Aryabhatta: The Master of Mathematics
Aryabhatta was the first mathematician and astronomer of India. He had acquired vast knowledge in the field of mathematics. He also discovered several things for which Indians feel proud of even now. His renowned discoveries were algebraic identities, trigonometric functions, the value of pi, and the place value system, etc. Aryabhatta wrote many famous books which are treated as Bible in mathematics. Many youngsters were inspired by Aryabhatta in the field of mathematics. His contribution towards society is highly acclaimed till date.
Aryabhatta was born in 475 A.D. in an unknown place. But according to his book ‘Aryabhatiya’, he lived in Kusumpura, the modern-day Patna. The archaeologists hold this belief till today that he continued his studies in Kusumpura. The reason behind the beliefs is his significant works of astronomy were found in Kusumpura.
Therefore, it can be believed that Aryabhatta spent most of his life in this place. Besides this, it is believed by some historians that he was the head of the Nalanda University in Kusumpura. All of the aforementioned theories are based on guesses and hypothesis because no proper evidence is there except the books written by Aryabhatta. Some of the records were lost and are not found until now.
Contributions of Aryabhatta
The major contribution of Aryabhatta was in the field of mathematics. Various trigonometric functions were discovered by him which are very much relevant in modern-day mathematics. Aryabhatta’s invention regarding the value of ‘pi’ eradicates the complications in mathematics. But, his invention of place value and zero is the masterstroke in the domain of mathematics. There are many astronomical theories written in the book ‘Aryabhatiya’.
Aryabhatta was not only efficient in Mathematics but he also had immense knowledge of astronomy. According to his heliocentric theory, planets revolve around the sun. He calculated the speed of the various planets with respect to the Sun with the help of his theory. The sidereal rotation was also calculated by him. One of his major discoveries in the field of astronomy was the sidereal year which states that it should be 365 days, 6 hours, 12 minutes and 30 seconds in a year. This deviates from the present day value by only 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
It was Aryabhatta who correctly discovered the fact that earth rotates on its axis. He also anticipated the geocentric model of the solar system which actually said the earth to be the centre of the universe. The sun, the moon and the planets rotate around it. Solar and lunar eclipses were also described in his book. The fact that solar eclipse and lunar eclipse take place due to the shadow-casting of the earth and the moon were explained in his book.
It can be said that the approximations made by Aryabhatta in the field of astronomy were very much accurate. The core of the computational paradigm is generated by the theories of Aryabhatta. As an Indian citizen, we should feel proud of Aryabhatta because he had invented such things which can’t be imagined in the present day without the facilities of modern equipment.
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