Babylonian Numeration System
Maddy Robinson and Jason Martinez
Basis of the Numeration System
The Babylonians had a very advanced number system which was a base sixty system rather than a base ten, which is what we use today. The Babylonians developed a form of writing based on cuneiform. Cuneiform means "wedge shape" in Latin. They wrote these symbols on wet clay tablets which were baked in the hot sun.
- The Babylonians used the formula: ab = [(a + b)2- a2- b2]/2 to make multiplication easier.
- Even better is their formula: ab = [(a + b)2- (a - b)2]/4 which shows that a table of squares is all that is necessary to multiply numbers, simply taking the difference of the two squares that were looked up in the table then taking a quarter of the answer.
- The Babylonians did not have a symbol for zero, but they did use the idea of zero. When they wanted to express zero, they just left a blank space in the number they were writing.
- The Babylonian Empire was one of the great empires that dominated the region of Mesopotamia.
- Babylon was located in what is now the Iraqi region.
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