Hero of ZERO
Posted December 8, 2014on:
Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi
about 790 – about 850
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwarizmi, earlier transliterated as Algoritmi or Algaurizin, was a Persian mathematician, astronomer and geographer during the Abbasid Caliphate, a scholar in the House of Wisdom in Baghdad
Al’Khwarizmi was an Islamic mathematician who wrote on Hindu-Arabic numerals and was among the first to use zero as a place holder in positional base notation. The word algorithm derives from his name. His algebra treatise Hisab al-jabr w’al-muqabala gives us the word algebra and can be considered as the first book to be written on algebra. The application of ZERO (0) was the work of Muslim mathematician Al-Khwarizmi and Al-Kindi in 825
Al-Khwarizmi knew that any division by zero is impossible. Eventually he comes to the conclusion that the zero must simply be accepted without being proven. Furthermore, he reports to the Caliph al-Ma’mun that belief in Allah is the same: it cannot be proven using science, but must be accepted on faith in the religion. Al-Khwarizmi was as much a philosopher as he was a mathematician.
Algebra gave Maths a new dimension and development path, away from the Greek concept of mathematics which was essentially based on geometry. Algebra was further developed by numerous Muslim mathematicians and scholars and imported into Europe after 300 years.
Muslims adapted the Indian version of numerals into the modern numbers 1-9 that we use today. Arabic numerals initially came to Europe through Pope Sylvester-1 who studied in Qurtaba, Spain and then returned to Rome.
In addition to math, he writes a compendium on geography that lists the latitude and longitude of 2,400 cities around the world. He also writes books on the astrolabe, sundials, and even the Jewish calendar. For 700 years after his death, European mathematicians cite him in their works, referring to him as “Algorisms”. The modern word for a complex mathematical formula, algorithm is derived from his name. His legacy lives on, even if the modern world that he helped build has all but forgotten of his contributions