33 votes
Accepted

Is the story about Fermat's writing on a margin true?

Yes, it is true. Fermat's own copy was used in the publication of Diophantus by Fermat's son Samuel, and he included Fermat's notes. The original with Fermat's handwriting is lost. https://www.joh.cam....
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

How did artillery and physics co-evolve during 1400-1700?

The interaction of physics and artillery begins with Galileo (there was no physics to talk about before that time except the statics). There are pictures in the books before Galileo which show ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
6 votes

Who was "Urbino d'Aviso" that described how to fold paper into a pentagon?

If you can read Italian, here you can find full biographic details of his life. What follows is a short summary. As was customary in Italy (and not only in Italy) until at least the 18th century, his ...
user6530's user avatar
  • 3,870
6 votes
Accepted

Who was "Urbino d'Aviso" that described how to fold paper into a pentagon?

Wells misspelled him a little. Urbano d'Aviso (1618-1685) was a little known student of Cavalieri. Aside from the pentagon folding and disputed authorship of Trattato della Sfera, originally published ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 75.9k
6 votes

What evidence is there that Fermat had a proof for his Last Theorem?

From the evidence that we have, it is most likely that Fermat never even claimed to have a proof of the FLT, see the extensive discussion at Mathoverflow here. Quoting from the accepted answer: Not ...
5 votes
Accepted

Kepler's position with respect to Tycho Brahe's world system?

Kepler never supported Brahe's system in print. In his first book (1596) he proposes his own version of heliocentric system. Collaboration with Brahe is 1600-1612. During this period he wrote ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What did physics mean in 17th century?

In his letter, I would assume he's referring to a problems in astronomy and mechanics. But the term physics was much more broad up until the 19th century. This is covered in good detail in e.g. J. L. ...
Sam Gallagher's user avatar
5 votes

What was the first "scientific", non-photographic depiction of Earth as seen from outside of Earth?

I don't know, but Images of earth from outside had been made for more than 500 years. A globe of the Earth would seem to count as a "depiction of any kind". The sphericity of the Earth was ...
M.A. Golding's user avatar
  • 1,288
4 votes

Was "Kepler's third law" deduced from the Galilean moons, or from planetary motion?

Kepler's third law was discovered on the basis of comparison of periods and distances of the planets. This was in 1619. Only in 1621 Kepler noticed that Galileo moons of Jupiter also satisfy this law. ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Was "Kepler's third law" deduced from the Galilean moons, or from planetary motion?

The Wikipedia article on Harmonices Mundi states that Kepler gave only the conclusion. Since he had taken all of Brahe's observations, the presumption is that he used this data, for he was very ...
Peter Diehr's user avatar
4 votes

How did Kepler "guess" his third law from data?

Kepler's 3rd law could have been deduced based on the orbital parameters mentioned in Ptolemy's Almagest (of the 2nd century CE). It was not important for this that Kepler had more modern ...
Louis Strous's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Who was buying prisms in 1665?

Maybe some of Newton's prisms were preserved. An article by A.A. Mills (1981) shows images. He writes: Newton appears to have purchased all his prisms: there is no intimation that he made any of them,...
Pieter's user avatar
  • 168
3 votes
Accepted

What was Galileo's opinion of Kepler's work?

Yes, Galileo knowed Kepler's, as well as Tycho's, works. There is an extant copy of Tycho's Progymnasmata with Galileo's annotations, and we have an annotation from Galileo on Kepler's De stella nova: ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Did Kepler influence Fermat?

The question of Kepler's possible influence on Fermat is a subject of scholarly controversy, exhaustively analyzed by Cifoletti in her book on Fermat. For details see this 2018 publication in ...
Mikhail Katz's user avatar
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2 votes
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Could 17th century astronomers in the Netherlands predict solar eclipses a few months in advance?

The short answer is yes. Under the following conditions: Let me state the problem more exactly: suppose that a solar eclipse of at least 40% WILL occur within a year from now. Could some person in the ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
1 vote

What was Galileo's opinion of Kepler's work?

Galileo did not publish any opinion on Kepler's work, though they corresponded with Kepler. Why this is so, subject to speculation. See, for example Koestler, Sleepwalkers (this author is unfriendly ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar

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