- Subject index
This book traces the first faltering steps taken in the mathematical theorization of infinity which marks the emergence of modern mathematics. It analyzes the part played by Indian mathematics through the Kerala conduit, which is an important but neglected part of the history of mathematics.
Chapter 5: Indian Trigonometry: From Ancient Beginnings to Nilakantha*
Indian Trigonometry: From Ancient Beginnings to Nilakantha*
A Preliminary Note
The origins of trigonometry as a discipline may be traced back to Hipparchus of Nicaea (fl. 150 bc). An aid to the study of astronomy/ astrology, the basic problem to be tackled was to estimate, for a given arc of a circle, the length of the chord that connects the endpoints of that arc. It was soon noticed that the chord length depends on both the length of the arc and the radius of the circle. For the ancients (Greeks as well as the others), an angle of 90 degrees was not a right angle (as we understand it today) but the quarter of the circumference of a circle. Or ...