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0answers
52 views

Did a boat full of Louis XIV's Jesuits and some Siamese dignitaries plan on seeing a solar eclipse on May 17, 1687

The interesting Cosmic Elk article Eclipses in Siam (now Thailand) History and Legends says: While the Siamese ambassadors and their entourage were visiting ship yards and armouries and making ...
2
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2answers
74 views

Could 17th century astronomers in the Netherlands predict solar eclipses a few months in advance?

In the 17th century Netherlands, could the astronomers, or sailors trained in stellar navigation, predict either total or partial (at least 40% obscured) solar eclipses over the the town of Aardenburg ...
3
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1answer
92 views

Blackboards as math tech!

A question about the history of the maths classroom (which I hope isn't off topic). The idea of using a chalky stone to write graffiti diagrams on a dark plastered wall (marks that could be washed off ...
1
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2answers
107 views

What are the definitive experiments/phenomena which motivate quantum mechanics?

The double slit experiment is usually given as the foremost example of a physical experiment that requires quantum mechanics to satisfactorily explain. However, every account i've seen of it (such as ...
1
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0answers
72 views

Fourth powers and quartic equations before Descartes

How did mathematicians interpret quartic equations and fourth powers before Descartes propose to perform elementary arithmetic on line segments? I ask this because it seems strange to me that ...
0
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1answer
101 views

No distance in Euclid

The mathematical concept of distance is fundamental in all mathematics and, since Bernard Riemann’s definition of manifolds, is also foundational in geometry and geometry of physics. Contrary to a ...
3
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0answers
56 views

Where can I find the complete papers of abstracts published by P. G. Tait in Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh in 1880?

I am interested in looking up P. G. Tait's flawed proof of the four-colour theorem, published in 1880. The citation that I have seen is: P. G. Tait, On the colouring of maps, Proc. Roy. Soc. ...
3
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1answer
80 views

Who was E. Busche?

Donald E. Knuth reports in his: TAOCP: Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (3rd ed.) in $\S1.2.4$: Integer Functions and Elementary Number Theory: Exercise 38 that this result: $$\sum_{0 \mathop \le k \...
2
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2answers
102 views

What are Steven Weinberg's contribution to physics other than electroweak unification?

What are Steven Weinberg's contributions to physics other than the Nobel-winning work on electroweak unification? Why is he so famous and respected among particle physicists compared to other Nobel ...
3
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0answers
42 views

What is the source of Hopf's (boundary) lemma?

In an introductory course on PDE's I got as a project to prove and present a version of Hopf's (boundary) lemma. Namely: Let $\Omega \subset R^{d}$ be an non-empty open connected set with a twice ...
3
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1answer
104 views

Who came up with the name “Manhattan distance”?

Who came up with the name "Manhattan distance" (for the distance between two points as measured by the sum of the horizontal and vertical distances, as opposed to the length of the straight ...
3
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0answers
77 views

How much radiation did the Curies get while synthetising Radium?

While Marie Skłodowska's husband, Pierre Curie, died in a traffic accident, she died of cancer. Various sources claim that the radiation she got during their experiments might have contributed ...
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0answers
62 views

Validity of Maxwell's equations in the aether's reference frame

If Maxwell's equations were experimentally found on Earth such as Faradays law, coulombs law , and worked in the Earth's frame of reference, then why did people believe them to be valid in the aether'...
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0answers
65 views

Where is the error in the book “The Gene: An Intimate History"? [closed]

Maybe there is a high school level mistake that author made. It should be somewhere about transcription or epigenetics, second option is harder, but can you explain it, please?
4
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0answers
44 views

Where could I find the reference for the statement of Euler finding out the coefficients of Fourier series?

I am reading Carlslaw's "Introduction to the Theory of Fourier's Series and Integrals", first chapter on the history of Fourier series, page 3. The author asserts that Clairaut and Euler did ...
3
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1answer
100 views

Who was Paul Gerwien?

The famed Wallace–Bolyai–Gerwien theorem has got its name from three mathematicians who proved it independently. More precisely speaking Farkas Bolyai first formulated the question. Gerwien proved ...
1
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0answers
50 views

Aristotle's and Plato's even and odd numbers, sets and actual infinity [closed]

Plato and Aristotle both use the terms even and odd about numbers (and have a separate discussion of the number 1). From this point, it seems, there would be no great distance to the sets of even and ...
1
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0answers
60 views

How did Fourier determine the coefficients of Fourier series?

I was reading a chapter of Fourier's seminal work "Analytic Theory of Heat". The third chapter of this book was translated by the famous Stephen Hawking in his book "God created the ...
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0answers
24 views

Who was the first person to prove the invariance of the Euler characteristic under triangulations?

Given a compact orientable surface $S$ and any triangulation where $F$ denotes the amount of triangles, $E$ denotes the amount of edges, and $V$ denotes the amount of vertices, we know that the Euler-...
18
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1answer
3k views

Is the story about Fermat's writing on a margin true?

Is there any evidence that Fermat wrote on the margin of a book "I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition that this margin is too narrow to contain." Everyone ...
4
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1answer
73 views

Did Einstein know about Laplace's query into whether gravity is instantaneous?

Here it states, In 1776, Laplace published a memoir in which he first explored the possible influences of a purported luminiferous ether or of a law of gravitation that did not act instantaneously. ...
5
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2answers
404 views

Was the sun assumed to be at rest aether frame?

Back in the past, was the sun assumed to be at rest in the luminous aether frame?
1
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0answers
29 views

Maxwell equations and aether

Were Maxwells equations (in their usual common form) assumed to be valid only in ether frame,in the past? If someone would ask them "In what frame are you writing these equations " ,what ...
7
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0answers
54 views

What was the first automated theorem prover?

From a lot of googling, it seems like the answer might be "Mizar", but I am not completely sure. What was (or is?) the first automated theorem prover (i.e. not necessarily active right now)?
4
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0answers
34 views

Who coined the 'particle zoo' expression?

I've been looking for the origin of 'particle zoo' expression but so far failed to track down who first used it or at least who popularized it.
3
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0answers
25 views

Are there other articles by Ada Lovelace than translation of Menabrea's notes on Analytical Engine?

Ada Lovelace is well known as an translator of Luigi's Menabrea article on Babbage's Analytical engine. She also added notes to the translation which are in the end longer than the translation itself. ...
2
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0answers
21 views

Who invented the quadrupole lens for charged particles?

I am wondering who actually invented the (magnetic) quadrupole lens or who used it for the first time. I have found some papers from the 50s and 60s about more complicated systems based on Quadrupoles,...
2
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1answer
99 views

Origin of the notation $s = \sigma + j\omega$ in electrical engineering/control theory

In analytic number theory it is traditional to write a complex variable as $s = \sigma + it$, with the letter $t$ going back to Riemann's paper on the zeta-function (1859) and the letter $\sigma$ ...
-1
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0answers
52 views

Newton's Christian beliefs and alchemy

I was thinking in the rise of the so called "scientific revolution" (I know this is a broad period of history and science actually developed gradually, but you get the idea) and the ...
1
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0answers
24 views

Dirac's non-neglibile disturbances argument and epistemic quantum mechanics

Here is Dirac's argument about one reason to motivate quantum mechanics: "It is usually assumed that, by being careful, we may cut down the disturbance accompanying our observation to any desired ...
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0answers
35 views

Old Indian and Chinese references

It is been some years since I completed my graduate studies in mathematics at a Spanish university. I remember one of the most pleasant and enriching moments I experienced was when reading Euclid´s ...
5
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1answer
94 views

Did Sophie Germain find a flaw in Euler's equations for elastic vibrations?

I am a playwright working on a play about Sophie Germain. When Sophie was competing for the prix extraordinaire to find effective formulas to describe the vibrations of elastic surfaces, she believed ...
5
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1answer
669 views

Why historically the hour was divided into 60 minutes and when it had started? [duplicate]

Why and when was the hour divided into exactly 60 minutes (and not for example 70 or 80)?
5
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0answers
95 views

What is the origin of the “Japanese bracket”?

In discussions of Sobolev spaces one often sees the Japanese bracket, $$\langle x \rangle = (1+|x|^2)^{1/2},$$ as useful shorthand. I was not easily able to find information about this term. (1) What ...
0
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1answer
81 views

How did the first astronomers define what a planet is?

What is the origin of the term "planet" and how did astronomers first define the term?
5
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2answers
81 views

When did physicists begin using the symbol $G$ for Newton's gravitational constant?

The Cavendish experiment was equivalent to measuring $G,$ Newton's gravitational constant. However, because physicists at the time did not write equations in the same way we do now, Cavendish didn't ...
2
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1answer
54 views

What was Newton's statement of the universal law of gravitation?

Newton explained the inverse square law in Principia. On looking through an English translation, though, I'm having difficulty pulling out a single quote that is Newton's clearest statement of the ...
3
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1answer
95 views

What are the earliest known proofs that planimeters 'work'?

The dates of various physical implementations of planimeters are pretty well known. I'm interested in discovering when formal mathematical proofs were published that any given design does calculate ...
2
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0answers
66 views

How long have parenthesis (brackets) been used?

If you look at a work such as Bertrand Russel's Principia Mathematica there are no brackets at all. So are brackets a recent invention? Newton used to draw a line above long expressions to group terms....
2
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0answers
48 views

Kurt Gödel: a biography

I'm looking for a well-written biographical book about Kurt Gödel. Any titles you'd recommend?
4
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2answers
162 views

Has the heyday of mathematical formulae ended?

I have a strong emotional reaction when I read the works of Euler. I have seen many extremely beautiful and intriguing identities in the notebook of Ramanujan, so much so that I think he is indeed a ...
11
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3answers
4k views

Why are quaternions more popular than tessarines despite being non-commutative?

Is this simply because of marketing, hype, etc? The bicomplex numbers (especially tessarines) look just great being commutative and all. Images source:https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?...
4
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0answers
48 views

How did Dyck originally state and prove his theorem in topology about the connected sum of a torus and projective plane?

Dyck's theorem in topology is sometimes stated as follows: the connected sum of a torus and projective plane is homeomorphic to the connected sum of three projective planes. Certainly, this is the ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Why is Freeth's nephroid called a nephroid?

A nephroid is an epycloid that can be generated by rolling a circle on the outside of a circle with doubled radius. It was called by Richard Proctor (1878) because its shape looks like a kidney (see ...
1
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1answer
59 views

Is there an English translation of Newton’s De Analysi?

I’m looking for an English translation of Newton’s De analysi. (Alas, my Latin is weak.) I’m rather dismayed by the fact that I can’t appear to find one. How is it possible that one of the most ...
1
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0answers
40 views

Who extended the Banach fixed point theorem from the context of normed spaces to the context of metric spaces?

It is well known that Banach's fixed-point theorem was initially conceived as a fixed-point theorem for applications defined in normed spaces (see [1]). This theorem was conceived in 1922 by Stefan ...
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0answers
27 views

Has Daniel Bernoulli's 1764 paper on organ pipe acoustics been translated into English?

The full title: RECHERCHES PHYSIQUES MÉCANIQUES ET ANALYTIQUES SUR LE SON ET SUR LE TONS DES TUYAUX D’ORGUES DIFFÉREMMENT CONSTRUITS Link to a pdf: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011812546 Some ...
3
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0answers
57 views

What is the Boltzmann contribution to the theory of “statistical ensemble”?

In the book "Ludwig Boltzmann, the man who trusted atoms"by C.Cercignani, I read about the thesis according to which it was Boltzmann, not Gibbs who first introduced the concept of "...
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0answers
36 views
0
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1answer
74 views

Independent and dependent variables

Im doing this presentation for school and we have to find out who exactly first used independent and dependent variables. I've searched everywhere but no answer was found its either John radford young ...

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