It has eluded experts for centuries, but now an Indian, following
in the footsteps of Aryabhatt, one of the earliest Indian
mathematicians, claims to have worked out a simple formula to find
any number's cube root.
Nirbhay Singh Nahar, a retired chemical engineer and an amateur
mathematician, claims he has found a formula that will help
students and applied engineers to work out the cube roots of any
number in a short time.
"Give me any number - even, odd, decimals, a fraction...and I will
give you the cube root using a simple calculator to just add and
subtract within a minute and a half. We do have methods and
patterns, but no formula at the moment. Even the tables give cube
roots of 1 to 1,000, not of fractions or of numbers beyond 1,000,
for which people have to use scientific calculators," Nahar, who
retired as an engineer from Hindustan Salts Ltd at Sambhar
(Rajasthan), told IANS.
Four years, thousands of sums, a lot of painstaking research and
total devotion led him to develop the formula which he has now
"I am willing to be scrutinised and investigated by anyone in the
world, and to demonstrate but I will not disclose the formula till
it is patented because I want the credit for my work to go to
India, my country," he added.
Nahar, who sent his findings to research journals but got no
response, said he will soon write to the prime minister requesting
him to arrange a meeting between him and the world's top
"Only when I get recognition for my formula named NAHNO (Nah
stands for Nahar and NO for number) will I disclose my formula,"
The cube root of a number is a figure, which multiplied by itself
thrice gives the larger number.
Many complex and multi-staged methods are available to crack cube
roots, but they are time-consuming and cumbersome. On a standard
calculator, one has to go through half a dozen steps before
getting the answer.
Mathematicians down the ages have all tried to get a simple
formula which gives a precise answer, but it has eluded them.
While Newton's formula arrives at an approximation, Nahar claims
his formula leads to direct and perfect value, and no
"So far no one has been able to do it. Cube roots are a very
complicated game. People have been coming out with solutions. But
in 5,000 years no one has been able to discover a workable formula
for cube roots. My formula will make history and add to India's
mathematical genius," Nahar said.
Mathematics is not his profession nor did he take any formal
training in the discipline. He stumbled on the idea while helping
his grandchildren with their homework.
"It was me and the complicated arithmetic sums. In six months I
found the formula which does not require use of scientific
calculators," Nahar said.
Nahar said he had read both Western and Vedic mathematics and
consulted all authorities on the subject.
If proved right, he will follow in the illustrious footsteps of
5th century mathematician Aryabhatt, who was known for his work in
astronomy, arithmetic, algebra and trigonometry. It is said that
his book helped European mathematicians learn how to calculate the
areas of triangles, volumes of spheres as well square and cube
(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)