sine

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West Asian mathematics – history of math

By |2019-09-04T05:49:16-07:00September 16th, 2017|West Asia|

History of math: Sumerian multiplication table (2700 BC) Cuneiform multiplication table Once people in West Asia figured out how to write down numbers, about 3500 BC, they quickly began to want to use cuneiform to write down other mathematical ideas. (Read more about the invention of numbers) The earliest example of this that we have is from about 2700 BC. It [...]

Shoebox guitar project – Sound – Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:16-07:00August 17th, 2017|Physics|

You can make a guitar out of a shoebox and rubber bands Begin by making some loud noises, like hitting a drum and clapping your hands. Can you feel the vibration? Can you see the vibration of the drum? What if you hit harder, smaller things? Tap a drinking glass with a metal [...]

Medieval math in Europe

By |2017-08-04T13:22:07-07:00August 4th, 2017|Math, Medieval|

Math was a very exciting subject to be working on during the Middle Ages in Europe. Little by little, math experts in Europe were learning from Islamic math experts about what we call Arabic numbers (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) (though the numbers came originally from India). Leaning Tower of Pisa (built while Fibonacci was a child) The first of these experts was Adelard [...]

Tangents – trigonometry – math

By |2018-04-11T09:30:18-07:00July 29th, 2017|Math|

Tangents: This line is tangent to a circle. What is a tangent? A tangent, like a sine or a cosine, is a mathematical way of thinking about a kind of movement that happens in nature. A tangent is really just a rephrasing of the same information we already had for calculating the sine function. Lines and circles [...]

Sine waves – trigonometry – math

By |2017-07-29T17:59:39-07:00July 29th, 2017|Math|

Sine wave In order to save energy, many, many things in nature move in a kind of repeated pattern we call a sine wave: water waves, sound waves, light waves, electricity, radio waves, and microwaves, for instance. The waves move in one direction quickly, then slow down until they stop, and begin moving [...]

Invention of Zero – Indian Numbers

By |2019-09-18T13:58:43-07:00July 22nd, 2017|India|

History of Math: Counting tokens from Mehrgarh in Late Stone Age India Indian counting tokens and base 10 The first Indian numbers appeared in the late Stone Age, about 4000 BC. Around this time, people at Mehrgarh began to use counting tokens. (People were already using these tokens in West Asia.) Where was Mehrgahr? Indian history articles Writing [...]

Who was Hipparchus? Greek astronomy

By |2019-08-15T17:58:13-07:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, History, Science|

Antikythera mechanism: a clockwork machine to calculate how the earth and the sun move around When did Hipparchus live? Hipparchus was a Greek astronomer and mathematician in the 100s BC, in the time of the first big empires. He used trigonometry to calculate how far away the moon was from the earth. Greek astronomy Greek math - geometry History of [...]

Sewing, wheels, and steel – Central Asian science

By |2018-09-20T06:17:32-07:00June 1st, 2017|Central Asia, Science|

Central Asian science: A clay pot with a drawing of a wheeled cart from what is now Poland, about 3500 BC What was invented in Central Asia? Many of the world's most useful inventions come from Central Asia: sewing, leather, cart wheels and spinning wheels, burning coal. And then also the compound and [...]