Abu alWafa' alBuzjani

Born 
(9400610)June 10, 940 Buzhgan 

Died 
997 or 998 CE Baghdad 

Era 
Islamic Golden Age 

Region 
Baghdad 

Main interests 
Mathematics and Astronomy 

Notable ideas 


Major works 
Almagest of Abū alWafā' 



Abū alWafāʾ, Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā ibn Ismāʿīl ibn alʿAbbās alBūzjānī (Persian: ابوالوفای بوزجانی) ^{[1]} (10 June 940 – 15 July 998) was a Persian^{[2]} mathematician and astronomer who worked in Baghdad. He made important innovations in spherical trigonometry, and his work on arithmetics for businessmen contains the first instance of using negative numbers in a medieval Islamic text.
He is also credited with compiling the tables of sines and tangents at 15' intervals. He also introduced the sec and cosec functions, as well studied the interrelations between the six trigonometric lines associated with an arc.^{[3]} His Almagest was widely read by medieval Arabic astronomers in the centuries after his death. He is known to have written several other books that have not survived.
Life
He was born in Buzhgan, (now Torbate Jam) in Khorasan (in today's Iran). At age 19, in 959 AD, he moved to Baghdad and remained there for the next forty years, and died there in 998.^{[3]} He was a contemporary of the distinguished scientists AlQuhi and AlSijzi who were in Baghdad at the time and others like Abu Nasr ibn Iraq, AbuMahmud Khojandi, Kushyar ibn Labban and AlBiruni.^{[4]} In Baghdad, he received patronage by members of the Buyid court.
Astronomy
Abu AlWafa' was the first to build a wall quadrant to observe the sky.^{[4]} It has been suggested that he was influenced by the works of AlBattani as the latter describes a quadrant instrument in his Kitāb azZīj.^{[4]}
His use of tangent helped to solve problems involving rightangled spherical triangles, and developed a new technique to calculate sine tables, allowing him to construct more accurate tables than his predecessors.
In 997, he participated in an experiment to determine the difference in local time between his location and that of alBiruni (who was living in Kath, now a part of Uzbekistan). The result was very close to presentday calculations, showing a difference of approximately 1 hour between the two longitudes. Abu alWafa is also known to have worked with alKuhi, who was a famous maker of astronomical instruments. While what is extant from his works lacks theoretical innovation, his observational data were used by many later astronomers, including alBiruni's.
Almagest
Among his works on astronomy, only the first seven treatises of his Almagest (Kitāb alMajisṭī) are now extant.^{[6]} The work covers numerous topics in the fields of plane and spherical trigonometry, planetary theory, and solutions to determine the direction of Qibla.^{[4]}
Mathematics
He established several trigonometric identities such as sin(a ± b) in their modern form, where the Ancient Greek mathematicians had expressed the equivalent identities in terms of chords.^{[7]}
$\backslash sin(\backslash alpha\; \backslash pm\; \backslash beta)\; =\; \backslash sin\; \backslash alpha\; \backslash cos\; \backslash beta\; \backslash pm\; \backslash cos\; \backslash alpha\; \backslash sin\; \backslash beta$
He also discovered the law of sines for spherical triangles:
 $\backslash frac\{\backslash sin\; A\}\{\backslash sin\; a\}\; =\; \backslash frac\{\backslash sin\; B\}\{\backslash sin\; b\}$
= \frac{\sin C}{\sin c}
where A, B, C are the sides and a, b, c are the opposing angles.^{[7]}
Some sources suggest that he introduced the tangent function, although other sources give the credit for this innovation to alMarwazi.^{[7]}
Works
 Almagest (Kitāb alMajisṭī).
 A book of zij called Zīj al‐wāḍiḥ, no longer extant.
 "A Book on Those Geometric Constructions Which Are Necessary for a Craftsman", (Kitāb fī mā yaḥtaj ilayh alṣāniʿ min alaʿmāl alhandasiyya).
 "A Book on What Is Necessary from the Science of Arithmetic for Scribes and Businessmen", (Kitāb fī mā yaḥtaj ilayh alkuttāb wa’lʿummāl min ʾilm alḥisāb). This is the first book where negative numbers have been used in the medieval Islamic texts.
He also wrote translations and commentaries on the algebraic works of Diophantus, alKhwārizmī, and Euclid's Elements.
Legacy
The crater Abul Wáfa on the Moon is named after him.
Notes
References
External links


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Persondata

Name

Buzjani, Abu AlWafa

Alternative names

ابوالوفا محمد بن محمد بن یحیی بن اسماعیل بن العباس البوزجانی; Abū alWafāʾ Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā ibn Ismāʿīl ibn alʿAbbās alBūzjānī

Short description

Persian mathematician and astronomer

Date of birth

940

Place of birth

Buzhgan

Date of death

15 July 998

Place of death

Baghdad

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