Although certain concepts key to the Cartesian plane are found in works as early as ancient Greece, scholars credit Rene Descartes with the critical concept of applying algebra to geometry. Descartes introduced the notion of arithmetizing analytical geometry by assigning coordinates to two points in a plane. After Descartes published his theories, other mathematicians immediately began expanding upon his ideas and developing the Cartesian plane.
Know MoreApollonius of Greece found rudimentary ways to solve geometrical problems, and the French cleric Nicole Oresme of the 14th century used systems similar to Cartesian coordinates. However, it was not until Rene Descartes in 1637, that Euclidean geometry and algebra were at last united.
Scholars named the coordinate system after Descartes; however, many of the features of the modern Cartesian plane were additions by subsequent mathematicians. Descartes only worked with the x-axis and in the first quadrant; up until that time, the concepts of zero and negative numbers were not common.
It was Isaac Newton who first went beyond the use of positive distances. In his publication "Enumerations of Curves of Third Degree," Newton pioneered the use of perpendicular axes that included both positive and negative numbers. He even set the precedent of using x to label the horizontal axis, y for the vertical axis and 0 for the intersection.
Learn more about InventionsAlexander Graham Bell is credited for inventing the telephone in 1876, but an Italian immigrant named Antonio Meucci originally designed and developed the concept of a talking telegraph or telephone in 1849. After accidentally discovering the science behind transmitting sound via currents, he traveled to New York to patent his work. His plans failed after complications ensued, and Bell eventually patented the telephone five years later.
Full Answer >Algebra, in its earliest form, was first used by the Babylonians as early as 1700 B.C. It is possible that algebra was used before this time, but historical records are incomplete. However, the algebra used by early civilizations was much more rudimentary than the algebra currently in use today.
Full Answer >According to Wichita State University, Rene Descartes invented the Cartesian Plane, which is a theory of using ordered pairs to determine a specific point. This theory, explained in "La Geometrie," led to the invention of analytical geometry in which algebra is applied to geometry.
Full Answer >The slope formula was likely discovered by Rene Descartes around the turn of the seventeenth century. Descartes is widely considered to be the father of analytical geometry, and is the inventor of the Cartesian grid, which is the most commonly used grid in mathematics today.
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