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Kerala scholars beat Newton: report

world Updated: Aug 14, 2007 03:15 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
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A little-known school of scholars in Kerala discovered one of the founding principles of modern mathematics much before Sir Isaac Newton, to whom the finding is currently attributed, a new research here says.

Dr George Gheverghese Joseph, an Honorary Reader of the University of Manchester, says the ‘Kerala School of Mathematics and Astronomy,’ identified the ‘Infinite Series’ — one of the basic components of calculus — in about 1350.

“The ‘Infinite Series’ was identified by these little-known scholars in Kerala all of whom were from within 500 km of Cochin,” Dr Joseph, hailing from Kottayam, told HT. The scholars of the school also discovered what amounted to the Pi series and used it to calculate Pi correct to 17 decimals.

The research, carried out by teams led by Dr Joseph and Dennis Almeida of the University of Exeter, found evidence that the Indians passed on their discoveries to Jesuit missionaries who visited India during the 15th century.

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