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    Re: Ancient Babylonian tablet - world's first trig table?
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2017 Aug 25, 23:30 +0000

    A brief examination of their paper shows that:
    1. They did not discover a new tablet. The tablet they study is well known. 
    They just offer a new interpretation of it.
    2. This is not a trigonometric table in the modern sense of the word. It does 
    not tabulate the sine (or any other function) as a function of the angle.
    This is rather a list of "Pythagorean triples", that is rational  solutions of 
    the equation a^2 + b^2 = c^2.
    (We know that such triples are associated to triangles with one straight 
    angle, but whether the scribe who produced this table also knew this, is not 
    So the question discussed is what is the purpose of this list. The traditional 
    point of view was that this is
    some student exercise. They propose a new opinion, that this table somehow had 
    a function of a trigonometric table.
    My impression is that this is "somewhat controversial" to say the least. But 
    we will see how other scientists will react on this paper.
    (On my opinion, serious scientists usually do not advertise their new discoveries on youtube:-)
    But who knows).
    From: NavList@fer3.com [NavList@fer3.com] on behalf of Jackson McDonald [NoReply_McDonald@fer3.com]
    Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 6:53 PM
    To: eremenko@math.purdue.edu
    Subject: [NavList] Ancient Babylonian tablet - world's first trig table?
    Scholars have discovered evidence of an ancient Babylonian system of 
    trigonometry dating from 1000 years before Pythagoras.
    I wonder if this system could be applied to spherical trigonometry.
    View and reply to this 

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