Mathieu Ossendrijver (HU Berlin)

Proto-Integral Calculus in Babylonian Astronomy
When Mar 24, 2016 from 02:30 PM to 03:30 PM
  • Colloquium
Where SH Lecture Hall
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On four babylonian tablets from the period 350-50 BCE, the distance that Jupiter travels along the ecliptic is computed with geometrical methods. The planet's changing velocity during 60 days after its heliacal rising is described as a trapezoidal figure in time-velocity space. The distance travelled is computed as the area of this figure. The time in which Jupiter covers half this distance is also computed. These computations may be viewed as precursors to modern integral calculus.