All Questions

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0answers
25 views

Investigation on discoveries of conductor and insulator

I read on Stephen Gray's discovery of conductor and insulator. From that I came across a question that how cork, wood, rope can act as conductor being an insulator but then I got the answer that it is ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Was Lord Kelvin at any point a proponent of vitalism?

Vitalism is the notion now discredited as pseudoscientific that there is some fundamental cleavage between living and non-living matter. This blog post contains some quotes that suggest Lord Kelvin ...
4
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2answers
2k views

What triggered jesuits' ban on infinitesimals in 1632?

... since the very idea of infinitesimal was foreshadowed by Cavalieri ( "limit") in 1635, then put forward in an indirect way by John Wallis ($1/\infty$) in 1655, and then formalized by Newton ( "$o$...
5
votes
2answers
82 views

The relationship between solvability of ruler and compass problems and solvability of algebraic equations by radicals

Galois obtained necessary and sufficient conditions for an algebraic equation (in one variable) to be solvable by extraction of a chain of square roots. A beautiful application of this is to the ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Ctesibius discovery of compressed air

I want to know where has he placed the tube and how he adjust the height ? Please refer the link below marked in violet http://lnr.li/m19fP Please explain using simple diagram for better ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

When did it become common to report results in the form: “in every x units of time, y such and such events occured”? [on hold]

For example, instead of simply reporting the rates one says something like "every second, 4 babies are born" or "every minute, 330,000 google searches are made", etc. Presumably, this is supposed to ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Discovery of Suction pump

As I know that before Galileo,all the scientists believe that vacuum cannot exists. But how suction pump(which itself remove air)was discovered before Galileo. What was the steps involved in it to ...
2
votes
3answers
85 views

Are there any sources of mathematicians talking about their research methods?

I recall reading this article that was written to explain how Descartes read philosophy effectively. I am wondering if such analogous tips have been made by past mathematicians?
9
votes
1answer
223 views

Was the continuum hypothesis commonly believed to be independent before Cohen's proof?

Someone drew my attention to the Russian translation of Rademacher and Toeplitz's Von Zahlen und Figuren (The Enjoyment of Mathematics in the English translation). In the chapter on set theory the ...
1
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0answers
65 views

Philosophers thinking [closed]

I want to know that how philosophers like Aristotle,Plato came to know about space above earth is different from the earth's environment like it has air then he might have thought of this air to be ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

How were negative numbers first used in physics?

The use of negative numbers in most of today's calculations is natural. But how did the use of negative numbers began in physics? What physical quantity required the introduction of negative numbers ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Who coined the term random variable?

Who is the first person defined the concept of a random variable?
4
votes
3answers
601 views

Were tables of square roots ever in use?

Before the advent of calculators they had useful ready made tables for the main functions:sines,cosines logs etc..., do you know if tables of square roots were ever produced or in use? I never heard ...
7
votes
0answers
128 views

Who first defined polynomials as sequences?

Question 1. When did the modern definition of a polynomial (as a sequence of coefficients, with multiplication defined by $\left(ab\right)_n = \sum\limits_{k=0}^n a_k b_{n-k}$) emerge? Let me clarify:...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Why is the meaning of “linear” different in school and college use?

Is the map $y=2x+3$ linear? "Of course it is." -- a high school teacher will answer. "Nope; it's affine, but not linear." -- a college student will contradict. This difference terminology that ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Did John von Neumann ever go to any Nordic Country? Did Eugene Paul Wigner ever go to any other Nordic Country apart from Sweden?

I'm researching about the presence of important scientists in Nordic Countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland). I was hoping that someone could help me since I've not been able to find ...
3
votes
2answers
100 views

How did Newton measure forces in his experiments to establish the laws of motion?

I wanted to know about the experiments that Newton performed which led to the formulation of laws of motion. In particular I am interested in the following: How did he measure the forces in order to ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

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, ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Who were the other European astronomers who identified new stars around the time of Tycho Brahe?

Wikipedia notes: Early European astronomers such as Tycho Brahe identified new stars in the night sky (later termed novae), suggesting that the heavens were not immutable. Who were the other ...
0
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0answers
30 views

Investigations on Torricelli's barometer

How he came to know that air weight is finite as in wikipedia it has not been mentioned that he went to higher location to know that air weight above is less?As it was blaise pascal who went to higher ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Why did Schrödinger write a letter to Einstein “apologizing profusely for his duplicity”?

I’m reading “What is Real” by Adam Becker and this is mentioned without any more details. Here is the excerpt. (It’s very possible that it refers to something that was mentioned earlier, which I ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

Which is the earliest written record of hexagonal tesselation of the plane?

I am wondering which is the earliest record of the fact that the plane can be tiled by regular hexagons (in addition to triangles and squares, which may be slightly more obvious). Had a look in the ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

How has the estimate of the number of stars in the universe changed over time?

Current estimates for the number of stars in the universe are about 10^22. However, that number has changed several times as new observations have come forth. How has the estimate of the number of ...
-1
votes
1answer
25 views

Torricellis invention of barometer

Why has he used denser liquid that is mercury? Why didn't he thought of using lighter liquids than water?Please refer the link in the toricellis work in physics marked in violet http://lnr.li/mttgq
2
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0answers
62 views

I am searching for a book of this form and content, is there any?

I would like to know is there a book that is both a history of mathematics and a collection of open problems? I know that there exist many books that cover either larger or smaller periods of the ...
-5
votes
2answers
109 views

What are the great works of Richard Phillips Feynman? [closed]

What are the prerequisites to read his book? Why Richard Phillips Feynman is so famous? What are great works of Richard Phillips Feynman?
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Is it true Einstein doubted relativity near the end of his life?

Heard he wrote a bunch of rambling thoughts near the end of his life and doubted his own theory of relativity...it was in Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
18
votes
3answers
3k views

What does it mean by “d-ism of Leibniz” and “dotage of Newton” in simple English?

I am reading this article by Donald E. Knuth and get stuck by this sentence: Our mathematical language continues to improve, just as “the d-ism of Leibniz overtook the dotage of Newton” in past ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

Where in Gauss's nachlass did he pose the problem of connectedness of a surface?

On p.98 of the book "Mathematics of the 19th Century: Geometry, Analytic Function Theory", the authors mention a note written by Gauss in 1840: In 1840 Gauss wrote a note in which he introduced the ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Galileo discovery of vacuum

I want to know how he thought that when his siphon could not raise water more than 10m it may be because of vacuum? Please refer the link below https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Gasparo_Berti
-2
votes
1answer
72 views

History behind the word pressure

I want to know who had used the word pressure for the first time and what was the reason for him to use the word pressure. As I searched on google but it is only showing about barometer discovery
5
votes
0answers
79 views

Notable theories on the far side of the moon pre 1959

On October 7th 1959, the soviet Luna 3 probe took the first picture of the far side of the moon. It has been known since ancient times that the moon was a sphere. It would have doubtless been ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

When did trigonometry move away from treating chord as primitive?

I remember reading that in a couple of places that ancient trigonometry, particularly Ancient Greek trigonometry, used the chord as the primitive concept instead of sine and cosine. I can't tell ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Who changed $i$ to $j$ in electronics?

In electronics, $j$ is used for a square root of $-1$, because $I$ is current. Who introduced this and when? And was it really necessary, given that (at least now) current's symbol is capitalised? ...
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Euler's Derivation of Euler's Method for ODEs

I am looking for an English translation of Euler's derivation of Euler's method for ODEs, namely the update $$ y_{n+1} = y_n + h f(y_n, t_n) $$ What motivated Euler to consider this problem, and how ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

How did Francis Hauksbee know that mercury would glow in his electrostatic generator?

I read that he made a modified version of Otto von Guericke's electrostatic generator but I want to know how he came to know that mercury can glow light in his generator at that time?
3
votes
3answers
152 views

Feynman story: providing two different explanations for the same phenomenon

There's a story told about Feynman in a non-scientific book (whether written by him or another, I don't recall) that I'm trying to track down. If I recall correctly: he's part of a group (perhaps ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Who first “depressed” the cubic equation?

In his Ars Magna Cardano specifies procedures to "depress" a cubic - a means to convert an equation such as $x^3+6x^2=100$ to $y^3=84+12y$, eliminating the $x^2$ term. Was he the one who discovered ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Water conductivity discovery

I read how Benjamin Franklin does the kite experiment in rain but keeping himself and the bottom end dry.I want to know how he know that water can conduct electricity.Please refer the link below and ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Kite experiment

In Benjamin Franklin's kite given in the link below http://www.benjamin-franklin-history.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Franklins-kite.jpg I want to know how electric charge pass through strings as ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Electric spark discovery

I am searching it on Google but I am not finding,who had discovered static electric spark for the first time,that later Benjamin Franklin proved that this spark(already discovered spark) is same as ...
5
votes
2answers
92 views

How did Henry Cavendish deduce the inverse square law in electrostatics from his experiment in 1772?

An elegant experiment in 1772 by Henry Cavendish. Cavendish charged a spherical conducting shell that contained within it, and temporarily connected to it, a smaller sphere. The outer shell was then ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Why is Robinson arithmetic “Q”?

I see Peano arithmetic so often abbreviated as "P" or "PA". Why is Robinson Arithmetic "Q"? Following the obvious pattern, I would have expected R" or "RA".
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Charles du fay experiment

How he get to know which one is positive and which one is negative as stated by him that there are two types of fluid? Also tell how he thought of two fluids?
4
votes
2answers
115 views

Is using ~ for “approximately equal” a relic of the typewriter and ASCII era?

In my life¹, I have never seen a symbol other than ≈ used in handwriting to express “approximately equal”. The symbol ~ was only used for more mathematical purposes such as equivalence, ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Robert Boyle discovery of electricity

I was searching for all the names who discovered electricity. As I was seeing the names, the first name came of William Gilbert and I searched how had he discovered I got to know. Then the second ...
6
votes
3answers
98 views

Usage of reverse side of circular slide rule

I have a circular slide rule, but I can't figure out what the markings on the back are used for. The front face has two logarithmic scales, the outer one runs from $1$ to $100$ (exclusive), and the ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

What animals or plants were used to illustrate ideas of physics?

This crossed my mind today... There is Schrödinger's cat and Newton's apple. Are there any other famous animals/plants featured in physics in a similar way?
3
votes
1answer
57 views

When and why was the symbol w introduced for biological fitness

$w$ the visually similar $\omega$ are often used to represent biological fitness in population genetics models. (Sometimes $W$ is used for absolute fitness, and $w$ for relative fitness.) These ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

How was logarithm discovered? [duplicate]

How was the concept of $\ln(x)$ found before the man knows that it is the area under hyperbola or it is related to the power of $e$ (base of logarithm). How did Napier compute the value of $e$ or $\ln(...

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