The Problem of the Broken Bamboo, from Yang Hui's book Detailed Analysis
of the A-fathematical Rules in the 'Nine Chapters'and Their Reclassiftcation,
published in 1261. Yang Hui was one of China's leading mathematicians, and
in his works quadratic equations with negative coefficients appear for the
first time. Here the broken bamboo, which forms a natural right- angled triangle,
is discussed as an example of the properties of such triangles, their expression
in algebra, and the use of such expressions for measuring heights and distances.