Archimedes of Syracuse (287–212 BC) is regarded as the greatest of the Greek mathematicians and was also the inventor of many mechanical devices including the screw, the pulley, and the lever. The Archimedean screw – a device for raising water from a low level to a higher one – is an invention that is still in use today. Archimedes works include his treatise Measurement of a Circle, which was an analysis of circular area, and his masterpiece On the Sphere and the Cylinder in which he determined
325 BC: Euclid
Euclid of Alexandria (325–265 BC) was one of the greatest of all the Greek geometers and is considered by many to be the “father of modern geometry”. Euclid is best known for his 13-book treatise The Elements. The Elements is one of the most important works in history and had a profound impact on the development of Western civilization. Euclid began The Elements with just a few basics, 23 definitions, 5 postulates, and 5 common notions or general axioms. An axiom is a statement that is accepte
569 BC: Pythagorus
The great Greek geometer was Pythagoras (569–475 BC). He was the first pure mathematician to logically deduce geometric facts from basic principles. Pythagoras a brotherhood called the Pythagoreans, who pursued knowledge in mathematics, science, and philosophy. Some people regard the Pythagorean School as the birthplace of reason and logical thought. The most famous and useful contribution of the Pythagoreans was the Pythagorean Theorem. The theory states that the sum of t
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600 BC: Thales of Miletus
The early Greeks (600 BC–400 AD) developed the principles of modern geometry beginning with Thales of Miletus (624–547 BC). Thales is credited with bringing the science of geometry from Egypt to Greece. Thales studied similar triangles and wrote the proof that corresponding sides of similar triangles are in proportion.
1600's: Rene Descartes
There were no major developments in geometry until the appearance of Rene Descartes (1596–1650). In his famous treatise Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason in the Search for Truth in the Sciences, Descartes combined algebra and geometry to create analytic geometry. Analytic geometry, also known as coordinate geometry, involves placing a geometric figure into a coordinate system to illustrate proofs and to obtain information using algebraic equations.
1800's: Non-Euclidean Geometry
The next great development in geometry came with the development of non-Euclidean geometry. Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) who along with Archimedes and Newton is considered to be one of the three greatest mathematicians of all time, invented non-Euclidian geometry prior to the independent work of Janos Bolyai (1802–1860) and Nikolai Lobachevsky (1792-1856). Non-Euclidian geometry generally refers to any geometry not based on the postulates of Euclid, including geometries for which the paralle
1982: Fractal Geometry
The most recent development in geometry is fractal geometry. Fractal geometry was developed and popularized by Benoit Mandelbrot in his 1982 book The Fractal Geometry of Nature. A fractal is a geometric shape, which is self-similar (invariance under a change of scale) and has fractional (fractal) dimensions. Similar to chaos theory, which is the study of non-linear systems; fractals are highly sensitive to initial conditions where a small change in the initial conditions of a system can lead to
2900 BC: The First Pyramid
First egyptian pyramid was constructed around 2900 BC. The knowledge of geometry was essential for building pyramids, which consists of a square base and triangular faces. The earliest record of a formula for calculating the area of a triangle dates back to 2000 BC. The Egyptians (5000–500 BC) and the Babylonians (4000–500 BC) developed practical geometry to solve everyday problems, but there is no evidence that they logically deduced geometric facts from basic principles.