Alternative History
(Greeks adopt the number zero)
 
(grammar etc.)
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-- This is just the early part of a work in progress, comments and suggestions are welcomed in the "talk" section --
 
-- This is just the early part of a work in progress, comments and suggestions are welcomed in the "talk" section --
   
In our time line the Greek system for notating numbers was quite awkward, this made doing math very difficult and ultimately limited their progress in the sciences. The Babylonians had developed positional notation by around 2500bc. And somewhere between 700 and 300 bc they used a symbol of one dot over another to represent an empty position : This was the number zero.
+
In our time line, the Greek system for notating numbers was quite awkward This made doing math very difficult and ultimately limited their progress in the sciences. The Babylonians had developed positional notation by around 2500 b.c. Sometime between 700 and 300 bc they started using a symbol of one dot over another to represent an empty position : This was the number zero.
   
Greek mathematicians learned much of their craft from Egypt but they also learned from the Babylonians. For example, some historians believe that Pythagoras brought his famous theorem from the east and Diophantus brought some of the rudiments of algebra from the same region. What if the concept of position math notation is picked up by the greeks around 200bc? And what if the Babylonian zero becomes used by the greeks, not just in between numbers, but also at the end of numbers? What if the Greeks develop a much stronger math than in OTL, which is also much easier to learn?
+
Greek mathematicians learned much of their craft from Egypt, but they also learned from the Babylonians. For example, some historians believe that Pythagoras brought his famous theorem from the east and Diophantus brought some of the rudiments of algebra from the same region. What if the concept of position based math notation is picked up by the Greeks around 200 b.c? And what if the Babylonian zero becomes used by the greeks, not just in between numbers, but also at the end of numbers? What if the Greeks develop a much stronger math than in OTL, which is also much easier to learn?
   
 
The Babylonians had several different numbering systems including a base 60 and a base 12 system. Plato and his followers held the number 12 in mystic awe, so let's say that the Greeks adopt the base twelve system. They continue to use the greek letters of the alphabet to represent the numbers one through twelve but use the " : " to denote zero.
 
The Babylonians had several different numbering systems including a base 60 and a base 12 system. Plato and his followers held the number 12 in mystic awe, so let's say that the Greeks adopt the base twelve system. They continue to use the greek letters of the alphabet to represent the numbers one through twelve but use the " : " to denote zero.
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?a.d. Archimedes develops calculus
 
?a.d. Archimedes develops calculus
   
The new numbering system is much easier to learn, work with, and teach. More great mathematicians emerge and math is more widely used throughout society. Roman merchants become well versed in arithmetic, and military engineers are capable of advanced math. In OTL there was no taboo against teaching math to slaves and having them use the skill in their work. The same would be true in ATL. In short: the new math becomes used at all levels of society - from the very top to the very bottom.
+
The new numbering system is much easier to learn, work with, and teach. More great mathematicians emerge and math is more widely used throughout society. Roman merchants become well versed in arithmetic, and military engineers become capable of advanced math. In OTL there was no taboo against teaching math to slaves and having them use the skill in their work. The same would be true in ATL. In short: the new math becomes used at all levels of society - from the very top to the very bottom.

Revision as of 16:05, 13 June 2006

The Greeks adapt positional math notation and the number zero.

-- This is just the early part of a work in progress, comments and suggestions are welcomed in the "talk" section --

In our time line, the Greek system for notating numbers was quite awkward This made doing math very difficult and ultimately limited their progress in the sciences. The Babylonians had developed positional notation by around 2500 b.c. Sometime between 700 and 300 bc they started using a symbol of one dot over another to represent an empty position : This was the number zero.

Greek mathematicians learned much of their craft from Egypt, but they also learned from the Babylonians. For example, some historians believe that Pythagoras brought his famous theorem from the east and Diophantus brought some of the rudiments of algebra from the same region. What if the concept of position based math notation is picked up by the Greeks around 200 b.c? And what if the Babylonian zero becomes used by the greeks, not just in between numbers, but also at the end of numbers? What if the Greeks develop a much stronger math than in OTL, which is also much easier to learn?

The Babylonians had several different numbering systems including a base 60 and a base 12 system. Plato and his followers held the number 12 in mystic awe, so let's say that the Greeks adopt the base twelve system. They continue to use the greek letters of the alphabet to represent the numbers one through twelve but use the " : " to denote zero.


250a.d. - Diophantus develops algebra ?a.d - Apollonius develops geometry ?a.d. Archimedes develops calculus

The new numbering system is much easier to learn, work with, and teach. More great mathematicians emerge and math is more widely used throughout society. Roman merchants become well versed in arithmetic, and military engineers become capable of advanced math. In OTL there was no taboo against teaching math to slaves and having them use the skill in their work. The same would be true in ATL. In short: the new math becomes used at all levels of society - from the very top to the very bottom.