The Pythagorean Theorem And The Greek Mathematician Pythagoras

1733 Words Aug 17th, 2015 7 Pages
The Pythagorean Theorem is named for the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who is supposed to have lived between the years 600 BC to 500 BC. Although he is credited with the formula a2+b2=c2, people had noticed the special relationship between the sides of a right triangle long before Pythagoras was around (Smoller, 2001).
The Pythagorean Theorem states that the sum of the length of the two other sides of a right angle squared will equal the square length of the hypotenuse (the longest side). In other words, a2+b2=c2, a and b being the shorter sides, and c being the long side (Khan Academy, 2010).
The Pythagorean Theorem was, in fact, one of the earliest theorems know to ancient civilizations (Morriss, 1997). An old Babylonian tablet (1900-1600 BC), predating Pythagoras by over 1000 years, called the Plimpton Tablet, lists the numbers that satisfy the so-called Pythagorean Theorem. The middle columns read:
“4 is the length and 5 the diagonal
What is the breadth?
Its size is not known.
4 times 4 is 16.
5 times 5 is 25.
You take 16 from 25 and there remains 9.
What times what shall I take in order to get 9?
3 times 3 is 9. 3 is the breadth.”( Babylonian Pythagoras, 2000).
The formula used would translate into a2+b2=c2. In addition, a Chinese astronomical and mathematical essay was found predating Pythagoras and contained a geometrical explanation of the theorem. (Jabcobsen, 2011). Another ancient source of the Pythagorean Theorem was found in ancient Indian Sulbasutras, or…

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