◀ ▲ ▶History / Early-middle-ages / Person: Mohammad Abu&amp;#x27;L-Wafa, Al-Buzjani
Person: Mohammad Abu&amp;#x27;L-Wafa, Al-Buzjani
Abu'l-Wafa was an Islamic astronomer and mathematician who wrote commentaries on the works of earlier mathematicians. He made astronomical observations and constructed accurate trigonometric tables.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- A great patron of science and the arts, 'Adud ad-Dawlah supported a number of mathematicians and Abu'l-Wafa moved to 'Adud ad-Dawlah's court in Baghdad in 959.
- Abu'l-Wafa was not the only distinguished scientist at the Caliph's court in Baghdad, for outstanding mathematicians such as al-Quhi and al-Sijzi also worked there.
- He continued to support mathematics and astronomy and Abu'l-Wafa and al-Quhi remained at the court in Baghdad working for the new Caliph.
- The observatory was officially opened in June 988 with a number of famous scientists present such as al-Quhi and Abu'l-Wafa.
- Abu'l-Wafa is said to have been the first to build a wall quadrant to observe the stars.
- Like many scientist of his period, Abu'l-Wafa translated and wrote commentaries, which have since been lost, on the works of Euclid, Diophantus and al-Khwarizmi.
- Abu'l-Wafa's text is of this second type with no numerals; all the numbers are written in words and all calculations are performed mentally.
- Abu'l-Wafa gives a general rule and gives a special case of this where subtraction of 5 from 3 gives a "debt" of 2.
- Another text written by Abu'l-Wafa for practical use was A book on those geometric constructions which are necessary for a craftsman.
- Another interesting aspect of this particular work of Abu'l-Wafa's is that he tries where possible to solve his problems with ruler and compass constructions.
- Abu'l-Wafa is best known for the first use of the tan function and compiling tables of sines and tangents at 15' intervals.
- Abu'l-Wafa devised a new method of calculating sine tables.
Born 10 June 940, Buzjan (near Jam), Khorasan region (now in Iran). Died 15 July 998, Baghdad (now in Iraq).
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Analysis, Ancient Arab, Astronomy, Geography, Geometry, Origin Iran, Special Numbers And Numerals
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive