Euler is held to be one of the greatest mathematicians in history and the greatest of the 18th century. Several great mathematicians who produced their work after Euler's death have recognised his importance in the field as shown by quotes attributed to many of them: Pierre-Simon Laplace expressed Euler's influence on mathematics by stating, "Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all." Carl Friedrich Gauss wrote: "The study of Euler's works will remain the best school for the different fields of mathematics, and nothing else can replace it." Euler is also widely considered to be the most prolific; his 866 publications as well as his correspondences are being collected in the Opera Omnia Leonhard Euler which, when completed, will consist of 81 quarto volumes. He spent most of his adult life in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Berlin, then the capital of Prussia. (Full article...)
One of Molyneux's celestial globes, which is displayed in Middle Temple Library – from the frontispiece of the Hakluyt Society's 1889 reprint of A Learned Treatise of Globes, both Cœlestiall and Terrestriall, one of the English editions of Robert Hues' Latin work Tractatus de Globis (1594)
Molyneux was known as a mathematician and maker of mathematical instruments such as compasses and hourglasses. He became acquainted with many prominent men of the day, including the writer Richard Hakluyt and the mathematicians Robert Hues and Edward Wright. He also knew the explorers Thomas Cavendish, Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh and John Davis. Davis probably introduced Molyneux to his own patron, the London merchant William Sanderson, who largely financed the construction of the globes. When completed, the globes were presented to Elizabeth I. Larger globes were acquired by royalty, noblemen and academic institutions, while smaller ones were purchased as practical navigation aids for sailors and students. The globes were the first to be made in such a way that they were unaffected by the humidity at sea, and they came into general use on ships. (Full article...)
Logic studies arguments, which consist of a set of premises together with a conclusion. An example is the argument from the premises "it's Sunday" and "if it's Sunday then I don't have to work" to the conclusion "I don't have to work". Premises and conclusions express propositions or claims that can be true or false. An important feature of propositions is their internal structure. For example, complex propositions are made up of simpler propositions linked by logical vocabulary like (and) or (if...then). Simple propositions also have parts, like "Sunday" or "work" in the example. The truth of a proposition usually depends on the meanings of all of its parts. However, this is not the case for logically true propositions. They are true only because of their logical structure independent of the specific meanings of the individual parts. (Full article...)
A finite symmetric group consists of all permutations of a finite set. Each affine symmetric group is an infinite extension of a finite symmetric group. Many important combinatorial properties of the finite symmetric groups can be extended to the corresponding affine symmetric groups. Permutation statistics such as descents and inversions can be defined in the affine case. As in the finite case, the natural combinatorial definitions for these statistics also have a geometric interpretation. (Full article...)
In 1594, Hues published his discoveries in the Latin work Tractatus de globis et eorum usu (Treatise on Globes and Their Use) which was written to explain the use of the terrestrial and celestial globes that had been made and published by Emery Molyneux in late 1592 or early 1593, and to encourage English sailors to use practical astronomical navigation. Hues' work subsequently went into at least 12 other printings in Dutch, English, French and Latin. (Full article...)
A stamp of Zhang Heng issued by China Post in 1955
Zhang Heng began his career as a minor civil servant in Nanyang. Eventually, he became Chief Astronomer, Prefect of the Majors for Official Carriages, and then Palace Attendant at the imperial court. His uncompromising stance on historical and calendrical issues led to his becoming a controversial figure, preventing him from rising to the status of Grand Historian. His political rivalry with the palace eunuchs during the reign of Emperor Shun (r. 125–144) led to his decision to retire from the central court to serve as an administrator of Hejian Kingdom in present-day Hebei. Zhang returned home to Nanyang for a short time, before being recalled to serve in the capital once more in 138. He died there a year later, in 139. (Full article...)
In Euclidean plane geometry, Apollonius's problem is to construct circles that are tangent to three given circles in a plane (Figure 1). Apollonius of Perga (c. 262 BC – c. 190 BC) posed and solved this famous problem in his work Ἐπαφαί (Epaphaí, "Tangencies"); this work has been lost, but a 4th-century AD report of his results by Pappus of Alexandria has survived. Three given circles generically have eight different circles that are tangent to them (Figure 2), a pair of solutions for each way to divide the three given circles in two subsets (there are 4 ways to divide a set of cardinality 3 in 2 parts).
In the 16th century, Adriaan van Roomen solved the problem using intersecting hyperbolas, but this solution does not use only straightedge and compass constructions. François Viète found such a solution by exploiting limiting cases: any of the three given circles can be shrunk to zero radius (a point) or expanded to infinite radius (a line). Viète's approach, which uses simpler limiting cases to solve more complicated ones, is considered a plausible reconstruction of Apollonius' method. The method of van Roomen was simplified by Isaac Newton, who showed that Apollonius' problem is equivalent to finding a position from the differences of its distances to three known points. This has applications in navigation and positioning systems such as LORAN. (Full article...)
Rejewski, c. 1932
Marian Adam Rejewski (Polish:[ˈmarjanrɛˈjɛfskʲi]ⓘ; 16 August 1905 – 13 February 1980) was a Polishmathematician and cryptologist who in late 1932 reconstructed the sight-unseen Nazi German military Enigma cipher machine, aided by limited documents obtained by French military intelligence. Over the next nearly seven years, Rejewski and fellow mathematician-cryptologists Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski developed and used techniques and equipment to decrypt the German machine ciphers, even as the Germans introduced modifications to their equipment and encryption procedures. Five weeks before the outbreak of World War II in Europe, the Poles shared their technological achievements with the French and British at a conference in Warsaw, thus enabling Britain to begin reading German Enigma-encrypted messages, seven years after Rejewski's original reconstruction of the machine. The intelligence that was gained by the British from Enigma decrypts formed part of what was code-named Ultra and contributed—perhaps decisively—to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
In 1929, while studying mathematics at Poznań University, Rejewski attended a secret cryptology course conducted by the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau (Biuro Szyfrów), which he joined in September 1932. The Bureau had had no success in reading Enigma-enciphered messages and set Rejewski to work on the problem in late 1932; he deduced the machine's secret internal wiring after only a few weeks. Rejewski and his two colleagues then developed successive techniques for the regular decryption of Enigma messages. His own contributions included the cryptologic card catalog, derived using the cyclometer that he had invented, and the cryptologic bomb. (Full article...)
In mathematics, the Euclidean algorithm, or Euclid's algorithm, is an efficient method for computing the greatest common divisor (GCD) of two integers (numbers), the largest number that divides them both without a remainder. It is named after the ancient Greek mathematicianEuclid, who first described it in his Elements (c. 300 BC). It is an example of an algorithm, a step-by-step procedure for performing a calculation according to well-defined rules, and is one of the oldest algorithms in common use. It can be used to reduce fractions to their simplest form, and is a part of many other number-theoretic and cryptographic calculations.
The Euclidean algorithm is based on the principle that the greatest common divisor of two numbers does not change if the larger number is replaced by its difference with the smaller number. For example, 21 is the GCD of 252 and 105 (as 252 = 21 × 12 and 105 = 21 × 5), and the same number 21 is also the GCD of 105 and 252 − 105 = 147. Since this replacement reduces the larger of the two numbers, repeating this process gives successively smaller pairs of numbers until the two numbers become equal. When that occurs, they are the GCD of the original two numbers. By reversing the steps or using the extended Euclidean algorithm, the GCD can be expressed as a linear combination of the two original numbers, that is the sum of the two numbers, each multiplied by an integer (for example, 21 = 5 × 105 + (−2) × 252). The fact that the GCD can always be expressed in this way is known as Bézout's identity. (Full article...)
For thousands of years, mathematicians have attempted to extend their understanding of π, sometimes by computing its value to a high degree of accuracy. Ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians and Babylonians, required fairly accurate approximations of π for practical computations. Around 250BC, the Greek mathematicianArchimedes created an algorithm to approximate π with arbitrary accuracy. In the 5th century AD, Chinese mathematicians approximated π to seven digits, while Indian mathematicians made a five-digit approximation, both using geometrical techniques. The first computational formula for π, based on infinite series, was discovered a millennium later. The earliest known use of the Greek letter π to represent the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter was by the Welsh mathematician William Jones in 1706. (Full article...)
Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World, he was ranked the seventh-greatest physicist of all time. (Full article...)
By the beginning of the 20th century, Newton's law of universal gravitation had been accepted for more than two hundred years as a valid description of the gravitational force between masses. In Newton's model, gravity is the result of an attractive force between massive objects. Although even Newton was troubled by the unknown nature of that force, the basic framework was extremely successful at describing motion. (Full article...)
In graph theory, a pseudoforest is an undirected graph in which every connected component has at most one cycle. That is, it is a system of vertices and edges connecting pairs of vertices, such that no two cycles of consecutive edges share any vertex with each other, nor can any two cycles be connected to each other by a path of consecutive edges. A pseudotree is a connected pseudoforest.
The names are justified by analogy to the more commonly studied trees and forests. (A tree is a connected graph with no cycles; a forest is a disjoint union of trees.) Gabow and Tarjan attribute the study of pseudoforests to Dantzig's 1963 book on linear programming, in which pseudoforests arise in the solution of certain network flow problems. Pseudoforests also form graph-theoretic models of functions and occur in several algorithmic problems. Pseudoforests are sparse graphs – their number of edges is linearly bounded in terms of their number of vertices (in fact, they have at most as many edges as they have vertices) – and their matroid structure allows several other families of sparse graphs to be decomposed as unions of forests and pseudoforests. The name "pseudoforest" comes from Picard & Queyranne (1982) harvtxt error: no target: CITEREFPicardQueyranne1982 (help). (Full article...)
Multiplying two unit fractions produces another unit fraction, but other arithmetic operations do not preserve unit fractions. In modular arithmetic, unit fractions can be converted into equivalent whole numbers, allowing modular division to be transformed into multiplication. Every rational number can be represented as a sum of distinct unit fractions; these representations are called Egyptian fractions based on their use in ancient Egyptian mathematics. Many infinite sums of unit fractions are meaningful mathematically. (Full article...)
It is the only game in the Education Series of NES games in North America, owing to the game's lack of success. It was made available in various forms, including in the 2002 GameCube video game Animal Crossing and on the Virtual Console services for Wii and Wii U in 2007 and 2014 respectively. Donkey Kong Jr. Math was a critical and commercial failure. It has received criticism from several publications including IGN staff, who called it one of the worst Virtual Console games. (Full article...)
In geometry, the convex hull or convex envelope or convex closure of a shape is the smallest convex set that contains it. The convex hull may be defined either as the intersection of all convex sets containing a given subset of a Euclidean space, or equivalently as the set of all convex combinations of points in the subset. For a bounded subset of the plane, the convex hull may be visualized as the shape enclosed by a rubber band stretched around the subset.
Convex hulls of open sets are open, and convex hulls of compact sets are compact. Every compact convex set is the convex hull of its extreme points. The convex hull operator is an example of a closure operator, and every antimatroid can be represented by applying this closure operator to finite sets of points. The algorithmic problems of finding the convex hull of a finite set of points in the plane or other low-dimensional Euclidean spaces, and its dual problem of intersecting half-spaces, are fundamental problems of computational geometry. They can be solved in time for two or three dimensional point sets, and in time matching the worst-case output complexity given by the upper bound theorem in higher dimensions. (Full article...)
In the mathematical discipline of graph theory, the dual graph of a planar graphG is a graph that has a vertex for each face of G. The dual graph has an edge for each pair of faces in G that are separated from each other by an edge, and a self-loop when the same face appears on both sides of an edge. Thus, each edge e of G has a corresponding dual edge, whose endpoints are the dual vertices corresponding to the faces on either side of e. The definition of the dual depends on the choice of embedding of the graph G, so it is a property of plane graphs (graphs that are already embedded in the plane) rather than planar graphs (graphs that may be embedded but for which the embedding is not yet known). For planar graphs generally, there may be multiple dual graphs, depending on the choice of planar embedding of the graph.
An unsolved problem of Paul Erdős asks how many edges a unit distance graph on vertices can have. The best known lower bound is slightly above linear in —far from the upper bound, proportional to . The number of colors required to color unit distance graphs is also unknown (the Hadwiger–Nelson problem): some unit distance graphs require five colors, and every unit distance graph can be colored with seven colors. For every algebraic number there is a unit distance graph with two vertices that must be that distance apart. According to the Beckman–Quarles theorem, the only plane transformations that preserve all unit distance graphs are the isometries. (Full article...)
Digits are based on a horizontal or vertical stave, with the position of the digit on the stave indicating its place value (units, tens, hundreds or thousands). These digits are compounded on a single stave to indicate more complex numbers. The Cistercians eventually abandoned the system in favor of the Arabic numerals, but marginal use outside the order continued until the early twentieth century. (Full article...)
A Reuleaux triangle[ʁœlo] is a curved triangle with constant width, the simplest and best known curve of constant width other than the circle. It is formed from the intersection of three circular disks, each having its center on the boundary of the other two. Constant width means that the separation of every two parallel supporting lines is the same, independent of their orientation. Because its width is constant, the Reuleaux triangle is one answer to the question "Other than a circle, what shape can a manhole cover be made so that it cannot fall down through the hole?"
They are named after Franz Reuleaux, a 19th-century German engineer who pioneered the study of machines for translating one type of motion into another, and who used Reuleaux triangles in his designs. However, these shapes were known before his time, for instance by the designers of Gothic church windows, by Leonardo da Vinci, who used it for a map projection, and by Leonhard Euler in his study of constant-width shapes. Other applications of the Reuleaux triangle include giving the shape to guitar picks, fire hydrant nuts, pencils, and drill bits for drilling filleted square holes, as well as in graphic design in the shapes of some signs and corporate logos. (Full article...)
A regular polytope is a geometric figure with a high degree of symmetry. Examples in two dimensions include the square, the regular pentagon and hexagon, and so on. In three dimensions the regular polytopes include the cube, the dodecahedron, and all other Platonic solids. Other Platonic solids include the tetrahedron, the octahedron, the icosahedron. Examples exist in higher dimensions also, such as the 5-dimensional hendecatope. Circles and spheres, although highly symmetric, are not considered polytopes because they do not have flat faces. The strong symmetry of the regular polytopes gives them an aesthetic quality that interests both non-mathematicians and mathematicians.
Many regular polytopes, at least in two and three dimensions, exist in nature and have been known since prehistory. The earliest surviving mathematical treatment of these objects comes to us from ancient Greek mathematicians such as Euclid. Indeed, Euclid wrote a systematic study of mathematics, publishing it under the title Elements, which built up a logical theory of geometry and number theory. His work concluded with mathematical descriptions of the five Platonic solids. (Full article...)