Archive for Era – Renaissance

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1501 – Cardano – bio

Girolamo Cardano was born in northern Italy in 1501 and was a mathematician. His father was a lawyer who also gave university lectures on geometry and was consulted by Leonardo Da Vinci on the subject. Cardano indulged in gambling which enhanced his understanding of probability. The gambling habit also wrecked his personal life and earned […]

1550 – Napier – bio

John Napier was born in Scotland in 1550 and is known for his contributions to mathematics. He invented logarithms and used a set of marked rods to perform calculations (like an abacus or a slide rule) which became known as “Napiers Bones”. He also established the first consistent use of the decimal point notation for […]

1452 – Da Vinci – bio

1452 - Da Vinci - bio

Leonardo da Vinci was born in Italy in 1452. He was a painter, inventor, mathematician, sculptor, architect, engineer and more. He is known as one of the most talented artists ever and for inventions and engineering feats that were far ahead of their time. His work included designing bridges, mills and engines for a variety […]

1545 – Ars Magna

Ars Magna (The Great Art) published in 1545 by Girolamo Cardano, included techniques for solving cubic (to the third power) and quartic (to the fourth power) equations. The solution for cubic equations was developed by Scipione del Ferro, then passed on to a student who provoked Niccolo Fontana (aka Tartaglia) to also develop the solution. […]

1398 – Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg was born in 1398 in Mainz, Germany and was a blacksmith, a goldsmith and a printer. He is known for creating a movable type printing press around 1439, which revolutionized the publishing business by allowing mass production of books. While movable type had been demonstrated previously, this was the first documented use of […]

timeline of calculus

Calculus was developed as a way to calculate areas and volumes of shapes that are not easy to figure using simple math. Differential calculus studies the derivative, which calculates the slope of a line tangent to the function. The slope of the line shows the rate of change in the line. If the line represents […]

1629 – Huygens – bio

Christiaan Huygens was born in 1629 in The Hague, Netherlands (then known as the Dutch Republic) and was an astronomer, mathematician and physicist. He advanced the art of grinding lenses and building telescopes and in 1655 discovered that Titan was a moon of Saturn and in the next year became the first to propose that […]

1608 – telescope

Hans Lippershey, a Dutch lensmaker has been given primary credit for making the first recorded optical telescope in 1608, although there is evidence that other telescopes or “looking glasses” existed prior to his work. PRECURSOR: 0085 – Ptolemy 0800 – astrolabe invented 0965 – Alhazen wrote “Book of Optics” and investigated using curved mirrors as […]

1632 – van Leeuwenhoek – bio

Antony van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft, the Netherlands in 1632 and is known for creating the field of microbiology. While he did not invent the microscope, he worked to improve it and was the first to document the world of single celled organisms. Van Leeuwenhoek learned to work with glass and discovered that by […]

1667 – phlogiston theory

Phlogiston theory was a failure and eventually shown to be false. It was based on the idea that any combustible substance contained an element known as phlogiston that was released during the burning process. This had historical roots in various theories of alchemy which generally included four elements: fire, water, air and earth. The first […]