Thread: Babylonian scholars may have invented Trigonometry

1. Just yesterday (8-28) on a radio talk show (Larry Elder) a guest mathematician Martin Magid, a professor of mathematics at Wellesley College, explained that the Babylonian clay tablet used what we call Pythagorean triples and a base 60 numbering system. That is what I had understood.

An image of the tablet. Plimpton_322.jpg  Reply With Quote

2. Here is a link to a PDF about the tablet:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...n.pdf&_valck=1  Reply With Quote

3. Originally Posted by 37818 Just yesterday (8-28) on a radio talk show (Larry Elder) a guest mathematician Martin Magid, a professor of mathematics at Wellesley College, explained that the Babylonian clay tablet used what we call Pythagorean triples and a base 60 numbering system. That is what I had understood.

An image of the tablet. Plimpton_322.jpg
It's like a Flintstone spreadsheet.  Reply With Quote

4. Originally Posted by Sparko It's like a Flintstone spreadsheet.
Yeah. And it is not trig. It is a table of what we think of as Pythagorean triples but 100's of years before Pythagoras.  Reply With Quote

5. Originally Posted by 37818 Yeah. And it is not trig. It is a table of what we think of as Pythagorean triples but 100's of years before Pythagoras.
It is generally accepted as primitive form of trig, probably developed in engineering buildings.  Reply With Quote

6. Originally Posted by shunyadragon It is generally accepted as primitive form of trig, probably developed in engineering buildings.
Read the PDF. Its author claims, "I show that the popular view of it as some sort of trigonometric table cannot be correct."  Reply With Quote

7. UPI did a pretty good job explaining it.
https://www.upi.com/Science_News/201...2181503668755/

Who knew UPI was still in business?   Reply With Quote

8. Pythagorean triples can be easily calculated.
Side A being the short leg of the right triangle. Side B being the long leg. Side C being the hypotenuse, side opposite the right angle.
Pythagorean theorem being A2 + B2 = C2

Where the integer difference between C - B = n. Were A / n => an integer value of 2. And A and n must both be either odd or even.

(A2 - n2) / ( 2 x n) = B and B + n = C.

So if we make A = 9 and n = 1.

B = 40 and C = 41.  Reply With Quote

9. Originally Posted by 37818 Pythagorean triples can be easily calculated.
Side A being the short leg of the right triangle. Side B being the long leg. Side C being the hypotenuse, side opposite the right angle.
Pythagorean theorem being A2 + B2 = C2

Where the integer difference between C - B = n. Were A / n => an integer value of 2. And A and n must both be either odd or even.

(A2 - n2) / ( 2 x n) = B and B + n = C.

So if we make A = 9 and n = 1.

B = 40 and C = 41.
True in today' math, but what's the point?  Reply With Quote

10. Originally Posted by shunyadragon True in today' math, but what's the point?
No reason other than . . . . The tablet has a table of triangle triples. And I remembered having stumbling upon an easy way to calculate such triples.  Reply With Quote Posting Permissions

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