Arithmetic in Islamic Mathematics

  • Julian A. Smith
Reference work entry

Mathematics flourished during the golden age of Islamic science, which began around the seventh century AD and continued through to about the fourteenth century. Both arithmetic and algebra were advanced dramatically by Muslim mathematicians, who adopted Indian innovations such as decimal numbers and considerably extended them – they also developed earlier Greek concepts of geometry, trigonometry, number theory and the resolution of equations. Islamic mathematicians did far more than just copy Greek and Indian techniques – their additional researches developed and systematized several fields of mathematics. Even modern mathematical language, including terms like “algebra”, “root” and “zero”, owes an important debt to Arabic scientists. Algebra, for example, comes from the ninth‐century Arabic Astronomer and mathematician al‐Khwārizmī (ca. 780–ca. 850), whose book Algebra (al‐Kitāb al‐mukhtaṣar fī ḥisāb al‐jabr wa ‘l‐muqābala) described techniques of transposing quantities from one...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Julian A. Smith

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