Formulas for the Future
Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-khwarizmi, was a Persian mathematician, geographer, and astronomer. He was born sometime in 780 AD in Baghdad, then later died there around 850 AD. At that time the area he lived in was the epicentre of an Islamic empire which extended from the Mediterranean all the way to India. He was a scholar in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. “The word al-Khwarizmi is pronounced in classical Arabic as Al-Khwarizmi” (bookrags) Al-khwarizmi was the author of over half a dozen astronomical books. The most remarkable was titled Al-jabr w’al muqabala , which was written around 830 AD. Al-khwarizmi did most of his research and writing in the House of Wisdom, along side other scholars.
His book Al-jabr w’al muqabala is what gave the branch Al-jabr to mathematics. It is now known as algebra. “The word al-jabr is usually translated as "restoring," with reference to restoring the balance in an equation by placing on one side of an equation a term that has been removed from the other.” (ms) For example 2x+2=8, the balance is restored by writing 2x=6 and then x=3. “The second part of the title, al muqabala, probably meant "simplification," as in the case of combining 2x+5x to obtain 7x, or by subtracting out equivalent terms from both sides of an equation”.(bookrags) In the Latin translation of al-Khwarizmi's Algebra , it opens with a brief introductory statement of the positional principle for numbers and then proceeds to the solution in six short chapters of six types of quadratics: “(1) squares equal to roots, ( x2=square root of 2), (2) squares equal to numbers, ( x2 =2), (3) roots equal to numbers (square root of x = 2), (4) squares and roots equal to numbers ( ), (5) squares and numbers equal to roots ( x2+1=9), and (6) roots and numbers equal to squares ( 3x+4=x2) (members.aol.com). Chapter I covers the case of squares equal to roots, expressed in modern...
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