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Mathematicians

that he was seen in different places at the same time.By: Noah RompasPythagoras of Samos Biography: Accurate facts about the life of Pythagoras are so few that most information concerning him is untrustworthy. that Abaris came flying to him on a golden arrow. that he had a golden thigh. These writers. The stories which were created were eagerly sought by the Neoplatonist writers who provide most of the details about Pythagoras. Heraclitus. if all the credible stories concerning Pythagoras were supposed true. Herodotus.ac. Aristotle had written a separate work on the Pythagoreans. Thus many myths were created – such as that Apollo was his father. Aristotle. making it nearly impossible to provide more than a vague outline of his life. and Heraclides Ponticus had written on the same subject. we are mainly dependent on Diogenes Laërtius. meant that invention took the place of facts. With the exception of a few remarks by Xenophanes. which unfortunately has not survived. were among the best sources from whom Porphyry and Iamblichus drew. but who were uncritical concerning anything which related to the gods or which was considered divine. and Isocrates. that Pythagoras gleamed with a supernatural brightness. Porphyry. together with the secrecy which surrounded the Pythagorean brotherhood. late as they are. his range of activity would be impossibly vast. while still adding some legendary accounts and their own inventions to the mix. The lack of information by contemporary writers.uk/history/Biographies/Pythagoras. but even then.st- and. historians are often reduced to considering the statements based on their inherent probability. [8] His disciples Dicaearchus.dcs. Reference: http://www-groups.html . Hence. Plato. and Iamblichus for biographical details. Aristoxenus.

In Liber Abaci. During the last few years of the 12th century. This work. and is considered to be among the foremost European mathematicians of the medieval era. Reference: http://famousmathematicians. However. He was instrumental in bringing the widespread use of Arabic numerals to the West. He is usually better known by his nickname. and two years later he published his book. the world’s most prominent mathematicians were Arabs. thereby revolutionizing arithmetic and allowing scientific experiment and discovery to progress more quickly. Liber Abaci. although he merely referenced it rather than devising it himself. The Fibonacci number sequence is named after him. and he spent much time studying with them. The sequence of numbers which he used to solve the problem was that which later became known as the Fibonacci sequence.Leonardo Pisano Blgollo Biography: Leonardo Pisano Bigollo was an Italian mathematician. At this time. he did not mention it in his book. in any event. it had been known in India several centuries earlier. Fibonacci used as an example a problem regarding the growth of a rabbit population.618:1 may or may not have been known to Fibonacci. was extremely influential in that it popularized the use of the Arabic numerals in Europe. Fibonacci. this was merely the first time that it had been seen in Western mathematics. he returned home to Italy. whose title translates as the Book of Calculation.org/leonardo-pisanobigollo/ . In about 1200. Fibonacci undertook a series of travels around the Mediterranean. The fact that the ratio of successive numbers in the sequence tends to the Golden Ratio of around 1.

endeavor Germany to influential parents. law. he formulated the famous theory of monads which explained the relation between soul and the body. mathematics and law. Gottfried Leibniz was a great polymath who knew almost everything that could be known at the time about any subject or intellectual enterprise. Leibniz chose to present his thesis to the University of Altdorf. Leibniz was a childhood prodigy. a professor of moral philosophy at the city’s university. His father. politics. Scientists use to deal with quantities that are constantly varying. where he took philosophy. Reference: http://www. Newton began working on his version in 1665. subtract.Wilhelm Leibniz Biography: Gottfried Lelbniz was born in Leipzig. but Leibniz published his results in 1684.famousscientists. died when Leibniz was only six. but was refused due to his young age. where professors were so impressed that they immediately awarded him the degree of Doctor of Laws and gave him a job of professorship. When it came to metaphysics. His mother was the daughter of a rich local lawyer.org/gottfri ed-leibniz/ . he applied for a doctorate in law. Leibniz also discovered the binary number system and invented the first calculating machine that could add. He made important contributions to philosophy. Therefore. engineering. Probably his greatest achievement was the discovery of a new mathematical method called calculus. However. physics. a symbolic language in which any item of information can be represented in a natural and systematic way. Newton had devised a similar method for his work on gravity. almost three years before Newton. After graduation. multiply and divide. there was a harsh debate about who had been first. He became fluent in Latin and studied works of Greeks scholars such as when he was only twelve. He entered the University of Leipzig when he was fourteen. philology and theology. Leibniz is often known as the founder of symbolic logic as he developed the universal characteristic. the consensus is that they discovered the method simultaneously.

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built the world’s first working reflecting telescope. Newton disliked his mother’s new husband and did not join their household. Newton attended The King’s School. where he finished as top student. who was largely self-taught in mathematics and physics: generalized the binomial theorem showed that sunlight is made up of all of the colors of the rainbow. his mother stopped his schooling so that he could become a farmer. Isaac Newton. When he was 17. living instead with his mother’s mother. married a churchman when Newton was three years old. 1643 in the tiny village of Woolsthorpe-byColsterworth. His mother. whose name was also Isaac Newton. Hannah Ayscough. He and Albert Einstein are almost equally matched contenders for this title. the mathematics of change. was a farmer who died before Isaac Junior was born. His resentment of his mother and stepfather’s new life did not subside with time. his mother allowed him to return to school. Lincolnshire. but no science or mathematics. where he was taught the classics. as a teenager he threatened to burn their house down! Beginning at age 12. Although comfortable financially. Fortunately for the future of science Newton found he had neither aptitude nor liking for farming. Grantham.Isaac Newton Biography: Isaac Newton is perhaps the greatest physicist who has ever lived. his father could not read or write. then another prism to recombine the rainbow colors to make a beam of white light again. His father. Margery Ayscough. Isaac Newton was born on January 4. discovered/invented calculus. changing the way we understand and relate to the world around us. without which we could not understand the behavior of objects as tiny as electrons or as large as galaxies. Each of these great scientists produced dramatic and startling transformations in the physical laws we believe our universe obeys. England. . He used one glass prism to split a beam of sunlight into its separate colors.

proving that the force holding the moon in orbit around the earth is the same force that causes an apple to fall from a tree. devised Newton’s Method for finding the roots of mathematical functions. showed that Kepler’s laws of planetary motion are special cases of Newton’s universal gravitation. hence explaining the paths all planets and comets follow. an ellipse. the moon and the sun. larger around the equator than around the poles.org/isaacnewton/ . one of the most important scientific books ever written. or a parabola. Reference: http://www.famousscientists. that the earth is not perfectly spherical but is squashed into an oblate spheroid. showed that the tides are caused by gravitational interactions between the earth. (Principia is pronounced with a hard c. predicted. correctly. wrote the Principia. Used mathematics to model the movement of fluids – from which the concept of a Newtonian fluid comes. such as a circle. formulated his three laws of motion – Newton’s Laws – which lie at the heart of the science of movement. proved that all objects moving through space under the influence of gravity must follow a path shaped in the form of one of the conic sections.) discovered the law of universal gravitation. in it he used mathematics to explain gravity and motion.

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