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Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: Ho Pythagras ho Smios "Pythagoras the Samian", or simply ; c. 570c. 495 BC[1]) was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him. He was born on the island of Samos, and might have travelled widely in his youth, visiting Egypt and other places seeking knowledge. He had a teacher named Themistoclea, who introduced him to the principles of ethics.[2][3] Around 530 BC, he moved to Croton, a Greek colony in southern Italy, and there set up a religious sect. His followers pursued the religious rites and practices developed by Pythagoras, and studied his philosophical theories. The society took an active role in the politics of Croton, but this eventually led to their downfall. The Pythagorean meeting-places were burned, and Pythagoras was forced to flee the city. He is said to have ended his days in Metapontum. Pythagoras made influential contributions to philosophy and religious teaching in the late 6th century BC. He is often revered as a great mathematician, mystic and scientist, but he is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name. However, because legend and obfuscation cloud his work even more than with the other preSocratic philosophers, one can give account of his teachings to a little extent, and some have questioned whether he contributed much to mathematics and natural philosophy. Many of the accomplishments credited to Pythagoras may actually have been accomplishments of his colleagues and successors. Whether or not his disciples believed that everything was related to mathematics and that numbers were the ultimate reality is unknown. It was said that he was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom,[4] and Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato, and through him, all of Western philosophy.

Pythagorean theorem

In mathematics, the Pythagorean theorem or Pythagoras' theorem is a relation in Euclidean geometry among the three sides of a right triangle (right-angled triangle)the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. In terms of areas, it states:

In any right triangle, the area of the square whose side is the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares whose sides are the two legs (the two sides that meet at a right angle). The theorem can be written as an equation relating the lengths of the sides a, b and c, often called the Pythagorean equation:[1]

where c represents the length of the hypotenuse, and a and b represent the lengths of the other two sides. The Pythagorean theorem is named after the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who by tradition is credited with its discovery and proof,[2][3] although it is often argued that knowledge of the theorem predates him. There is evidence that Babylonian mathematicians understood the formula, although there is little surviving evidence that they fitted it into a mathematical framework.[4][5] The theorem is about both areas and lengths, or can be said to have both areal and metric interpretations.[6][7] Some proofs of the theorem are based on one interpretation, some upon the other, using both algebraic and geometric techniques.[8] The theorem can be generalized in various ways, including higher dimensional spaces, to spaces that are not Euclidean, to objects that are not right triangles, and indeed, to objects that are not triangles at all, but n-dimensional solids. The Pythagorean theorem has attracted interest outside mathematics as a symbol of mathematical abstruseness, mystique, or intellectual power; popular references in literature, plays, musicals, songs, stamps and cartoons abound.

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