Aryabhatta was an extraordinary teacher and scholar who had immense knowledge about mathematics and astronomy. He suggested the heliocentric theory which proved that the sun is located in the centre of the solar system and all the planets revolve around it. In fact he made this discovery way before Copernicus made this discovery in the West.
Aryabhatta was born in Kerala and lived from 476 AD to 550 AD, he completed his education from the ancient university of Nalanda and later he moved to Bihar and continued his studies in the great centre of learning located in close proximity to Kusumapura in Bihar and lived in Taregana District in Bihar in the late 5th and early 6th century.
His contribution to the astronomy
The astronomical calculations and deductions suggested by Aryabhatta are extraordinary by the fact that he didn’t have any modern equipment or instrument to do it. He had a very sharp brain and his dedication and hard work led him to solve the various mysteries of the solar system. He also deduced that the earth is round in shape and rotates along its own axis, which forms the existence of day and night. Many superstitious beliefs were challenged by him and he presented scientific reasons to prove them wrong.
He also said that the moon has no light and shines because it reflects light from the sun. He also proved wrong the false belief that eclipse is caused because of the shadows formed by the shadows cast by the earth and the moon. Aryabhatta used epicycles in a similar manner to the Greek Philosopher Ptolemy to illustrate the inconsistent movement of some planets. This great astronomer wrote the famous treatise Aryabhatiya, which was based on astronomy in 499 AD. This treatise was acknowledged as a masterpiece. In honour of this excellent work Aryabhatta was made head of the Nalanda University by the Gupta ruler Buddhagupta.
Aryabhatiya – a treatise that solved various mysteries related to astronomy
Aryabhatiya is a treatise that includes various facts related to Hindu mathematics and astronomy that appeared during those times. The treatise comprises of four chapters that are concerned with sine tables and astronomical constants. It also comprises of rules to calculate the longitudes of the planets by utilizing epicycles and eccentrics and also the rules related to trigonometry and calculation of eclipses. There is a ganita section in the Aryabhatiya, which include various innovative methods for calculating the lengths of the chords of circles by using the half chord method unlike the Greeks who used the full chord method.
Contribution in the approximation of pi
Aryabhatta is among the mathematicians who brought new deductions and theories in mathematics and astronomy. His contribution to the mathematics is unmatched and cannot be ignored, as he was the one who deduced the approximate value of pi, which he found it to be 3.14. He also derived the correct formulas for calculating the areas of triangles and circles. He also played a very important role in the formation of the table of Sines.
His role in the place value system
He also played a very major role in determining the place value system and discovering the zero. He also worked on the summation series of square roots and cube roots. He is also regarded as the first to use zero in the place value system. He also calculated the sidereal rotation, which is the rotation of the earth in relation to the fixed stars. His theories and deductions formed the base of the trigonometry and algebra.
For his extraordinary works and contributions to mathematics and astronomy, India’s first satellite was named as Aryabhatta. Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences near Nainital and the Aryabhatta Knowledge University in Patna, in India are also named after him.