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35 votes
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Did Alan Turing know the German language?

By the time he was at university, Alan Turing had sufficient facility at reading German (in gothic type no less) that he was reading advanced texts on Quantum Mechanics. In chapter 4 of the biography &...
Daniel S's user avatar
  • 466
33 votes

Historical example of research papers being misinterpreted due to poor wording and creating controversy?

Giovanni Schiaparelli ... He wrote in 1877 about his telescopic observations of Mars. He described some features using the Italian word canali. English translation would be channels. But the term ...
Gerald Edgar's user avatar
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23 votes

Did Alan Turing know the German language?

Alan Turing's report cards from Sherborne School indicate that he studied German in 1930 and 1931, but his teacher Geoffrey John Bromehead Watkins noted in 1931 that He does not seem to have any ...
njuffa's user avatar
  • 6,644
14 votes

Did Alan Turing know the German language?

This is not really evidence, but according to https://www.ams.org/notices/200910/rtx091001236p.pdf according to Hodges, [Andrew] Gleason took Alan [Turing] to a crowded restaurant on 18th Street. ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
  • 2,555
12 votes

How do we explain the lack of activity in the study of Latin mathematics?

Since the full professor in question certainly hasn't read all of "the mathematics written in Latin over the last 1000 years," one can assert with certainty that he literally does not know ...
Mikhail Katz's user avatar
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9 votes
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What dialect of ancient Greek was taught to natural philosophers?

Attic, the highest prestige dialect, hands down. For centuries, this has been the mainstay of Greek language education in Europe. There is no better reminder of this than Newton's Trinity College ...
Cosmas Zachos's user avatar
8 votes
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How many professors can read Latin in 1950 and 2000?

First of all "can read" must be defined more precisely. Many math professors in Europe whom I know had some Latin in school and can read a page from Euler, when necessary. But they certainly cannot ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
8 votes

Historical example of research papers being misinterpreted due to poor wording and creating controversy?

Airborne Contagion and Air Hygiene by William Firth Wells was one of the earliest works on disease transmission through air. There was research in there showing that droplets in general will tend to ...
user3067860's user avatar
6 votes

Did Euler know Ancient Greek?

From Euler's Autobiography, p. 2: Nachdem musste ich mich auf Gutbefinden meiner famille beÿ der Theologischen Fakultaet einschreiben lassen, da ich mich denn ausser der Theologie besonders auf die ...
Michael E2's user avatar
  • 1,881
6 votes

How many professors can read Latin in 1950 and 2000?

I agree with Alexandre: professors of science and mathematics read mostly the current literature, the vast majority of which is in English. However, in this forum, when the OP says "professors", he ...
Gerald Edgar's user avatar
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5 votes
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Origin of arcminutes, arcseconds, "arcthirds," "arcfourths," etc

See F.Cajori, A History of Mathematical Notations: Vol. II, para 511 : Origin of the modern symbols for degrees, minutes, and seconds : Signs resembling those now in use are found in the Syntaxis (...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
5 votes

What is the last physics paper or book written in Latin?

Dissertations in The Netherlands were traditionally written in Latin, until the second half of the 19th century. At Leiden University the last physics thesis in Latin is from 1854, De galvanometra ...
Carlo Beenakker's user avatar
5 votes

What is the last physics paper or book written in Latin?

Here is a modern mathematical paper in Latin, http://www.math.univ-toulouse.fr/~schechtman/defin-nova-preprint.pdf Not sure about physicists:-)
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
5 votes

How many languages does Paul Erdős have publications in?

According to the Index of P. Erdös's papers he has at least 2 papers in each of the following languages: English French German Hebrew Hungarian Russian It is said that he once wanted to publish a ...
José Hdz. Stgo.'s user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Was there ever a word for 24 like "dozen" for 12?

I am not aware of any current or archaic English word for 24 other than the obvious combinations like "double dozen" or "score and four" ("score" is 20). German style ...
Conifold's user avatar
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4 votes

Whether Euclid considered squares to be rectangles

The word in Euclid is "ἑτερομήκης". Whether you translate it "rectangle" or "oblong" depends on what you think those two words mean. It is clear from Euclid that "ἑτερομήκης" does not include ...
Gerald Edgar's user avatar
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4 votes

What explanations are there for this strong spike in the use of 'angular momentum' in the 1960s?

First thing, we have to realize that the n-grams show the percentage of some sequence of characters in all the available literature. If you take out some constant background signal, you will notice ...
valerio's user avatar
  • 365
4 votes

What explanations are there for this strong spike in the use of 'angular momentum' in the 1960s?

I looked at the contexts of the "angular momentum" cluster around the spike: angular momentum of electrons; angular momentum about the nucleus; anti-neutron differs from the neutron in that its ...
Conifold's user avatar
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3 votes

Whether Euclid considered squares to be rectangles

See Euclid's Elements: Definition 22. Of quadrilateral (τετράπλευρος) figures, a square (τετράγωνος) is that which is both equilateral and right-angled; an oblong (ἑτερομήκης: with sides of uneven ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Why are permutations ($_nP_r$) called differently in non-English languages ("variations" in German)?

A place to start for questions of this sort is Jeff Miller's website Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics. On permutations and combinations one of his sources is Smith, History Of ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 77.1k
2 votes

How do we explain the lack of activity in the study of Latin mathematics?

Mathematics written in Latin during the last 1000 years is usually not designated as "Latin mathematics". Contrary to what your professor says, most of mathematical papers of Euler have been ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
2 votes

Did Euler know Ancient Greek?

Since Leonard Euler went to a Gymnasium in Basel, he surely learnt greek, every student had to learn it, he graduated in theologie, which one could not do without greek as a language, "womit es ...
trula's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes

Historical example of research papers being misinterpreted due to poor wording and creating controversy?

Paxos Algorithm by Leslie Lamport comes to my mind. I submitted the paper to TOCS in 1990. All three referees said that the paper was mildly interesting, though not very important, but that all the ...
SpiderRico's user avatar
2 votes

When has the notion of "programming language for machines" emerged?

As Conifold says, Turing's proof was a decisive intellectual step, along with Church's Lambda Calculus and Goedel's proof. And as he says, real computers then arrived with assembler language, "bottom ...
chrishmorris's user avatar
2 votes

Why are permutations ($_nP_r$) called differently in non-English languages ("variations" in German)?

This isn't an answer, but I think it's too long for a comment. Sometimes the most literal translation of a technical term doesn't sound quite right in the language you're translating to. For example, ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
2 votes

Why are permutations ($_nP_r$) called differently in non-English languages ("variations" in German)?

"...what term is used for "Permutationen mit Wiederholung"/same elements in a set in English?" The combinatorics expressions you're looking for in English are probably 'permutations/combinations with/...
terry-s's user avatar
  • 4,560
2 votes

Where and how did scientists of the 18th and 19th century learn foreign languages?

I can think of several reasons. First of all, in the 18th and 19th centuries, most science was conducted in Europe, within a fairly narrow (though linguistically diverse) area. People of the time ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 2,184
2 votes
Accepted

"Number Theoretic" is wrong ? "Arithmetical" is right?

For the sake of taking this question off the unanswered list, these comments seem themselves to constitute answers: "Number-theoretical" was criticized by many, not only by Hardy because it just ...
1 vote

Where and how did scientists of the 18th and 19th century learn foreign languages?

In the 18th century, the main characteristic was not to be a scientist but to be a scholar which means to be literate and be able to write latim and read latim, greek, hebrew and arabic. Of course ...
AlainD's user avatar
  • 199

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