Q:

# What are the contributions of the Babylonians to mathematics?

A:

The Babylonians used a base 60 numbering system that serves as the basis of modern time telling and the degrees in a circle. Modern mathematical systems use a base 10 system for easy counting, but the number of seconds in a minute, as well as minutes in an hour, derives from the Babylonian counting system.

Know More

The base 60 system the Babylonians used helped them derive a fairly accurate calendar. It required periodic adjustments, but the Earth's movement is not precisely regular. In fact, even in modern times adjustments are necessary through leap years and periodic changes of a few seconds to the atomic clock that tracks world time.

The Babylonians also developed a table of squares that some elementary math teachers use to help students learn their squares. Using that table, the Babylonians could derive the product of any two integers up to 59. Their formula for these two integers was similar to a*b = [(a + b)^2 - (a - b)^2] / 4. This reduced the number of multiples they had to memorize. Therefore, rather than learning an entire times table, they only had to learn the squares; however, they had to remember the formula.

Another primary difference between Babylonian math and modern math is that the Babylonian system lacked a zero or another symbol signifying the absence of value.

## Related Questions

• A:

It was the Babylonians who first divided the circle into 360 degrees in order to integrate the geometry they developed with the 360-day calendar then in use. The Babylonians devised a counting system based not on units of 10 but on units of 60, which can be counted to on the 12 knuckles of one hand and the five fingers of the other.

Filed Under:
• A:

A base 10 model, or base 10 block, is an educational tool used to help younger students grasp the concept behind the base 10 numbering system. Base 10 blocks have single cubes to represent one, cube strips to represent 10 and blocks to represent 100.

Filed Under:
• A:

The contributions of the Gupta Empire include the iron pillar, an educational system, a judicial system, an administrative system, mathematics and astronomy. The Gupta Empire made a great impact in social, cultural and political spheres.