While the history of math isn’t really all that fascinating, unless of course you are deeply interested in the subject, it is interesting to know where some of the concepts that we use in math and science today originated. Famous mathematicians are credited with some very practical discoveries and inventions that not only pertain to numbers, but also pertain to and have had an impact on science and technology as well.
Archimedes is a famous mathematician that lived between 300 and 200 BC and who discovered the numerical value of pi. He is also credited with the invention of the lever and the screw. Charles Babbage, known to some as “The Father of Computing” developed the first difference engine which lead to the development of the calculators we use today. Sir Isaac Newton is the famous mathematician to whom we credit the three laws of motion.
Other famous mathematicians with credits for proving mathematical theories and discovering applications are Blaise Pascal and Pythagoras. Pythagoras discovered the existence of irrational numbers and the Pythagorean Theorem. Pascal is credited with formulating the mathematical theory of probability and the invention of the first digital calculator.
Though not known as a mathematician, but rather a physicist, Albert Einstein developed mathematical and scientific theories that were essentially before his time. He gave us the theory of relativity, kinetic energy, and the quantum theory. Essentially today’s laser beam is a result of Einstein’s discovery of how light works.
These and other famous mathematicians, physicists, and astronomers have fathered theories, formulas, and inventions that forever changed our world. Even without understanding of the specific applications of relativity, inertia, gravity, or infinity, we can appreciate the genius that was behind the discoveries, especially for the time, and today, we all have benefited from the fruits of their labor.