Chinese Astronomy & Mathematics

Final Copy

Chinese astronomy has been argued that it is not the most accurate information. Some people believe that it started in 6000 B.C. while others thought that it was 24th century B.C. Some evidence of it been in 6000 B.C. is on walls and pottery. The earliest records of astronomy in China was during the Shang Dynasty, 1500 B.C. Another disagreement with there astronomy is people think that they took it from the Babylonians. The Chinese were also very interested in astronomy. This is proven because back then if civilizations where in war they would not look at the sky any more. The Chinese though would observe night and day, war or no war. The Chinese were also known for there math. They came up with the first device to keep track of numbers called the abacus. One famous mathematician is Yang Hui. He wrote many great books related to Chinese math. Another one of his accomplishments is he invented magic squares. Another famous mathematician is Shen Kua. He was a military commander and scientist. -Nick DeSantis

Chinese Multiplication - The best bloopers are here
Chinese Constellations
Chinese constellations were originally based off of heros and creatures from all different stories in mythology. Some of the characters used were from even Greek mythology. In all, there were originally 88 constellations in astrology. In chinese astrology, there are 283 constellations. Each constellation had its own name and origin it was given. There is much debate over when the first constellations started, but the first recorded constellations were during the Shang Dynasty in 1500 B.C. Not only were stars important to astrology, but the planets also had influence on the future generations of the Chinese. Each planet had its own element that it would represent. In all there were 5 planets that was to be represented by an element; Venus represents metal and gold, Jupiter represents wood, Mercury represents water, Mars represents fire, and Saturn represents wood. The position of the five planets, the sun, the moon, the comets in the sky, and the Chinese Zodiac sign at the time a person was born determine the destiny of a persons life according to chinese astrology.

The abacus was first made in the 4th century A.D. The Chinese were the ones that invented the abacus. It was made because there was no other way of counting except on a persons finger's. One of the main purposes of the abacus was to help merchants keep track of there inventory. Also the merchants used it to calculate the cost of there goods. It helped people count into the higher numbers in the numerical system. The word abacus came from the greek word, "Abax," which means, counting board or calculating board. The board could be used for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It could even be used for square roots and fractions. On the upper portion of the board there are two beads and on the bottom portion there are five beads. Each bead on the top has a value of five and on the beads on the bottom have a value of one. The top beads are also known as the heaven beads and the bottom are known as the earth beads. The first verticle line represents units, the next tens, hundreds, thousands, and so on. You read from right to left but you would work from left to right on the abacus. So, if you wanted to have the number eight you would move one down from the top then three from the bottom. To have 68 you would move the eight on the first line, then the next move would be one from the top then one from the bottom. Below this paragraph I have inserted a movie that will show you how to use the abacus. -Nick DeSantis

Chinese Calendar
The Chinese calendar is a lunar- solar calendar, which has the lunar new year. This is better known as the chinese new year. The lunar solar calendar is based on the rotations or cycles of the moon. This calendar names each of the twelve years as a year of an animal, including the rat, ox, ram, sheep, rooster, monkey, dragon, hare, tiger, snake, dog and pig. The chinese lunar solar calendar was first made and discovered in China at the time of around 2600 B.C. It was first known when Emperor Huang Ti put the first cycle of the lunar solar calendar into the zodiac. The complete cycle of the calendar is a total of 60 years, five years for every animal. The lunar solar calendar used today for the chinese new year and the zodiac was made by an imperial astronomer by the name of Tang Ruowang.
The Numerals
The ancient chinese had there own set of numerals, different from any other civilization of the time. there number system could have given inspiration to the roman numerals in the way that the individual sets of ten are continually added untill the number is reached. the number system has lines for 1-4 and the rest start to get funky. the 20, 30, and 40 are combinations of 10 and either 2, 3, or 4. 100-900 are also similar in the way that they have a symbol that has yet to be deciphred and the number which represents the hundred on top. the same is for thousands and so forth. The chinese number system was discovered somewhere between 1200 BCE and 1500BCE. THe chinese did not have a zero in their number system because it was not a positional system.
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History of Chinese math
Their Math started over 34 centuries ago. It started with a legend about the mythical emperor Yu. The legend goes that a tortois landed on the shore of china bearing a gift. a magic 9x9 square was the gift, although it seemed like magic to them its just simple mathmatics to us. Each row in the square and each column in the square if added together would equal the same number. This amazed the chinese so they wanted to know more. This started their number system and the idea of yin yang. yin yang are the different numbers. yang is odd numbers and yang yin is even numbers. The legend also started the uproar in astronomy for the chinese. The chinese called their math "The art of calculation"


Look at the last link
  • I looked at the Abacus -Nick D
  • I looked at the Chinese Calendar- Daniel C.
  • I looked up the Chinese constellations and the history of them- Sebastian S.
  • I looked at ancient chinese numerals-John C.
  • I looked at the historty of chinese math-John C.
  • I found this video i wanted to know your opinions about it.- Nick D.
  • The video is good, lots of info. -Dan C.
  • That video was really cool- Sebastian S.
  • Great video-John C.
  • I am still looking at the abacus a very important thing in China if you would like you can add on if not that is ok, also i found a website that I thought looked good but did not have enough time to look at. It is the ideafinder thing. -Nick D.
  • everyone name which subtopic you want to use: someone has already done the Abacus, and someone has done chinese constellations, so I will do the Chinese calendar. Dan. C.
  • everyone edit the ones already there, and I edited the Abacus one. Dan.C
  • i dont think i did a very good job on my paragraph on the chinese constellations so if one of you could edit it, that would just b good idea.
  • Someone please do the review because I am really busy, I don't get home after school until 7:30, I'll finish my paragraph but please someone else do the review. -Dan.C.

Sebastian-G Period
Daniel C.- F period
John C.-C period

Nick D -B period
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