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The Great Indian Mathematician: Aryabhatta

Aryabhatta was a great Indian mathematician and astronomer. Some of his works have been lost over time, but his influence can be seen in the works of subsequent Indian mathematicians who regularly refer to his works. Aryabhatta wrote several treatises on mathematics and astronomy, few of which have since been lost. His major project, Aryabhatiya, a mathematical and astronomical compendium, was widely cited in Indian mathematical literature and has withstood to the present day. Aryabhatiya's mathematical section includes arithmetic, algebra, plane trigonometry, and spherical trigonometry. It also includes a table of sines, continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums-of-power series, and quadratic equations.

Aryabhatta was a brilliant educator and scholar apart from being well-versed in mathematics and astronomy. He proposed the heliocentric theory, which demonstrated that the sun is at the center of the solar system and that all planets revolve around it. He made this discovery long before Copernicus did in the West. Aryabhatta was born in Kerala and lived from 476 AD to 550 AD. He received his education at the ancient university of Nalanda and eventually moved to Bihar, where he continued his studies in the great center of learning located near Kusumapura in Bihar. He resided in Taregana District in Bihar in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

The Contribution of Aryabhatta

Aryabhatta's astronomical calculations and deductions are remarkable because he did not use modern equipment or instruments to perform them. He had a keen intellect, and his strong determination and hard work led him to solve the solar system's various mysteries. He also deduced that the earth is round and rotates along its axis, giving rise to day and night. He confronted many superstitious beliefs and offered up scientific evidence to prove them false.

He also claimed that the moon has no light and only shines because it reflects sunlight. He also disproved the popular belief that eclipses are caused by shadows cast by the earth and moon. Aryabhatta, like the Greek philosopher Ptolemy, used epicycles to demonstrate the inconsistency of some planets' movements. This terrific astronomer authored the well-known astronomy treatise Aryabhatiya in the year 499 AD. This treatise was considered a masterpiece. The Gupta ruler Buddhagupta appointed Aryabhatta as the head of the Nalanda University in recognition of his outstanding work.

What is Aryabhatiya?

Although Aryabhatta wrote several treatises, Aryabhatiya is his only recognized enduring work and is widely regarded as his monumental work. It contains various facts related to Hindu mathematics and astronomy that appeared during those times. The treatise is divided into four chapters, each of which is concerned with sine tables and astronomical constants. It also includes rules for calculating planet longitudes using epicycles and eccentrics, as well as rules for trigonometry and eclipse calculation. The Aryabhatiya contains a ganita section that includes various innovative methods for calculating the lengths of circle chords using the half chord method, as opposed to the Greeks who used the full chord method.

Significant Achievements

  • Aryabhatiya offers easy answers to difficult mathematical problems of the time, such as summing the first n integers, their squares, and cubes. Aryabhatta also calculated the areas of a triangle and a circle correctly. In Ganitapadam, for example, his writings can be translated as "the area of a triangle is the result of a perpendicular with the half-side." Aryabhatta provided a table of sines in trigonometry, calculating the approximate values at intervals of 90°/24 = 3° 45′. He used the formula for sin(n + 1)x – sin nx in terms of sin nx and sin (n – 1)x to accomplish this. He also popularised versine (versin = 1 – cosine) in trigonometry.
  • Aryabhatta was a mathematician who contributed new deductions and theories to mathematics and astronomy. His contribution to mathematics is unparalleled and cannot be overlooked, as he was the one who calculated the approximate value of pi, which he discovered to be 3.14. He also discovered the formulas for calculating the areas of triangles and circles. He was also a key figure in the development of the Sines table. This was a remarkable discovery given that the value of Pi was only proven to be irrational in 1761 by Swiss mathematician Johann Heinrich Lambert.
  • Aryabhatta introduced a system of numerals in Aryabhatiya, in which he used letters from the Indian alphabet to denote numbers. His numeral system allowed for the representation of numbers up to 1018 using alphabetical notation. Aryabhatta is thought to have been familiar with the concept of zero and the place value system. Although he never used the symbol of zero in his works, French mathematician Georges Ifrah claims that the presence and understanding of zero were implied in Aryabhata's place-value system as a placeholder for powers of 10 with null coefficients.


Aryabhatta is truly a role model and continues to inspire generations. This hero is lauded for his contributions and exemplary intellect. Aryabhatta is also regarded as one of the world's finest mathematicians, alongside Archimedes, Euclid, Isaac Newton, and Leonard Euler. Aryabhatta's Classical Era is regarded as a golden age of astronomy and mathematics. Aryabhatta's mathematics is mostly practical, not theoretical; its primary application is astronomy. His masterwork, Aryabhatiya, is a work of genius of succinctness and articulacy.

It will not be wrong to say that without the creations and talent of India's first mathematician, Aryabhatta, science as we know it today would be quite different. Several other inventions were born as a result of his inventions of a number system, triangle area, and sphere volume. If science can be traced all the way back, experts believe that even today's technological revolution, such as the writing of binary codes, is feasible due to Aryabhatta's invention of the number system and the number zero. Aryabhatta, the brilliant scientist and mathematician, owes a great sense of gratitude to the Indian people as well as the rest of the world.

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