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Calculating in Sexagesimal (Base 60)

Sexagesimal is one of the most ancient counting systems. It is commonly attributed to


the Babylonians around the year 1650BC although it actually originated with the
Sumerians in the 3
rd
millennium BC 3000!"000 BC#.
Sexagesimal is a counting system with a base of 60. $his means that% rather than
counting to &ust 10 before beginning a new column of digits as we do now with our
decimal number system% you count to 60 before beginning a new column of digits. $his
may at first sound strange and rather difficult but it is a counting system that we are all
'ery familiar with and use e'eryday ( that of time.
$he Babylonians used different symbols for their numbers% as shown abo'e% but for our
tas)s today we*ll stic) with our decimal number symbols.
+ne of the ,rimary early ,ur,oses for -athematics was in understanding the mo'ement
of the stars . astronomy. $he Babylonians amongst others# estimated the length of
one year to be 360 days and this is the reason why we di'ide a circle into 360 degrees%
with each degree of angle re,resenting one day of time of the /arth orbit around our
Sun. In astronomical terms an angle of one degree is considerably large so
astronomers further di'ide each unit of degree angle into 60 0minutes* of arc and
subse1uently each of these into 60 0seconds* of arc% in the same way as hours of time
are di'ided2.
hours 3 minutes 3 seconds
hr 3 min 3 sec22
degrees 3 arcminutes 3 arcseconds
3 0 3 0*
$as)s 1 and 4 are based on con'erting between the decimal and sexagesimal number
systems.
Task 1a
5ow many hours and minutes or hours% minutes and seconds are the following6
1. 75 minutes
4. 135 minutes
3. 4"0 minutes
". 1""0 minutes
5. 180 seconds
6. 335 seconds
7. 3600 seconds
8. 3661 seconds
9. 7199 seconds
10. 7461 seconds
11. 86"00 seconds
14. "3199 seconds
Task 1b
5ow many minutes are the following6
1. 4 hours 30 minutes
4. 8 hours 15 minutes
3. 7 hours " minutes
". 4" hours
Task 1c
5ow many seconds are the following6
1. 1 minute 10 seconds
4. 10 minutes 31 seconds
3. 19 minutes 5" seconds
". 1 hours 3 minutes 40 seconds
5. 4 hours 40 minutes 5 seconds
6. 5 hours 59 minutes 46 seconds
Task 2a
Con'ert these decimal numbers to sexagesimal form3
1. 63
4. 134
3. 361
". "93
5. 1974
6. 3743
7. 7845
8. 36144
Task 2b
Con'ert these sexagesimal numbers to decimal form3
1. 4* 45**
4. 5* 00**
3. 10* 45*
". 41* 03**
5. 1 00* 08**
6. 1 10* 08**
7. 1 34* 4"**
8. 4 15* 00**
Task 3a
:ow that you are able to con'ert numbers into and out of sexagesimal% lets try doing
some calculations in sexagesimal.
1. 4* 43** ; 1* 14** <
4. 4* 43** ; 1* 57** <
3. 7* "6** ; 3* 3"** <
". 7* 46**; 6* 3"** <
5. "5* 13** ; 4"* 08** <
6. 1 14* "4** ; 57* 39** <
7. 3 43* 50** ; 4 "5* 51** <
1. 4* 43** ! 1* 14** <
4. 7* "6** ! 3* 3"** <
3. 4* 43** ! 1* 57** <
". 7* 46**! 6* 3"** <
5. "5* 13** ! 4"* 08** <
6. 1 14* "4** ! 57* 39** <
7. 3 43* 50** ! 4 "5* 51** <
Task 3b
=se the following 1uestions as ,rom,ts to hel, you to create a method for multi,lying
sexagesimal numbers.
1. 5** x 6** <
4. 5** x 40** <
3. 17** x 40** <
". 60** x 60** <
5. 1* x 1* <
6. 1* x 1* 01* <
7. 1* 01** x 1* 01** <
2=nfortunately one minute of angle e1uates neither to the angle through which the
Earth spins on its own axis nor the angle through which it revolves around our Sun in
one minute of time.#
22>hilst shorthand formats of measurements m% mm% )g% ms
!4
?# tend to be 'ery strictly
maintained% there is 'ery little information a'ailable on the notation of time.

htt,3@@en.wi)i,edia.org@wi)i@Sexagesimal
htt,3@@www!history.mcs.st!and.ac.u)@Indexes@Babylonians.html
htt,3@@www.unb.ca@trans,o@mynet@babylonian.htm
htt,3@@en.wi)i,edia.org@wi)i@Aecimal
htt,3@@www.ancient!world!mysteries.com@360!days!earth!year.html
htt,3@@users.hartwic).edu@hartleyc@yeardays.htm
htt,3@@en.wi)i,edia.org@wi)i@+rbit
htt,3@@en.wi)i,edia.org@wi)i@-inuteBofBarc
htt,3@@mathforum.org@Csarah@hamilton@ham.degrees.html
Answers
Task 1a3 5ow many hours% minutes and seconds are the following3
1. 1 hr 15 mins
4. 4 hrs 15 mins
3. " hrs
". 4" hrs
5. 3 mins
6. 5 mins 35 secs
7. 1 hr
8. 1 hr 1 min 1 sec
9. 1 hr 59 mins 59 secs
10. 4 hrs 1 min 1 sec
11. 4" hrs
14. 11 hrs 59mins
59secs
Task 1b3 5ow many minutes are the following3
1. 150 minutes
4. "95 minutes
3. "4" minutes
". 1""0 minutes
Task 1c3 5ow many seconds are the following3
1. 70 seconds
4. 631 seconds
3. 119" seconds
". 3800 seconds
5. 8"05 seconds
6. 41566 seconds
Task 2a3 Con'ert these decimal numbers to sexagesimal form3
1. 1* 03**
4. 4* 14**
3. 6* 01**
". 8* 13**
5. 34* 54**
6. 1 04* 03**
7. 4 10* 45**
8. 10 04* 04**
Task 2b3 Con'ert these sexagesimal numbers to decimal form3
1. 1"5
4. 300
3. 645
". 1463
5. 3608
6. "408
7. 55""
8. 8100
Task 3a3

1. 4* 43** ; 1* 14** < 3* 35**
4. 4* 43** ; 1* 57** < "* 40**
3. 7* "6** ; 3* 3"** < 11* 40**
". 7* 46**; 6* 3"** < 1"* 00**
5. "5* 13** ; 4"* 08** < 1 09* 41**
6. 1 14* "4** ; 57* 39** < 4 09* 41**
7. 3 43* 50** ; 4 "5* 51** < 6 09* "1**
1. 4* 43** ! 1* 14** < 1* 11**
4. 7* "6** ! 3* 3"** < "* 14**
3. 4* 43** ! 1* 57** < 46**
". 7* 46**! 6* 3"** < 54**
5. "5* 13** ! 4"* 08** < 41* 05**
6. 1 14* "4** ! 57* 39** < 15* 03**
7. 3 43* 50** ! 4 "5* 51** < 37* 59**
Task 3b3
1. 5** x 6** < 30**
4. 5** x 40** < 4*
3. 17** x 40** < 5* "0**
4. 60** x 60** < 3600** < 1
5. 1* x 1* < 66
6. 1* x 1* 01* < 66
7. 1* 01** x 1* 01** < 66