Sunday, May 30, 2010


Quadratic equations were used by Sridharacharya in the 11th century.

Sridharacharya is referred ot by Bhaskara II as a distinguished mathematician and is quoted by the latter in a number of places. He work under the title Patiganita and the other a smaller tract called Trisatika, both of which have been edited, and of which a number of manuscripts also exist. His algebra is no longer extant, but is known from Bhaskara's references. The same arithmetical topics as are discussed by Brahmagupta, Mahavira and Bhaskara II are treated in the Trisatika. For multiplication, he uses a new term Pratyutpanna (re-produced) and discusses the kapata-sandhi (door-junction, Gelosia) method which became very popular among later Hindu writers and was transmitted to the West through Arab works.

We know from Bhaskara that Sridharacharya was the discoverer of a method of solving quadratic equations in which the two sides require to be multiplied by four times the cofficient of x**2. An application of this method is also preserved in his arithmetic. Sridhara's contemporary Sripati is well known for his arithmetic Ganita-tilaka commented upon by Simhatilaka Suri in the thirteenth Century.

The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 where as Hindus used numbers as big as 10**53(10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 BCE during the Vedic period. Even today, the largest used number is Tera 10**12(10 to the power of12).

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