|Birth Place||Assaka, Indian|
|Died On||550 CE|
|Main interests||Mathematics, astronomy|
|Notable works||Āryabhaṭīya, Arya-siddhanta|
|Notable ideas||Explanation of lunar eclipse and solar eclipse, rotation of Earth on its axis, reflection of light by moon, sinusoidal functions, solution of single variable quadratic equation, value of π correct to 4 decimal places, circumference of Earth to 99.8% accuracy, calculation of the length of sidereal year|
|Influenced||Lalla, Bhaskara I, Brahmagupta, Varahamihira|
caturadhikaṃ śatamaṣṭaguṇaṃ dvāṣaṣṭistathā sahasrāṇām
"Add four to 100, multiply by eight, and then add 62,000. By this rule the circumference of a circle with a diameter of 20,000 can be approached."
It is speculated that Aryabhata used the word āsanna (approaching), to mean that not only is this an approximation but that the value is incommensurable (or irrational). If this is correct, it is quite a sophisticated insight, because the irrationality of pi (π) was proved in Europe only in 1761 by Lambert.
Solar and lunar eclipses were scientifically explained by Aryabhata. He states that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight. Instead of the prevailing cosmogony in which eclipses were caused by Rahu and Ketu (identified as the pseudo-planetary lunar nodes), he explains eclipses in terms of shadows cast by and falling on Earth. Thus, the lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters into the Earth's Shadow (verse gola.37). He discusses at length the size and extent of the Earth's Shadow (verses gola.38–48) and then provides the computation and the size of the eclipsed part during an eclipse. Later Indian astronomers improved on the calculations, but Aryabhata's methods provided the core. His computational paradigm was so accurate that 18th-century scientist Guillaume Le Gentil, during a visit to Pondicherry, India, found the Indian computations of the duration of the lunar eclipse of 30 August 1765 to be short by 41 seconds, whereas his charts (by Tobias Mayer, 1752) were long by 68 seconds.
Aryabhata's work was of great influence in the Indian astronomical tradition and influenced several neighbouring cultures through translations. The Arabic translation during the Islamic Golden Age (c. 820 CE), was particularly influential. Some of his results are cited by Al-Khwarizmi and in the 10th century Al-Biruni stated that Aryabhata's followers believed that the Earth rotated on its axis.
Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU), Patna has been established by Government of Bihar for the development and management of educational infrastructure related to technical, medical, management and allied professional education in his honour. The university is governed by Bihar State University Act 2008.
India's first satellite Aryabhata and the lunar crater Aryabhata are named in his honour. An Institute for conducting research in astronomy, astrophysics and atmospheric sciences is the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) near Nainital, India. The inter-school Aryabhata Maths Competition is also named after him, as is Bacillus Aryabhata, a species of bacteria discovered in the stratosphere by ISRO Scientists in 2009.
Aryabhata's astronomical calculation methods were also very influential. Along with the trigonometric tables, they came to be widely used in the Islamic world and used to compute many Arabic astronomical tables (zijes). In particular, the astronomical tables in the work of the Arabic Spain scientist Al-Zarqali (11th century) were translated into Latin as the Tables of Toledo (12th century) and remained the most accurate ephemeris used in Europe for centuries.
Aryabhata discussed the concept of sine in his work by the name of ardha-jya, which literally means "half-chord". For simplicity, people started calling it jya. When Arabic Writers translated his works from Sanskrit into Arabic, they referred it as jiba. However, in Arabic writings, vowels are omitted, and it was abbreviated as jb. Later Writers substituted it with jaib, meaning "pocket" or "fold (in a garment)". (In Arabic, jiba is a meaningless word.) Later in the 12th century, when Gherardo of Cremona translated these writings from Arabic into Latin, he replaced the Arabic jaib with its Latin counterpart, sinus, which means "cove" or "bay"; thence comes the English word sine.
Probably dating from the 9th century, it is mentioned by the Persian scholar and chronicler of India, Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī.