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The Concept of Sunya

S R Sarma (Editor) A.K. Bag (Editor)

The concept of sunya in India has a long history and varied manifestations in different dimensions, in mathematics, in philosophy and in mysticism. In mathematical literature it is used in the sense of 'zero' having no substantial numeral value of its own but playing the key role in the system of decimal notation, to express all numbers with nine digits, one to nine and the sunya as the tenth. The application of sunya in this system of notation was discovered in India some time in the pre-Christian era. Its concretization in the form of a dot or a small circle and its use in decimal place value system was first transmitted to the Middle-East and thence to Europe to supplant the Greek and Roman systems, and the whole world slowly recognized it as the most scientific system of numeration. The present volume is the outcome of a joint seminar organized by Indian National Science Academy and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and aims at a documented account of various facets of sun

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About the authors

S R Sarma

Dr. S.R. Sarma (b. 1937) studied at Sir C.R. Reddy College, Eluru; visva Bharati, Santiniketan; and Philipps University, Marburg, Germany. Joined the faculty of Aligarh Muslim University in 1969 and retired from there as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Sanskrit in 1997. Fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service, twice at the Philipps University, Marburg, (1962-66; 1972) and once at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, (1995-96); Visiting Associate Professor of History of Mathematics at Brown University, Providence (1992-93); and Visiting Professor at the Universite de Paris III (1994). His publications include critical editions with translation of Thakkura Pheru's Rayanaparikkha on gemmology, and Yantraprakara of Sawai Jai Singh on astronomical instruments. Presently engaged in preparing A Descriptive Catalogue of Indian Astronomical and Time-Measuring Instruments. He is currently Visiting Professor at Kyoto University, Japan.

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A.K. Bag

Dr. A.K. Bag (b.1937), an M.Sc. in Pure Mathematics and Ph.D. in History of Mathematics, both from the University of Calcutta, served for seven years (1971-77) as lecturer of mathematics in the Surendranath College, Kolkata, and twenty-three years (1977-2000) as Co-ordinator and Head of History of Science Academy, New Delhi. He is the author/editor of a large number of books and research articles. Some of his books are: Bibliography of Sanskrit Works in Astronomy and Mathematics (with S.N. Sen and S.R. Sarma), Mathematics in Ancient and Medieval India, Science and Civilisation in India (Harappan Period), Sulbasutras (ed. & tr. With S.N. Sen), History of Oriental Astronomy (ed. with G. Swarup and K.S. Shukla), Indian and Central Asian Science and Technology (two volumes ed.), History of Technology in India (Vol. I, ed.). Elected Member of the International Academy of History of Science, Paris. He is presently the Editor, Indian Journal of History of Science and Adviser to the History of Science Programme of the Academy.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Concept of Sunya
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173052409
length xiv+287p., Figures; Tables.