The development of algebra, including the symbolic system of equations, was a major advancement in mathematics in the Arab empires.
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A major advancement in mathematics in the Arab empires was the development of algebra, including the symbolic system of equations. Algebra was first introduced to the world by the Persian mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, who wrote a book on the subject called “The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing” in the 9th century.
Algebraic methods allowed for the efficient solving of complex equations and paved the way for many other mathematical discoveries, such as calculus and analytical geometry. In fact, the word algebra comes from the Arabic word “al-jabr,” which means “reunion of broken parts.” This reflects the focus on solving equations and bringing together seemingly disparate pieces of information.
According to the book “The Story of Mathematics” by Anne Rooney, algebra was highly valued in the Arab empires and was even used in practical applications such as the dividing of inheritances and the calculation of taxes. The use of algebra also enabled advancements in fields such as astronomy, navigation, and engineering.
One interesting fact is that the field of algebra also gave rise to the concept of “zero,” which was another groundbreaking mathematical discovery in the Arab empires. The use of zero as a placeholder in calculations was revolutionary and allowed for greater accuracy and efficiency in mathematical operations.
As the Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci once said, “It was through the Arabs that the methods of arithmetic and algebra first became known in the West.” The development of algebra in the Arab empires was truly a game-changer for the world of mathematics and paved the way for countless future discoveries.
|√n||Square root of n|
|a²||a raised to the power of 2|
|ab||Product of a and b|
|a/b||Division of a by b|
|a+b||Sum of a and b|
|a-b||Difference of a and b|
See related video
“The Fathers of Mathematics – The Ancient History of Arabia – The Ascent of Civilization” explores the historical contributions of the Arab people to the world of mathematics, medicine, science, literature, and culture. The video delves into the roots of Islam and the Arab peoples, who created the “House of Wisdom” in Baghdad as a hub for scholarship and scientific discovery. Through this institution, they transmitted the knowledge of the ancient world and East to Europe, making groundbreaking advancements in astronomy, medicine, and algebra. The video also examines the Arab Empire’s expansion into Spain, the introduction of previously unknown crops and irrigation techniques, and the preservation and further development of knowledge from various cultures. Ultimately, we are reminded of the importance of cultural heritage and the enduring legacy of Arab scholars and rulers in advancing civilization.
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Al-Khwarizmi was a Persian mathematician and astronomer who lived in the 9th century. He is considered to be the “father of algebra” because of his influential book “Al-Kitab al-mukhtasar fi hisab al-jabr wa’l-muqabala” (The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing). This book introduced the Arabic numerals and the concept of algebra to the Western world. It also contained the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations, and the algebraic methods for solving them which formed the basis of algebra. He also wrote several other mathematical treatises, including one on the Hindu-Arabic numeral system.
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