# Who invented algebra?

**Algebra was invented by the Muslim mathematician
Al-Khwarizmi** in the book he wrote in 820. Algebra is the Arabic
word (aljabr) for "equation", and the word "algorithm" comes from
the author's name, Al-Khwarizmi. He is rightly known as "the father
of Algebra".

## A:

The word "algebra" is named after the Arabic word "al-jabr" from the title of the book [al-Kitāb al-muḫtaṣar fī ḥisāb al-ğabr wa-l-muqābala' , (The book of Summary Concerning Calculating by Transposition and Reduction), a book written by the Muslim mathematician, Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī in 820. The word Al-Jabr means "reunion. In fact, many ancient civilizations developed some sort of algebraic methods of solving problems, as far back as the Babylonians, Diophantus of Alexandria and the Indian mathematicians such as Brahmagupta, but Al-Khwarizmi is considered by many to be the "father of algebra" because some of his techniques on solving quadratic equations are still in use today. He was the first to solve equations using general methods. He solved the linear indeterminate equations, quadratic equations, second order indeterminate equations and equations with multiple variable.J. J. O'Conner and E. F. Robertson wrote in the *MacTutor
History of Mathematics archive*: "Perhaps one of the most
significant advances made by Arabic mathematics began at this time
with the work of al-Khwarizmi, namely the beginnings of algebra. It
is important to understand just how significant this new idea was.
It was a revolutionary move away from the Greek concept of
mathematics which was essentially geometry. Algebra was a unifying
theory which allowed rational numbers, irrational numbers
geometrical magnitudes, etc., to all be treated as "algebraic
objects". It gave mathematics a whole new development path so much
broader in concept to that which had existed before, and provided a
vehicle for future development of the subject. Another important
aspect of the introduction of algebraic ideas was that it allowed
mathematics to be applied to itself in a way which had not happened
before.

Isaac Newton was one of the two inventors of what we now call calculus. (And he did start to dabble in alchemy at the end, but saying he spent the rest of his life working on it after inventing calculus might be a stretch. ;-) )

Al-Khwarizmi is often considered the greatest mathematician of all time.

Arabic scholar Al-Khwarizmi (c. 780 - c. 850) visited

India and collected mathematical material for his book

"Ilm al-jabr wa'd muqabalah". He sold his book to the

Romans. The source of the English word algebra was

aljabr which in Arabic means 'the equating'. His name

became the word 'algorism', the old word for

arithmetic. The same word was the root for 'Algorithm'

used in computing. Through his writings, the decimal

system and the use of zero were transmitted to the

west. Algebra was known to Indians long before

Brahmagupta (ca. 598-ca. 665).

Al-Khwarizmi's algebra is regarded as the foundation and cornerstone of the sciences. In a sense, al-Khwarizmi is more entitled to be called "the father of algebra" than Diophantus because al-Khwarizmi is the first to teach algebra in an elementary form and for its own sake, while Diophantus is primarily concerned with the theory of numbers.