Questions tagged [ancient]

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13
votes
7answers
4k views

What are the earliest inventions to store and release energy (e.g. fly wheels)?

I am interested in very early inventions that allowed energy to be stored and released after a delay even it's just a short time. With "invention" I mean a novelty that is the result of ...
2
votes
3answers
180 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
vote
0answers
56 views

The earliest origins of science and math

I'd like to have a broad understanding of how various societies in the world developed pre-scientific understanding. There are a lot of resources for ancient Greece. There are even a few for what ...
4
votes
1answer
279 views

When did the Notion of "Limit" Arise and for What Purpose?

It is my understanding that Cauchy was the first to incorporate the notion of a $\delta$-$\epsilon$ limit in his proofs, although a definition was not formulated until Weierstrass did so. How far ...
1
vote
0answers
85 views

What are some archaeological discoveries from Ancient Civilizations that baffled mathematicians? [closed]

The Ancient Civilizations of Earth are highly advanced than accredited for. Their respect for numerology throughout various parts of Earth is interesting. It baffles me how they did it with such ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

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?
3
votes
0answers
85 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
vote
0answers
88 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
183 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. ...