Saturday, 18 January 2014

The great ' Zero '.

If you subtract 10 from 10 what do you get ?
There  comes the answer  "Zero".
 If you take five from five you will get ......Yes again 'zero'.

Even though numbers were used  by the ancient Egypts, Mayans, Arabs ,they were not sure of this zero. They wondered how could ' nothing '  be ' something '. They used the words,vacum, naught, nil, void whenever they had to use zero. Sometimes they used the letter ' N ' too.

Now comes the interesting question.
Then, how  did the world come to know about 'Zero'? 

It was around  the 5th century that the world accepted zero. That contribution was from our(India) mathematician and astronomer  'Arya Bhatta'. He treated '0' as a number and discussed operations involving it including division.

AryaBhatta  is also called as BrahmaGupta. It is said he was born in Ashmaka .This region lies  betwen Narmada and Godavari .This is now identified with  Maharashtra  . There is also another opinion that he was born in Kerala. Wherever he may be born , he went to  Kusumapura for higher studies. Bhaskara, his disciple  identifies  this place with Pataliputra which is now called as  Patna. His higher studies were in Nalanda University in Patna. Later he also became the head of this famous university.Though  he did not explicitly  mention zero as a number, the French mathematician Georges Ifrah argues that  the knowledge of zero was implicit in Aryabhata's place value system.

He authored many books which are lost. His major work 'Aryabhatiya ' is a blend of astronomy and mathematics. Aryabhata was able to tell us the diameter of the earth, much before Galelio did.  His famous disciple was Bhaskara who was also well versed in these theories.

As a mark of honour, Government of India  named its first satellite as Aryabhata  and the next one as Bhaskara .

image courtesy-google.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Even Spiders Inspire !

Spiders  are normally  little and  easily get smashed  under our legs. .There may be very ferocious ones too  as we see in movies.  I am talking about the normal ones which weaves web in roofs.

Let us  see how a spider  inspired  a king to  fight back.

There was a Scottish king named Robert Bruce. He wanted to free Scotland from English rule.Once he lost a battle against the English. He was about to be captured. So, he had to flee for his life . He was on the run and was in exile for a few months .While he was hiding in a cave , he thought of even giving up and surrendering himself along with his kingdom.

As he was thinking on these lines, he saw a spider in the cave.The spider was trying to weave the  web.
It climbed up the roof, started to weave.......but fell down. Again the spider climbed to the roof  , started weaving.......and again, it  fell down. Bruce was watching this spider. The spider was not tired. Again it started to climb and weave the  web. Though it  failed for seven times in weaving the web, the spider did not give up. Without any reluctance it  tried  the eighth time. This time the spider climbed to the roof and started to weave the web.  And yes, this time  the spider succeeded in its  effort.

Robert Bruce on seeing the spider's effort got  fresh energy .He  decided to fight back. Immediately , he came out of exile and asked his soldiers to  "Try , try, and try again  till you succeed.."

And , with that energy Robert Bruce  fought the battle and ofcourse won that.

Oh!  Even spiders do  help for victory in a war.

There are many caves even now in Ireland which claim  as Bruce's caves .

Now ,I know, you will agree with me if I say , we need more of inspiration than perspiration for success.

You might be eager to see how Robert Bruce looks like. I was able to get his picture from Google. Here it is,

Thank You!!

Images courtesy----google.