Hippassus of Meropontum discovered irrational numbers in the fifth century B.C., when he developed the Pythagorean theorum for right triangles and discovered that hypotenuse length could not always be expressed as a rational number. The Euclidean proof of irrational numbers did not appear until 300 years later.
Know MoreFor the Pythagoreans, proving the potential for irrational numbers amounted to a mortal sin of sorts. Pythagoreans worshipped numbers as the foundation of both their philosophy and religion. They believed that all of cosmology, physics, ethics and spirituality was based in, and explainable through, rational numbers, particularly because of the infinite existence of rational numbers. Having something that was inexplicable through such a foundation was, at a minimum, disturbing for Pythagoreans.
Learn more about InventionsWhile Greek mathematician and astronomy Claudius Ptolemy's geocentric theory was incorrect, he was able to explain the motions of heavenly bodies, according to Iowa State University's Polaris Project. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library also says Ptolemy used geometry to predict the movement of the planets (though he believed they revolved around the Earth). He cataloged 1,022 stars. His book "The Almagest" was the cornerstone of astronomy for many centuries.
Full Answer >Luigi Galvani was an Italian scientist who, during the 1780s, discovered a relationship between electricity and the nervous system when he observed that an electric current applied to a dead frog caused the animal's legs to twitch. His primary discovery occurred in 1780, with additional work throughout the decade.
Full Answer >In the 17th century, the English physicist Robert Hooke discovered plant cells while examining cork under a microscope. He was the first to refer to the units as cells because their boxy appearance reminded him of monastery cells.
Full Answer >Andre-Marie Ampere was the first scientist to theorize about a link between electricity and magnetism. The French physicist and mathematician was also the first scientist to attempt a mathematical explanation of the phenomenon.
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