**MONT 109N -- Bhaskara's Approximation of the sine
April 11, 2011
**In the text known as the

Indian mathematician Bhaskara developed the following approximation to

the sine function (given for an angle in degrees, with the radius of the

circle set to

(1) |

Here are Bhaskara's approximation for the sine of 23 degrees,

and a more accurate approximation using a different modern

method:

(2) |

Note that the Bhaskara formula gives the value correct to 2 decimal places

In fact if we plot both formulas on the interval from 0 to 90 degrees, it is difficult

to tell that we are looking at two different functions -- the agreement is close

enough that hardly any difference is apparent at the resolution of the graphics: