Thomas Fincke

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Thomas Fincke.

Thomas Fincke (6 January 1561 – 24 April 1656) was a Danish mathematician and physicist, and a professor at the University of Copenhagen for more than 60 years.[1]


Fincke was born in Flensburg, Schleswig and died in Copenhagen. From 1577, he studied mathematics, rhetoric and other philosophical studies for five years at the University of Strasbourg. In 1590, he became professor of mathematics at the University of Copenhagen. In 1603 he also obtained a professorship in medicine. His lasting achievement is found in his book Geometria rotundi (1583), in which he introduced the modern names of the trigonometric functions tangent and secant.

Geometriae rotundi libri XIIII, 1583

His son in law was the Danish physician and natural historian, Ole Worm, who married Fincke's daughter Dorothea.[2]


  1. ^ "Fincke, Thomas, 1561-1656". Dansk biografisk Lexikon. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Worm, Ole (Oluf), 1588-1654". Dansk biografisk Lexikon. Retrieved August 1, 2019.

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