Trigonometry: Development In Ancient Civilization

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History of Trigonometry
By Akshay Goyal(11110013)
B.Tech (4th year)
The essay involves the birth of trigonometry and its subsequent development in ancient civilization. Although Greek and Babylonian mathematician laid the foundation of spherical trigonometry by discovering relations between spherical triangles and constructing tables of trigonometric functions but it was India who invented computational trigonometry which we use today to solve problems. Indian mathematician laid the foundation of plane trigonometry which was further carried out by Islam mathematician and finally became the modern day trigonometry.
Trigonometry is a branch of mathematics which deals with its geometrical part to compute any unknown
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So we cannot say conclusively that trigonometry was born in Egypt.
Greek Civilization
The work that gave shape to modern trigonometry was done by Greek mathematicians. The father of trigonometry Hipparchus (190-120 BC) was the first to construct a table of values for trigonometric functions of different certain angles[ ]. Although he used geometrical formulas between various chords and its certain angles to calculate values but due to property of chord given below [ ] trigonometric formulas were known to him in equivalent chord form. However, later it was Ptolemy who modified the Hipparchus’s table into table of sine with angle ranging from
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So all in all, we can say that Hindu Mathematicians had done remarkable work on the Trigonometric functions and later their work was carried out by Arab mathematicians and there some of the words like jya and kot-ijya were converted to sine and cosine which we use today.
Application of Trigonometry:
The first and foremost application is in astronomy to calculate as explained earlier but today trigonometry is also used for other things like: Used in finding the heights of towers, mountains and also in oceanography department to calculate the height of tides in the ocean by using angle of elevation and line of sight of human eye. Used in navigation for ships, to calculate the structural load by finding out the slopes of surfaces and also in communication department for calculating various sine and cosine wave motions.
Trigonometry has existed for at least two centuries in different form and although the initial aim of developing trigonometry was just to calculate the distance between celestial body but in Egypt and in the India trigonometry took a more computational form rather than geometric form in Greek period. Development of trigonometry was and will be a continuous process and therefore we can see how much work had gone into developing it into modern day

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