# Pythagoras and his Theorem

### By Emily Burton

## Who is Pythagoras?

Pythagoras is a Greek Mathematician. He was born in 570 BC, when you could not go and type a sum in a calculator. But despite this, Pythagoras invented a concept which changed the rules of maths altogether.

## the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

## What Did he do??

Pythagoras lived his life focussed on numbers and their relationships. We now look at maths and numbers like a number line, so on this line between 7 and 8, we also know that there is 7.5 or 7 and 3/4 etc. However Pythagoras thought that numbers were whole and did not believe in what we now call irrational numbers. Most importantly, he proved a concept which he named Pythagoras' Theorem. Pythagoras was not the first person to think about this theorem. Many other people had thought about it too. But Pythagoras was the first to PROVE it.

## Pythagoras' Childhood

As a child, Pythagoras showed signs of high intelligence. He was very inquisitive, and by the time he was 16, his teacher had run out of answers to his questions.

Not much else is known about Pythagoras' childhood. This is because as a child, he was not expected to contribute much to maths, so no one thought to record his childhood history!

Not much else is known about Pythagoras' childhood. This is because as a child, he was not expected to contribute much to maths, so no one thought to record his childhood history!

## Pythagoras made a HUGE contribution to the world as we know it.

## Pythagoreanism

Pythagoreanism is the term for the beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers. There were many strange beliefs, but the biggest, was NEVER EVER touch or eat beans. One of the theories for this is is because Pythagoras is believed to have been a vegetarian to live a pure life. He believed that that animal souls could transfer into your body through eating meat. It is possible that him and his followers thought that beans had a soul, and touching or eating these beans somehow transferred that soul to theirs, which was 'not pure'. However, this is just one theory, and no one really knows why he had such an aversion to beans! Pythagoras was not well liked and it has even been suggested that he was a murderer - killing one oh his students because he suggested that numbers could be irrational! But again, no one knows this for sure! Many people are said to have disliked Pythagoras and his beliefs, and even wanted to kill the 'crazy' Pythagoras.

## What Other Things did the Greeks Invent?

Pythagoras was a very special Greek, but there were other brainy Greeks, such a Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Diogenes, and many Greek inventors. The Greeks came up with Yo Yo's; the first play galthough it was just two people standing on a stage, talking for two hours with no interval); bricks, (quite useful if you come to think of it); soap; screws; anchors; and so much more. The ancient Greeks are a group well known in history for their contribution to knowledge.

## NEVER EVER TOUCH BEANS!!

## How Did Pythagoras Die?

Nobody knows how Pythagoras died. The only supposed known fact is that he fled to Metapontum because of a plot against him. What happened next is unknown, but according to legend, in 500bc men who wanted him dead because of his beliefs, chased him, for hours, on the soft green grass, but eventually, Pythagoras drew to a halt before a bean field. the only way of surviving was to plow through that field. Now, I am sure that if you were in his place, you would run through the field as quick as you could. But Pythagoras was far too proud, and decided "I would rather die than touch these beans." So, the legend goes, that he stood and bravely faced his death. He died age 80. Touching story. Okay, that sounds a stupid way to die, but Pythagoras and his followers had decided that if you disobeyed any of the groups 'laws' you would be kicked out with scorn. (Sounds like a child's Club House) Anyway, there are plenty of other stupid deaths, even more stupid than his, impossible though it sounds!! :)

## Pythagoras in Space

One question. Was Pythagoras right? The answer is probably not what you think. He was not completely right, and was not completely wrong either. His theorem is right, but only in two dimensions. This is because a famous scientist named Albert Einstein, suddenly decided, and proved, that space was curved. This meant that Pythagoras' theorem did not work. A triangle has 180 angles. On the curved surface of space, this is not correct. In space, the angles equal 270 degrees. Therefore, a 2 + b 2 does not equal c 2 . It equals 2c 2.

## How is Pythagoras Remembered?

Pythagoras' Theorem is still being used, 2,582 years in the future. Despite whether or not space is curved, Pythagoras' Theorem is very special, and so is Pythagoras.