What Is An Abacus?


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Kath Senior Profile
Kath Senior answered
An abacus is an ancient calculating and counting machine made from a frame of parallel wires on which beads are strung. The abacus device is thought to have evolved and taken its name from the very ancient practice of calculating with a handful of stones on a flat surface. The Latin for flat surface is the word abacus.

This method of calculating was used by the Greeks and Romans and was also known to earlier civilisations; the ancient Babylonians may have used it.

The abacus has developed and survives in current usage as the more sophisticated bread frame form of the Russian schoty and the Japanese soroban. In other cultures, the abacus has been replaced by the electronic calculator that we are all very familiar with.

The wires of a bead frame abacus define place value. For example, in the decimal number system, each successive wire from right to left would stand for ones, tens hundreds, thousand etc. The beads are slit to the top of each wire in order to represent the digits of a particular number.

Sudipa Sarkar Profile
Sudipa Sarkar answered
In modern scientific era abacus is still considered as a milestone for calculation. Abacus is the ancestor of the modern digital calculator. This mathematical device is generally used to represent the decimal places. It is a series of wires or rods that set in a frame which was methodically made by slider beads. Abacus is probably of Babylonian origin (approximately 1000 BCE to 500 BCE). Throughout the Middle Ages its uses was quite prevalent to Europe, the merchants of Arabic world. Abacus has still its place in the Middle East, China and Japan. This is commonly used by pre-schoolers and blinds. For the pre-schoolers, it is used in aiding them to learn numeral system and arithmetic. The blind persons generally use abacus to perform different types of mathematical operations namely addition, subtraction, multiplication, division at its basic level and square root and cubic root as its advanced level.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A counting board , counting with beads

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