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The Elements

Euclid 300s BCE

Teacher at Museum and

Library in Alexandria,

founded by Ptolemy in

300 BCE.

Best known for compiling

and organizing the work

of other Greek

mathematicians relating

to Geometry.

Aristotle 384-322 BCE

work with definitions

and axioms.

The Elements

Consistedof 13 volumes of definitions, axioms,

theorems and proofs.

Compilation of knowledge.

theorem was proved using axioms and previously

proven theorems teaching how to think and

develop logical arguments.

Books 1-6 Plane Geometry

1-2 triangles, quadrilaterals, quadratics

3 - circles

4 - inscribed and circumscribed polygons

5 magnitudes and ratio, Euclidean Algorithm

6 applications of books 1-5

Book 10 Irrational Numbers

Books 11-13 Three dimensional figures

including 5 Platonic solids

Book 1

5 statements that Euclid believed were

obvious.

believed were intuitively true.

postulates (point, line, plane, angle etc)

5 Common notions (obvious)

are equal.

results are equal.

5 assumptions (intuitively true)

Postulate 1 a straight line can be drawn from

any point to any point.

(assumes only one line)

a line.

center and any radius

(assumes only one circle)

and the consecutive interior angles

are not supplementary then the lines

intersect.

Book I

Included theorems such as:

Parallel Line Postulate

Pythagorean Theorem

and protractor)

SAS

properties of parallelograms

Inscribed Polygons

(Book IV)

Euclidproved many theorems about circles in

Book III that allowed him to provide detailed

constructions of inscribed and circumscribed

polygons.

isosceles triangle with the base angles equal to

twice the vertex angle. Bisect the base angles

and the 5 points together make the pentagon.

Duplicate Ratio

(Book V)

Book VII begins with a definition of

proportional which is based on the notion

of duplicate ratio.

Duplicate ratio

When three magnitudes are

proportional, the first is said to have

to the third the duplicate ratio of that

which it has to the second.

Ex. 2:6:18

Euclidean Algorithm

(Book VII)

Process for finding the greatest common divisor.

get remainder c.

subtract m from cwhen the result = 0, you have the

greatest common divisor or the result = 1, which means

a and b are relatively prime.

ex. 80 and 18

ex. 7 and 32

Prime Numbers

Consider these 3 statements about primes found in

Book VII:

Any composite number can be divided by some prime

number.

Any number is either prime or can be divided by a

prime number.

If a prime number can be divided into the product

of two numbers, it can be divided into one of them.

Arithmetic that any number can be expressed uniquely

as a product of prime numbers.

are infinitely many prime numbers.

Geometric Series

(Book IX)

If as many as we please

are in continued a, ar, ar, ar,...arn

proportion, and there is

subtracted from the

second and the last (ar a) (arn-a)

numbers equal to the

first, then, as the excess

of the second is to the (ar a):a = (arn-a):Sn

first, so will the last be

to all those before it.

Solve this last equation for Sn

(ar a):a = (arn-a):Sn

ar a ar a n

a Sn

a(r 1)

n

Sn

r 1

Knowing how to think- who needs it?

dealing with social issues!

become a better lawyer.

as The Elements (self-evident truths are axioms used to prove

that the colonies are justified in breaking from England).

19th century Yale students studied The Elements for two years,

at the end of which they participated in a celebration ritual

called the Burial of Euclid.

there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the

assumptions.

High School Geometry

Plane Geometry courses today are basically the content

of Euclids Elements.

proofs easier but led to rote memorization instead.

painful and not fun.

the purpose of developing logical thinking.

PSSA

Standards: what they should know

Anchors: what they are tested on

Timeline

Prior to Euclid, Greek mathematicians such as Pythagorus,

Theaetetus, Euxodus and Thales did work in Geometry.

384-322 BCE - Aristotle believed that scientific knowledge

could only be gained through logical methods, beginning

with axioms.

300 BCE- Euclid teaches at the Museum and Library at

Alexandria

1880 J.L. Heiberg compiles Greek version of The Elements

as close to original as possible.

1908 Thomas Heath translated Heibergs text. This version

is the one most widely used and the basis for modern

Geometry courses.

References

Berlinghoff, F. & Gouva. Math Through the Ages: A Gentle

History for Teachers and Others. Farmington, Maine: Oxton

House, 2002.

1981.

http://scienceworld.wolfram.com

http://www.groups.dcs.stand.ac.uk/~history/mathematicians/Euclid

www.pde.state.pa.us

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