Li Chunfeng - Mathematics


Li added corrections to certain mathematical works. Examples of this are in Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art by Liu Hui. He demonstrated that the least common multiple of the numbers two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, and twelve was 27720, the answer was flawed in the original text. Yet another instance of this was in Zu Geng's work about the area of a sphere. Li gave 22/7 (3.1428571428571428571428571428571) instead of three as a better approximation of what we know now as pi. He began each annotation with the words “Your servant, Chunfeng, and his collaborators comment respectfully on…” Li did write some mathematical works of his own, little is known about them. They are usually dismissed as unimportant in comparison to his other accomplishments. With Liang Shu and Wang Zhenru, he wrote Shibu Suanjing (十部算经) in 656. These were ten mathematical manuals submitted to the emperor.

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