# Tagged Questions

Mathematics is the abstract study of topics encompassing quantity, structure, space, change, and other properties. It is a prerequisite for theoretical contributions in many other sciences and disciplines.

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### What was the first Solar Eclipse that was demonstrably predicted in advance?

There is a famous story going back to Herodotus according to which Thales of Miletus predicted the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BC, which interrupted a battle. Given that we have not a single ...
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### What is the origin of the “wheat and chessboard” legend?

The "wheat and chessboard" fable describes a geometric problem that is often quoted in stories about the invention of chess. According to Wikipedia, the main theme of the fable is: When the ...
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### Which Babylonian tablets contains the list of squares and cubes?

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive writes Two tablets found at Senkerah on the Euphrates in 1854 date from 2000 BC. They give squares of the numbers up to 59 and cubes of the numbers up ...
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### What were tally sticks?

What were tally sticks, and how was it that they they worked for the economy? I understand that they were a form of currency and were of fixed value based on the notches, but how did they work as a ...
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### How could Eratosthenes measure the circumference of the Earth?

Some 2,200 years ago, Eratosthenes calculated the radius of the Earth. A brief recap Plant a stick in the ground vertically, and wait until the sun is directly above the stick, that is until ...
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### Early history of prime numbers

Prime numbers are those whole numbers greater than 1 which cannot be written as a product of numbers greater than 1. I'm curious about their very early history, say 200 BC and earlier. What I know: ...
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### Was the State of Indiana's legislation changed to fix the value of Pi?

Is the following an anecdote? Mathematicians describe Pi as an irrational number, that is, a number that cannot be expressed as the ratio of any two integers. This was an irksome fact to the State ...
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### How did the Egyptian engineers of the Third and Fourth Dynasty construct the Pyramids and Sphinx without modern science and mathematics? [closed]

How did the Egyptian engineers of the Third and Fourth Dynasty construct the Pyramids and Sphinx without modern science and mathematics? What was the "state of the art" in engineering, science, and ...
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### What were the causes of decline of Babylonian numeric system?

Babylonia developed a numeric system advanced far ahead of its neighbors, and some might say even superior to our contemporary decimal. It was a 60-base system with convenient composition of factors ...
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### How did Columbus calculate the size of the Earth?

Eratosthenes' calculations of the size of the Earth were very precise and very accepted during Columbus' time. Still, Columbus was convinced that the world was significatively smaller and that getting ...
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### How far into the past was significance ascribed to the Golden Ratio?

I think everyone knows about the golden ratio or the divine proportion (I got to know more about it after reading the wikipedia article on it). It's present everywhere in nature and also in the human ...
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### Were the problems Fibonacci solved in his work “Flos” posed specifically for him?

According to Wikipedia, Fibonacci wrote "Flos", a work which contained solutions to problems posed by Johannes of Palermo. Did Johannes pose a challenge to all European mathematicians of the time, or ...
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### How did lay people understand logic in the Greco-Roman world?

I'm not interested in what Aristotle or the stoics wrote; how did "common" people understand practical logic, especially as it relates to rhetoric?
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### How did people count before Fibonacci published Liber Abbaci?

Counting as we know it, including zero as a number, was brought to the traders and merchants of Europe by Leonardo of Pisa (whom we now know as Fibonacci) by his book "Liber Abbaci" in 1202. This ...
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### Vigenere vs. Bellaso

I noticed on the Wikipedia article for the Vigenere cipher, that: The Vigenère (French pronunciation: [viʒnɛːʁ]) cipher has been reinvented many times. The method was originally described by ...
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### What methods did the Old Babylonian society use for solving equations?

According to the Wikipedia article on the Abacus, Ettore Carruccio stated in Mathematics and Logic In History and In Contemporary Thought that the Old Babylonians: may have used the abacus for the ...
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### What is the earliest known writing associating the number three with the dimension of the world?

Euclid's elements say: A solid is that which has length, breadth, and depth. This sentence recognizes that there are three dimensions in the world, and it was written in 300 BC. Are there any ...
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### Did Pythagoras visit Judaea, Arabia, and/or India?

From Wikipedia's page on Pythagoras: Diogenes Laertius reported that Pythagoras had undertaken extensive travels, and had visited not only Egypt, but Arabia, Phoenicia, Judaea, Babylon, and even ...
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### Did the pope try to suppress the number zero?

What evidence exists to indicate that the Pope attempted to suppress the number zero? In an editorial review, Rob Lightner claims that "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea", by Charles Seife, ...
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### When was the first recorded use of hospital readmissions as a summary statistic?

When was the first recorded use, or the first recorded intention of use of hospital readmissions as a summary statistic? A hospital readmission (also called a rehospitalization) is defined as a ...
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### What is the source of the claim that Enigma codebreaking efforts shortened the Second World War by years and saved millions of lives? [closed]

Since the release of the film The Imitation Game, it has been widely asserted that The cracking of Germany’s Enigma code shortening the war by two to four years and saving an estimated 14 ...
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### What is the first recorded instance of the lo-shu square?

The lo-shu square (洛書) is a 3×3 grid of numbers, usually written as dots: Legend traces its origin to the legendary Yu the Great (大禹) or Fu-hi (伏羲) ~3000 years ago, but I'm interested in ...
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### When was the last book containing a table of logarithms was published? [closed]

My question is when the last book containing a table of logarithms was published. For example, I know that the CRC Standard Mathematical Tables doesn't contain the logarithmic tables any more, but ...
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### Is there any relationship between 666 and Roman numerals? [closed]

I just realised that 666 is DCLXVI in Roman numerals (all numerals in sequence from largest to smallest). I have checked wiki but there was nothing mentioned about it. Are there any theories or ...