Abacus - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Abacus.
This section contains 1,143 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Abacus Encyclopedia Article

Abacus

The abacus is the most ancient calculating device known. It has endured over time and is still in use in some countries. An abacus consists of a wooden frame, rods, and beads. Each rod represents a different place value—ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, and so on. Each bead represents a number, usually 1 or 5, and can be moved along the rods. Addition and subtraction can easily be performed by moving beads along the wires of the abacus.

The word abacus is Latin. It is taken from the Greek word abax, which means "flat surface." The predecessors to the abacus—counting boards— were just that: flat surfaces. Often they were simply boards or tables on which pebbles or stones could be moved to show addition or subtraction. The earliest counting tables or boards may simply have been lines drawn in the sand. These evolved into actual tables...

(read more)

This section contains 1,143 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Abacus Encyclopedia Article
Copyrights
Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics
Abacus from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.