Origins | Winter 2013

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OBJECT OF INTEREST | 41

A GEOMETRICAL TIMELINE (OR THE EVOLUTION OF GEOMETRY)

2000-500 BC Egyptians

Used geometry for survey, construction and tax collection. Pi is approximated in the Rhind Papyrus.

Object of Interest The Abacus Karen Meza Cherit

Babylonians

Clay tablets reveal Pythagorean relationships in the Plimton 322 tablet, land estimation, construction, and volume measurements.

750-250 BC Greeks

ADELE & JUSTIN | CC BYNC 2.0

“Let no one unversed in geometry enter here” was placed above entrance to Plato’s Academy. Euclid’s 13 books in Elements are written around 400 BC. Pythagoreans emerge: a secret society of mathematicians living sometime before 500 BC.

1600 AD Coordinate Geometry

Descartes merged algebra and geometry together by locating points on a plane with a pair of numbers after observing a fly on the ceiling.

1800 – 1900 Differential Geometry Gauss and Riemann devised geometries of curved surfaces.

1800 - Present Non-Euclidean Geometry

Bolyai and Lobachevsky devised geometries with no parallel lines. Roger Penrose created Penrose triangle and made developments in physics and cosmology.

1900 - Present Fractal Geometry

Mandelbrot with the aide of computing machinery devised the geometry of rough surfaces.

Consisting of a wooden box with parallel bars (made of wood, metal or plastic) that has small beads which move from sideto-side, the abacus was created for representing arithmetic units. This tool is the first of its kind known of and used by man. The abacus’ origin is unknown, though it is assumed to be Greek. Many others say it was China. It is a precursor to the era of modern computing, and did lead to the invention of the calculator. Today, you can still find people using an abacus. Some places where one may be sighted include Russia, the Middle East, and Asia. t

How To Use An Abacus! Origins Scientific Research Society


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