Questions tagged [ancient]

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Did knowledge of astronomy spread among Indo-European civilizations in antiquity?

Early civilizations of india, Greece, Babylon, China and Egypt have progressed in astronomy. Is there any shared knowledge among them and if any how can we find out?
7
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2answers
1k views

Did Aristotle note that ships disappear over the horizon hull-first?

I have run across several references to Aristotle's arguments for a spherical earth which claim that he noted that ships sink over horizon hull-first. For instance, Isaac Asimov writes in his essay ...
3
votes
0answers
79 views

Oldest example of (intentional) PID control

Background: PID (proportional-integral-derivative) control has been around for a long time. It was in textbooks in the early 1900's. The Routh-Hurwitz stability criterion is from 1895. link ...
1
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0answers
70 views

What evidence is there that the Babylonians used the Babylonain method of estimating square roots?

The Babylonian method for computing square roots is described (among other places) in this Wikipedia article. What evidence is there that they actually used this method? I have found several ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

When and why did the 'spiky star' appear as an image in art and science?

Telescope images of stars look like crosses, although they are point sources of light. Featureless dots. Diffraction along the vanes of the support structure that holds up their secondary mirror is ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Which ancient mathematician was opposed to “application” of math?

I seem to recall reading about a mathematician from antiquity whose view was, roughly, that to "apply" math was to do it violence (or indeed, to expedite violence) and so looked down on applications. ...
5
votes
2answers
483 views

When was the diving bell invented?

This question comes from my attempts to give a good answer to the previous question, How was difference in water pressure perceived in ancient cultures or the middle ages? I know from my childhood ...