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What were Auguste Comte's contributions to mathematics (if any)?

Auguste Comte is often described (e.g., on Wikipedia) as a “mathematician” besides being a philosopher of science. I am aware that he taught mathematics (he was at various times a répétiteur and/or ...
Gro-Tsen's user avatar
  • 387
8 votes
1 answer
276 views

Did Ronald Fisher ever say anything on varying the threshold of significance level?

There has been a growing chorus against the conventional NHST (Null Hypothesis Significance Testing). One thing is the blind usage of a monolithic significance level $5\%.$ In a recent thread at CV, ...
User1865345's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

A brief history of Geometry

I'm looking for a relatively quick summary (about a page or between 1 and 2 pages) of the origins of Geometry in the ancient world and its main applications then, plus a few key breakthroughs that ...
Nate's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

Where is Fock on Klein-Gordon equation?

I was researching a bit about the history of the famous Klein-Gordon equation and I found out that Fock also independently discovered it in the same year as Klein and Gordon, 1926. However, ...
Jimeens's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
0 answers
37 views

When was the parity of a permutation first understood?

In combinatorics, it is well understood that a permutation has a parity or sign: each permutation is either odd or even (sometimes described as negative and positive, respectively). Composing two ...
richard's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
0 answers
68 views

I would like to read about Euler's view on negative numbers

So, I've been over fixated on negative numbers lately. I'm coming to the conclusion that, mathematics is usually progressed if it is "useful". The more "useful" a mathematical ...
Fraser's user avatar
  • 11
14 votes
8 answers
3k views

Works of scientists, philosophers and mathematicians that (re)surfaced after a long time

Sometimes, for one reason or the other, the works of scholars get lost. In some cases, they're lost forever. This happened to many books during the fire of the library of Alexandria, for instance. ...
Max Muller's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
64 views

Why and how did the study of complex numbers progress despite the denial of negative numbers?

I am going over some history of the complex numbers, and two things baffle me (and they are not mathematics). From Cardano's time to around the 18th century, negative numbers were not accepted by all ...
James's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
0 answers
58 views

What paper or papers about molecules did Heisenberg "like", and what has Heisenberg published or otherwise commented about it?

In the 2023 film Oppenheimer based on the 2005 biography American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, there seems to be two references to work by Oppenheimer on molecules: RABI: I caught ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 2,163
0 votes
0 answers
86 views

Relationship between electromagnetic and topological invariant

I read 17 equations that changed the world by Ian Stewart. This book provides information about the correlation between electromagnetic force and topological invariant. The idea of a topological ...
user1274233's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
81 views

Origin of "Sierpinski space"?

Nowadays the unique 2 point, nondiscrete, nontrivial topological space goes by the name of the Sierpinski space. How did that space come to be named after Sierpinski? The comments to this MathOverflow ...
Lee Mosher's user avatar
-1 votes
0 answers
50 views

When was it the negative numbers were accepted as “negatives” instead of “subtractions” in European Mathematics?

After Cordano and Bombelli had ways of dealing with “subtractions” and “imaginary” numbers. John wallis published a book where he examined “negatives” motivated by physical and scientific applications ...
Fraser's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote
2 answers
68 views

How were complex analysis methods, like the Joukowsky transform, used in early aircraft design?

The Joukowsky transform is a conformal mapping of a disk to an airfoil shape. The wiki page says that "it was historically used to understand some principles of airfoil design". That's kind ...
Daniel Shapero's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
66 views

Black body radiation before Hertz's observation?

From the timeline of Maxwell's prediction 1865 and Hertz's observation in 1887 that gave an understanding of the light wave as EM wave, How did the Black body radiation study understand the emitted ...
Kanokpon Arm's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
107 views

How did negative numbers “force themselves” onto Cardano, and was it analogous to how imaginary numbers were forced upon him?

I was reading “A brief history of numbers” by Corry, but I came across a part that confused me. Cardano accepted the law of signs for “subtractions” proposed by an older group of Italian ...
Fraser's user avatar
  • 19
2 votes
1 answer
158 views

Did Rafael Bombelli write any commentary about his rules for arithmetic involving negative numbers?

Rafael Bombelli was the first European mathematician to write about the laws of arithmetic for negative numbers. On Wikipedia I read that he wrote: “Minus 5 times minus 6 makes plus 30”. I also read ...
Fraser's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote
2 answers
197 views

Motivation and history of singular homology

Among the many cohomology theory's branches I asked about last time, I was curious about $d^2=0$ because I know that it is the formula that is the basis of all cohomology. So this time, I would like ...
user1274233's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Why is the Feynman propagator named after Feynman?

In his book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Feynman himself says that he did not know how to compute contour integrals. To give a direct quote, he says: One thing I never did learn was contour ...
CBBAM's user avatar
  • 111
3 votes
1 answer
122 views

History of cohomology theory

I saw this post. And I already posted it on Math stack exchange, but since someone recommended this site, I'm refining it and posting it again. And I understand that the mathematical object called ...
user1274233's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
87 views

Width of zodiac

Why is conventional width of zodiac set to 16 degrees (8 degrees at both sides of ecliptic), see for example this Taurus plate from Bayer's Uranometria? I assume that the planet which defines the ...
Leos Ondra's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
64 views

How exactly did Auguste Bravais come up with the regression line?

I am new to statistics and linear regression and I came across the face that auguste bravais discovered regression line but didn't realize it. Auguste Bravais (1811-1863), professor of astronomy and ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

History on ancient thoughts regarding bones and blood

I heard a story about how ancient people believed that fathers contributed to the white things in a child (bones), while mothers contributed the red matter (blood). However, I found no reference ...
phk's user avatar
  • 101
4 votes
2 answers
439 views

Who was the inventor of the 18-electron rule?

According to Wikipedia, the first person who proposed 18-electron rule was American chemist Irving Langmuir, but the rule is widely known by the name Sidgwick's rule. I cannot find any information ...
Seiji's user avatar
  • 43
3 votes
1 answer
111 views

Mathematization of natural sciences

When was a mathematical formula (instead of just words) used for the 1st time in natural sciences to describe a natural phenomenon?
Sedat Olcer's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
137 views

What is the history of vector bundles and their characteristic classes?

The theory of vector bundles (and their characteristic classes) appears to have been standardized in the 20th century by all of the familiar names. Considering its substantial importance throughout ...
user19642's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
141 views

Height function following Borel

Borel introduces the notion of hauteur (French for 'height') in a note titled Sur l'approximation les uns par les autres des nombres formant un ensemble dénombrable in the Comptes Rendus journal in ...
Sam Sanders's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
103 views

David Hilbert's paper: Substitution of the group of cyclotomic field

A question about a notation in David Hilberts's "Ein neuer Beweis des Kroneckerschen Fundamentalsatzes über Abelsche Zahlkörper" (here a german online available source, not sure if there ...
user267839's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
105 views

What were Cantor’s “real numbers of higher type”?

In the preamble to “Essays on the Theory of Numbers”, Dedekind makes passing reference to a theory (expounded in Cantor’s “Ueber die Ausdenung eines Satzes aus der Theorie der trigonometrischen Reihen”...
James Propp's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
132 views

Would they have known you can't go faster than light in 1790 [duplicate]

I came across this short: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/LjBaPxutpQo where Brian Cox says the idea of black holes dates back to 1790. It stemmed according to it from escape velocity and that you could ...
Rohit Pandey's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
101 views

A brief history of "delocalization" of electrons

I have been studying the concepts of "resonance" and "mesomerism" recently and a common principle of these concepts is the "delocalization" (of electrons, molecular ...
Bhavya Jain's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
86 views

History of Bernoulli numbers

I have been trying to understand what is the meaning of Bernoulli numbers, but to my mind it has been obscured behind complicated formulas without much explaination. I presume finding the history ...
Gustamons's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
343 views

Ancient drawing board in mathematics

According to Van Der Waerden's "Science Awakening", it was common for Ancient Greek mathematicians to use a board filled with sand to draw their figures, ie : But the ancients made their ...
Slereah's user avatar
  • 865
1 vote
0 answers
87 views

Was there historical influence of lattice theory on category theory?

I know that Maclane and Eilenberg created category theory together. And I also know that lattice theory is a concept created by Dedekind with the motivation of ring and ideal theory. And this concept ...
user1274233's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
118 views

Who was this person in the Early Modern Period who wrote a manual on writing "good science"?

In a history lecture a while back the teacher spoke about a person who wrote something that (to me) sounded like an instruction manual on how to write "good science". The basic point was ...
ReaderGuy42's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

What are the origins of calculating the area of a v/t graph to determine displacement?

I'm curious as to the origins of thinking of displacement as the area under a v/t curve. I assume that Newton (and/or Leibniz) was already familiar with the concept and knew that calculating the area ...
Physicator's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
140 views

Were molecules called atoms in the 19th century?

E.g. a quote from Justus von Liebig, 17th Chemical Letter, 1858, in German: Wir können ein Stück Zucker, auch wenn wir es noch so fein reiben, nicht flüssig machen, noch viel weniger können wir durch ...
viuser's user avatar
  • 181
4 votes
1 answer
157 views

Is there a good resource for the number of scientific literature published per year, potentially going back to the times of Newton or even Galilei?

As the title already says, I'm interested in the number of scientific articles published per year, preferably going back to the times of Newton or even Galilei (who is generally considered to be the ...
mapf's user avatar
  • 171
4 votes
2 answers
168 views

History and origin of the Iso-, Sec-, Tert- and Neo- prefixes?

I have studied the prefixes "Iso-", "Sec-", "Tert-" and "Neo-" for a long time in chemistry but wonder where they originate from i.e. where is the place (the ...
Bhavya Jain's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
161 views

How good was Newton at definite integration?

On Math Stack Exchange, I am impressed by users' skill at finding closed form expressions for definite integrals. For example: Example 1: $\int_{-1}^1\frac1x\sqrt{\frac{1+x}{1-x}}\ln\left(\frac{2\,x^...
Dan's user avatar
  • 139
5 votes
1 answer
768 views

What were the obstacles that made the discovery of calculus very late?

I wonder What were the obstacles that made the discovery of calculus very late ? Why the discovery of calculus took so long. I know that some of the ideas and techniques of calculus appeared in ...
pie's user avatar
  • 223
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

Is there any meaningful history behind harmonic mean?

I am trying to understand the origin of harmonic mean and get an intuitively feel for why it was invented in the first place. I have surfed the web but I keep seeing things like harmonic series / ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
1 answer
193 views

What was the reason Einstein included reflection from a moving mirror in his relativity paper?

Einstein, in his 1905 relativity paper Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, allocates a section to the issue of reflection of light from a moving mirror and derives three formulas (angle, frequency, ...
Maesumi's user avatar
  • 133
4 votes
0 answers
57 views

Schwarzschild's artificial planet

In a 1963 article by Robert Dicke ("The observational basis of general relativity"), there is a reference to a concept for a gravitational experimental device in the form of a big ball ...
Slereah's user avatar
  • 865
6 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why was the development of mathematics very slow between Ancient Greece and Descartes?

I asked this question on MSE here In my studies of mathematics (I am not very good at mathematics, I only studied real analysis, some linear algebra, geometry and calculus ), I noticed that ...
pie's user avatar
  • 223
0 votes
0 answers
70 views

What is Laguerre's definition of the angle via the cross ratio?

I recently read an article which said Cayley showed that affine geometry could be developed from projective geometry after he learnt of Laguerre's definition of the angle using the cross ratio. This ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
81 views

What was defined first and how? The ampere or the vacuum permeability?

I've been looking up the history and evolution of the seven base units and am currently checking out the ampere. What I've found is that 1A is defined as the current in a wire which would experience a ...
SpectraXCD's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
201 views

Ancient Egyptian geometry

When reading on the topic of Ancient Egyptian geometry by Ancient Greek philosophers, there is a certain sense that this is quite a thriving discipline that seems comparable to the type of geometry ...
Slereah's user avatar
  • 865
0 votes
3 answers
234 views

Who are some scientists that were convicted for non-war non-political crimes?

I discovered that John Robert Schrieffer (Nobel Prize in Physics 1972 for superconductivity theory) was in prison after a tragic car accident (1 person died, 7 were injured) where he was driving ...
Mauricio's user avatar
  • 3,304
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there evidence that Gödel said "phoned with God"?

Wolfgang Rautenberg wrote in "A Concise Introduction to Mathematical Logic" that Kurt Gödel, to show that finite sequences from ℕ can be coded and manipulated by purely arithmetical formulae,...
user21820's user avatar
  • 128
3 votes
1 answer
173 views

Feynman learning technique

There is a learning technique by Richard Feynman, which is known as the "Feynman learning technique", and consists of four steps: Select a concept to learn. Teach it to a child (or maybe an ...
jsx97's user avatar
  • 133

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