Abacus: A brief Introduction

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Nov 20, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Abacus: A brief Introduction

Chi
-
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
and
cubic root
operations.




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
.