Monday, June 29, 2015

AL-KHOWARIZMI AND THE CONCEPT OF ZERO

Al Khowarizmi - Great Khwarazmian Mathematician -  Inventor of the loarithm algorithm and the usage of zero in mathematics and the word algebra originating  (الجبر al-jabr "restoration") from the title of his book Ilm al-jabr wa'l-muḳābala.
 
The Stamp from the  OJSC "Uzbekistan pochtasi" and put into circulation by the State Committee of Communication, Information and Communication Technologies of the Republic of Uzbekistan from April 10, 2014 as a standard postage stamp. 
 
 









The ancient Indians represented zero as a circle with a dot inside. In Sanskrit, it was called "soonya". This and the decimal number system fascinated zIslamic scholars who came to India. Al-Khowarizmi (790 AD - 850 AD) wrote Hisab-al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabala (Calculation of Integration and Equation) which made Indian numbers popular. "Soonya" became "al-sifr" or "sifr". The impact of this book can be judged by the fact that "al-jabr" became "Algebra" of today. An Italian Leonardo Fibonacci (1170 AD - 1230 AD) took this number system to Europe. The Arabic  "sifr" was called "zephirum" in Latin, and acquired many local names in Europe including "cypher". Today this system is called Hindu-Arabic System.  The positional system of representing integers revolutionised the   mathematical calculations and also helped in Astronomy and accurate  navigation. The use of positional system to indicate fractions was introduced around 1579 AD by Francois Viete. The dot for a decimal  point  came to be used a few years later, but did not become popular  until its  use by Napier. The binary system used in modern computing uses 1 and 0.