(476 – 550 AD)

Aryabhata was a child prodigy who excelled in both mathematics and astronomy. Most of what is known about him today emanated from those who read his extinct publications. His masterpiece, titled Aryabhatiya, was published while he was in his early 20s. It is a four-chaptered treatise that houses magnificent works (in maths and astronomy); and remains his only disquisition known to have survived till date. In it, are geocentric discourses which were the norm during his era; and were deemed valid for another millennium before being invalidated and replaced with heliocentrism. However, his insinuation that the earth rotated on its axis daily, is correct. The same goes for his allusion that asterisms and the planets (along with their respective moons) glimmer due to reflected lights from sun. Despite losing most of his publications over the centuries, compelling evidence abound (through references, citations, translations, etc.) as to his ingenuities and contributions. His works influenced Asia; and positively impacted the Islamic Golden Age (from 8th to 13th century). Manuscripts by ancient Indian and Arabian scholars (like Brahmagupta, Bhaskaracharya II, Al-Khwarizmi and Al-Biruni) referred to his methodologies in astronomy, trigonometry, geometry, arithmetic and algebra. Modern trigonometric functions, such as the “sine” and “cosine”, were derived from terminologies that he originated. In appreciation, several concepts and items were dedicated to him. For example: the remnant impact lunar crater Aryabhata, is named after him. The same applies to India’s main research institute of observational sciences; as well as to the nation’s first ever satellite.

1 Comment

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