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West Asian mathematics – history of math

By |2018-05-10T10:12:08+00:00September 16th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

History of math: Sumerian multiplication table (2700 BC) Cuneiform multiplication table Once people in West Asia figured out how to write down numbers, about 3500 BC, they quickly began to want to use cuneiform to write down other mathematical ideas. (Read more about the invention of numbers) The earliest example of this that we have is from about 2700 BC. It [...]

History of astronomy – Science and space

By |2018-05-18T08:57:38+00:00September 5th, 2017|Science|

A starry sky with the Milky Way galaxy(thanks to Bernd Nies) Early astronomy The very earliest people, as early as six million years ago, knew much more about the moon and the planets and the stars than most people do today. That's because they lived mainly outside, without electric lights blocking out the sky, and they saw every night how the moon and [...]

Who was Thales of Miletus? Greek Astronomy

By |2018-04-23T14:20:25+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Thales of Miletus might have watched plays in this theater at Miletus (before it had stone seats) Biography of Thales Thales was born in what's now Turkey, in the city of Miletus, about 630 BC, during the Archaic period. At that time, Miletus was a city where people spoke Greek, though it may have paid taxes or [...]

Greek mathematics – Geometry and Proofs – Ancient Greece

By |2018-04-22T10:26:50+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Math|

Greek math: An Egyptian papyrus from about 100 AD which is a piece of one of Euclid's books Greek math: geometry not algebra Because people in ancient Greece had only very clumsy ways of writing down numbers, they didn't like algebra. They found it very hard to write down equations or number problems. Instead, Greek mathematicians were [...]

Who was Eratosthenes? Astronomy and math

By |2018-05-16T18:40:23+00:00July 18th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Science|

Eratosthenes of Cyrene went to school here! A classroom at the University of Alexandria (al-Ahram 2004). Who was Eratosthenes of Cyrene? Eratosthenes of Cyrene was born about 276 BC in Cyrene (modern Libya). Chief librarian in Alexandria When he was still young he moved to Alexandria, in Egypt. He studied mathematics and astronomy at the University of Alexandria. [...]

Who was Anaximander? Infinity and Greek science

By |2017-07-18T07:32:45+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Theater of Miletus Anaximander was born about 610 BC in the Greek city of Miletus, in what is now Turkey. So he was able to have the great mathematician Thales of Miletus as his teacher. Thales was probably about 35 when Anaximander was twenty years old. The two mathematicians worked together for most of their lives. Anaximander [...]

Who was Anaxagoras? Greek scientist

By |2018-04-23T14:05:11+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

A map showing Clazomenae Like Thales before him, Anaxagoras was born in what's now Turkey. Anaxagoras was born around 500 BC in a city called Clazomenae, in the Persian Empire. When he was a child, Clazomenae participated in the Ionian Revolt and soon became part of the Athenian Empire. Anaxagoras seems to have been born into a rich family, and he [...]

Ancient Greek science – math, astronomy, medicine

By |2018-08-22T14:21:07+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Ancient Greek science: Greek doctor letting blood out of a patient because he believes in the four humors When did Greek science get started? By about 600 BC, ancient Greek people were getting richer from trading between Egypt, West Asia, Carthage, and Europe. Now richer families could afford to send their boys to college. More boys got a good education and became scientists. Soon [...]

The sun in Greek astronomy

By |2018-04-23T14:13:14+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

The sun at sunset: The sun in Greek astronomy At first the Greeks imagined that the sun was the god Helios, or Apollo, driving his chariot around and around the earth. In the morning he began driving up in the sky, and then in the evening he drove back down again, and that was the sunset. At night the horses rested under [...]

The moon in Greek astronomy

By |2018-04-23T13:55:42+00:00July 18th, 2017|Greeks, History, Science|

The moon in ancient Greece - A photograph of the moon from space The goddess Artemis Early Greeks thought of the moon as the goddess Artemis. Where the Egyptians had thought of the moon as a man and the sun as a woman, the Greeks reversed that and thought of the moon as a woman. The moon in ancient [...]