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9 views

How did Peano came up with his space filling curve?

Wikipedia cites an earlier result of Cantor as an inspiration but I wonder if there are any previous results of some kind of recursive curve constructions that may have also "inspired" him ...
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2answers
37 views

History behind the heat equation

Who was the first mathematician/physicist to derive the heat equation $u_t=\Delta u$ and when? Was it already known to explain most diffusion phenomena? How much time passed between the first ...
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2answers
66 views

What are some historical examples in physics of heuristic proofs of mathematical results?

In the proceedings of the XIth International Congress of Mathematical Physics Edward Witten wrote (p. 704) [$\dots$] when a mathematical result is really relevant to a physics problem it often ...
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0answers
30 views

Are there any mathematicians who expressed non-trivial sequences of rules on how to do research?

I recently saw a paper where there are presented some rules on how to learn mathematics (and do research) which were firstly articulated by Lagrange. Are there any similar rules that were expressed ...
4
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1answer
35 views

What were Riemann's “semi-physical” methods?

In John Von Neumann's The Mathematician one can read that [$\dots$] even after the reign of rigour was essentially re-established with Cauchy, a very peculiar relapse into semi-physical methods took ...
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41 views

Fritz Haber and nitrogen fixing: Was there a movement to increase the population?

I read a dramatic statistic something like 3 out of 5 living humans owe their existence to food that could be grown due to Haber's work. But was there a time when anyone said, we need to be able to ...
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0answers
81 views

What would be some earlier comments on “1+2+3+4=10”?

"1+2+3+4=10" is an arithmetical triviality that is popular as an example of Pythagoreanism. There seems to be no mention of it in ancient Greek texts prior to Speusippus (e.g. ca. 350BCE; ...
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0answers
64 views

When did telescopes become affordable?

There must have been a moment when most people had heard of telescopes, but they were only affordable by rich people or ship's captains. When did they first become affordable by the general public? ...
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0answers
36 views

Was Paul Nemenyi related to John Von Neumann?

I was looking at an article about the probable father of the former world chess champion Bob Fischer whose family's name was originally Neumann and I was wondering if he had a common ancestor with ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Mr. Newton at the Royal Mint

I would like to ask how Isaac Newton specifically applied mathematics to reducing forgeries and improving coinage while he was Master of the Royal Mint. Thank you.
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57 views

What is the official logo of the BIPM?

The logo on the BIPM's (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) site is this: However, when I visit the English (and, most importantly, French) Wikipedia articles on BIPM, and also when I ...
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23 views

How can I see the role of Fountation Axiom of ZFC in the definition of Cardinal Number

It's me again trying to understand the importance of Foundation Axiom in the definition of cardinal number. I know the definition of cardinal based on initial ordinals and choice with all the stuff ...
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0answers
33 views

Original derivation of the Dyson equation

In what paper did Dyson derive the Dyson equation, as shown here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-energy ?
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34 views

Was Morse code the first practical application of binary encoding of information?

As I understand schemes for sending different symbols over different wires were implemented but the simplicity of Morse's dot or dash made it the easiest to read and/or implement. It seems similar to ...
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1answer
66 views

Were there impossibility proofs for constructions in Greek geometry?

Greek geometry was confronted with problems such as squaring the circle. Straightedge and compass constructions were unable to provide a solution, but other mechanical curves, such as the quadratix, ...
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2answers
79 views

Was Giuseppe Peano one of the greatest mathematicians of his era? [closed]

Besides the Peano axioms which perhaps brought him fame but which are considered a refinement of similar previous axioms Peano seems to have done relatively little original work. Does the rest of his ...
2
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1answer
33 views

What are the origins of the term “matter”?

I am seeking an understanding of the scientific term "matter". My research tells me that "hyle" and "materia" were both used. I am trying to create something of a ...
2
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1answer
109 views

When did mathematicians suspect that $\pi$ is irrational?

The title says it all. The irrationality of $\pi$ was proved by Lambert in the 18th century, but the Greeks at the time of Pythagoras already knew that $\sqrt2$ and the golden ratio were irrational. ...
4
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0answers
82 views

How did Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams end up so confusing?

HR diagrams show in which of several sequences individual stars fall, each respecting the rough principle that hotter stars are of higher luminosity. (Sequences other than the main sequence may bend ...
1
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1answer
156 views

How did ZFC become the standard foundations of mathematics?

I would like to hear about the historical and technical reasons for why Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of Choice became the dominant standard for the foundations of mathematics. The system ...
2
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0answers
90 views

Einstein's handwritten manuscript on General Relativity

The book "The Road to Relativity" by Gutfreund and Renn annotates Einstein's original handwritten manuscript from 1916 - "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity." I can ...
2
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1answer
316 views

Why does Riazuddin not have a last name?

Riazuddin was a Pakistani theoretical physicist, his name looks a little bit different to me from others because he doesn't have a last name. There are some others Pakistani theoretical physicists ...
3
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1answer
531 views

How did J.J. Thomson learn that what he discovered was different than an atom or a molecule?

Wikipedia says he discovered that the electron was different than an atom or molecule. His line of reasoning is not shown. I additionally searched stack exchange and unless I missed it..... I am lost ...
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1answer
78 views

What did the ancient Greeks know about the solar system, and how?

I'm aware that it was known to the ancient Greeks that the planets were somehow different from the stars. But in what depth did they know the solar system? In particular, did they know: that the sun ...
3
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1answer
43 views

Are there any photographs of the original apparatus used by Hertz to demonstrate the photoelectric effect?

There are many schematics and many photographs of tubes used later but I cannot find a single photograph of the original apparatus. Even the sketches that were made in the late 19th century are ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Where exactly did George Brown publish the first paper about Turnstile antennas?

In its most basic form the Turnstile antenna is two half-wave dipole antennas that are perpendicular and driven 90 degrees out of phase. For a recent review see Crossed Dipole Antennas: A review (also ...
3
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2answers
135 views

Why did Richard Bellman, creator of dynamic programing say: 1950s were not good years for maths?

Richard Bellman said : "The 1950s were not good years for mathematical research. We had a very interesting gentleman in Washington named Wilson. He was Secretary of Defense, and he actually had ...
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56 views

Did Arthur Schuster anticipate the equivalence between matter and energy in his speculations about antimatter?

Here Schuster apparently discussed matter and antimatter annihilating each other. Had anyone suggested before this that matter could be transformed into energy? (If indeed that is what is implied by ...
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1answer
107 views

Was de Broglie, the physicist who suggested matter behaves like waves, a prince? [closed]

Hi guys, I've been reading about the wave-particle duality of matter, and I came across this statement that said de Broglie was a prince. Is that true?
8
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1answer
104 views

Heisenberg's last work on a non-linear generalization of quantum mechanics?

It is claimed here that toward the end of his life Werner Heisenberg worked on a non-linear broadening or generalization of quantum mechanics. What work was that? Was it published? Is it listed in ...
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0answers
45 views

Was the work of Aristotle given such importance because he was Alexander the Great's tutor?

Would Aristotle, and perhaps through him, Socrates and Plato, be nearly as widely known today and as influential as he was before, say, Galileo had he not be the teacher of a very famous and powerful ...
3
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0answers
53 views

Different versions of mass during early years of special relativity

My question is basically about four different versions of mass from the early years of special relativity when the concept of relativistic mass was acceptable. I'd appreciate it if you try to keep ...
3
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0answers
51 views

Was the wide use of mercury in experiments in the 19th century related to alchemy?

We know that Newton's hair samples showed high level of mercury and of course he used mercury like crazy in his alchemy experiments (as did many/all alchemists not just in the west but also China) and ...
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0answers
81 views

Why didn't the ancient Greeks consider 1 to be odd?

The Wikipedia page on parity currently says: The ancient Greeks considered 1, the monad, to be neither fully odd nor fully even Why didn't they consider 1 as odd? (I am assuming they already had the ...
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3answers
133 views

How critical were Tycho Brahe’s accurate observations?

I am speculating about the value of Tycho Brahe’s - for his time - accurate observations and Kepler’s calculations. Might it have been possible for Kepler to formulate his laws based on Ptolemy’s ...
6
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0answers
113 views

Who coined the Hawaiian Earrings?

I hope to know who first used the name "Hawaiian Earrings." Barratt, Milnor(1962) says "This example was suggested by Steenrod" in its Introduction: https://www.ams.org/journals/...
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0answers
227 views

Who was that forgetful mathematician?

Who was the (Japanese?) mathematician who said in a lecture that a certain conjecture still remained to be proved, and one of the students present told him that he (the mathematician) had already ...
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0answers
66 views

Who was the first to state that scientific theories could be used to make predictions?

It seems to me that very few if any scientists/philosophers stated that science could be used for predictions before the early 1900s. In the scientific context I have only encountered the use of the ...
8
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2answers
978 views

Where did Leibniz explore the product rule of differential calculus?

In what book/letter did Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz explore the product rule as part of differential calculus?
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2answers
122 views

Why did energy-momentum relationship have to wait until 1928 to be established?

This web page shows how to derive energy-momentum relationship, $E_{total}^2=p^{2}c^{2}+\left( mc^{2}\right) ^{2}$, given the following equations. Please note that some sources make a distinction ...
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1answer
122 views

How did the Vietnamese manage set up the Vietnamese Mathematical Society during the Vietnam War?

The Vietnamese Mathematical Society was set up in 1965 by Le Van Thiem and Hoang Tuy. Both had studied in Europe, the former in Paris and Germany and the latter in Moscow. By 1965, the Vietnam War, ...
3
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1answer
92 views

What is the first clear mention of ocean currents?

The Wikipedia page on Oceanography says Humans first acquired knowledge of the waves and currents of the seas and oceans in pre-historic times. Observations on tides were recorded by Aristotle and ...
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0answers
31 views

What was Claudio Bunster's role in the Human Rights Commission in Chile?

Claudio Bunster, a Chilean physicist, was educated in the University of Chile and Princeton. He returned to Chile when the Pinochet dictatorship was at its height and, against all expectations, and ...
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0answers
54 views

Why did Sylvester Gates choose the name Adinkra?

Sylvester James Gates was one of the co-discoverers of Adrinkas. These are graphical representations of susy (supersymmetry) algebras. They are named after a West African people - the Akan of Ghana ...
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2answers
137 views

Why isn't the history of mechanics dated from Archimedes time?

It's often said - and more often written - and perhaps, even more spoken of - that modern physics began with Galileo due to his application of mathematics to motion. This is the position taken by ...
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0answers
43 views

It was Edouard Lucas who is the eponym of Lucas Sequence, and not Henry Lucas, yes?

Just making sure of this. I've just found this statement in the Collins Dictionary of Mathematics (E.J. Borowski and J.M. Borwein, 1989) in the entry for "Lucas Numbers". "(Named after ...
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0answers
12 views

When the concept of “Ultraviolet completion” of a low energy effective theory first arose?

In modern view any quantum field theory that has any reason (mathematical or physical) to not be tenable at some short length scale is assumed to be replaced by a more fundamental theory, that we call ...
0
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1answer
65 views

Looking for the source of a quote in QFT history

Since it is a strictly physics-related quote i thought this was the best place to ask. It goes something like: "There are no particles, only fields", to which X replied "there are no ...
3
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2answers
65 views

What was known about the properties of the nucleus before the Liquid drop model was proposed?

What was known about the properties of the nucleus (its shape, its density etc) and the nuclear forces before the Liquid drop model was proposed? I believe that some empirical knowledge must be out ...
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0answers
26 views

Timeline for the earliest work on Frobenius problems

If $a, b$ are positive and coprime integers, then the set of linear combinations of $a$ and $b$ with nonnegative coefficients is all integers past $(a - 1)(b - 1)$; i.e. $\{ \lambda_1 a + \lambda_2 b :...

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