# Talk:Gnomon

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## Untitled

I was just wondering why there is no reference here to the fact that the Greek word "gnomon" describes a figure similar to the letter "L" and that is in widespread use throughout the world as a "Carpenter's Square". Essentially the L shape is indicative that the figure adjoins to a square and thus produces the next larger square in a sequence of squares. For example, the gnomon on a square of 1 would be 3, that on a square of 4 would be 5, that on a square of 9 would be 7, and so forth.

Well I'm not certain I know what you're talking about for the carpentry square, but what I did was look up on Google, and typed in the engine: define:gnomon (search results), and got this definition:
pronounced NO-mon, a Greek word meaning "the one who knows." The gnomon is the pointer on a sundial, the part of the sundial that "knows" the time. [1]
That said, a figure similar to the letter L that you mentioned may be Γ, which is uppercase gamma, the Greek counterpart to G. That would be why that L-looking character is used in reference to a gnomon. --D. F. Schmidt (talk) 14:23, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

We may want to include a picture from the Mars rover, seeing as most of those are of gnomons and they're all public domain. I'm not quite sure how to post them here, though.

## Parallelogram

Another definition of gnomon, from www.answers.com:

The geometric figure that remains after a parallelogram has been removed from a similar but larger parallelogram with which it shares a corner.

And this can be extended to mean something you cannot see (the missing part of the parallelogram) but can still guess it's there because of the stuff around it. You see the word used this way in lit-crit.

--If you look up gnomon on Merriam-Webster's online, and click to see the illustration, the relationship between the carpenter's square and the geometric definition of gnomon becomes clear. Perhaps it would be useful to include a similar illustration in the main article. Thanks. (I'm new to this, so please bear with me as I learn the ropes.)--Mise-en-abyme 04:42, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

## disambiguation?

Why is the Gnomon workshop in this article and not on the disambiguation page? ..or why isn't all the other disambiguation page stuff crammed into this article too?

Fixed —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.97.20.102 (talk) 14:59, 3 May 2007 (UTC).

## bulleted items

User:Gentlemath, do we really want the "History" section to be in bulleted-list format? (I undid it, but you reinstated it). I think it makes it harder to read and to understand any connections, because bulleted lists are usually reserved for lists of discreet items. Right now it looks more like a powerpoint slide than an article, and we all know how crummy powerpoint presentations are for presenting large amounts of text. (Wikipedia's Manual of style agrees - "Bulleted and numbered lists: Do not use lists if a passage reads easily using plain paragraphs.")

I didn't do a very good job of turning it back into prose/text, but I think bulleting items is the wrong approach. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

I kind of agree with you but I also didn't do a great job on prose. I just liked the idea of an evolution from sundial to odd number. I tried one paragraph since there is no natural break. How about this? Do you think the bold is is too aggresive? Actually I am not sure if the instrument for drawing perpendicular lines or a line drawn perpendicularly came first. I opted for putting the instrument next to the shape of the instrument.
Anaximander (610546 BC) is credited with introducing this Babylonian instrument to the Greeks.[1] Perhaps because the gnomon often rises vertically from a horizontal face, Oenopides used the phrase drawn gnomon-wise to describe a line drawn perpendicular to another.[2]. Later, the term was used for an L-shaped instrument like a steel square used to draw right angles. This shape may explain its use to describe a shape formed by cutting a smaller square from the corner of a larger one. Extending this, Euclid extended the term to the plane figure formed by removing a similar parallelogram from a corner of a larger parallelogram. Even more generally, Hero defined a gnomon as that which, added to an entity (number or shape), makes a new entity similar to the starting entity. In this sense Theon of Smyrna used it to describe a number which added to a polygonal number produces the next one of the same type. The most common use in this sense is an odd integer especially when seen as a figurate number between square numbers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gentlemath (talkcontribs) 19:46, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

## Projects

This page actually has hardly anything to do with China and also not much to do with time (sundial does). I didn't want to delete the headers but ....--Gentlemath (talk) 19:50, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

## Linking references to the text

I am not able to make a reference on the line about Gnomons used during the Apollo Program to the footnote I made. Can somebody fix that for me? Thanks...I have not learned how to do it myself.

1. ^ Laertius, Diogenes. "Life of Anaximander".
2. ^ Heath (1981) pp. 78-79