Abacus: A brief Introduction

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Nov 20, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)


Abacus: A brief Introduction

Kwong Li

History of Chinese Abacus

The abacus is called suanpan

the counting tray.

It is a calculating tool for performing arithmetic processes.

The earliest known written documentation of the

Chinese abacus dates to the 2nd century BC.

Very efficient suanpan techniques have been developed

to do addition, subtraction, multiplication, division,

square root
cubic root

In the famous long scroll
Along the River During the

Qingming Festival
by Zhang Zeduan (1085

1145 AD)

during the Song Dynasty (960

1297 AD), an abacus

(suanpan) is clearly seen.

A demonstration and some discussion

A demonstration

Illustrations of:

grouping in addition;

decomposing higher digits for subtraction;

operating from the leftmost digits;

arithmetic of numbers in different bases, etc.

A discussion of finding square roots.

A Youtube clip