatises is classified into four parts known as Lilavati – Quadratic equations, cubic equations and Quartic Indeterminate equations, Bijaganita – Algebraic Calculation or Algebra, Grahaganita – Astronomical/Graha Calculation (Ganita) and Goladhyaya – Spheres or Spherical Trigonometry. These are also at times considered as four independent works. These four sections tend to deal with arithmetic, algebra, mathematics of the planets and the spheres.

Principles of Differential Calculus

Bhaskara also wrote another treatise known as Karana Kautuhala. His work on calculus predates Leibniz and Newton by more than half a millennium. He is specially known for the discovery of the principles of differential calculus as well as its application to astronomical issues and computations. There is strong evidence to recommend that Bhaskara was a pioneer in some for the principles of differential calculus, while Leibniz and Newton were credited with differential and integral calculus.

His famous work Lilavati and Bijaganita remain unmatched works by validating his philosophical intelligence. His astronomical discoveries on planetary position, occurrence of eclipses and Cosmography mentioned in his treatise titled `Siddhanta Shiromani amazed everyone. Lilavati has been divided into 13 chapters covering branches of Mathematics, Arithmetic, Algebra, geometry and part of Trigonometry and Mensuration.

Kuttaka – Quadratic Indeterminate Equations

He has written on the gravitational force which helps to keep the planets, the Sun and the moon in the respective orbits in his book on Surya Siddhant. Kuttaka – the Quadratic Indeterminate equations had been given to him in the 12th century much before the European mathematicians had it in the 17th century. Brahmagupta developed an Astronomical Model in the 7th century using what Bhaskara was capable of defining – Astronomical Quantities.

 He calculated the time the earth would take to revolve round the sun accurately as 365.2588 days which is a difference of 3.5 minutes of modern accepted 365.2563 days. This was much before Leibniz or Newton would come up with Differential or Integral Calculus and explain the forces of gravity. Bhaskara was considered to be the first to perceive the differential co-efficient and differential calculus.

He was the first to discover gravity, 500 years ahead of Sir Isaac Newton and was a champion among the mathematicians of ancient as well as medieval India. His work sparked the imagination of Persian and European scholars who researched on his work and became famous and popular.

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