Talk:Zu Chongzhi

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I wonder if Zu Chongzhi was really first living person to determing the value becuace Aryabhatta [inventer of zero] is who lived around the same time also was credited with the same feet.

"being rumored to have successfully carried out the division of pi by zero, though most modern mathematicians are skeptical." From where does such a rumour arise? Clark Kent 13:08, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Well given that it's such a stupid rumor without a source, and not an achievement by any means, I'm deleting it. Clark Kent 07:01, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Contradiction: Who discovered Cavalieri's principle?[edit]

The article credits Zu Chongzhi with discovering Cavalieri's principle. Yet the article Liu Hui credits the latter with using Cavalieri's principle to find the volume of a cylinder, about two centuries earlier. Both claims apparently are derived from Needham Vol. 3. Can someone who has access to the book clarify this?  --Lambiam 08:48, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Even worse, Zu Gengzhi (Zu Chongzhi's son) also purportedly discovered Cavalieri's principle! Top.Squark (talk) 19:47, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Lui Hui started the research on "mu he fang gai" (ie, Cavalieri principle), but did not followed thru. It was completed by

Zu Gengzhi. Zu Chongzhi did not worked on this topic. See Jan claude Martzloff, A history of chinese mathematics p 290-292 --Gisling (talk) 07:11, 23 July 2010 (UTC).

Thx for pointing it out. I updated the articles Liu Hui and Zu Gengzhi accordingly, but it would be nice if you add there the citation. Top.Squark (talk) 12:40, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Article needs a brush up[edit]

The article is somewhat misleading in that it makes claims that Zu Chongzhi was ahead of his time. For example, "This was an impressive feat for the time, especially considering that the device Counting rods he used for recording intermediate results were merely a pile of wooden sticks laid out in certain patterns." If the author is impressed that a mere pile of patterned sticks can be used to calculate important sums, then what if he's told that the same can be done with hardened bird droppings? About the claims on pi: Archimedes (and other Chinese scholars) had a method for calculating pi to any accuracy; they stopped at 22/7 not because they couldn't go on to 355/113 but because there was no point for all that accuracy at their time (and neither was there in Zu Chongzhi's time).

File:Zu Chongzhi.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Traditional Chinese for Zu Chongzhi[edit]

The traditional Chinese form of Zu Chongzhi is usually 祖沖之; 祖冲之 is the simplified form.


  • 祖沖之, Chinese Wikipedia (turn on Traditional Chinese, HK or Taiwan)
  • 祖沖之, from the Revised Mandarin Chinese Dictionary released by Taiwan's Ministry of Education
  • Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants: 冲 is a variant of the standard 沖
  • : 冲 is a variant of the standard 沖; 祖沖之

Justinrleung (talk) 06:07, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

His name is rendered as 祖冲之 in the Zhonghua edition of 南齊書, where he has a biography at 52:903. I was granting this book priority since it has the least historical distance from its subject, but already in the Zhonghua edition of 南史 his name is written as 祖沖之 in his biography at 72:1773. One can imagine that this particular pair of graphs was used relatively interchangeably at times, and whether one or the other was preferred during Zu Chongzhi's lifetime is a moot question which probably does not bear investigation.
That said, most dictionaries are dangerous sources to use in discussion of historical graphical variants, and Wikipedia's own automatic character conversion has the same issues any system does when converting simplified characters that have more than one associated traditional graph. Snuge purveyor (talk) 16:51, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Since we don't know which grapheme was used during Zu's lifetime (they were probably used interchangeably), and by current standards, 沖 is the form used in Hong Kong and Taiwan (where traditional Chinese is currently used), I think it'd be better to have 沖 as the traditional Chinese form. Also, traditional Chinese does not necessary mean the original form used by Zu; it usually just means the form used in Taiwan, Hong Kong or the Kangxi Dictionary. However, I do agree that modern dictionaries have no say when discussing historical variants; I used the dictionaries above because they are the standards for grapheme usage in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Justinrleung (talk) 00:47, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

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