Rational Trigonometry and ancient Babylonian mathematics

Abstract: Rational Trigonometry is a modern rethinking of trigonometry, avoiding irrational numbers, transcendental functions, and with a purely algebraic approach that extends to general fields, including finite fields, and arbitrary quadratic forms, including relativistic geometry. But is it really that knew? Could it be that some of the essential ideas were already glimpsed by the Old Babylonians around 1800 B.C.E.? By re-examining the famous tablet Plimpton 322, we show that the ancient Mesopotamians had trigonometry more than 1000 years before the Greeks, and that their version was angle free-- in other words it aligns with rational trigonometry.

Русский