Tag Archives: mathematics

A sampler of Ramanujan’s elementary results and their manifold ramifications

As we have remarked before, Ramanujan seemed as if channeling the world-conquering strides of Viṣṇu, when he single-handedly bridged the lacuna in Hindu mathematics from the days of the brāhmaṇa-s of the Cerapada to the modern era. Starting around the … Continue reading

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A catalog of attractors, repellors, cycles, and other oscillations of some common functional iterates

One of the reasons we became interested in functional iterates was from seeking an analogy for the effect of selective pressure on the mean values of a measurable biological trait in a population. Let us consider a biological trait under … Continue reading

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Are civilizational cycles the norm?

Nearly two and half decades back, we used to have several conversations with a late śūlapuruṣīya professor, mostly on topics with a biological angle. While not a mathematician, he had a passing interest in dynamical systems, for he felt that … Continue reading

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Some observations on the Lekkerkerker-Zeckendorf decomposition of integers

In our youth, we learned of a nice arithmetic theorem of Lekkerkerker (more popularly known after Zeckendorf; hereinafter L-Z) that relates to the famous Mātrā-meru sequence : 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8… defined by the recurrence relationship . … Continue reading

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Subjective and objective insight

The black American scientist Sylvester Gates mentioned a curious personal anecdote in a talk. To paraphrase him, when he was in college, he had to take a calculus course. He mentioned how he could cut through differentiation as it was … Continue reading

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Turagapadādi

This note stems from a recent conversation with a friend, where he pointed out that the graph representing all possible positions the horse (knight) can take on the chessboard from a given starting square produces interesting graphs. It struck us … Continue reading

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The shape of dinosaur eggs

Readers of these pages will know that we have a special interest in the geometry of ovals. One of the long-standing problems in this regard is: what is the curve that best describes the shape of a dinosaurian egg? While … Continue reading

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Self, non-self and segregation: a very basic look at agent-based lattice models

In our college days, a part time physics teacher from an old and respected V clan used to chat with us about issues of mutual interest that were beyond that of the rest of the class (or for that matter … Continue reading

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Two exceedingly simple sums related to triangular numbers

This note records some elementary arithmetic pertaining to triangular numbers for bālabodhana. In our youth we found that having a flexible attitude was good thing while obtaining closed forms for simple sums: for some sums geometry (using methods of proofs … Continue reading

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Johannes Germanus Regiomontanus and his rod

Even before we had become acquainted with the trigonometric sum and difference formulae or calculus are father had pointed to us that there was an optimal point at which one should stand to observe or photograph features on vertical structures, … Continue reading

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A great statistician, and biographical, numerical musings on ancient game

Recently my friend brought it to my attention that C. Radhakrishna Rao had scored a century. Born in 1920 CE to Doraswamy Nayadu and A. Laxmikanthamma from the Andhra country, he is one of the great mathematical thinkers and statisticians … Continue reading

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Modulo rugs of 3D functions

Consider a 3D function . Now evaluate it at each point of a integer lattice grid. Compute corresponding to each point and plot it as a color defined by some palette that suits your aesthetic. The consequence is a what … Continue reading

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A guilloche-like trigonometric tangle

Coprimality, i.e., the situation where the GCD of 2 integers is 1 is one of the fundamental expressions of complexity. In that situation, two numbers can never contain the other within themselves or in multiples of them by numbers smaller … Continue reading

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Some notes on the Henon-Heiles Hamiltonian system

Anyone familiar with dynamical systems knows of the Henon-Heiles (HH) system. What we are presenting here is well-known stuff about which reams of material have been written. However, we offer certain tricks for visualizing this system that make it easy … Continue reading

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Bhāskara’s dual square indeterminate equations

PDF for convenient reading Figure 1. Sum and difference of squares amounting to near squares. In course of our exploration of the bhūjā-koṭi-karṇa-nyāya in our early youth we had observed that there are examples of “near misses”: . Hence, we … Continue reading

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Counting pyramids, squares and magic squares

Figure 1. Pyramidal numbers The following note provides some exceedingly elementary mathematics, primarily for bālabodhana. Sometime back we heard a talk by a famous contemporary mathematician (M. Bhargava) in which he described how as a kid he discovered for himself … Continue reading

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An arithmetic experiment and an unsolved problem

We realized that a simple arithmetic experiment we had performed in our youth is actually related to an unsolved problem in number theory. It goes thus: consider the sequence of natural numbers Then find the distance of to nearest prime … Continue reading

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Conic conquests: biographical and historical

PDF file of same article Studying mathematics with our father was not exactly an easy-going experience; nevertheless, it was the source of many a spark that inspired fruitful explorations and life-lessons. We recount one such thread here, and reflect on … Continue reading

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Generalizations of the prime sieve and Pi

PDF version for better reading Eratosthenes, the preeminent yavana philosopher of early Ptolemaic Egypt [footnote 1], composed a hymn to the god Hermes of which only some fragments have come down to us. This connection to Hermes is evidently related … Continue reading

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Rāsabha-nyāya-śikṣā

Vrishchika had been seeing several kids of patients affected by the chemical leak that had happened sometime ago. While she saw some purely for routine clinical practice, she was also particularly interested in the several cases exhibiting heterotaxy and had … Continue reading

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Chaotic behavior of some floor-squared maps

Consider the one dimensional maps of the form: , where is the fractional part of What will be evolution of a under this map when or ? We can see that for it will tend converge. However, the behavior is … Continue reading

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Two squares that sum to a cube

Introduction This note records an exploration that began in our youth with the simple arithmetic question: Sum of the squares of which pair integers yields a perfect cube? Some obvious cases immediately come to mind: . In both these cases … Continue reading

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Difference of consecutive cubes, conics and a Japanese temple tablet

Introduction In our part of the world, someone with even a nominal knowledge of mathematics might be aware of the taxicab number made famous by the conversation of Ramanujan and Hardy: the smallest number that can be expressed as the … Continue reading

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The Mātrā-meru and convergence to a triangle

What is presented below will be elementary for someone with even just the mastery of secondary school mathematics. Nevertheless, even simple stuff might present points of interest to people who see beauty in such things. Consider the following question: Given … Continue reading

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Sequences related to maps based on simple fractional functions

One of the pleasures of an unstructured youth in the pre-computer era was what we called calculator games. As our father took his prized calculator with him to work we only got a little time with it in the evenings. … Continue reading

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Some Nārāyaṇa-like convergents and their geometric and trigonometric connections

While playing with an iterative geometric construction in our youth we discovered for ourselves a particular right triangle whose sides are in the proportion , where is the Golden Ratio. This triangle is of course famous as being the basis … Continue reading

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The aftermath: A polynomial equation

This is merely the tailpiece to the last tale of the strange hauntings. A reader may wonder why expend so many words on a high school problem. While the ball could have fitted into the socket, it rolled away. As … Continue reading

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A modern glance at Nārāyaṇa-paṇḍita’s combinatorics-1

For improved reading experience one may use the PDF version. Students of the history of Hindu mathematics are well-acquainted with Nārāyaṇa-paṇḍita’s sophisticated treatment of various aspects of combinatorics and integer sequences in his Gaṇita-kaumudī composed in 1356 CE. In that … Continue reading

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Chaos, eruptions and root-convergence in one-dimensional maps based on metallic-sequence generating functions

bronze_bouncer Over the years we have observed or encountered certain natural phenomena that are characterized by rare, sudden eruptive behavior occurring against a background of very low amplitude fluctuations. We first encountered this in astronomy: most remarkably, in the constellation … Continue reading

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Pearl necklaces for Maheśvara

Śrīpati’s pearl necklace for Maheśvara The brāhmaṇa Śrīpati of the Kāśyapa clan was a soothsayer from Rohiṇīkhaṇḍa, which is in the modern Buldhana district of Maharashtra state. Somewhere between 1030 to 1050 CE he composed several works on mathematics, astronomy … Continue reading

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Nārāyaṇa’s sequence, Mādhava’s series and pi

The coin-toss problem and Nārāyaṇa’s sequence If you toss a fair coin times how many of the possible result-sequences of tosses will not have a successive run of 3 or more Heads? The same can be phrased as given tosses … Continue reading

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Discovering bronze in the characteristic ellipse of right triangles

The arithmetic mean square of a right triangle An entire family of right triangles that includes all the different forms of right triangles defined in terms of the proportion of their legs can be obtained by setting their altitude to … Continue reading

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Creating patterns through matrix expansion

People who are seriously interested in emergent complexity and pattern formation might at some point discover matrix expansion for themselves. It is a version of string rewriting that allows one to create complex patterns. For me, the inspiration came from … Continue reading

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An apparition of Mordell

Consider the equation: where is a positive integer 1, 2, 3… For a given , will the above equation have integer solutions and, if yes, what are they and how many? We have heard of accounts of people receiving solutions … Continue reading

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Newton’s cows

Cultures with an Indo-European background have had a long history of symbiosis with the bovine animal since they started herding on the steppes in the Black Sea-Caspian region. Indeed, the very emergence of the modern steppes of Eurasia is likely … Continue reading

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A novel discrete map exhibiting chaotic behavior

The map proposed by R. Lozi over 40 years ago is one of the simplest two dimensional maps that exhibits chaotic behavior and generates a wide range of interesting structures. The map may be defined thus: where are real parameters. … Continue reading

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Visualizing the Hindu divisibility test

Prologue This article continues on the themes covered by the last two (here and here) relating to factorization and the primitive root modulo of a prime number. Early in ones education one learns the divisibility tests for the first few … Continue reading

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Fermat’s little theorem and the periods of the reciprocals of primes

From the genetic code to the proof of Fermat’s little theorem Nucleic acids encode the 20 amino acids found in the sequence of a protein using just 4 bases: A, G, T, C in DNA. Thus, the 4-symbol nucleic acid … Continue reading

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A layman’s overview of the arithmetic of encryption

Life as an encryption-decryption cycle Encryption is a concept as old as life itself. The sequence of proteins, the primary purveyors of function in life as we know it, is encrypted within nucleic acids. It is decrypted by this remarkable … Continue reading

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Division-multiplication parabolas, triplications, and quadratic residues

Introduction Many strands of our investigations on conic-generating integer sequences, word fractals and cellular automaton models for pattern formation came together in an unexpected manner while investigating a simple integer sequence. While some of these connections have have been known … Continue reading

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The mean hyperbola and other mean functions

Let be two numbers such that, We use to construct a specific rectangular hyperbola using one of the following methods: Method-I (Figure 1: this is based on an approach we described earlier) Figure 1 1) Mark point , which will … Continue reading

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The geometric principles behind discrete dynamical systems based on the generalized Witch of Agnesi

Consider the family of curves defined by the equation following parametric equation , where and It defines a family of probability distribution functions (PDFs): This can be seen from the above equations because Figure 1 Examples of these PDFs are … Continue reading

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Reflections on our journey through the aliquot sums and sequences

The numerology of aliquot sums and perfect numbers The numerology of the Pythagorean sages among the old yavana-s is one of the foundations of science and mathematics as we know it. One remarkable class of numbers which they discovered were … Continue reading

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Residues of squares, sequence curiosities and parabolas galore

Squares and their residues This is an exploration of number triangles in the same vein as some other such we have previously described . It resulted in some observations that seemed interesting to us. Some are perhaps trivial but some … Continue reading

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A note on the least prime divisor sequences of 2p plus or minus 1

Let be the sequence of prime numbers: 2, 3, 5, 7… Define the sequences such that . Then sequence is defined such that is the lowest prime divisor (LPD) of and sequence is defined so that is the LPD of … Continue reading

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A sequence related to prime counting

The current note arose as an exploration branching off from the matter discussed in these earlier notes: this one and this one. As we saw before, Carl Gauss, while still in his teens, produced his first estimate of the prime … Continue reading

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Convergence to a palindrome

This is a brief account of a sequence we constructed inspired by Dattatreya Ramachandra Kaprekar. It is not known to us if he had discovered it in one of his obscure publications from a small town in the Maharatta country. … Continue reading

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A problem from 600 CE and some curiosities of Āryabhaṭa’s kuṭṭaka algorithm

Around 600 CE in the examinations of one of the Hindu schools of mathematics and astronomy one might have encountered a problem such as below (given by Bhāskara-I in his commentary on Āryabhaṭa’s Āryabhaṭīya): dvayādyaiḥ ṣaṭ-paryantair ekāgraḥ yo ‘vaśiṣyate rāśiḥ … Continue reading

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The remarkable behavior of a map displaying derived from a simple model for a biological conflict

One of the simplest yet profound mathematical models for biological growth emerged sometime in the middle of the 1800s due to the work of Verhulst. It describes population growth thus: let be the population of the organism at time . … Continue reading

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The quotient triangle, the parabola-hyperbola sequence, the remainder triangle and perfect numbers

The quotient triangle Consider a positive integer . Then for all do the floor operation . Say , we get , a sequence of quotients of the division . If we do this for all we get the quotient triangular … Continue reading

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Counting primes, arithmetic functions, Ramanujan and the like

We originally wished to have a tail-piece for our previous note that would describe more precisely the relationship between the Möbius function and the distribution of prime numbers. However, since that would have needed a bit of a detour in … Continue reading

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Our auto-discovery of the Möbius and Mertens sequences

Recently, we were explaining to our friend the Möbius and the Mertens functions and their relationship to the prime number distribution. We also heard with some wonder from a physicist of a theoretical model where multiparticle states behave as bosons … Continue reading

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The incredible beauty of certain Hamiltonian mappings

In our teens we studied Hamiltonian functions a little bit as part of our attempt to understand classical and quantum physics. A byproduct of it was a superficial interest in the geometry of some of the mappings arising from such … Continue reading

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The Satija-Ketoja system

Satija and Ketoja discovered an interesting dynamical system in course of the study of the Schrödinger equation for one electron in a two dimensional periodic lattice on a uniform magnetic field. While this equation and its variants have several uses … Continue reading

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Some simple maps specifying strange attractors

This note may be read a continuation of: Some reminiscences of our study of chaotic maps-2 While the story of the chaotic 2D attractors began with the simple-looking maps of Henon and Lozi, by the early 1990s the high-point was … Continue reading

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The Meru and Nārāyaṇa’s cows: Words and fractals

The fractals described herein are based on and inspired by the work of the mathematicians Rauzy, Mendes-France, Monnerot and Knuth. Some their works, especially the first of them, are dense with formalism. Here we present in simple terms the means … Continue reading

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Hofstadter and Nārāyaṇa: connections across space and time

The scientist-philosopher Douglas Hofstadter presents an interesting single-seeded sequence H in his book ‘Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid’. It is generated by the recurrence relation, where …(1) Working it out one can see that it takes the form: … Continue reading

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Wisdom from a tag system

The case of the mathematician Emil Post, like that of several others, indicates how the boundary between mania and mathematics can be a thin one. Nevertheless, Post discovered some rather interesting things that were to have fundamental implications the theory … Continue reading

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Median and pedal triangles and derived fractals: an introductory account

It is rather easily seen that joining the midpoints of the sides of a triangle yields four congruent triangles that in turn are similar to the original triangle (Figure 1). This figure might be used to provided a self-evident geometric … Continue reading

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The square root spiral and the Gamma function: entwined analogies

The topic discussed here is something on which considerable serious mathematical literature has published by P.J Davis, W. Gautschi and others. This partly historical narration is just a personal account of our journey through the same as a non-mathematician. As … Continue reading

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Journeying through the fractal slopes of mount Meru with two-seeded recursive sequences

The Hindus have been fascinated by sequences and series from the beginning of their civilizational memory recorded in the Veda. This continues down to the medieval mathematician Nārāyaṇa paṇḍita, who discovered a general formula (sāmāsika paṅkti) that can be to obtain the … Continue reading

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Cobwebs on the golden hyperbola and parabola

The material presented here is rather trivial to those who have spent even a small time looking at chaotic systems. Nevertheless, we found it instructive when we first discovered it for ourselves while studying conics. Hence, as part of recording … Continue reading

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bhujā-koṭi-karṇa-nyāyaḥ koṭijyā-nyāyaś ca

bhujā-koṭi-karṇa-nyāyaḥ koṭijyā-nyāyaḥ

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The two squares theorem

I do not know who might have discovered this simple relationship first. I stumbled upon it while drawing figures in the notebook during a seminar. Take any two squares such that they are joined at one side and the two … Continue reading

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Constructing a regular heptagon with hyperbola and parabola

There is little doubt that Archimedes was one of the greatest yavana intellectuals. He would also figure in any list of the greatest mathematician-scientists of all times. His work on the construction of a regular heptagon has not survived the … Continue reading

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Infinite bisections required for trisection of an angle

Figure 1: Self-evident demonstration of Figure 2: Application of the same as serial bisections to trisect the angle. In the example chosen here we have . In ten steps we get to which is a pretty close, though in principle … Continue reading

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Doubling the cube with ellipses

The problem of doubling of the cube which emerged in the context of the doubling of the cubical altar of the great god Apollo cannot be solved using just a straight-edge and a compass. It needs one to construct a … Continue reading

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The magic of the deva-ogdoad

Classical Hindu tradition holds that the ogdoad of deva-s corresponding to their directions is: Indra: East; Agni: Southeast; Yama: South; Nirṛti: Southwest; Varuṇa: West; Vāyu: Northwest; Kubera: North; Īśāna: Northeast. The central position might be occupied in certain traditions by … Continue reading

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Trigonometric tangles-3: the fractals

See also: https://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/the-astroid-the-deltoid-and-the-fish-within-the-fish/ This exploration began in days of youth shortly after we learned about complex numbers. It culminated only much later in adulthood when we discovered for ourselves a class of fractal curves related to a celebrated curve discovered … Continue reading

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Euler’s squares

On account of our fascination with the geometry of origami (albeit not well-endowed in mathematical capacity) we discovered for ourselves shortly after our father had taught us trigonometry that, We had earlier shown the origami proof for that. But it … Continue reading

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Trigonometric tangles-2

We had earlier described our exploration of the spirograph, hypocycloids, epicycloids and related curves. In course of our study of the śaiva tantra-s of the kaula tradition we started thinking about a remarkable piece of imagery mentioned in them. Tantra-s … Continue reading

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Trigonometric tangles

Let us define a define the trigonometric tangle as the following parametric function: where can be a rational number or an irrational number. and are any real number. If is a rational number and then we get a tangle petals … Continue reading

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Some visions of infinity from the past and our times

The great Hindu mathematician and astronomer Bhāskara-II’s work preserves a high-point of Hindu knowledge. His work contains ideas that are often seen as characterizing “modern” scientific understanding i.e. what in the west would seen as starting with Leibniz and Newton … Continue reading

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Āryabhaṭa and his sine table

Everyone and his son have written about Āryabhaṭa and his sine table. Yet we too do this because sometimes the situation arises where you have to explain things clearly to a layman who might have some education but is unfamiliar … Continue reading

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Euler and Ramanujan: primes, near integers and cakravāla

Mathematician Watson who worked on the famed notebooks said regarding some of Srinivasa Ramanujan’s equations: “a thrill which is indistinguishable from the thrill which I feel when I enter the Sagrestia Nuovo of the Capella Medici and see before me … Continue reading

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Early Hindu mathematics and the exploration of some second degree indeterminate equations

The following is merely a record of our exploration as a non-mathematician/non-computer scientist of a remarkable (at least to us) class of numerical relationships. An equation like can be solved to obtain specific solutions as: . However, if we have … Continue reading

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Deliberations on richness and beauty: discovery of some multi-parameter iterative maps

As we have explained in the earlier notes (1, 2, 3), the second major factor in our exploration of 2D strange attractors maps, IFS and other fractals was the aesthetic experience they produced. Around that time we came across a … Continue reading

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A strange Soviet construction

in our college days we used to visit the lāl-pustak-bhaṇḍār in our city where Soviet books on science and mathematics were sold at a low price (alongside Marxian literature). They were a great resource that enormously contributed to our intellectual … Continue reading

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Some reminiscences of our study of chaotic maps-2

Continued from part-1 The second two dimensional map we studied in our early days was that of Lozi: where and are constants. It becomes immediately evident that this map is conceptually similar to the Henon map, using the absolute value … Continue reading

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Some elementary lessons from iterative fractal maps

The famous Sierpinski gasket was one of the first fractals we wrote code for when we got access to a computer. It impressed us enormously that an intricate object with self-similarity over all scales could be generated by a rather … Continue reading

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Some reminiscences of our study of chaotic maps-1

Starting in our teens, we began our exploration of chaotic (strange) attractors emerging from simple iterative maps, numerical solution of ordinary differential equations and other fractals inspired by the work of Benoit Mandelbrot. It led us in two directions. First, … Continue reading

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Syllable, number and rules in the ideal realm

This note is neither meant to be complete exposition of this matter nor a complete view of all what we have realized in this regard. Nor can it be completely understood by those who are not insiders of the tradition. … Continue reading

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Some meanderings among golden stuff-2

Related stuff: Golden Ratio-0 Golden Ratio-1 If the golden ratio can fascinate erudite men of high IQ then what to say of simpletons like us. Hence, we shall here talk about some more trivia in this regard. The golden ratio … Continue reading

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The Apollonian parabola

Some say that Archimedes and Apollonius of Perga (modern Murtina in Turkey; the center of the great yavana temple of the goddess Artemis in the days of Apollonius) were the two great yavana-s who might have rivaled Karl Gauss or … Continue reading

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A golden construction

Anyone with even a small fancy for geometrical matters would have at some point in their lives played with the golden ratio (). Indeed, we too have had our share of fun and games with the golden ratio. In course … Continue reading

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The first three squareable Lunes

For the sake of some readers we shall first define a lune: A lune is a concave closed region bounded by two circular arcs respectively with radii and and distance between their centers as , where . This region looks … Continue reading

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The salinon

The yavana Archimedes or some later commentator of his among the Neo-Platonists of Harran described a figure they called the salinon, which was supposed to mean a “salt-cellar”. This material was acquired by the Mohammedans from those Neo-Platonists from whom … Continue reading

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van Aubel’s theorem

The van Aubel’s theorem is a simple theorem which is comparable to the theorem attributed to the French conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte regarding triangles. It is easy to prove once you know the upāya, even as the yogin-s would say ānanda … Continue reading

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Ovals, drops, tops, eights, pears and the like

Ovals, drops, tops, eights, pears and the like This piece may be seen as a continuation of the earlier one on our journey through the world of ovals. As it needed a lot of figures and some mathematical notation it … Continue reading

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The astroid, the deltoid and the fish within the fish

As this article needed a lot of figures with some mathematical notation it is being presented as a PDF file: The astroid, the deltoid and the fish within the fish

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A biographical journey from conics to ovals

As this article needed a lot of figures with some mathematical notation it is being presented as a PDF file: A biographical journey from conics to ovals This may be read a continuation of earlier notes such as: Ovals, drops, tops … Continue reading

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Iamblichus, quadratures, trisections and the lacuna of the cycloid

Today Syria has been turned into a hellhole by the unmāda-traya. However, just before the irruption of the second Abrahamism which ended the late Classical world, it was home to great men like Iamblichus. Hailing from a clan of priest-chiefs, … Continue reading

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Partitions, perforations and tilings

We are “geometric” in our thinking – perhaps, we are hence a little more Greek or the old type Arya than the later Hindu (who is more algebraic) in mentality. Long back in college we were fascinated by implicit trigonometric … Continue reading

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Idiosyncratic synesthetic experiences in some trivial trigonometric identities

Mathematical objects, despite existing in a purely abstract “Platonic” realm, have the ability (perhaps by the very virtue of their Platonic idealism) to produce synesthetic experiences. We have often wondered in our life as to why the realization or experience … Continue reading

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