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Top new questions this week:

How do we explain the lack of activity in the study of Latin mathematics?

A full professor teaching the history of mathematics at Masters level recently told a friend of mine that there was nothing of interest left to explore in the mathematics written in Latin over the ...

mathematics language  
user avatar asked by user19422 Score of 9
user avatar answered by Mikhail Katz Score of 10

Who first stated the "uncertainty principle" for Fourier transforms?

My question is clearly related to this one, but my interest is not specifically in Heisenberg's result. To quote from Wikipedia. A nonzero function and its Fourier transform cannot both be sharply ...

mathematics harmonic-analysis  
user avatar asked by CrimsonDark Score of 5
user avatar answered by Alexandre Eremenko Score of 7

Did Caroline Herschel know about the discovery of Neptune?

I was reading about the discovery of Neptune when I realised that Caroline Herschel was still alive at the time. Neptune was discovered in September 1846. Caroline died in January 1848, more than a ...

biographical-details astronomy astronomers  
user avatar asked by Krishna Score of 5
user avatar answered by Krishna Score of 12

Who first considered signed area?

Who first suggested that the area enclosed by a closed path and the area enclosed by that same path traversed in reverse could be regarded as equal in magnitude but opposite in sign? Cauchy must have ...

geometry complex-analysis  
user avatar asked by James Propp Score of 4
user avatar answered by Conifold Score of 0

History of Pfaff's problem and integrability conditions

I'm curious about Pfaff's problem and all the various mathematicians who have worked on it. From Wikipedia articles I was able to gather the following timeline of events. In the modern language: Pfaff'...

differential-geometry differential-equations  
user avatar asked by red whisker Score of 4

Are adjoint operators historically related to integrating factors?

Birkhoff and Rota, in their book Ordinary Differential Equations (4e), claim on p.55 that: The concept of the adjoint of a linear operator, which originated historically in the search for integrating ...

mathematics differential-equations  
user avatar asked by Alp Uzman Score of 3
user avatar answered by Conifold Score of 1

Implications of several unpublished "binomial congruences" of Gauss

In article 23 of his first memoir on biquadratic residues, Gauss gave the first example of a binomial-type congruence, which is apparently a quite "deep" result - many authors relate it to ...

number-theory gauss  
user avatar asked by user2554 Score of 2
user avatar answered by KCd Score of 4

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Did the ancient Chinese know the earth is a sphere?

The ancient Greeks knew this fact. How about the chinese? If not, when did they realize that the earth is a sphere? By themselves or from other people?

user avatar asked by S. Kohn Score of 12

Is it true that Albert Einstein was kicked out of high school due to his "peacefulness"?

In an interview I recently saw with Joseph Agassi he said that: ...The teachers that kicked him out asked that it be written in his [Einstein's] report card that they have no complaint against him. ...

biographical-details einstein scientists  
user avatar asked by Amit Score of 22
user avatar answered by njuffa Score of 53

Why did Aristotle make mistakes in his laws of motion?

I was studying Aristotle's laws of motion and comparing them to Newton's. He states that heavier bodies fall faster than lighter ones. I really can't understand how he could have committed such a ...

physics philosophy-of-science ancient-greece aristotle antiquity  
user avatar asked by jack Score of 7
user avatar answered by Conifold Score of 15

Are there any extant letters backing up the famous anecdote about Edmund Landau and Fermat's Last Theorem?

I recall reading in several sources the story about the letter "template" with which Edmund Landau used to answer individuals that sent him their "proofs" of Fermat's Last Theorem.....

debunking social-context nachlasse  
user avatar asked by José Hdz. Stgo. Score of 7
user avatar answered by njuffa Score of 6

Why did angular momentum get the letter L

Note - this question was inspired by this questions on physics.SE. Many (most) physical quantities are denoted with a single letter - latin or greek. For many, the letter chosen makes sense: $t$ for ...

notation terminology  
user avatar asked by Floris Score of 21

Historical development of power series

I'm very interested to know about historical development of power series, i.e. $$\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}a_n(x-c)^n=a_0+a_1(x-c)+a_2(x-c)^2+\dots$$ What was the situation and historical context that ...

mathematics calculus  
user avatar asked by Shahed al mamun Score of 9
user avatar answered by Alexandre Eremenko Score of 10

How did people make things perfectly straight?

Constructing houses, telescopes, and most other important projects requires shaping pieces to precise size, at perfect right angles, or to have flat surfaces. People today have all kinds of ways of ...

user avatar asked by Addem Score of 32
user avatar answered by Ronan Paixão Score of 42

Can you answer these questions?

How did the Ancient Greeks conceive of the Platonic solids?

Now we generally think of the Platonic solids as being the regular convex polyhedra. And while the Ancient Greeks were aware of this solids as being particularly special, I don't believe that it is ...

geometry ancient-greece  
user avatar asked by Sriotchilism O'Zaic Score of 1

A collection of the fragments of Eudemus of Rhodes?

I am looking for a complete collection of fragments of Eudemus of Rhodes. He is considered to be the first historian of science. His fragments have given us a glimpse of how Greek mathematics ...

reference-request antiquity greek-mathematics  
user avatar asked by 0-1 Score of 1
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