Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Is there a way to search through the early journal issues of "Nature" and "Science" and read the issues online?

I'm working on an analysis of the use of the term "dogma/dogmatism" in 19th-century scientific periodicals, two of which are Nature (1869-) and Science (1880-). Basically, I search every issue for the ...

publishing resource-recommendation  
asked by Alexander 4 votes

What problem was solved by introducing the dimension of a vector space?

In linear algebra, we care a lot about dimensions. I get why it’s useful but not why it’s such a big deal. So I wondered what problem was solved historically by introducing a rigorous definition of ...

mathematics history linear-algebra  
asked by Max 3 votes
answered by Jean Marie Becker 4 votes

What mathematics did Isaac Newton learn at school?

Since Sir Issac Newton invented a lot of modern mathematics, what mathematics did he already know? Since he was standing on the shoulders of giants which giants was he speaking of? I presume he knew ...

mathematics geometry newton  
asked by zooby 2 votes
answered by Alexandre Eremenko 5 votes

History of $\sin(nx) = 2^{n-1} \prod_{0}^{n-1} \sin\left(x + \frac{\pi k}{n}\right)$

What is the name of this identity? Who discovered this identity? What is the history behind this? I have looked up on Wikipedia with little documentation of the identity see finite product of ...

asked by DDD4C4U 1 vote

Do you know about this anecdote or its source where the mother reads out the letter to Gauss and made him Gauss, the mathematician?

I remember my brother telling me an anecdote about Carl F. Gauss three-four years ago, I want to know if anybody here also know about it, or can provide the source of it. The anecdote goes like this ...

mathematicians biographical-details debunking depiction-of-scientists  
asked by Knight 1 vote
answered by Gariman Singh 2 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Which physicist is this quote attributed to?

There is a quote from a 19-20th century scientist that goes (and I am paraphrasing): New scientific theories are never accepted until old scientist die. Who is this cynical quote attributed to, ...

physics quantum-mechanics quote  
asked by cms 8 votes
answered by Geremia 15 votes

Discovery of Sine and Cosine

Discovery of Sine and Cosine of an angle, the intuition behind it is always intriguing. Apart from "that is the way they were defined", could someone explain how the discovery happened? I have read ...

asked by RSH 7 votes
answered by fdb 8 votes

Did Abraham De Moivre really predict his own death?

At the last point of his life, he noted that he slept 15 minutes extra every night then he calculated that he would die on the day that the extra 15 minutes a night accumulated to 24 hours. That ...

biographical-details death mathematicians  
asked by UserX 18 votes
answered by Logan M 22 votes

When were vectors invented?

Encyclopedia Britannica says, In their modern form, vectors appeared late in the 19th century when Josiah Willard Gibbs and Oliver Heaviside (...) independently developed vector analysis to ...

mathematics mathematical-physics  
asked by Joseph O'Rourke 13 votes
answered by Alexandre Eremenko 19 votes

Is the "ques­tions that can’t be an­swered over an­swers that can’t be ques­tioned" quote by Feynman authentic?

In a lot of places I find this quote from Feynman: I would rather have ques­tions that can’t be an­swered than an­swers that can’t be ques­tioned. However, I cannot find any source of where it ...

debunking quote  
asked by gigabytes 12 votes
answered by Conifold 6 votes

When did humans realize that there is no air on the Moon?

What is the easiest evidence that there is no air on the Moon? Frankly speaking, I myself have no idea how to prove it.

asked by wdlang 14 votes
answered by Alexandre Eremenko 13 votes

Origin of 360 degrees?

This is by far one of the most challenging and popular HSM questions on the Net. Proofs are, countless discussions about it in math forums. The answers only led to two theories, which Wikipedia does a ...

mathematics archaeoastronomy  
asked by M.A.R. 16 votes
answered by fdb 15 votes
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