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History of Science and Mathematics : Recent Questions and Answers

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Why is the "universal trigonometric substitution" called "Weierstrass's substitution"?

The universal trigonometric substitution converts a rational function in $sin(x), cos(x) $ into a rational function of a new variable $t$ by the substitution $t =...

Asked on 11/27/2021

0 answer

Newton's evaluation of 1 + 1/3 - 1/5 - 1/7 + 1/9 + 1/11

I had asked the following question on MSE here, and I was directed to this exchange. There is a nice solution in the comments there, but perhaps someone...

Asked on 11/15/2021

0 answer

Did John Von Neumann hate pure mathematics that became too abstract?

John von Neumann wrote the following in his essay The Mathematician:As a mathematical discipline travels far from its empirical source,or still more, if...

Asked on 09/02/2021 by user4281

0 answer

How large were the differences in the orbit of Uranus which led to the calculation of the existence of Neptune?

After Uranus was discovered and its orbit calculated, its future orbit was calculated, and its future positions as seen from Earth were calculated. And observers of Uranus began to notice...

Asked on 09/02/2021 by M.A. Golding

3 answer

In which article/book chapter did Cantor, Hibert, and Poincare formally defined or directly discussed the term “potential infinity”?

Some media sources say that "Cantor claimed that there would only be potential infinity, not actual infinity" In addition, the following link claims that Hilbert, Poincare, and...

Asked on 09/02/2021

1 answer

What was considered Evolutionary Science or Biology proper in 1880-1890 in the US?

I have a question that is more related to the history of evolutionary biology rather than the science itself, namely I am interested in knowing what might have been considered...

Asked on 09/02/2021 by user42582

1 answer

Who discovered the thin lens equation $frac{1}{u}+frac{1}{v}=frac{1}{f}$?

According to Weisstein's webpage it was Halley in 1693 (quoting Steinhaus); but I've also seen it attributed to Cotes, Huygens, even Gauss (eg Britannica). Wikipedia's History of...

Asked on 09/02/2021 by Chrystomath

1 answer

What are the direct predecessors of Lagrange's theory of quadratic forms?

I was reading Stillwell's Mathematics and its History, where Lagrange's theory of quadratic forms is synoptically presented, and I was wondering of what are the direct predecessors...

Asked on 09/02/2021

1 answer

What was the optical problem discussed and solved by Gauss in his 1831 letter to Brandes?

Volume 5 of Gauss's works contains a section which includes "Essays on various objects in mathematical physics". Just to emphasize the importance of this section, i'll mention that it includes,...

Asked on 09/02/2021

1 answer

How did Kolmogorov came up with his formalization of intuitionistic logic?

According to this article Kolmogorov published a paper in 1925 in which he attempted to formalize Brouwer’s intuitionistic mathematics.In that paper there are the following logical...

Asked on 09/02/2021

0 answer

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