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The Frontiers of Space


The solving of mathematical problems became a spectator sport in the 16th century, with generous prizes given to the winners. In such a competitive atmosphere, it’s not surprising that mathematicians would jealously guard their knowledge – and in some cases, behave very badly. Girolamo Cardano appeared to solve a problem known as the cubic, but he had stolen the solution from a rival mathematician - Nicolo Tartaglia.

France began to challenge Italian mathematical domination with Rene Descartes, who linked algebra and geometry – a decisive step that would change the course of the discipline forever. He was followed by a maths prodigy, Pascal, who proved that the sum of the angles of a triangle were equal to two right angles at just 12 years old. Pascal went on to invent a mechanical calculator and proved that a vacuum could exist.

In England, Isaac Newton developed calculus, which could account for the orbits of the planets, but spent the rest of his life embroiled in a dispute with a German mathematician over who developed it first.

(Episode three of the four-part series "The Story of Maths")

Sendetermine: The Frontiers of Space

Bereits ausgestrahlte Sendungen:

WDR Fernsehen

Fr. 28.09.2018, 7:20h

WDR Fernsehen

Mi. 26.09.2018, 7:20h



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