Giovanni Bianchini, an Italian merchant and mathematician of the 15th century, revolutionized calculations with his invention of the decimal system. His use of the comma in decimal numbers was a remarkable feat that made astronomical calculations much easier. In 1440, Bianchini used the decimal point in his work, showing his understanding of mathematical complexity.

Bianchini worked for the Este family, managing their fortunes and compiling horoscopes. At that time, European astronomers used the Babylonian system of sixty, which posed significant challenges for multiplication and other calculations. However, Bianchini’s innovative approach to decimals was revolutionary at the time and even influenced later astronomers. He developed a decimal system for measuring distances, dividing units into ten equal parts.

Recent research by historian Glenn Van Brummelen has revealed that Bianchini’s use of decimals preceded German astronomer Johannes Kepler’s observation by 150 years. His trigonometric tables combined degrees and the system of 60 with decimals, showcasing his unique approach to astronomy. Ultimately, Bianchini’s work demonstrated the power and simplicity of decimal numbers in mathematical calculations.

In conclusion, Giovanni Bianchini’s invention of the decimal system revolutionized mathematics by making calculations much easier and more accurate than ever before. His use of commas in decimal numbers showed a remarkable understanding of mathematical complexity and influenced later astronomers such as Johannes Kepler.

By Samantha Johnson

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