Do you love solving maths problems? Well, you must have worked with an abacus, as it is a deceptively simple calculating tool that people still use worldwide. Needless to say, it is a useful learning device for the visually impaired and anyone who wants to learn about the roots of the modern calculator. So after learning the basics of counting, you might wonder how to use an abacus. Well, that is what we are going to discuss here today.
Once you know how to handle an abacus, you can quickly perform arithmetic calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. So are you curious to learn more about how to use an abacus? Let us share some of the significant details of using an abacus.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Things You Need To Know Before Using An Abacus?
- Orient Your Abacus Properly
- Assign Each Column A Place Value
- Start Counting With The Beads In The Lower Row
- Complete The ⅘ Exchange
- Input Your First Number
- Start Adding From The Left
- Complete An Exchange
- Count Your Beads To Get The Answer
- Record The Problem On The Abacus
- Multiply By Alternating Columns
- Ending Note
What Are The Things You Need To Know Before Using An Abacus?
Are you eager to use an abacus for doing your calculations? Well, then, you must be wondering how to use an abacus. Stay tuned to our page to learn some relevant details about using an abacus. You need not worry, as the entire process is very simple. Let us discuss some of the major points about using an abacus:
Orient Your Abacus Properly
As you know, each column of an abacus in the top row should have one or two beads per row, while each column in the bottom row should have four. So when you start, all the beads should be up in the top row and down in the bottom.
Needless to say, the beads in the top row represent the numerical value 5, and each bead in the bottom row represents the number value 1. So before learning to use an abacus, you need to understand the basics of it.
Assign Each Column A Place Value
If you use a modern calculator, you must have seen that each column of beads represents a place value from which you build a numerical. Therefore, the farthest column on the right would be the “ones” place from 1-9. In fact, the second farthest is the “tens” place (10-99), and the third farthest is the hundreds (100-999), and so on.
Now you can also assign some columns decimal places if you think it is. For instance, if you are representing a number like 10.25, the furthest right column would be the hundredth place, the second column would be the tenth place, the third in the one’s place, and the fourth in the tens place.
Start Counting With The Beads In The Lower Row
So to count a digit, push one bead to the “up” position. In fact, “One” will be represented by moving a single bead from the bottom row in the farthest column on the right to the “up” position, “two” by pushing two, etc.
Moreover, you will find it easiest to use your thumb to move the beads in the bottom row and your index finger to move the beads in the top row. So why not try it out?
Complete The ⅘ Exchange
You must know that there are only four beads on the bottom row. So to go from “four” to “five,” you need to push the bead on the top row to the “down” position and push all four beads from the bottom row down.
Moreover, the abacus at this position is correctly read as “five.” If you want to count “six,” push one bead from the bottom row up. Now the bead in the top row is down, and one bead from the bottom row is up. You can follow the above rules and use the abacus to do calculations accordingly.
For instance, 11 would have one bead in the second column pushed up and another in the first column pushed up. All of it is in the bottom row. Twelve would have one in the second column and two in the first column, all pushed up and all on the bottom row.
Input Your First Number
Suppose you have got to add 1234 and 5678; enter 1234 on the abacus by pushing up four beads in one place. You will find three in the tens place, two in the hundred’s place, and one in the thousands place.
Start Adding From The Left
Now that you have proceeded this much let us tell you the first numbers you will add are the one and the five from the thousands place. So, in this case, moving the single bead from the top row of that column down to add the five and leaving the lower bead up for a total of 6. Therefore, to add 6 in the hundreds place, move the top bead in the hundreds place down and one bead from the bottom row up to get a total of 8.
Complete An Exchange
If you are about to add two numbers in the tens place, it will result in 10, and you will carry over a one to the hundred places, thereby making it a 9 in that column. Now, put all the beads down in the tens place, leaving zero.
Moreover, in ones column, you will do essentially the same thing. Now eight plus 4 equals 12, so you will carry the one over to the tens place, making it 1. It will leave you with 2 in ones place. Now let us proceed over to the next section.
Count Your Beads To Get The Answer
Now that you have reached this stage, you are left with a six in the thousands column, a 9 in the hundreds, a 1 in the tens, and a 2 in the ones, 1,234 + 5,678 = 6,912. Now subtract by doing the addition process in reverse.
So, you must borrow digits from the previous column instead of carrying them over. Suppose you are subtracting 867 from 932. So after entering 932 into the abacus, start subtracting column-by-column on your left. For instance, eight from nine is one, so you will leave a single bead up in the hundreds. You can start practicing with the simpler calculations and proceed gradually to the difficult ones.
Record The Problem On The Abacus
You must start at the abacus’s farthest left column for this step. For instance, you are multiplying 32 and 12. So you need to assign columns to “3,” “4,” “X,” “1,” “2,” and “=.” You can leave the rest of the columns to the right for your product.
In fact, the “X” and “=” will be represented by blank columns. The abacus should have three beads up in the leftmost column. It means four up in the next farthest, a blank column, a column with one bead up, two beads up in the next, and another blank column. You can keep the rest of the columns open.
Multiply By Alternating Columns
Well, here, you need to maintain order. It is very critical to get the calculations correct. So multiply the first column by the first column after the break. Now, multiply the first column by the second column after the break. After this, you will multiply the second column before the break by the first column after the break, then the second column before the break by the second column after the break.
However, if you are multiplying larger numbers, keep the same pattern: start with the leftmost digits and work to the right. Pretty simple, right?
So as we conclude, we can say that using an abacus is pretty simple if you follow the rules and calculate the sums properly. You can check out the above article if you need to learn about the aspects of using an abacus. We have summed up some of the important details about using an abacus. Once you get the hang of it, this will be very simple. You will be able to do all calculations easily.