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Are there any important scientific discoveries, or inventions, that could have been made much earlier in history?

It is often said that science mainly builds upon what was already there. If scientific progress is efficient, then new discoveries and inventions are made quickly, as soon as new information comes in. ...
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0answers
12 views

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 for ...
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0answers
25 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
19 views

When & How did people know the existence of air resistance?

As we know, Newton showed that the celestial bodies in the heaven and the objects on the earth obey the same laws of motion, through his laws of motion and gravitation. However, in order to know this, ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Where can I get early 20th century books on electronics and mathematics?

I have been searching for books on electronics and mathematics of early 20th century.I found a link which was released in 1950 but that was in russian language.Can I find these books in universities ...
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0answers
44 views

Is there any scientist whose work was never recognised and was underestimated?

This question may not have a clear cut answer, so sorry. A lot of people have contributed to the development of science (includes mathematics). I have read that Newton's popularity was powerful ...
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1answer
76 views

Is ancient Indians' knowledge of science valid?

I have seen claims by some people and articles that describe the contributions on ancient Indians (before colonization by British) in the field of Science (including mathematics). For example, it is ...
9
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1answer
1k views

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?
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2answers
83 views

Plagiarism at the turn of 20th century

Have there have been any interesting cases of one person stealing another mathematician's results and publishing them as his own? In particular, are there any interesting cases of this happening in ...
4
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1answer
230 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
32 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
42 views

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.
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1answer
28 views

What was Lagrange's contribution to the Knights Tour Problem?

Did Lagrange made any noteworthy contribution to the Knights tour problem?
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0answers
24 views

Did Lagrange finish his law degree during the 1750s?

According to this Lagrange enrolled in the University of Turin to study law in the 1750 but eventually shifted to math.
5
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1answer
91 views

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?
6
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1answer
133 views

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 ...
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0answers
38 views

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
2
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1answer
34 views

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 ...
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0answers
61 views

Was Euler aware of Lagrangian mechanics?

In the book'The Road to Reality' Penrose claims that Euler was aware of Lagrangian mechanics, is there any evidence that this statement is true?
2
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1answer
66 views

Superscripts and constants in Diophantus’ Arithmetica

Diophantus’ notation for higher powers of the unknown includes a superscript, usually written as a lowercase or uppercase upsilon - e.g., $\Delta^{\upsilon}$ as the square. It is not clear to me ...
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1answer
69 views

Was Lagrange aware of Hamiltonian mechanics?

In the book'The Road to Reality' Penrose claims that Joseph Lagrange was aware of Hamiltonian mechanics, is there any evidence that this statement is true?
2
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1answer
48 views

Where did Euler proof 'his' theorem on homogeneous functions?

Where in Eulers writings could I find a proof of his homogeneous function theorem: $y$ is a homogeneous function of degree $k$ in $x_1,\ldots,x_n$ iff $ky = \sum_{i=1}^n x_i\frac{\partial y}{\partial ...
0
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1answer
44 views

What is the origin of “banana brackets”?

"Banana" brackets are used to denote catamorphisms: Another notation found in the literature is . These symbols are very similar to the composition of a $($ and a $|$, is this similarity more than ...
3
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2answers
108 views

What technology did researchers use to write scientific papers before the computer?

As I'm reading a scientific paper from 1964, I'm wondering how researchers were able to write papers without the use of a computer. Cursive fonts, different font sizes, math, etc. are all present in ...
10
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1answer
446 views

Notation from Weyl's algebraic number theory book

In Weyl's "Algebraic Theory of Numbers", which was written in 1940, there are many symbols that look handwritten, such as Fraktur (or Sütterlin, whatever you want to call it) letters for ideals. His ...
5
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0answers
70 views

What exactly was Lagrange's “grave mistake” with respect to rotating bodies under hydrostatic equilibrium?

A comment below What would be different about satellite orbits if Earth were prolate? Would we have Sun-synchronous and Molniya orbits? got me reading Wikipedia's Jacobi ellipsoid which begins: ...
3
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1answer
114 views

What was Copernicus trying to mean with 'Mathematics is Written for Mathematicians'?

I'm interested in really understanding what Copernicus was getting at with the quote 'mathematics is written for mathematicians'. He clearly isn't referring to the rigorous nature of mathematical ...
0
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2answers
123 views

Who wrote “projective geometry” for the first time?

I guess Desargues did not use that term. Anyone could help me know where did it appear for the first time? Thanks
2
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1answer
98 views

When did mathematicians invent the unit circle to extend the trig functions?

Is there any evidence showing that a unit circle approach was used by early mathematicians?
3
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1answer
141 views

Origin of existential quantifier symbol ∃?

Peano introduced a number of logical symbols still used today: $∨$ (from Latin vel) $∧$ (inverted $∨$) $∃$ This inversion of Latin letters as symbols (and inversion of symbols to signify their '...
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0answers
49 views

Dirac and proton-electron annihilation

Wikipedia says: Robert Oppenheimer argued strongly against the proton being the negative-energy electron solution to Dirac's equation. He asserted that if it were, the hydrogen atom would rapidly ...
2
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1answer
52 views

Who is Wanner from Rosenrock-Wanner (ROW) methods?

I've spent some time with a search engine trying to find out about Wanner, a person whose surname is mentioned in the name of Rosenbrock-Wanner (ROW) methods primarily used for iteratively solving ...
3
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1answer
82 views

What is the explanation of rope's strength in Galileo's Two New Sciences?

I'm reading Galileo's Two New Sciences. But as other Scientific Book it is hard. I am having trouble in First day, where SIMPLICO asks this question(Page 7): "But how can one make a rope one ...
1
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1answer
84 views

What is the historical basis for the length of a sidereal year?

It is understandable that the length of a solar year can be found out using the time of solstices. But how did they find the length of a year with respect to the stars?
5
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0answers
65 views

Chronology of proofs of cubic and biquadratic reciprocity laws

I just want to check if anybody knows a website where one can find a chronology of proofs of more difficult reciprocity theorems (such as the cubic and biquadratic cases) similar to the (already ...
0
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0answers
56 views

What did Hans Bethe think of von Neumann's quantum logic?

Nobel laureate Hans Bethe was a friend of mathematician-physicist John von Neumann, and he once said: "I have sometimes wondered whether a brain like von Neumann's does not indicate a species ...
1
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1answer
114 views

Pairs of Mathematicians

In Hilbert by Reid, it is noted that Hilbert and Minkowski were great friends and often worked together on problems, seminars, and lectures. This is a similar relationship to the partnership between ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Who first proved the “acute angle principle” in fixed point theory?

After getting such an informative response on my first question, I have another theorem discussed in our lecture who´s origin I am interested in (sometimes called the "acute angle principle"): ...
3
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1answer
192 views

What is the original source for Einstein's description of entanglement as “Spooky Action at a Distance”?

Try as I may, I cannot find the original source where Einstein described entanglement as "Spooky Action at the Distance." The work "spooky" is not in the 1935 EPR paper, which was written in English ...
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0answers
61 views

History of Reciprocity Laws

Does anybody know a freely available overview of the history of Reciprocity Laws, especially the Cubic and Biquadratic ones? Wikipedia I know about Franz Lemmermeyer's book "Reciprocity Laws", but ...
3
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0answers
71 views

Was the width of the Atlantic first determined in 1584?

In Eclipse: Journeys to the Dark Side of the Moon by Frank Close, it is stated that the 1584 lunar eclipse was used to determine the width of the Atlantic, by measuring the times in London and in ...
6
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1answer
112 views

Why did Linnaeus equate the phoenix, the mythical bird, with Phoenix, a palm genus?

I've been reading about the "paradoxa" section of Carl Linnaeus's Systema Naturae, where he debunk some of the more far fetched ideas about animals. Wikipedia includes this translation of what ...
1
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1answer
200 views

Why didn't the number zero (0) have a Roman numeral of its own?

I heard that the Romans never had the concept of zero nor a numeral to represent it in their system of mathematics. So, first, the number zero was invented by the Babylonians from India, but was ...
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0answers
49 views

Any idea on how Lagrange came up with similar functions concept in (proto)group theory?

Lagrange defines "similar functions" as functions of the roots of an equation where they change values only at the same kind of permutations of the roots. What's a possible predecessor of the idea of ...
37
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1answer
5k views

Why do we call Tycho Brahe by his first name?

Why do we use the fist name in Tychonic system or Tycho's comet of 1577, instead of using the last name of Tycho Brahe? For comparison, we have the Ptolemaic system and the Copernican system. I am ...
5
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1answer
92 views

When did Dehn start to work on Hilbert's third problem?

According to this wiki article, Dehn solved Hilbert's third problem within a year. Did Dehn start to work on the third problem after Hilbert's talk? Since Dehn is Hilbert's student, they were likely ...
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0answers
59 views

How Bohr guessed the quantisation rule?

We all know Bohr's Quantization rule as L=nh/2pi. How did Bohr derive this? If it is a guess, what is the reason behind choosing h/2pi and not some other constant? ...
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0answers
40 views

Who first used {} as a notation of an empty set? [duplicate]

Maybe Frege? If so, in what book did he use that notation?
3
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1answer
93 views

Do scientists and mathematicians name their discovery or inventions themselves?

We have a lot of things around us, that are named after the principle guys behind it. Is the naming done by the respective person or someone else (like IUPAC for physics)? Example 1: We have Ampere'...
5
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1answer
86 views

Who first reported the Crab pulsar's pulsing but was dismissed by an astronomer?

This answer to Has great eyesight been necessary for astronomers? mentions Astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell's recounting of a likely first visual observation of a pulsar. This can be found for example ...

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