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Ancient Babylonians took first steps to calculus
by Ron Cowen
Science Translate This Article
29 January 2016
On 29 January 2016 Science reported:
Tracking and recording the motion of the sun, the moon, and the planets as they paraded across the desert sky, ancient Babylonian astronomers used simple arithmetic to predict the positions of celestial bodies. Now, new evidence reveals that these astronomers, working several centuries B.C.E., also employed sophisticated geometric methods that foreshadow the development of calculus. The Babylonians had developed 'abstract mathematical, geometrical ideas about the connection between motion, position, and time that are so common to any modern physicist or mathematician,' said astroarchaeologist (and astrophysicist turned historian) Mathieu Ossendrijver of Humboldt University in Berlin.
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