Power Series Expansions in India Around A. D. 1400

Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 39)


Mādhava of San\( \dot{\rm n}\)gamagrāma was a mathematical astronomer who flourished around 1400 A.D. in South India. Not a few mathematical formulas attributed to him have been transmitted by scholars of his school to these days. The most important among them are power series expansions of trigonometrical functions sine, cosine, arctangent, and so on. Because these series are not found in his extant astronomical treatises it is not always clear what parts of them were found by Mādhava himself, though some, the expansion of the circumference of a circle for example, can be attributed to him with a certainty.

After taking a glance at Mādhava himself and his school, I will explain in this paper howMādhava derived the power series of the circumference C of a circle with diameter d together with the last corrective term:
$$ C= \frac{4d}{1}-\frac{4d}{3}+\frac{4d}{5}-\frac{4d}{7}+\cdots+(-1)^{n-1} \frac{4d}{2n-1}+(-1)^n\cdot 4d \cdot\frac{n}{(2n)^2+1}, $$
according to the commentary Kriyākramakarī (ca. AD 1550), composed by Śa\( \dot{\rm n}\)kara, who was a scholar situated near the end of the Mādhava school.


Corrective Term Power Series Expansion Regular Polygon Mathematical Textbook Indian Mathematic 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyoto Sangyo UniversityKyotoJapan

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