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Top new questions this week:

Who discovered pigeonhole principle in mathematics?

The principle was used as early as late 1760s by Lagrange but are there any earlier uses of it in math?

mathematics biographical-details  
asked by GEP 9 votes
answered by Conifold 8 votes

What were the not-so-convincing reasons for using the word "power" for power sets?

A footnote of Enderton's Elements of Set Theory (1977, page 4) for the definition of power set states that the reasons for using the word "power" in this context are not very convincing, but the ...

terminology set-theory history  
asked by modnar 6 votes
answered by Conifold 5 votes

When did trigonometry start using negative numbers?

I'm asking this question looking at the unit circle, and thinking that greek mathematicians didn't use negative numbers. Maybe that can give enough insight into what I'm asking?

asked by A Citizen of The World 5 votes
answered by Conifold 0 votes

When did the concept of palindromic sequences first appear in mathematics?

I have been reading one of Lagrange's works where he mentions palindromic sequences in the context of Periodic continued fractions. I am wondering if that was the first time that palindromic sequences ...

mathematics biographical-details  
asked by GEP 4 votes
answered by Conifold 4 votes

When was the speed of a bullet or cannon ball first measured?

I would assume that the early estimates were wildly off and wonder how this measurement was done.

asked by releseabe 3 votes
answered by Conifold 4 votes

What are the context and motivation for Gauss's study of the "Pothenot problem"?

My question refers to p.307-335 of volume 8 of Gauss's werke, which are part of a section of volume 8 which deals with Gauss's applications of complex numbers for geometry. The pages mentioned are ...

biographical-details geometry gauss  
asked by user2554 2 votes

Where did Krull dimension and zero-dimensional ideals come from?

I am trying to comprehend an article about primary decomposition of ideals. Zero - dimensional ideals are quite emphasized there. I wonder where zero - dimensional ideals come from, what is the ...

mathematicians history  
asked by Serpenche 2 votes
answered by Conifold 5 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

What is the etymology behind sine, cosine, tangent, etc.?

I heard somewhere that it was actually a mistake in translation. What's the correct story?

mathematics terminology geometry  
asked by EconCow 16 votes
answered by Mauro ALLEGRANZA 14 votes

Which mathematicians died very young or in a tragic way?

When I first thought of this question, I wanted to ask: If you could give one mathematician his remaining life until an average age for the time he lived in, who would you choose? However, this ...

mathematicians big-list  
asked by wythagoras 27 votes
answered by Rieendstac 33 votes

Is this Einstein rejection letter fake?

So I found this on the internet the other day- Is this fake? Are there any ways to prove that it's fake? Does there, if any, exist any real copy of such a rejection letter?(Was Einstein ever ...

physics biographical-details depiction-of-scientists  
asked by tatan 16 votes
answered by tatan 12 votes

What is the difference between Calculus of Newton and Leibniz?

Are there any differences between the study of Calculus done by Newton and by Leibniz. If so please mention point by point.

mathematics biographical-details calculus  
asked by Sameer Shemna 35 votes
answered by kaine 24 votes

Story of Grothendieck's Prime Number

There is a story about Alexander Grothendieck and the "Grothendieck Prime" 57, which goes roughly as follows (cf. this wikipedia article): In a mathematical conversation, someone suggested to ...

mathematicians debunking  
asked by Moishe Kohan 21 votes

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

Who first defined the "equal-delta" or "delta over equal" ($\triangleq$) symbol?

The symbol $\triangleq$ is sometimes used in mathematics (and physics) for a definition. It is instantiated for instance in the Unicode Character 'DELTA EQUAL TO' (U+225C). The notation $t ...

mathematics reference-request terminology notation  
asked by Laurent Duval 13 votes

Can you answer these questions?

What did G.H. Hardy teach Ramanujan?

Ramanujan didn't know modern mathematics. he lacked idea regarding analysis. I found in Wikipedia- Hardy tried his best to fill the gaps in Ramanujan's education and to mentor him in the need ...

mathematics mathematicians teaching mathematics-social-history  
asked by Andrew 1 vote

Did Lagrange started studying mathematics in 1752 or 1753?

Some articles indicate that he started studying maths "after reading an article by Edmund Halley" in 1753 but in this paper it is claimed that he started studying mathematics in 1752

mathematics mathematicians biographical-details  
asked by GEP 1 vote

Did Newton invent convex hulls?

The convex hull of a set of points appears recognizably in a 1676 letter from Newton to Henry Oldenburg describing Newton polygons. Is there an earlier precedent for convex hulls or is this their ...

mathematics geometry newton  
asked by David Eppstein 1 vote
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