Indian Classical period starts around 400 AD and ends in 1200 AD. This period is often considered as the golden period for Indians in terms of science, technology, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, art, logic, philosophy, and religion. Restricting us to mathematics, people like Aryabhata , Bhramagupta, Bhaskara I and II, Mahavira were born in this period and had made immense contributions in the field of mathematics and astronomy. [wptabs style="wpui-narrow" effect="slide" mode="horizontal"] [wptabtitle] Aryabhata[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent] It was this period in which Aryabhata was the first to tell many astronomical facts like earth is round, sun is the center point of solar system and all the planets revolve around sun, earth spins around its own axis, cause of day and night, etc. He also made huge contributions in mathematics as well. Although ancient Indians had been following decimal numeral system from the Harappan civilization, still there was no place value system. Decimal place value system was seen in Aryabhata’s Aryabhatiya book and this is considered as the turning point of mathematics and biggest contribution in the field of mathematics which gave rise to ‘0’ . Aryabhata didn’t invent ‘0’ symbol. Infact he did not use any of the symbols (1-9) though Brahmi numerals were widely used around same time but he did invent a place value system where '0' can be fixed (place holder). Also he used words for the numbers and to denote the place value system. He used the word "kha" to denote nothing (0) and it was later used as "ZERO".(see more in Hindu Numerals goes West Section) Earlier Babylonians had Place value system but they were not consistent. They used “ “ and (space) to denote 0. They would right 108 as 1”8 or 1 8 but they didn’t follow it always especially when 0 use to come at the end. So for them 180 was written as 18 and hence there was no differentiation for 180 and 18. Mayan although had separate symbol for 0 (Shell) but they did not follow the … [Read more...]