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1answer
23 views

How did Gaussian and Eisenstein integers get their names?

I can separate this into two questions at some point if necessary, but it's possible that sources for the answer to one will provide the answer to the other at the same time. I learned about ...
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1answer
22 views

How were number symbols derived/shaped up?

This question was sitting on my to do list for sometime. So, as I was reading a book on history of science, I came across of a paragraph where the author attempted to give a historical development ...
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0answers
14 views

What was the reason for Grothendiecks 'fast every Monday' in Vietnam?

According to MacTutor article on mathematics in Vietnam ... He visited in November 1967. The first few days we organised his lectures in Hanoi. But one day a missile exploded 100-200m from the ...
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1answer
22 views

Why was the Vietnam Day Committee, begun by Stephen Smale and Jerry Rubin, named as it was?

Stephen Smale, an American mathematician and Jerry Rubin, who was at Berkeley before dropping out to organise around left wing causes, set up the Vietnam Day Committee in 1965 during a 35 hour anti-...
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0answers
12 views

Who used spinors to describe spinning tops?

Spinors are well known in Quantum Mechanics and for many, are indicative of QM. However, I have read that they were also used to describe spinning tops. Who was this by and were they an important ...
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1answer
22 views

Is there any book or site where John Von Neumann's collected philosophical writings are presented?

I was wondering if Von Neuman has any philosophical writings beside his writings on the relation of computers to the human mind and vice versa.
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1answer
34 views

How did Von Neumann come up with his Merge sort algorithm?

Since merge sort was the first $O(nlogn)$ general purpose sorting algorithm I find it rather surprising that it was discovered without having any obvious conceptual predecessors. Are there any ...
2
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1answer
53 views

Why did the existential and universal quantifiers in logic took so long to become formalized into symbols after the invention of boolean algebra?

Was there a specific reason that prevented researchers in boolean algebra to invent such quantifiers in the flexible format that are known today earlier? Since the compact symbols for multiplication ...
4
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0answers
37 views

Why couldn't Robert Peary use his theodolite at the North pole

Robert Peary writes in his book The North Pole: The instruments used in taking observations for latitude may be either a sextant and an artificial horizon, or a small theodolite. Both these ...
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0answers
52 views

Why is Richard Feynman so often thought to be anti-Philosophy when he said this? [closed]

In the introduction to his The Meaning of it all, Richard Feynman said: The ideas I wish to describe are old ideas. There is practically nothing that I am going to say tonight that could not have ...
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0answers
26 views

Did the knowledge of Wootz steel actually become 'lost'?

Wootz steel was manufactured in Southern India around two millennia ago. With some people saying as far back as 500 BCE, however, the actual physical evidence of such a steel is by 200 AD. The ...
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0answers
47 views

What is the earliest article in which Leibniz used 'matrices'?

The Chinese were using matrices ( fengcheng in the Nine Chapters of the Mathematical Art), long before they were used in Europe which suggests that possibly they were introduced by way of them. For ...
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1answer
41 views

Where does the term “pivot” come from in the quicksort algorithm?

The quicksort algorithm is based on recursively choosing an element to partition the array. In every modern exposition that I've seen, this element is called the "pivot". However, as far as ...
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0answers
49 views

Do we know how Feynmans religious views changed throughout his life?

According to Feynman, there was a quota for Jews at American Universities and when he was accepted on a graduate programme - I think at Princeton - they were told "he's Jewish but he doesn't act ...
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0answers
28 views

Did Feynman ever consider Ancient Greek Science as being lost?

Richard Feynman wrote in the first book of his Lectures: If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, ...
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0answers
21 views

Did Feynman ever consider, given what he said in his Lectures, that science began not just in the modern period?

Feynman famously described there to be Greek and Babylonian way of doing science; which suggests that he considered that science began before the Greeks. Did he ever flesh this out in an essay?
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40 views

Finding sources for “computers will become so powerful that special functions will become obsolete” as a zeitgeist

In Why are special functions special [Physics Today 54, 11 (2007); eprint], Michael Berry makes the following observations: This continuing and indeed increasing reliance on special functions is a ...
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39 views

Did the brain anatomists and psychophysicists of the early to mid 1800s make any philosophical speculations on the nature of emotions and cognition?

I was wondering if the psychophysicists and brain anatomists of from 1800 up until 1860s made any novel, noteworthy philosophical speculations about the emotions and cognition.If they did is there any ...
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39 views

Advantages of numbers growing to the left (ordered Arabic numbers)? [closed]

I was just thinking how the BOM in files makes a lot of sense. I mean the fact that by default numbers grow to the right. And then I started wondering why our numbers grow to the left, if columns of ...
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2answers
37 views

History of Mathematical Biology - Resource Recommendations

Biology nowadays is filled with mathematics. Indeed, the field of mathematical biology is huge, and shows no sign of decay. But the mathematisation of biology is, to my knowledge, a recent phenomenon -...
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1answer
47 views

How were wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum first found?

We now all “know” that visible light has a wavelength between about 380 nanometres and 700 nanometres, and that shorter wavelength are the domain of UV, X-rays, and gamma rays; and longer wavelengths ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Is there any book or site where Gauss' collected philosophical writings are presented?

From the questions on some of Gauss' philosophical ideas here at HSM stackexchange it's clear that Gauss had some major philosophical ideas that despite their profundity don't seem to have had much ...
2
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2answers
103 views

How did the current physics curriculum came to be?

By far, looking at several curriculums of High School/First-Year Undergraduate physics. The curriculum always starts with Mechanics, moves into Electricity/Electromagnetism and ends with Modern ...
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1answer
49 views

How did Peirce react to his stigmatization from the academia?

Do we have any evidence on how Peirce reacted to his stigmatization by various academics(e.g by having denied him of tenure at John Hopkins, leaving from the house when they learned that he was ...
3
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1answer
44 views

Was there a continuation to the Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem between Euler and Hamilton?

Since Euler's result on the Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem appears to be the first known graph theoretical result I was wondering if any mathematicians after Euler and before Hamilton commented ...
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1answer
55 views

When were white holes theorised?

It seems to me that once black holes were theorised then the obvious singularity at its centre - though only ratified after Hawking and Penrose's singularity theorems - one would have to ask where the ...
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0answers
42 views

Why do physicists call their Hilbert space of states simply the Hilbert space?

In mathematics it's well known that a Hilbert space is a simply a descriptive terminology. It doesn't say, what is ontologically under consideration. One can have Hilbert spaces of a great many things,...
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1answer
38 views

Was C.S Peirce the first philosopher to posit that value belief serves as some sort of guide for scientific belief?

I remember reading something to the effect that the moral and aesthetic preferences influence scientific belief in his collected works. Was C.S Peirce the first philosopher to posit that value belief ...
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2answers
55 views

Does “Einstein's Light clock” really belong to Einstein?

Although I cannot find the related Q/A, I remember that someone here notified me that the so-called Einstein's light clock was first introduced by Max von Laue or someone but Einstein. Does anybody ...
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1answer
43 views

Archimedes - method of mechanical theorems - centroid of hemisphere

Hoping a philomath can help - I'm searching how Archimedes calculates the centroid of a hemisphere without calculus as behind the below sentence in the wikipedia entry on "the Method of ...
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1answer
49 views

Was C.S Peirce in his abductive reasoning influenced by the generalization from special cases that is used by mathematicians?

I am reading some random bits from Peirce's collected works and they give me the impression that Peirce tried to integrate every(or nearly every) major scientific and mathematical concept which he was ...
1
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3answers
61 views

Where does the name “geometric theory” come from?

In mathematical logic, where does the adjective "geometric" comes from, in terms like "geometric theories" and "geometric logic"? These terms come up in fields like topos ...
4
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1answer
99 views

What was Gauss's method for solving the “trinomial equation”?

In the second part of his fourth proof of the fundamental theorem of the algebra (published in 1849 [1]), entitled "A contribution to the theory of algebraic equations", Gauss gives a new ...
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1answer
56 views

Early geographically accurate drawings of Earth

The first, known to me, drawing of a simulated view of Earth from outside—roughly passable* by modern standards—is this pic from 1834 attributed to Henry De la Beche Was he the first who tried hard? ...
3
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0answers
67 views

Origin of notation “R with a stroke on the leg” for the square-root (℞)

The following text from Ars magna (1545) by Girolamo Cardano is known as the inception of complex numbers: "imaginaberis ℞ m 15" (You will imagine the square root of minus 15): The "R&...
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3answers
21 views

Significance of Higgs model used in Glashow-Salam-Weinberg theory

Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam, and Steven Weinberg propose the unification of the weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles. Glashow, Salam, and Weinberg proposed the model ...
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44 views

Were these ideas well known during the 1850s in the US?

I was looking at a biography of C.S Peirce where it is shown the following parts of one of his essays which he wrote when he was 15 years old and are presented as evidence of his youthful genius: ...
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0answers
36 views

What prompted Bose's move to Dhaka University in 1921?

Satyendra Nath Bose who discovered boson statistics and is credited by Einstein for also discovering the Bose-Einstein condensate was born in Calcutta, was educated there at Presidency College and ...
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0answers
87 views

What was the content of Emmy Noether's 'two-line' note on Homology?

I was surprised to learn that the note published by Emmy Noether in 1925 that suggested that Homology was better thought through as actual groups rather than numerically as Betti numbers consisted of ...
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1answer
38 views

What are some facts about Peirce's early precocity?

In some of his online biographies Peirce is described as having showed early signs of precocity. Can someone describe some of these signs of precocity?
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1answer
112 views

Names of the electromagnetic units in SI

The unit of charge is the Coulomb, named after Charles Augustin de Coulomb. This makes sense because Coulomb's law talks about the force between two charges. But I have seen that the SI unit of ...
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0answers
62 views

Is there any indication of what mathematics Trotsky studied?

In Isaac Deutscher's, The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 1879-1921, he writes of the youthful Trotsky: His stay in Odessa ended in 1896. A realschule normally had seven forms but St. Paul's had only six so ...
3
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3answers
388 views

Did C.S Peirce make any noteworthy contributions to physics or chemistry?

According to this article Peirce was the first to experimentally tie a unit, the meter, to an absolute standard, the wavelength of a spectral line Did C.S Peirce make any other noteworthy ...
9
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2answers
90 views

Who introduced the divisibility symbol $a\vert b$ (“$a$ divides $b$”) and when?

I have just stumbled across this post and became curious about the same question, namely the part regarding the origin/history of the vertical bar symbol $a\vert b$ that we use to denote "a ...
2
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3answers
75 views

Has anyone explored Ptolemy's epicycles as an early form of Fourier analysis?

Whilst researching science in the ancient world, I came across an observation, which unfortunately I did not make a note of, and so cannot credit, that Ptolemy's epicycles were an early form of ...
1
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1answer
58 views

Did Fourier use heated metal rings as experimental evidence to justify his mathematical discoveries?

In his answer to a previous question Alexandre Eremenko pointed out that Joseph Fourier in his book Analytic Theory of Heat gave all kinds of arguments in favor of the following mathematical ...
11
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4answers
2k views

How was Fourier analysis important to the development of set theory?

I recently read the following quote (unfortunately, I copied it down without attribution): You may be surprised to know that Fourier analysis played a role in the early development of set theory. In ...
2
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1answer
89 views

What is the name of the “largest complete history” of physics?

Somewhere in the world is housed what is thought to be the largest complete history of physics. I recall it being of some ridiculous length, something like hundreds or thousands of volumes. I cannot, ...
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0answers
93 views

Does this mathematical result have a specific name?

I am not sure if it's new although it may be an easy consequence of some theorem or lemma.The result is as follows: By choosing a set of numbers between $0$ and $n$(for any $n$) picking each number at ...
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1answer
44 views

An English translation of Simon Stevin's De Thiende

I enjoy reading manuscripts written by mathematicians of old, and I would love to read the famous De Thiende by Simon Steven. I've done some research online here and there, but I have not found any ...

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