Babylonian Number SystemDate: 06/15/98 at 15:55:01 From: DEE CARTER Subject: Sexergesimal I need a copy of this number system and of the Babylonian number system. Thank you very much. Date: 06/19/98 at 15:41:03 From: Doctor Mateo Subject: Re: Sexergesimal Hello Dee, The Babylonian scale of enumeration is known as the sexagesimal system. What that means is that the Babylonians used 60 as their base, much as we tend to use the decimal system (base 10) in the United States . In the sexagesimal system, each time a "digit" is moved to the left its value increases by a factor of 60. When you represent a whole number in the sexagesimal system the last space "digit" is for the numbers from 1 to 59, the next to the last space "digit" for multiples of 60, then the next space "digit" for multiples of 60^2 = 3600, the next preceding space "digit" for multiples of 60^3 = 216,000, and so forth. In other words the number system is developed by working with base 60: 60^0 = 1 60^1 = 60 60^2 = 3600 60^3 = 216,000 . . . . . . The Babylonian 5 53 18 would then represent the number 5*60^2 + 53*60^1 + 18*60^0 = 5*3600 + 53*60 + 18*1 = 18,000 + 3,180 + 18 = 21,198 (in our enumeration system). If you want to write out the number system, it would start out something like 1, 2, 3, 4,...59, 1 0, 1 1, 1 2,... where 1 0 = 1*60^1 + 0*60^0 = 60 + 0 = 60, 1 1 = 1*60^1 + 1*60^0 = 60 + 1 = 61, 1 2 = 1*60^1 + 2*60^0 = 60 + 2 = 62, and so forth. I hope this gets you started on developing the Babylonian or sexagesimal enumeration system. -Doctor Mateo The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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