Shah Newaz Alam
Mar 14, 2019

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The word 'mathematics' comes from the Greek word 'Mathematika', which means learning. Here are some of the great mathematicians.

Greece was the birth place of mathematics. Great mathematicians have ever since filled the world with their theories and different branches of science have grown from them. All sciences, be it physics, computers, or economics, have grown out from the works of mathematicians.

They gave mathematical calculations and explanations of the various forces in nature, which otherwise would have been considered as nothing less than magic by mankind. Listed here are some of the world's greatest mathematicians, whose contributions to this field will remain evergreen.

Pythagoras is known as "the Father of Numbers", and is immortalized, mainly because of his theorem.

Some say he had a golden thigh, while others say that he could write on the moon. But, one fact that cannot be disputed, is that he gave birth to modern-day geometry. Historians also refer to Pythagoras as one of the greatest philosophers to have ever lived.

Any person who is interested in mathematics or science will definitely know the story of how Archimedes discovered the impurity in King Hiero II's crown, through a simple buoyancy experiment, that he performed unintentionally while taking bath.

He discovered that the weight of the body divided by the volume of water displaced by it, gives its density. This was a revolutionary discovery, which many scientists and researchers consider, the event that heralded the birth of modern-day physics.

His contributions to the field of geometry are well-known. He found out that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of any circle is a constant (22/7) which gave birth to the non-recursive number 'pi'. He also laid the foundations of the concepts of 'square root' and 'arithmetic and geometric progressions', but did not provide theories for them.

This great mathematician didn't study mathematics until the age of 12.

His father had a low opinion about the educational system at that time. But at the age of 12, Pascal derived that the sum of the two sides of a triangle is equal to the sum of two right angles. Stunned, his fatherĀ gave him a copy of Euclid's *Elements.*

At a very young age, Pascal had derived a lot of geometrical theorems. These theorems together form the root of geometry. He proposed the idea of a 'mystic hexagon' when he was just 16 years old. Later, he wrote about the theory of probability, which is considered by many, as a major contribution to the field of economics.

The other areas in which Pascal made everlasting contributions were hydrodynamics and hydrostatics. Among his chief inventions are the hydraulic press and the syringe, which were the results of his deep study of the principles of hydraulic fluids.

Charles Babbage, revered as the 'Father of Computer' invented the first modern analytical computer. He noticed the amount of human errors that occurred in calculations and decided to find out a mechanical means to calculate error-free. Charles Babbage made the first 'Difference Engine', which could compute mathematical values mechanically.

At the age of 24, he was elected as a fellow to the Royal Society. In 1824, he won the 'Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society' for inventing an analytic engine that could calculate the values in astronomical and mathematical tables. In 1827, he joined the Cambridge University as a Lucasian professor of mathematics.

Sir Isaac Newton's contributions to the field of mathematics are known to all. The three laws of motion, gravitational attraction between bodies, dispersion of light and Newton's rings are just a few of his world famous theories.

Born in Woolsthrope, England, Newton was a mediocre student in school. It was during the summer of 1665, that he proved his mettle by showing his genius in the field of mathematics. During this time, he solved calculus problems with a geometrical perspective.

He found that addition of infinitesimal small lengths would result in the integration, and their separation is what is called differentiation. He also proposed that white light or sunlight is not a single color, but a combination of seven colors. He also gave a theory that light is a wave and thus, the field of quantum physics came into existence.

In 1687, Newton published the book 'Principia', which is considered as the greatest scientific book ever written. In this book, he applied the laws of motion and gravitation to the universe, and proved the gravitational attraction between astronomical bodies.

Newton, like all other great mathematicians, was a great philosopher too. He provided the scientific world with an array of mathematical theories, from the swinging of a pendulum to the gravitational attraction between astronomical bodies.

These are just a few of many great names who laid down the foundations of the immense world of mathematics. People had contradicted their views and theories, but as they provided a mathematical explanation to each of their theories, their contributions remain valid even today. These theories still form the base of all modern technologies and sciences.