Thursday, September 24, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Did the Babylonians invent trigonometry ?


Posted on Friday, 25 August, 2017 | Comment icon 18 comments

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Image Credit: Martin Heemskerck
The Ancient Babylonians had known about Pythagoras' theorem over 1,000 years before he was even born.
The groundbreaking claim is based on a new analysis of a 3,700-year-old clay tablet known as 'Plimpton 322' which is inscribed with a demonstration of Babylonian mathematics.

According to researchers at the University of New South Wales, the tablet shows a form of trigonometry that wouldn't be developed by the Ancient Greeks for another ten centuries.
"Our research shows it's a trigonometric table so unfamiliar and advanced that in some respects it's superior to modern trigonometry," said mathematician Dr Daniel Mansfield.

"We've discovered these lines represent the ratios for a series of right-angled triangles ranging from almost a square to almost a flat line. This makes Plimpton 322 a powerful tool that could have been used for surveying fields or architectural calculations to build palaces, temples or step pyramids."

"The Babylonians unique approach to arithmetic and geometry means this is not only the world's oldest trigonometric table, it's also the only completely accurate trigonometric table on record."


Source: Independent | Comments (18)


Tags: Babylonians, Trigonometry


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by seanjo on 25 August, 2017, 19:27
What's one-third of 12?  
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer on 25 August, 2017, 19:29
4.  That just proves our math works right sometimes. Just trying to have a bit of fun with quirks of math.
Comment icon #11 Posted by bison on 25 August, 2017, 21:20
Sexagesimal numbers survive in our reckoning of angles: minutes, degrees, and seconds.  A full circle, 360 degrees, 0 minutes, 0 seconds, divided by the rather simple sexagesimal term  114  35  30 comes very very close to the Pi  ratio. Substantially fewer digits, it appears, than required to express Pi to a similar degree of precision in the decimal system.
Comment icon #12 Posted by jarjarbinks on 25 August, 2017, 21:39
numbers are all made up from we invented them. that's why some people uses CM and others inches. Imagine a system with PI=1.
Comment icon #13 Posted by bison on 25 August, 2017, 21:57
Pi is a ratio; one length compared to another. If you mean the circumference of a circle = 1, then the diameter is ~ 0.31831, which is 1 divided by Pi.  
Comment icon #14 Posted by pbarosso on 26 August, 2017, 2:23
this makes perfect sense to me. this ratio based table would have been used to not only calculate the angle of the facing block when needed but also how tall and wide each step needs to be to keep a constant exact angle all the way up whther it be a smooth pyramid or facing OR steps.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Captain Risky on 26 August, 2017, 6:23
George the Greek, my local grocer is gonna be p***ed when i tell him this.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Frank_Hoenedge on 26 August, 2017, 14:18
Still a beauty as to how they found it, as an approach, to begin with
Comment icon #17 Posted by Ozymandias on 27 August, 2017, 0:51
There are three ghings I love about thos story: (1) the fact that Pythagoras' Theorem was known about more than 1000 years before Pyghagoras even lived; (2) that the Babylonians were making quite accurate and exact calculations using their sexagesimal number system long before anyone else; (3) their approach to trigonometry was entirely different from our modern one yet just as valid.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Frank_Hoenedge on 27 August, 2017, 20:55
Might even shed some kind of seasonal insight into the King's List, rather than an ascending chronology they might have had 'numerical compartments'.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6775996
282060
185962

 
Man who claims to be Jesus arrested in Russia
9-23-2020
A major operation this week saw an armed police unit swoop in to arrest the leader of a modern day cult.
Remembering 'Storm Area 51' - one year on
9-23-2020
12 months ago, what started out as a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post became a social media phenomenon.
NASA: first woman to walk on the Moon by 2024
9-22-2020
The space agency has officially published its $28bn plan to land humans on the lunar surface within four years.
'Tesla was from Venus' claims FBI document
9-22-2020
A rather peculiar claim concerning Nikola Tesla has been found in the archives of the FBI's official website.
Stories & Experiences
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
 
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
 
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
 
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
 
 
 
Grim reaper-like visitation
6-16-2020 | Canada
 
My monster catfish story
6-15-2020 | Dallas texas
 
Orb of light in room
5-9-2020 | USA/Texas/Waco
 
Not sleeping alone
5-9-2020 | Los Angeles
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
NASA studies underwater 'white smoker' vents
Posted 4-17-2020 | 3 comments
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor can teach us about possible habitats on other worlds.
 
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
 
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
 
Adam Savage and Spot
Posted 2-14-2020 | 4 comments
Adam Savage tests out Boston Dynamics' impressive Spot robot.
 
NASA 2020: Are you ready ?
Posted 1-1-2020 | 3 comments
A look at what's coming up in the world of spaceflight this year.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ