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In his 1557 work
The Whetstone of Witte, British mathematician Robert Recorde proposed an exponent notation by prime factorisation, which remained in use up until the eighteenth century and acquired the name Arabic exponent notation. The principle of Arabic exponents was quite similar to Egyptian fractions; large exponents were broken down into smaller prime numbers. Squares and cubes were so called; prime numbers from five onwards were called sursolids.
Although the terms used for defining exponents differed between authors and times, the general system was the primary exponent notation until
René Descartes devised the Cartesian exponent notation, which is still used today.
This is a list of Recorde's terms.
Square (compound form is zenzic)
square of squares
first prime exponent greater than three
square of cubes
second prime exponent greater than three
square of squared squares
cube of cubes
Square of first sursolid
square of five
third prime number greater than 3
square of square of cubes
Square of second sursolid
square of seven
Cube of first sursolid
cube of five
"square of squares, squaredly squared"
Zenzizenzic of first sursolid
Cube of second sursolid
Square of third sursolid
By comparison, here is a table of prime factors:
See also [ edit ]
External links (references) [ edit ]